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  1. #101
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    It is the combination of unions and bad working conditions that leads to strikes. Consider this oversimplified table:

    No union, good conditions - no strike
    No union, bad conditions - no strike
    Union, good conditions - no strike
    Union, bad conditions - strike
    I can simplify it even better

    Union = communism
    No union = freedom

  2. #102
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    I can simplify it even better

    Union = communism
    No union = freedom
    One of the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution is freedom of association. A union is an association of workers in a given profession or workplace. Sounds like they are using a basic freedom to me. By contrast, under communism, the "unions" never had strikes and never opposed the government like the recent events in Chicago. Under communism, the union IS the government.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #103
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    One of the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution is freedom of association. A union is an association of workers in a given profession or workplace. Sounds like they are using a basic freedom to me. By contrast, under communism, the "unions" never had strikes and never opposed the government like the recent events in Chicago. Under communism, the union IS the government.
    While I'd agree that "Union = communism" is hyperbole, a union isn't a rotary club. One can choose to join a club or not. Unions generally aren't in favor of freedom of association, however. In non-right-to-work states, one does not have the right to NOT join a union, if it's a unionized workplace. Yes, there are many valid arguments to be made in favor of such a rule to force joining, but all such arguments contradict the notion of "freedom of association", at least insofar as one might not want to be associated at all.

    Call it Lite Communism, if you will. There is only one party (union) to join, and you will join.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  4. #104
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    While I'd agree that "Union = communism" is hyperbole, a union isn't a rotary club. One can choose to join a club or not. Unions generally aren't in favor of freedom of association, however. In non-right-to-work states, one does not have the right to NOT join a union, if it's a unionized workplace. Yes, there are many valid arguments to be made in favor of such a rule to force joining, but all such arguments contradict the notion of "freedom of association", at least insofar as one might not want to be associated at all.

    Call it Lite Communism, if you will. There is only one party (union) to join, and you will join.
    There are often many unions to join, depending on where you work and what you do, as well as many non-union shops to work in. If you don't want to join a union, you can work for one of these. Requiring everyone in a given shop to be in the union is not much different than requiring everyone living in a neighborhood to join the homeowners' association, or everyone with kids in a given school to be in the PTO. You can always live somewhere else, send your kids to another school, or even join the organization and work to fix the things you don't like about it. Beyond these examples, our society requires men to sign up for selective service, and drivers to join the shared risk pools called auto insurance. Semi-compulsory membership in groups is all part of living in a society with others. Human failings will ensure that none of these groups is ideal, but does not invalidate the principle as a way to help balance competing interests and ensure issues are at least addressed.

    Here is a rather balanced discussion of the Chicago strike situation:

    Chicago strike reveals a broken system

    From the end of the article:

    Chicago’s school problems are not unique. Poverty, crime and lack of resources affect schools all across the country.

    Experts are quick to point out that none of these issues should be used as an excuse for failing to educate America’s children. Teachers, city leaders, policy makers and education reform advocates all agree that these factors also shouldn’t be left out of the conversation. And in fact, they aren’t – but real solutions need to be found.

    Chicago has presented an opportunity for the nation to take a closer, more thoughtful look at a multitude of reasons why schools and test scores and graduation rates are lacking. It might also inspire us to look at schools that are working to see if they could be replicated.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #105
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    There's a tipping point where one goes from championing the rights of the unrepresented, to protecting the political influence already earned and using that influence to bully your way through negotiations at the expense of state budgets and other state employees.

    A friend of mine is a teacher here in Jacksonville, and she told me that the teachers in Chicago make twice what she does.

    I don't think Chicago is twice as expensive to live in.

    The deal ensures that HALF of new hires have to be previously fired teachers. That's the kind of job security that would make a supreme court justice blush.

    They ensure that the bare minimum percentage of their evaluations are tied to the actual performance of the students.

    If you are a dog trainer and you suck at training dogs you don't get to stay on just because your dogs didn't get the fancy food growing up, or because the dog has a troubled past.

    In the real world you get fired, and a more effective worker will replace you, making the system stronger.

  6. #106
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    If union equals communism its only even more of a reason to support unions.

  7. #107
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    There's a tipping point where one goes from championing the rights of the unrepresented, to protecting the political influence already earned and using that influence to bully your way through negotiations at the expense of state budgets and other state employees.

    A friend of mine is a teacher here in Jacksonville, and she told me that the teachers in Chicago make twice what she does.

    I don't think Chicago is twice as expensive to live in.

    The deal ensures that HALF of new hires have to be previously fired teachers. That's the kind of job security that would make a supreme court justice blush.

    They ensure that the bare minimum percentage of their evaluations are tied to the actual performance of the students.

    If you are a dog trainer and you suck at training dogs you don't get to stay on just because your dogs didn't get the fancy food growing up, or because the dog has a troubled past.

    In the real world you get fired, and a more effective worker will replace you, making the system stronger.
    Jacksonville teachers need to get unionised and get the deal Chicago teachers are getting then.

