Tag Archives: Teacher Unions

Teacher Unions Love Teachers – Not Students


Want some proof that unions representing teachers are in it for the teacher?

Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Association of Educators filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court on Wednesday, challenging the state’s new private school voucher program.

The advocacy group wants the court to declare unconstitutional the Opportunity Scholarships Act, which was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, and stop the state from issuing the vouchers.

Under the program, state lawmakers set aside $10 million in the budget to help pay private school tuition for about 2,500 students, starting in the 2014-15 school year. Legislative leaders said they plan to ratchet the fund up to $50 million a year after that.

Teacher unions are about power; not kids or education.


Death Of A Teacher’s Union


I absolutely love Love LOVE this turn of events:

The union representing Kenosha teachers has been decertified and may not bargain base wages with the district.

Because unions are limited in what they can do even if they are certified, the new status of Kenosha’s teachers union — just like the decertification of many other teachers unions in the state that did not or could not pursue the steps necessary to maintain certification in the new era of Act 10 — may be a moral blow more than anything else.

Teachers in Milwaukee and Janesville met the state’s Aug. 30 deadline to apply for recertification, a state agency representative says. Peter Davis, general counsel for the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, said the Milwaukee and Janesville districts will hold recertification votes in November.

To continue as the recognized bargaining unit in the district, 51% of the union’s eligible membership must vote in favor of recertification, according to the controversial Act 10 legislation passed in 2011.

With contracts that were in place through the end of June, teachers in the three large southeastern Wisconsin districts were protected the longest from the new legislation, which limits collective bargaining, requires unions to hold annual votes to be recognized as official entities, and mandates that teachers and other public employees pay more out-of-pocket for their health care and retirement costs.

Christina Brey, speaking for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, downplayed recertification, calling it just another hoop for local unions to jump through.

Unions can exist without certification, but they cannot bargain for limited base-wage increases with the district. And there are fees involved with chasing recertification.

“It seems like the majority of our affiliates in the state aren’t seeking recertification, so I don’t think the KEA is an outlier or unique in this,” Brey said.

It’s long past time that we recognize that unions across America are nothing more than power grabs and democrat fundraising machines.

Good riddance.

North Carolina Teacher Tenure


One of the most devastating aspects of unionized teachers is the concept of tenure.  With tenure, a teacher can’t be fired for poor performance.  Or, if it IS possible the process is so onerous that it is virtually impossible.

North Carolina is about to change that:

A bipartisan House bill that would change the state’s teacher tenure law moved swiftly through the House Education committee Tuesday.

The bill would allow veteran teachers to keep tenure, though they would lose it with two consecutive years of poor performance. Teachers with four years experience who are rated “highly effective” would be granted tenure.

Across America we’re getting closer.  No collective bargaining for insurance in Wisconsin and now weakened tenure laws here in Carolina.

One At A Time: Taking Schools Back From Teacher’s Unions

It’s no secret that teacher’s unions don’t serve the interest of the students; they serve the interest of the union.  They’re about power.  Power to influence how their members are protected and compensated.  As more and more people come to this realization more and more people are beginning to realize that taking schools back from those unions is a good thing:

(Reuters) – Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed “parent trigger” laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.

Now, guess who opposes these types of laws?

Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers.

I know you’re shocked.  Shocked that a union would oppose a law that diminished its influence.  But, has this process worked?

Parent trigger laws are in place in several states including California, Texas and Louisiana and are under consideration in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn around a school.


But why not?

Parents in two impoverished, heavily minority California cities, Compton and Adelanto, gathered enough signatures to seize control of their neighborhood schools but the process stalled in the face of ferocious opposition from teachers’ unions. Both cases are now tied up in court.

Ahh, not because they were given the chance and then failed.  Rather, they haven’t worked because the unions fight ’em every inch of the way.

The good news?  The power of the unions have continued to fade:

But in a sign of the unions’ diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.

Democratic Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Kevin Johnson of Sacramento led the charge for parent trigger – and were backed by scores of other Democrats as well as Republicans from coast to coast.

“Mayors understand at a local level that most parents lack the tools they need to turn their schools around,” Villaraigosa said. Parent trigger laws, he added, can empower parents to do just that.

Let’s hope that the victory in Wisconsin will usher in a new era not just in fiscal reform but in actual education reform.

News And Observer Letters To The Editor: Teachers vs. Cuts

This Sunday’s News And Observer’s Letter To The Editor

This week the featured Letter to the Editor focuses on the Republican’s veto override of a bill that Governor Purdue.  If you remember, the Republican controlled House called a special midnight session in order to vote on the override.  That veto override was successful and now the bill becomes law.  In short, the North Carolin Association of Educators can no longer require that dues be collected straight from the paycheck of teachers.

Our citizen points out, correctly in my opinion, this:

I’m not a public school teacher, and I’m in awe of the job they do with my kids every day. Teaching should be an honored profession.

Very few people I know dispute this fact.  However, it’s a common setup for the real point:

House Speaker Thom Tillis and his Republican colleagues are targeting these hard-working public servants. They are punishing the N.C. Association of Educators for standing up against budget cuts to the public schools.

Point of fact, the Republicans are not targeting teachers.  Rather, they are working to prevent the state from acting as a private organizations bill collector.  Imagine if a church required the state to deduct weekly offerings from the paychecks of public employees.  Even if they didn’t belong to the church.

