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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Should the schools prevent teachers from striking?

The Capitol Fax Question of the Day:
A new school reform proposal working its way through the Illinois House has a section which would severely limit teachers’ right to strike. If there’s an impasse, the state’s Education Labor Relations Board could appoint a fact finding panel which would then come up with a solution. If that’s rejected by both parties, the panel’s proposals are published in local newspapers and the sides then have 10 days to settle. If there is no settlement, the two sides exchange their proposals and then the school boards, by a two-thirds vote, can impose a solution on the unions. If the school boards cannot muster a two-thirds vote, then and only then the union has the right to strike.

However, according to an internal analysis I’ve obtained created by the Illinois State Board of Education, it appears that Chicago’s education board could simply impose their own terms on the teachers union and prevent it from striking. And lots of people believe that this bill is designed to prevent a teachers strike when the current contract expires in 2012.

The legislation would also prevent teachers from including school-year length in their union contracts. Again, this appears aimed at the city, where the school year is one of the shortest in the nation.
You should check out some comments. Here's one in that post:
Not only should the locality be able to set its workplace rules, it should be allowed to decertify any public employee union. One other element in this proposal is tenure reform. I can almost understand tenure in universities. Almost. But tenure in K-12 is beyond me. It handcuffs the school administration from making personnel decisions that improve student performance, school budgeting, and ultimately school effectiveness and viability.

And before anyone says I don’t know what it’s like to be a teacher, I held a Type 09 certification in Illinois and taught at disadvantage schools.
I wonder if this proposal will be defeated however. School vouchers as mentioned in a previous post was defeated in the state legislature earlier this year.

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