  8. #108
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Jacksonville teachers need to get unionised and get the deal Chicago teachers are getting then.
    Jacksonville just sounds like a shitty place to teach. Over in Miami, my uncle makes even more than these Chicago scrubs do, and he isn't even in a union (though he should be...)

  9. #109
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Jacksonville just sounds like a shitty place to teach. Over in Miami, my uncle makes even more than these Chicago scrubs do, and he isn't even in a union (though he should be...)
    My point is I'm tired of the one sided class war, everyone is siding with the rich and powerful against working people. I've had enough of it.

    God might be away on business and liberals might be more interested in trying to get rid of heterosexuality to care about sharing the wealth anymore but someone's got to take a stand.

  10. #110
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    Written by a striking Chicago teacher...

    From CNN:

    My View: The Chicago teachers’ strike from an ambivalent union member’s perspective

    (Chicago) - On day one of the Chicago teachers strike, I picketed with my fellow teachers outside of Lindblom Math and Science Academy in the Englewood community. Across the street, an African-American family sat outside a dilapidated black-and-white flat. Three school-aged boys played in the yard while we stood in red T-shirts.

    Statistically speaking, if public education does not change these boys won’t make it through college. Only 2% of African-American males graduate on time from a university after graduating from Chicago Public Schools.

    Statistically speaking, if public education does not change these boys won’t get into Lindblom Academy, a selective enrollment school now ranked 20th in Illinois, even though they live across the street. Only 11% of Lindblom’s population resides in Englewood.

    I couldn’t help but think that the strike was both for them and not for them, that the terms discussed in the media—minor raises in pay, a freeze on healthcare, the percentage of teacher evaluations based on standardized tests—largely ignored them. Reforms for stronger teacher education programs and processes for retaining our strongest teachers not just our most experienced have not been central to this very public debate.

    But then we walked to the busy corners of 63rd and Damen and later to 63rd and Ashland, in the most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago, a place where the media often report on violence but quickly disappear until the next shooting occurs. I was expecting to be booed in this area, especially in a recession. But we received the opposite reception.

    Police officers, fire fighters and CTA workers honked for us. Truckers strong-armed their horns, parents with kids in their back seats waved in support, and parents taking their kids to charter schools gave us thumbs up. People on the streets of Englewood listened intently when we spoke about some elementary school classrooms having upwards of 40 students with few resources, and they told us to keep up the good fight.

    The South Side where I have taught for the past eight years, the South Side where I have attended countless funerals for my students and their families, the South Side where my daughter will attend a CPS elementary school, has embraced me.

    As I pumped my fist, I participated in this strike for social justice. The boisterous South Side reminded me of America’s need for a worker’s voice—a voice the baby booming generation once championed, a voice to challenge both political parties.

    I remembered that the Chicago Teachers Union was created to fight social justice issues, particularly women’s rights. In a vocation filled with women, it gave female teachers equal pay to their male counterparts while many other American professions did not. It still does, and it also ensures equality in pay against racial lines. In other vocations in this country, there is still a huge wage gap linked implicitly with race and/or gender, but so many of us have stopped fighting to change it.

    I thought of my family members who silently watched their pensions turn into 401(k)s and of close friends who pay unimaginably high premiums for health care. They all felt powerless to change these circumstances. Why? Because as individuals, the fight is too big to take on alone.

    If I did not have my union, I could have never fought for my salary, benefits and protection against a revolving door of under-qualified and over-burdened principals, let alone a better classroom for my students. I have my union to thank for all of this.

    But as an eight-year veteran teacher, I’m also ambivalent because of my students’ rights. I must challenge the traditional step and lane pay scale even though I’ll receive the soon-to-be negotiated raise. At my last school, which served students primarily on free and reduced lunch, I was a department chair at the age of 28, and respected by my colleagues and administrators as one of the school’s best. I made close to $20,000 less than a teacher who had 15 years on the job, who struggled with classroom management, who received repeated unsatisfactory ratings, and who was eventually removed through a process that took more than a year. The low-performing teacher was teaching students who needed more than what she was providing for too long, and she was making more money than she deserved. My union did that, too, and I can’t deny that.

    As we look to the future, teachers’ unions must play a role in building a sustainable, dedicated teaching force, rather than a profession built of teachers who will come and go quickly because of low respect and poor working conditions. Workers’ rights are a part of social justice. But fighting for social justice also means fighting for our children’s rights in the terms of ensuring teacher quality. In order to improve public education, unions must fight for teachers’ rights in the form of better working conditions, and for students’ rights by looking critically at teacher performance alongside seniority in hiring practices and pay scales.

    As we return to our classrooms, I stand in solidarity for students’ rights, for workers’ rights, and for my rights. I stand with my union. But I hope that in four years when my daughter is old enough to enter her Chicago Public Schools kindergarten classroom, the teacher standing in front is the strongest teacher possible, thanks to a union that upholds workers’ rights and students’ rights. I have the same hopes for the boys in Englewood and for all of the children of Chicago.

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