Our citizen continues:

To those of us who want high-quality public schools for our kids, however, this is far from a game. The NCAE stood up against budget cuts to our already underfunded schools, and now they are paying the price. Let’s stick up for the teachers who are sticking up for our schools.

The problem is that teacher’s unions don’t care about educating children.  They care about power.  They care about taking as much as they can while giving as little as they can.  These same unions prevent poor teachers from being fired.  They prevent merit pay.  They prevent innovation.

We all love excellent, proficient and capable teachers.  We do not love poor under performing teachers.  And we certainly don’t love organizations that are hell bent on protecting those poor performers.

Merit Based Teacher Salary

I grew up the son of a teacher.  Then I became a teacher.  Though, to be fair, I only lasted a single year.  It was a small town, a “negotiation” year and I really didn’t like the whole incentive thing.  As a result of the negotiations, which were conducted by a small negotiation team made up of men, the compensation system in the contract changed.  Teachers are paid based on a grid.  New rookie teachers with no more education than a bachelors degree start in the upper left hand corner of that grid.  For every year of experience, they get to “step” down the grid and get a raise.  The further down you go, the more you make.  Teachers can also move across the grid.  They do this by obtaining more education.  When they acquire enough, they are said to change “lanes” and move from the left to the right.

The highest paid teachers are in the lower right corner of the grid.

I lost faith when I realized, very quickly, that I would never catch up to the old crummy teachers I worked with.  And when that negotiating team reduced the number of lanes from 9 to 3 in exchange for higher coaches salaries [the negotiation team consisted of mostly coaches].

I now have no ties to education save that my kids are in school.  Further, I am in an occupation where I am not in a union.  My continued employment is dictated by market conditions combined with my ability to produce value for my bosses.  Further, my salary is determined by the success of the firm and my contribution to it.

The better I do the more I make and the stronger my job security is.  The converse is true.

It is my love of teachers and the role they play in the development of our kids AND the power of market based incentives that makes me love this story of merit based teacher’s salaries:

WASHINGTON — During her first six years of teaching in this city’s struggling schools, Tiffany Johnson got a series of small raises that brought her annual salary to $63,000, from about $50,000. This year, her seventh, Ms. Johnson earns $87,000.

That latest 38 percent jump, unheard of in public education, came after Ms. Johnson was rated “highly effective” two years in a row under Washington’s new teacher evaluation system. Those ratings also netted her back-to-back bonuses totaling $30,000.

In my calculus, the district accomplished two things:

  1. It created a massive incentive to perform.
  2. It created a massive incentive to continue teaching.

“Lots of teachers leave the profession, but this has kept me invested to stay,” said Ms. Johnson, 29, who is a special-education teacher at the Ron H. Brown Middle School in Northeast Washington. “I know they value me.”

I love this statement:  “This has kept me invested to stay.”


When an organization values an employee it helps retain that employee.  When that value takes the additional value of added pay, that retention is even greater!

On the other hand, there is the opposite phenomena  , one that I consider more dangerous to the education of our kids; the incentives provided to the poorest performing teachers:

Under the system, known as Impact Plus, teachers rated “highly effective” earn bonuses ranging from $2,400 to $25,000. Teachers who get that rating two years in a row are eligible for a large permanent pay increase to make their salary equivalent to that of a colleague with five more years of experience and a more advanced degree.

Those rewards come with risk: to receive the bonuses and raises, teachers must sign away some job security provisions outlined in their union contract. About 20 percent of the teachers eligible for the raises this year and 30 percent of those eligible for bonuses turned them down rather than give up those protections.

There are teachers who are SO concerned with losing their jobs that they turned down the money.  Turned. Down. The. Money.

Two things:

  1. These are teachers we should work to remove.
  2. These teachers WERE compensated for their labor.  The fact that they value job security MORE than the money does NOT mean that they didn’t receive anything of value.

I look forward to continued market based, merit based teacher compensation.

How To Fix Public Schools

I just thought of this.  If you wanna fix public schools, or at least improve them dramatically AND increase the pay of teachers, just follow these simple three rules:

  1. Find some way to identify the bottom 10% of teachers.
  2. Fire them.
  3. Do this every year.

If you object to this, you are more interested in keeping shitty teachers in jobs than you are seriously worried about kids getting a good education.

Education should not be a “Make Work Pay” program.

Teacher’s Unions: Not In Favor of Students

One more for the file labelled: We Hate Kids, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers has come out against a policy that would allow the city to fire and hire teachers based on merit, you know–teaching kids–rather than on seniority:

A coalition of City Council members, former school leaders, parents and pastors are calling for Minneapolis public schools to end seniority-based hiring and firing practices in the next teachers union contract.

In its “Contract for Student Achievement” position paper, the group argues that past agreements between the district and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) “repeatedly put the needs of adults over the academic needs of students.”

“We call on the district and the MFT to negotiate a different kind of contract — one that recognizes the academic crisis in our schools and makes student achievement the top focus,” the coalition says in its letter, which was delivered to the school board this week.

Saying the letter “feels like an attack” on teachers, union president Lynn Nordgren disputed some of its findings and the argument that past contracts have halted reform.

At the heart of all successful organizations is innovation.  And innovation requires change; sometimes massive disruptive change.  And Unions aren’t in favor of that.