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  1. #1
    RGA
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    BC Teachers have voted 87% to escalate the strike...

    Which makes me wonder what drug the 13% who didn't were smoking.

    Granted I am a teacher so perhaps biased but I am not a die hard union guy - I worked in Private sector as an accounting clerk for 7 years in a steel foundry - the only such foundry in the country that never turned union. So I've seen both sides. I even see some of the arguments the government wants being in the ballpark of reasonable.

    However on the whole - this time around - they're a freaking disaster.

    Here is a post by someone who has summed it up to a tee - and you won't get that from the usual in bed with the liberal party newspapers.

    Why I'm Rattled at the Liberals...a teacher's perspective.
    by Nick Pendergrass on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:09am ∑

    This was going to be a status update but I have a bit too much to say. I am sickened and disappoined by how some media outlets depict my union's job action. Often, the only words I hear in the news reports are "wages" and "class size". Too often the reporting is so narrowly focused and repetitive it is hard to fully appreciate the scope of the issues. Here's what's really going on and why teachers are so upset.



    1) The abolishment of seniority rights. Even the Roman army had seniority rights. Why this government wants to do away with seniority rights befuddles and scares me. Doing away with seniority exposes teachers to being hired and fired due to a "who you know" scenario and/or a popularity contest. Elimination of senority rights could also set more experienced/ educated teachers (who are at a higher pay scale) at a disadvantage, in favour of younger/less educated teachers (who are at a lower pay scale). Districts want to cut costs, correct?



    2) Contract stripping. When two sides come to an agreement about an issue and sign a contract that contract should be upheld for the duration of that contract. This Liberal government ripped up our contract that we had with them in 2002. The part they ripped up eliminated provisions protecting class size, class composition, and services to students with special needs. The BCTF website states, "the 2002 legislation enabled the BC Liberals to cut $336 million annually from public education and so severely curtailed free collective bargaining rights that it could not sustain a challenge under the Charter of Rights. In April 2011, the BC Supreme Court found the bills to be unconstitutional and invalid". Yet, despite the Supreme Court ruling it's business as usual for George Abbott and the Liberals. It blows my mind how this can happen in a democratic society.



    3) The One Strike and You're Out Policy. In this case a teacher could be dismissed from their job due to a poor performance review or for other incidents. Of course creepy teachers should be shown the door...no one is going to argue that, but a few bad lessons or what is deemed to be an inappropriate comment shouldn't be grounds for dismissal unless there is a fair process. All workers deserve the opportunity to learn from their experiences/ mistakes, with support and constructive feedback from their employers. A three strikes youíre out policy, implemented with partnership of administration, school board, and union seems more than fair, as it provides opportunity for employees to grow on a professional level in addition to maintaining accountability.



    4) Bargaining in bad faith. How can the government come to a bargaining table with a net zero mandate from the get-go? How can the government only want to take away from our contract, yet add nothing?



    5) Changing laws. Last week my union applied to the Labour Relations Board to conduct a strike. The LRB gave us the go-ahead to conduct a strike. Hours later, the Liberals drafted up a law to say that we are not allowed to go on strike. As a worker I feel my rights have been taken away from me. How is it that the students I teach have more rights than I do when they go to their jobs after school?



    6) Bill 22---The Liberals will pass Bill 22 next week that imposes a new contract on teachers. Under this legislated contract there will be no class size or composition limits for grades 4-7. Whereby a teacher used to be consulted (that wasn't even perfect), now a superintendent can have the final say and put however many students they would like in a class.



    7) "Mediation"---This Fiberal government says that a contract will be mediated. Bogus. It is a mediator they appoint and that mediator has been told that any additional money towards education is unavailable. Class size and composition and wages will not be discussed by the mediator. How can we call this mediation when one side lays out what can and can't be discussed beforehand? Instead of calling this a "cooling off period" how about calling it what it really is...a period of time in which the Liberals have taken away our right to strike, have imposed a contract, and have refused to engage in meaningful discussions about the core issues. Essentially the Liberals are saying, "Shut up, this is the contract WE have decided on and we'll talk to you in two years. And oh, by the way, if you teachers want to strike you will be fined $475 per day and your union will be fined over a million dollars per day". This is mediation? Really?



    8) Money, money, money is all the media is covering. Yes, a fair and equitable wage is important to me. If your contract was up with your boss you would probably ask for a raise too. Considering other teachers earn more in other provinces and do the same or less amount of work it gets you thinking. Given these economic times, no one is expecting a bonanza but at the very least could we get a cost of living increase? Please?... No?...Ok, thought I'd ask.



    To many of us, our wage could remain the same and life would go on happily for us. Quite frankly, as much as a wage increase would be nice, it is at the very bottom of my beef with the Liberals.



    Teachers don't want to have to walk off the job, but given that every other avenue has been exhausted, what other option do we have? What would it say about us and our level of concern for our rights and the rights of students if we simply turned the other cheek and accepted this vicious assault on the education system?



