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Re: Contract - we might strike, class size


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 27 2003 - 18:42:14 PDT wrote:

> Tuesday afternoon our union had a strike vote and it was passed with 83%
> yes. I am now in the position to have to decide to strike or not. My
> kids will be supportive but a strike affects my retirement and it is not
> a pretty sight. I am prepared to go but I have my reservations. All I
> want to do is teach but this has been going on too long. We will have
> to see what the next few weeks will bring.

Tough decision, Ken. I hope I never have to make it for myself. I do
have a strike story, though...

In about 1978 the big Tucson district voted to strike. The school board
  hired subs to come in and teach while the strike was on. Being
unemployed at the time and the owner of a college degree, I got a sub
certificate and became a scab. Teaching was the LAST thing I'd ever
wanted to do, but luckily the art teacher had decided he just couldn't
do it, and became a scab himself. That wonderful, energetic, dedicated
man inspired me to become a teacher. In spite of tremendous pressures
from striking colleagues, he decided he loved his job and the kids too
much to go on strike. He even had a reading endorsement, and I got one
too after I went back to school. Of course, he had to transfer out of
that school the following year to get away from all the ugliness being
heaped on him after the strike. I did some of my master's thesis
research in his classes at his new school.

On the one hand, I just don't think it's right the kids have to suffer
for the sins of the school board; on the other, I think the public
counts on that sentiment to keep teachers overworked and underpaid by
questioning our dedication. Whatever you decide, I hope the ugliness
and animosity Sam and I both witnessed between teachers never occurs.