Without collective bargaining, we can’t advocate for our students’ learning conditions and our working conditions. Being involved in OEA gives us the resources to do that. We believe in public education, we support each other, and, most importantly, we always …
By Julie Rine, Minerva Local Education Association
Is it time for Ohio to revisit the part-time faculty, collective bargaining issue in higher education? The Mid-Biennium Review calls for Higher Education funding to be tied to student completion of programs and degrees. Is this fair to our higher institutions, including community colleges? Weigh in with your comments on the OEA blog.
It seems the budget bill, House Bill 59 (HB 59), has become a dumping ground for the worst ideas our legislature can think of. One bad idea, among many, is the elimination of the single salary and minimum salary schedules for public school employees. The single salary schedule has been around for nearly a hundred years, having evolved from the inequity of elementary and high school salaries; men were paid more than women, white teachers more than African American teachers, and administrators’ favorites more than equally qualified coworkers.
ALEC, which stands for American Legislative Exchange Council, is the most influential corporate-funded political force operating in America today, one that has worked to dilute collective bargaining rights and privatize public education. Yet ALEC is more or less unknown in teacher circles. ALEC creates legislation for elected officials to introduce in their states as their own brainchildren. ALEC’s strategy: “spread the unions thin ‘by playing offense’ with decoy legislation.” Spreading the unions thin has resulted in radical changes to classroom teachers’ everyday lives.
Knowing how often things get sensationalized, I work hard to find reliable sources for information. With a RTW group petitioning to put a Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot, I need to find information I can trust, so I can form an educated opinion. What I’ve found is that the most reliable and meaningful information has come, not from newspaper articles or television shows, but from other educators. Listening to their stories about what it’s like to teacher in states with RTW laws has given me the insights I need to understand why these are harmful and what I can expect if they are enacted in Ohio.
The delegates at the 2012 OEA Spring Representative Assembly made several important decisions this year. We elected a new Secretary Treasurer, Tim Myers of Elida EA. We supported the Voters First Initiative to reform the redistricting process to be fair, open and honest. And we also voted to begin organizing charters. One member opposed to the motion stated succinctly, “Can we organize teachers in the very schools we have advocated against?” The thought had crossed my mind as well.
The governor’s yet-to-be-unveiled education overhaul plan actually doesn’t belong to the governor so much as it belongs to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering acknowledged that Jackson’s plan contains many provisions that were “also in Senate Bill 5.” Jackson’s plan, says Lehner, “…takes the best of Senate Bill 5.” Rather than speak with the Cleveland Teachers Union about his transformation plan, Mayor Jackson held back-door conversations with city’s business community. Instead of putting teachers at the table, Jackson’s plan puts them on the menu.
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Homeslice, an education blog by a teacher who’s actively involved in his union Having been involved in contract negotiations and the bargaining process now for a number of years with my local, I’d like to …