    As a teacher who works with students every day I KNOW that at this moment the Liberal government is not serious about improving conditions for students or for teachers. Don't believe their bogus interviews on tv about how they are worried that our job action will be detrimental to students. Abbott and the rest of the Liberals almost sound convincing in interviews. Their actions clearly demonstrate a complete disregard for students and teachers. So, if you see us on the streets next week please don't think it is about the money. Know that our job action is about protecting the rights of teachers and students so that we can both come to school each day equipped with what we need to be successful.


    Another bit of info

    Why you should support BC's teachers

  2. #2
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    This thread gets an

    F-

    The BCTF is so out of touch with today's reality if it wasn't sad it might be funny
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  3. #3
    RGA
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    Yes and with well reasoned arguments like yours the education system in your day certainly deserved an F-

  4. #4
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    Teachers should only be allowed to strike during the summer months when they can't F up a students education.

    Don't like the pay and bennies, get another job and let the kids get an uninterupted education.

  5. #5
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Yes and with well reasoned arguments like yours the education system in your day certainly deserved an F-
    Congrats, you get a reddie for this immature post. Like we want someone like you teaching our children.

    BTW, I could post many links refuting yours but why bother, this is an audio forum.
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I might have more to say later but right now I'm going to comment on the seniority thing.

    In principle it would be nice to promote people on the basis of pure merit, but is this undermined by seniority or is it encouraged by seniority?? Older workers are usually experience and hard-working. But older workers often face discrimination on account of their age.

    I worked in a non-unionized company and industry. For the last decade and especially the last 5 years of my employment I faced systematic discrimination. Of course it was unofficial. The company decided that they had a "graying" work and needed to advance people in their 30s or early 40s. This meant no wage increase, bonuses, and promotions for older workers. Furthermore older workers missed out on training and on good work assignments that they could have handle as well or better than younger employees.

    Personally I didn't receive a wage increase in the last 10 years. Also, I became eligible to retire at full pension 5 years before I eventually retired. Great, but I couldn't afford to retire since I still had kids in school. So (1) the company not longer made contributions to my pension plan. Far worse, (2) though I had fully earned by my pension, the company would not pay my pension 'till I actually retired, (no "double dipping", eh? So I worked on in effect for half my salary. Sure, I might have retired and looked for another job, but I knew I wouldn't be easy to find one and I might end up working only part-time for less pay.

    Any decent union contract would have protected me from this abuse.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues View Post
    Congrats, you get a reddie for this immature post. Like we want someone like you teaching our children.

    BTW, I could post many links refuting yours but why bother, this is an audio forum.
    Reminder: this is the OT forum so feel free to present your refuting arguments, (if you've got any).

    Actually I've got a couple myself.
    • Public service unions differ from unions serving private employers since while the latter strike against the company, the former strike against the community, and therefore they ought to expect restrictions on their bargaining rights.
    • In a time of global competition when private businees employees are facing shrinking wages & benefits, Government & public service and utility unions are tending to sustain theirs. A widening gap between been the former and the latter works against the efficient delivery of public services, is socially inequitable, and will be politically unsustainable in the medium term.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Teachers should only be allowed to strike during the summer months when they can't F up a students education.

    Don't like the pay and bennies, get another job and let the kids get an uninterupted education.
    I tend to agree that public service unions ought to expect more bargaining restrictions than private sector unions. This is because when they strike, etc., they do so against the community, not just against their employer.

  9. #9
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I might have more to say later but right now I'm going to comment on the seniority thing.

    In principle it would be nice to promote people on the basis of pure merit, but is this undermined by seniority or is it encouraged by seniority?? Older workers are usually experience and hard-working. But older workers often face discrimination on account of their age.
    It could also be argued that older workers are resistant to change, refusing to accept new methods of teaching and exhibiting an apprehension toward adopting technology.

    The challenges in teaching are expanding exponentially as the human race's knowledge base expands. Older teacher's are generally ill equiped to--and, quite frankly, adopting of a rather curmudgeonly attitude towards--taking the time to connect the dots between a foundational education and application in the real world...
    Last edited by bobsticks; 03-05-2012 at 06:52 AM.
    So, I broke into the palace
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    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  10. #10
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I believe that Unions have their place in the workforce when they are used to truly protect people who need protecting; people such as unskilled labourers who are trained to do one thing and would have trouble finding another job, or people whose safety is at risk on a daily basis. The mining industry comes to mind. But I have no sympathy for trained professionals who are in unionsÖyes, teachers included.

    I also believe that most unions have been given far too much power and are not reasonable in their negotiations.

    I work for a not-for-profit. I donít have job security. I donít have a guaranteed wage increase. I donít get paid for unused sick-days. If I screw up at my job, I can be fired. I canít bank my salary for a yearís sabbatical. We donít have a leave-of-absence policy. My husband hasnít received a wage increase equal to cost-of-living in over five years.

    I donít understand how teachers can prepare their students for real world life when they are so drastically out of touch themselves.

