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Do you support the U.S. teacher strikes?

Forums - Politics Discussion - Do you support the U.S. teacher strikes?

For those who don't know, a wave of (heavily under-reported) strikes organized online by teachers has been sweeping across the U.S. over the last couple months. The first strike wave took place in West Virginia, which won a number of concessions from the state government, inspiring teachers in Oklahoma and now Arizona to join in as well as, to lesser degrees, those in Kentucky and Colorado as well. Educators in these states typically have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and are saddled with oversized classes, a shortage of textbooks, and frankly a shortage of other teachers because nobody wants the job due to the conditions. In Oklahoma, some 20% of the schools have resorted to four-day school weeks due to funding shortages, which of course only further elevates the burden on teachers. Many schools across these states have even ceased to use heating and air conditioning to save money.

These strikes demand substantial increases in pay for teachers and other school staff, as well as the restoration of pre-recession funding levels and an end to the privatization of public schools that is being advanced by the Trump Administration and supported by state governments (most aggressively by the Republican-controlled ones).

These actions have been organized by teachers themselves online, not called by their unions. In that connection, the World Socialist Web Site has, in their coverage, made what I think is an important point about the role of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers -- the main teacher unions -- in this struggle:

 

"In order to carry their struggle forward, teachers in Arizona and Colorado must learn the lessons of the West Virginia and Oklahoma strikes. In each case, the unions sought to isolate the struggle and redirect it behind voting for Democrats in the mid-term elections.

The unions see it as their task to ensure “labor peace.” In a comment to the Washington Post, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten ($500,000/year salary), wrote that if the unions are weakened struggles like that in West Virginia “will be multiplied and magnified across the country.”

It is no coincidence that the teachers’ struggle has broken out first in states where the unions have less of a stranglehold. In Arizona, a state with over 50,000 teachers, the Arizona Education Association has fewer than 20,000 members."


Unions in this country serve the opposite of their official role anymore. They exist much more to contain and undermine labor actions rather than to represent and advance the interests of the workers they purport to represent. From fast food strikes to these, there are more labor actions happening in this country right now among non-union workers than among those who have unions.

I'm of the persuasion that schools should be public property, funded equally and well (not shortchanged to pay for unnecessary subsidies for industries like oil and natural gas), and run by the teachers who work there and know their students and their individual needs rather than by administrative staff that doesn't.

So anyway, do you consider yourself a supporter of these strike actions?

Last edited by Jaicee - on 29 April 2018

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I’m just surprised it took this long. Teachers have been an under-appreciated resource for decades. And in the US teachers are essentially educators as well as babysitters. The fact that our economy almost always calls for both parents to work means teachers are with our children more often than we are. And when we get our kids back we get our 2 or 3. Teachers get 20-30. They deserve more and they deserve better!

I once aspired to be a teacher. But after speaking with my cousin’s wife who’s been a teacher for nearly a decade I decided against it. She makes less than I make annually and I’m a Bank Supervisor, a profession that requires no college degree. And I’m not suggesting teachers be paid like CEOs. But when your profession requires a $40,000 college degree and your base pay is as low as $33,000 it doesn’t make sense. I live in Florida and trust me we’ll be experiencing teacher strikes soon. And how sad is it that governments won’t pay for teachers’ resources but they’re willing to pay for them to train how to use a gun? But that’s a different debate all together.



PC GAMING: BEST GAMES. WORST CONTROLS

A mouse & keyboard are made for sending email and typing internet badassery. Not for playing video games!!!

and what sucks is as young new teachers enter the market, they get even more underpayed and start replacing the tenured teachers who aren't getting much of an increase in salary. Where is all them money going is the question, because everyone pays taxes and our schools continue to be a mess?



 

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FentonCrackshell said:
I’m just surprised it took this long. Teachers have been an under-appreciated resource for decades. And in the US teachers are essentially educators as well as babysitters. The fact that our economy almost always calls for both parents to work means teachers are with our children more often than we are. And when we get our kids back we get our 2 or 3. Teachers get 20-30. They deserve more and they deserve better!

I once aspired to be a teacher. But after speaking with my cousin’s wife who’s been a teacher for nearly a decade I decided against it. She makes less than I make annually and I’m a Bank Supervisor, a profession that requires no college degree. And I’m not suggesting teachers be paid like CEOs. But when your profession requires a $40,000 college degree and your base pay is as low as $33,000 it doesn’t make sense. I live in Florida and trust me we’ll be experiencing teacher strikes soon. And how sad is it that governments won’t pay for teachers’ resources but they’re willing to pay for them to train how to use a gun? But that’s a different debate all together.

Bonus points of the gun point actually. I'm pretty sure the fact that these strikes began shortly after the Valentine's Day Parkland school massacre is not entirely coincidental. That teachers have been reminded that their very lives are on the line, as well as those of their students, particularly anymore, was no doubt a cultural factor driving up demand for better pay and treatment at this particular juncture.



Yes they should be striking on the students behave and their own. I remember hearing about a cause where kne state was paying so low that teachers couldn't make ends meet and so they were leaving. Meaning the kids were screwed to having way overcrowded classes and low quality staff.



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Strikes in a free market are fine. Strikes for government monopoly employees are 'problematic' because they already have benefits like being nearly impossible to fire and the customers have to purchase their 'product' by law with their taxes.



No, they already make a ridiculous amount of money and are under performing as it is. They make an average of 45k a year, more than DOUBLE minimum wage. Get out of here with your strikes.



I'm against the strikes. The quality of their work is questionable considering that kids are eating tide pods these days for clicks and becoming socialists out of college. 😽 😹 They also make a decent amount on average.



No. I don't.



contestgamer said:
No, they already make a ridiculous amount of money and are under performing as it is. They make an average of 45k a year, more than DOUBLE minimum wage. Get out of here with your strikes.

You think 45K a year is being overpaid.  There is no way I would go 4 years to college at the price tag it is now, to come out getting paid 45K a year.  I would be surprised if you even know one iota what teachers do today.