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Re: number of classes


From: linda eastman (lindacharlie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 21 2002 - 06:17:13 PDT

on 8/21/02 10:06 AM, at wrote:

> hello linda,
> i appreciate your point of view, but i'm dropping my association here in
> tenn. this year. our contract isn't worth the paper it's written on....

perhaps it has a lot to do with michigan having historically strong labor
unions but i feel my union is doing what i pay them to do. a few years ago
the elementary "specials" teachers were handed a schedule that divided our
day up differently. classes were a few minutes shorter and several minutes
of "passing time" were inserted between classes. this was horrid because
a)the minutes were carved out of our planning time and b) the classroom
teachers got to be really lax about getting their kids out on schedule but
were sure to drop them off early! all the art, music and PE teachers made
the leadership aware of this and, collectively, we were heard loud and
clear. the following year, that schedule was gone and we got our
"meaningful" planning times back. our jobs are also secure because the
classroom teachers must have (contractually) 4 (or 5?) planning periods a
week and WE are the people who make that possible. we are currently in
negotiations but only for salary, nothing else. although it is illegal for
us to strike (anti-union state government), we do some other things that let
folks know we're not happy campers and the administration hates that.
passive things such as everyone wears all black on fridays (this would be
all the teachers at 3 HS, 4 MS, and 22 ELEM); and or we don't come in early
or stay late but walk into the building and out together en masse right on
the dot. this kind of stuff seems childish to us but it is very effective as
a bargaining strategy. the thing that makes it work though is our solidarity
- EVERYONE does it together. that is the key. united we stand, divided we
fall. i guess i'd advise people whose unions are not strong to add some
more "links" to the chain.
linda in michigan - and the first in my family to belong to a union!