    If anyone needs a contract to protect education, itís the students. Not the teachers. I am so sick of hearing teachers whine about how hard they have it.

  11. #11
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I might have more to say later but right now I'm going to comment on the seniority thing.

    In principle it would be nice to promote people on the basis of pure merit, but is this undermined by seniority or is it encouraged by seniority?? Older workers are usually experience and hard-working. But older workers often face discrimination on account of their age.
    This may be true in some situations, and Feanor I'm sorry that you experienced this. However, I have also seen people in non-union businesses promoted based on seniority even when they do not have the skills required to do the job.

    I don't know how many people with zero management skills and experience I've seen promoted over the years just because they've been with a company for 20 years and someone in HR thinks they've earned their stripes.

  12. #12
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Reminder: this is the OT forum so feel free to present your refuting arguments, (if you've got any).

    Actually I've got a couple myself.
    • Public service unions differ from unions serving private employers since while the latter strike against the company, the former strike against the community, and therefore they ought to expect restrictions on their bargaining rights.
    • In a time of global competition when private businees employees are facing shrinking wages & benefits, Government & public service and utility unions are tending to sustain theirs. A widening gap between been the former and the latter works against the efficient delivery of public services, is socially inequitable, and will be politically unsustainable in the medium term.
    Great post. I completely agree.

  13. #13
    RGA
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    Feanor

    Even with the union older teachers face discrimination from young teachers. But the reality is people have to work and older employees need those protections because if you lose your job at 60 whose going to hire you? When I was laid off from accounting it was one of those D day deals where they called me in and said thanks but we bought Oracle so we can do the world wide accounting in a central office in Portland. Maybe 10 people in the office got laid off - but me I was 26 so big deal - but what about the inside sales woman who had worked there for 35 years and was 60? Sure she knows inside sales for a steel foundry making bull-dozer parts and buckets. It's not like there was tons of other places to go.

    Further she didn't need a degree when she started working for the company so at 60 she has experience but no papers to back it up - and HR people are halfwits who tend to want to only cover their ass - so no paper no hire regardless of knowledge and experience.

    I am not strictly speaking a union guy because unions become big political bodies with their own power structures in fighting and agendas. And the BCTF has these problems. It's the nature of the beast. Unfortunately you need to have a Beast to go up against a beast - The government is a T-Rex and you can't send in a Poodle.


    The problem with education is that if you are a teacher - you are a teacher - you have one boss - you can't quit and work someplace else to be a teacher - because you're still going to work for the same boss. In accounting I can work at Esco or Microsoft or Seagate (I worked for all three). But a teacher works for the government.

    So in a real way you need heightened protections. If I get fired at one accounting job I can go work someplace else as an accountant. Not so in education. The skills are transferable to other avenues but it's much more difficult when you're competing with specific degrees.

    So seniority is rather critical - at 55 you're a history teacher. Great - if you get fired for nothing, like the Liberals want, then what do you do. Well your English is probably quite good so you think "I'll be an editor" but they're going to hire the 25 year old English major first. They're more up on current changes to referencing or even basic punctuations. I want a car, boat, and house when I win the lottery. Boat has a comma - in the old days it did not.

    Still older teachers who are supposed to be better given the fact that they have much more experience typically get the easiest teaching assignments with the best classes. Now they certainly earned it - no one wants to teach a class full of future prostitutes, murderers, and rapists. You put your time in and you move your way up to Lit 12, Physics 12, Liberal Studies, Philosophy, etc.

    Still the most experienced teachers should probably teach the tougher classes than throwing the newbies in to try and do something with them.

    When I was in school in the mid 80s in Port Coquitlam our elementary school was quite deep. We had an external theater where the grade 7 kids would do the play - something like Oliver Twist while the grade 6 class would run the camera work. We had a dedicated drama teacher, a dedicated music teachers, a French teacher who spoke French and was from Quebec (complete with accent) and that followed in High School.

    I taught in Port McNeill and Port Hardy (north Vancouver Island). There is no school play in elementary schools there - there is no French teacher - regular teachers (whether they know French or not teach it) - which is more than a little absurd - sure they try and trade off - I'll teach your PE if you teach my class French kind of thing but that doesn't always work (or happen).

    High School - there is no band at either high school - there is a lovely music room from a time gone by - the school even has a music teacher - they have her teaching tourism and Planning. The music room is filled with workout equipment which is rusting.

    The school tries to get money - so what do they do they take in a kid who stabbed a Special Ed worker - they government threatened to fire her because she refused to work with this kid again. SHE WAS STABBED. I mean WTF? But there is X dollars the school gets to have the kid in the school.

    And it must be a huge amount of money because the school has two new full time employees to follow the kid around all day - they need two because one of them always has to have their eyes on him because if you turn your back he might bludgeon you to death with whatever he can get his hands on. He's an athletic 5'11-6.0'

    People rant and rave about teachers and few of them have stepped into a current inner city school in the last 25 years. They have not seen what has happened. My friend (who is a counselor) and roommate tells me things (not names) of issues going on in the district and frankly it's something that I doubt could be dreamed up in Hollywood. And this is Canada - and BC which is a highly prized education system on the world stage.

    But when you have kids coming to school where there lunch is piece of chocolate cake - you have a kid who takes a **** in the corner of a class because that's the way he is treated at home - like an animal - he doesn't know any different. To the girl who comes to school in pajamas because her mom left with some other guy and the husband had no interest in the kids and is now stuck with 5 of them. That same girl is also being victimized by an internet stalker, to the kid whose dad shot himself in the head a few weeks back, to First Nations kids who continuously get taunted for being Indian, to the girl who gains so much weight so her dad won't rape her, it's borderline absurd.

    I mean you walk into the class and you're going to teach 25 high school kids where by the end of the semester - you night have 8 actually be competent enough to pass the course. And we're talking Social Studies 8 - it ain't rocket science - I mean English is your first language you should be able to read and answer some basic questions.

    And then I have not even got to the special needs kids - LOL - I mean they don't even do a good job of recognizing who needs what. The government avoids it because they don't want to go over their limits. I subbed classes where there is clearly clearly something very wrong with some of them and there is no "special need" attached - eesh. I discuss it with the VP and he's like - yeah we know but there's no money or the parent refuses to get their kid checked.

    The high school brought in video cameras for all the hallways - to stop vandalism and stealing of fire extinguishers. One female teacher was locked in a storage room whole the students held the door. I was physically intimidated on several occasions subbing for P.E. and Shop. One tried to spray some aerosol spray whole lighting it to get me. And I'm the sub the kids liked - GEEZ. Then again the regular PE teacher he was attacked by a student - the other PE teacher had to step in and choke the kid out. That PE teacher's wife is a special education worker - a 6'4 17 year old came up beside her and rubbed his dick on her arm.

    She elbowed him in self defense - guess who gets in trouble? So in order for her not to lose her job she had to press charges of sexual assault.

    Then there is the kid who is suspended 17 times in a year and they keep letting him back into the school.

    I mean this goes on and on and on - and I was only in the district for 16 teaching months.

    As bad as I make it out to be - BC's Education system is quite revered in Asia - There are Chinese schools in Mainland China that demand that teachers have a BC teaching degree - Other schools demand that it must be BC or Ontario - won't hire American teachers or Australians or Brits. In BC there is a practicum - in the States that can be bypassed for a Master's degree - in other words they can teach without anyone evaluating them physically teaching a class.

    And then you have the parents - oh my that's a whole other rant.

    I know a lot of teachers - none of them give a rat's bottom if they get a raise - sure it doesn't hurt to ask - I mean when I ask for a raise in the private sector other employees don't tell me I am being greedy and "consider the recession" (there is always a bloody recession). It doesn't get put in the paper - Richard was greedy he asked Microsoft for a cost of living increase the evil git.

    Not getting the cost of living = a pay cut. I just don't understand how anyone can be against getting at least that amount, Union or no union. In accounting I got a 10% wage increase every single year for 7 years that I worked there - plus profit sharing.


    lastly - back to seniority - Unions are leaky buckets - they are generally good for the majority - but they also protect some useless bums. And I know some of these teachers too. I would like better systems that didn't protect these lazy teachers - or just terrible ones. They get the fatter pay cheque and they get the easier classes and they still do the minimum. Unions protect them based on seniority - pretty much anyone in a union knows such people.

    That is where employers need to have some power and Unions seem to block them from getting rid of these clowns. I mean a teacher who brought students back to his house to smoke pot - and he doesn't get fired? No he gets a course on "boundaries awareness" - WTF? People want teaching jobs and the union manages to save this clown's job - so yes there are problems.

    But first let's do something about the extreme violent kid who stabs people - and let's not put him a school where if he gets loose could take out a bunch of classmates.

    Let's add some discipline - and for the love of Pete let's have a class size and compliment where a kid can actually ask a question and not have to shout it back and forth because the three autistic kids are having a tantrum spaz screaming for 40 solid minutes and throwing desks at people. Pretty hard to teach when you have the kid singing to himself the morning cartoons, the girl who spins in her chair yelling no no no no no no - the kid with brain damage who doesn't get that stealing or biting other classmates is wrong. (and yes this is all one class - and yes it is real).

    Hey I'm in Hong Kong - I get paid 50% more money than a BC teacher - and it's tax free - I work 5 more days but none of the above apply. They pay my flights and they give me $2000 Canadian per month as a living allowance (rent utilities).

    It was either that or I would have joined the 50% of teachers who leave the profession in the first 5 years. So the angry people who say - don't like it get out - hey half of us do - and half of the other half are just biding their time. Which is too bad because a large percentage of the best and brightest opt for teaching even though they know it's the lowest paid of all the professions - they chose it to make a difference - I don't think they expected to be put in truly dire situations and then told "by the way you suck we don't like you, we want to make the schools worse - we're not going to fund silly things like the ARTS oh and here's a pay cut."

    PS we're going to spend the money on the Olympics and a roof for BC Place. Or worse - some sort of new ferry from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay - I mean these politicians must be getting rich on these contracts somehow. Either ferries or new skytrain stations or highways to Kelowna so the rich people get to ski resort faster.
    Last edited by RGA; 03-01-2012 at 07:49 AM.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Feanor

    Your points are well taken in that a teacher strike in essence puts people with kids out - they have to hire a babysitter or worse take time off work.

    But education is not an essential service - not like Police or Medical or Fire Department. It's not life or death.

    So my answer to this is why can't the government step in an keep the schools open and hire babysitters? After all most people think teachers are glorified babysitters. Teachers make much less money than a babysitter makes (per kid per hour) by the way.

    So Government can hire the 15 year old girls/boys from Starbucks who have their babysitter papers and pay them $13 an hour and problem solved. Parents are not put out.

    After all - during the strike they're not paying teachers - and the schools are empty. So the government has the place and they have the money. Heck - all the people who say "those who can't do teach" well all those people think it's dead easy job and teachers are overpaid - so let's let all those people do the job.

    Let the lawyers, doctors, accountants, mechanics, machinists, Engineers, computer techs etc take a class of 25.

    Oh wait - the salary is $43,000 and you're going to take 10% away for teaching pension, and two union dues - and taxes and CPP UI - hmm that rules our the doctors, mechanics, Engineers, Computer techs, Accountants, Lawyers, Nurses, ferry workers, accounts receivable clerks, most sales people, bartenders, and the servers at White Spot (like my friend who makes $60,000 a year showing people to their table and saying - "Welcome to White Spot."

    Of course I have floated my own suggestion to BC Teachers regarding strikes.

    You see the government can make it illegal to strike - they have - and they are going to fine teacher's $475 per day.

    The solution to all unions working for a government who pulls out these tactics and ignores the court is to simply quite en mass. All teachers in BC walk in with a letter of resignation effective immediately.

    Problem is solved - all those teachers refuse to pay all income tax, phone bills, credit card bills - bills of any kind from anyone. Going to arrest 40,000 people? With what army?

    And what professional can you get to replace the teachers? All the other professionals make double the money and don't have to put up with they nuttery.

    You can hire the non professionals - since it's an easy job and only for the people who "can't" so let's test it.

    Remember no matter how mad you get - if you touch them your fired. Oh and if they falsely accuse you of anything - it's 100% their word over yours - so don't be too mean to the girls. Oh and PS they'll try to video you on their iphone and post it to youtube - out of context. 100% their word not yours.

    don't give them homework - their parents will get mad for taking up their fun time. Oh and you also have to be a soccer coach, run the school newspaper, chess club, and make sure there is a dance every so often on a Friday Night. Don't tell them to wear appropriate clothes - their parents will come down screaming at you for not allowing their precious to be her/himself. And don't teach something that is about being tolerant to gays - whatever you do don't do that - tolerance is for edumacated people - panzies - gays are evil.

    Oh an you can't teach anything with a witch or Harry Potter - the Jehovah Witness mom will be yelling at you - even though it's approved by the ministry - you have to dump your 10 hours of lesson planning because one kid has a religious freedom that must be adhered to - and no Christmas decorations - they don't like Christmas either and you have to cater to each and every one of them - so my advice is to make sure you have a full profile of each family first or you'll be wasting a lot of your time.

    And remember that whatever contract you agree to and sign - doesn't mean anything so at anytime they can just step in and change it on you for any reason and for any conditions.

    And don't give them detention - that's cruel - don't give them lines - that hurt's johnny's hand, don't yell - you lost control which means they won - they try to make you mad on purpose - just to have a laugh. Don't tell a girl to wear more clothes - they'll say "what you noticed my ass - you like it - do you want it - you want to suck on my tits" - eesh. Never say anything about their looks - I mean it.

    Oddly you can probably get away with some swearing - since they say the Fword every 2 minutes - they don't notice if you occasionally drop one by accident.

    It's kind of sucky to be in a union - I think it generates a lot of *****ing and complaining. I mean you'd think people could simply say this is the problem this is the solution - this is the money it takes let's figure out a way to get it done.

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    Not related to Teachers but I did work in a Machine Shop that did Automotive stamping dies that was a Union Shop. I was there for 3 months which was my probation period.

    While there I witnessed many people doing nothing most of the time. Other old timers would hoard company tools and not let others use them. Luckily I had my own tools and didn not need much to do my job.

    I was given a set of Cam Dies to build which punched the rivet holes in the wing window to fender pieces of at that time our new Mail Trucks. This was the first time I had worked with such large dies and crude equipment. I did things the way I normally would to make sure all my parts were in tolerance, perfectly square, and looked the way they should if made by a toolmaker with pride.

    As I got close to finishing my part of the project, and my probation was near an end, the owner was walking around and came to me asking why I had machined certain things and so forth which made me thing I blew the quoted time. I explained why I did what I did and then asked if I went over the timeline.

    The answer I got was that I was well under the time but I made my parts look "too good" and that if I kept it up all the customers would want the rest of their million dollar tools to look that good too.

    I looked him right in the eye and as I closed my toolbox told him that if that was what they expected of me, then I would not be working there.

    So what I am saying is that here was a large shop of UAW workers doing as little as they could and worked with no pride where the Union protected them, coddled them, and allowed them to do little or no work and what work they did looked like crap.

    That was the last time I ever worked in a Union shop and if I can help it, I will never support a cult that protects bums and goes on strike. Teachers should NOT be allowed to strike and screw up children's education.

    Thinking back, I had another Union experience that proves the same points.
    I was in a small shop, building dies for General Motors. I was making about $13 an hour to build these high precision dies.

    Now the die gets shipped to GM where a Union worker sits with his feet up, watching the press run in autofeed mode, which means he only had to change a coil when it ran out. Now this Union employee was making somewhere around $25 an hour with about 10x the bennies I was getting and guess what? He and all the rest of the Union went on strike because they were not making enough money and they were unhappy with the benefits. Give me a freakin break!

    Unions were good when they were needed to help with the Child Labor issues 100 years ago. Today, they are the reason that Americans cannot afford to buy American Made products and Wal-Mart is the king.

  16. #16
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Although I'm not sure that it's helpful in this thread, I want to make a general observation regarding union vs. non-union government jobs in the US. A government job, e.g., a teaching position in a public school, is a property right under the US Constitution. Accordingly, the person holding the government position or job cannot be deprived of it without due process of law which in most cases requires pre-termination notice and a hearing. (Problems relating to health and safety may allow for suspension or even termination prior to a hearing.)

    Even in states without unions, public school teachers have property rights in their jobs.

    I make this observation because I think some may believe that if teachers did not have unions, then they could be fired more easily. That's not always the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin View Post
    Although I'm not sure that it's helpful in this thread, I want to make a general observation regarding union vs. non-union government jobs in the US. A government job, e.g., a teaching position in a public school, is a property right under the US Constitution. Accordingly, the person holding the government position or job cannot be deprived of it without due process of law which in most cases requires pre-termination notice and a hearing. (Problems relating to health and safety may allow for suspension or even termination prior to a hearing.)

    Even in states without unions, public school teachers have property rights in their jobs.

    I make this observation because I think some may believe that if teachers did not have unions, then they could be fired more easily. That's not always the case.
    Good points Dean. Also, most people that do their jobs well all the time to the best of their ability and do not abuse position or privileges, rarely need to worry about getting fired except for lack of work. I have never been fired but have been laid off due to lack of work 3 times in my life.

  18. #18
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    1) The abolishment of seniority rights.

    2) Contract stripping.

    3) The One Strike and You're Out Policy.

    4) Bargaining in bad faith.

    5) Changing laws.

    6) Bill 22

    7) "Mediation"-

    8) Money, money, money is all the media is covering.

    What would it say about us and our level of concern for our rights and the rights of students if we simply turned the other cheek and accepted this vicious assault on the education system?
    RGA, I finally had the time to read your post in more detail. The author finished his piece with a question, "What would it say about us... if we simply turned the other cheek and accepted this vicious assault on the education system?". But not one point that he makes has anything to do with the education system. He gripes about the contract and about how the gov't is treating teachers unfairly. But how is anything in those points making the education system better?

    This is one of the issues that I have with the Teachers Union (and just to be clear, my issues are with the union. I have many friends and family who are teachers and I respect the position. It's not always easy dealing with other people's kids or the parents). But teachers complain about their own issues using the excuse, "it's for the betterment of the system". I'm calling BS. If I'm wrong, please help me understand.

  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    One thing you can believe, RGA. I never wanted to be a teacher.

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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I might have more to say later but right now I'm going to comment on the seniority thing.

    In principle it would be nice to promote people on the basis of pure merit, but is this undermined by seniority or is it encouraged by seniority?? Older workers are usually experience and hard-working. But older workers often face discrimination on account of their age.
    It could also be argued that older workers are resistant to change, refusing to accept new methods of teaching and exhibiting an apprehension toward adopting technology.
    ...
    Actually this alleged "apprehension" on the part of older workers has become part of the prejudice. I don't know about teaching, 'Sticks, but I can observe that in my profession older workers were no less adaptive or interested in change than the younger ones.

    Personally as a business systems analyst I was continuously an agent of change and certainly had no fear of it. Business systems analyst is a job that resides between the users of systems and the technical architects and programmers who construct the systems. I noticed that, if anything, the older analysts are better agents of change because they tend to have a better understanding of the needs & desires of the systems user than younger analysts who are often obsessed with the technological aspects.

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    This may be true in some situations, and Feanor I'm sorry that you experienced this. However, I have also seen people in non-union businesses promoted based on seniority even when they do not have the skills required to do the job.

    I don't know how many people with zero management skills and experience I've seen promoted over the years just because they've been with a company for 20 years and someone in HR thinks they've earned their stripes.
    It's been more than 30 years anywhere I've worked since seniority per se was the major factor in selection.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Feanor

    Your points are well taken in that a teacher strike in essence puts people with kids out - they have to hire a babysitter or worse take time off work.

    But education is not an essential service - not like Police or Medical or Fire Department. It's not life or death.
    ...
    Well I think it's an essential service if not quite life / death. Great ideal about boards of education hiring scab babysitters; it would solve one problem. Do you think the unions would go for it?

    I've never been one to denigrate teachers or their profession -- and I've never wanted to be one, as I mentioned, because I know it's a tough and frequently thankless job.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Forever Autumn

    Well I agree - I hear a lot of complaining and I don't hear a lot of solutions coming from teachers. Though you said you didn't read anything they had to say about making classes better - point 2 covers that.

    The thing is that in the public debate those issues don't get addressed because the government wants to focus on RECESSION - RECESSION - and Look at the salary demands. Every teacher I know would take the zero provided they do something about funding the schools - smaller classes - more teachers, less special needs.

    And again getting a pay cut by not receiving a cost of living increase is just stupid. The fact that people in other jobs take it - says more about them - they should not take it - they should unionize and stop letting the millionaire owners become billionaire owners. Since they can only make the money on the backs of their workforce.

    The issues around contracts are just as important as what happens in a classroom. Contract stripping and canceling. Tell that to the NHL Player's union if the Canucks say - gee Luongo you suck we're going to not pay the rest of the contract - you're a free agent. Piss off.
    Last edited by RGA; 03-01-2012 at 05:44 PM.

  24. #24
    RGA
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    Thanks - at least I know where you're coming from and I agree - it's the single biggest thing I hate about unions is the protectionism of lazy hacks. I think you're situation is far worse than what happens with teaching unions because these are educated people who put a lot of time and effort in during University - they're professionals - and that does mean something (less likely to be lazy gits). The guys in our foundry with a D- in every subject but their dad got them hired - well they're lazy and hard labor jobs is all they could ever do. Good employees like yourself - no doubt grow weary of them. So do employers. So they collect $80,000 a year pouring metal and they need the union because without it they'd be pumping gas.

    The problem you note is easy to see though - you made a better product - the lazy buts make a worse one - easy to see.

    It's not the case in education - we all went through school with the kids who got A's all the way - they had good, bad and great teachers but they got their A no matter what. Alternatively there are the kids who get F's no matter who the teacher is or how good they are. In other words, it's far more difficult to see who is a good teacher and who isn't. It's no based on a punch clock. Plenty of people put in more "hours" but if they're not effective hours then so what? The better teacher who thinks smarter not harder may in fact be doing a better job than the guy who stays until 8pm every night.

    I remember my first practicum in a grade 7 class - the teacher who was sponsoring me was a bit frazzled - seemed to have a desk that was whirling dervish of papers books - the class was always "up" kids wandering around - talking - and quite ADHD as a class. I was thinking holy cow this is a disaster.

    I was in every Friday to practice my lessons. Here's the thing - others felt that she had no discipline - the class was louder than others.

    But I kept thinking - well gee the Principal hand picked this woman from another school - so there's something.

    We had a sub in for a day - ruled the class with an iron fist. What a difference - the kids sat - they were quiet. To anyone walking by you'd say - wow there's a teacher. Only problem was they were also asleep - sure they had their eyes open with the glazed "what would it be like to live on mars with playboy models" kind of looks.

    It's a fine balance between learning/fun/ and being able to read the class to know what and when certain lessons will fly and when they won't.

    Then there are the showy teachers - they like lots of art and posters - they can cover over weak teaching by making the class look great for parents and administrators. I was faced with that teaching for a private school in Korea - it's all about the "surface" - make it look like there is learning going on. Meanwhile the teacher who is actually teaching math and reading comprehension and science - well the wall isn't covered with fancy prism art so he/she is the lazy teacher.

    And take most of the issues the public dislikes:

    1) Removing Christmas - teachers didn't support that nor were they the ones trying to get rid of it. I'm an Atheist 6.99/7 on the Dawkins scale - and I am quite fine with Christmas and would be much much happier if they left the bloody holiday alone. There's nothing wrong with kids believing in make-believe - their kids and the songs are great and it's colorful and it's FUN.

    2) Integration - teachers were against it. Oh sure it's politically correct but the reality is it makes learning far more difficult. That grade 7 class - someone says something to the Autistic boy he rages injures someone. The principal comes in and talks to the class for 40 minutes about being sensitive to the boy because he's different and needs our support blah blah blah - which is all well and good - but this is grade 7 - the kids who have empathy got it from their parents - the kids who don't aren't going to get it from a teacher speech.

    The entire class lost their math lesson that day and there were many such days like that day. Two days later some kids in the class - stole the autistic boy's bike and bent the frame. Didn't happen at school so no one can do anything about it. You tell the bullies parents - yes the dad who takes his son on a ride along to be the lookout when he is robbing houses.

    Sure it's not the autistic boy's fault for being bullied - but because he can't deal with social situations his reactions are off the beam. So they taunt him more - bullies are like that. Future sociopaths.

    Teacher's are not expert psychologists and counselors - I took training in special needs as part of my program - a course a few hours a week for a semester - great - but that isn't 10 years like a psychologist gets. There is only so many fields a person can be expert in. So government wants to save money from having a separate school with trained professionals to deal with the autistic boy (an otherwise B student academically) - throw him in the regular class with untrained teachers and have a special ed worker that has to cover several students in several classes.

    All because of the government's Politically correct ideals (solely developed to save a buck):

    1) teaches kids to get used to working with the mentally challenged
    2)teaches them compassion for those less fortunate than themselves
    3)helps the mentally challenged work as contributing members of society.

    It all sounds so wonderful that you'd have to buy into it. But number 2 is bogus since you were brought up with compassion or you were not. If you have to learn empathy then you won't.

    Number one is also bogus because in the real world companies don't hire the mentally challenged - at least not for jobs that people would have any long term interaction. And whatever rare extreme example to the contrary is just that a rare example - perhaps a greeter at Walmart or cleaners at McDonalds.

    Number three is the only case you could make an argument but even here the learning capabilities are often very low to impossible. I helped a lovely grade 2 girl every week with her math - sweetest kid in the world but having her count to ten with blocks every week and every week could not do it. There is a limit to what they can learn - and I'm not really trained for kids with those issues. Yet the school had no one else so they did the best they could. She had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    But they sell integration because it's "cheaper" - let's get rid of the people who are trained and just dump them into regular classes and then put out the 1,2,3 list to sell it to society - see how NICE we are. Well I suppose it is nice but sometimes you have to be non PC and tell it like it is and use some tough love. That little girl will have many teachers after me and lots of experts and one day when she is 18 she may actually be able to count to 10 - MAYBE. But the teacher's time, class time, resource materials, will be immense.

    Meanwhile there isno funding - ZERO, ZILCH, NADA for gifted kids. you get a budding Albert Einstein in your class and tough luck because there is no money for those kids - it is a "special need" but money for the best and brightest - forgettaboutit - it's being poured into the kid who might count to ten maybe in 10 years.

    Physical disabilities is something entirely different - no problem with integration here because most bullies aren't going to pick on the kid in the wheelchair - they would if no one was looking mind you but generally they're smart enough to not go down that track.

    3) year round schooling - people are mad at teachers because they get summers off - but teachers were not really for said system. Teachers were the ones who promoted the idea of year round schooling - how many parents would LOVE that?

    See the system could still give teachers time off and parents could still have their kids go year round. It simply requires a 3 semester system. You have three 2 week vacation periods. At the end of each semester you have a 2 week break. But parents can still send their kids to school during those two weeks if they so choose.

    An example would be 2 weeks at Christmas - many parents take that time, or would, to have a vacation. So you can pull little Johnny out of school. If you don't have a vacation you keep Johnny in school where parents can opt to make a series of selections for their kids.

    WOW you as a parent also have a carrot to hold over your child. If you are good you can come with us on vacation - if not you have to go to school and study. Or if you are low income you can keep your kid in school and opt for the "fun two weeks of school package" (over the remedial school package) and your kid gets to go on various field trips, sports, art activities etc. (That might be ambitious since field trips have largely been gutted since I went to school - but in wealthier districts parents might be willing to pay a little into this if they don't have to pay for sitters for two months in the summer.)

    Teachers would work a rotational system - 2 out of the 3 semesters might be one approach - for those holiday periods beginning teachers on their practicums would run most of it - and they don't get paid so it doesn't cost JOHN Q taxpayer a dime.

    There are many ways to make this system better - class size is term that is somewhat problematic as well - if you teach Physics 12 with fully capable and mature students then it can largely be run like a University course - they're basically first year university students - if i could teach physics - I would have no problem with a class size of 80. Marking for math is fairly easy (certainly compared to the arts) and lesson planning the material is largely the same no matter how many students.

    Class size when you have 5 special needs students and 3 that should be designated with 18 kids can be outright disastrous.

    With 50% of teachers leaving it within the first 5 years the old saying holds true

    Those who can't teach, do something else.
    Last edited by RGA; 03-01-2012 at 06:57 PM.

  25. #25
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Forever Autumn

    Well I agree - I hear a lot of complaining and I don't hear a lot of solutions coming from teachers. Though you said you didn't read anything they had to say about making classes better - point 2 covers that.
    Yes, you're right. I apologize. One point out of eight covers the actual education system. BTW, this is not a judgement on teachers, just on the guy who wrote the article which you seem to revere.

    The thing is that in the public debate those issues don't get addressed because the government wants to focus on RECESSION - RECESSION - and Look at the salary demands. Every teacher I know would take the zero provided they do something about funding the schools - smaller classes - more teachers, less special needs.
    I don't doubt that many teachers would do that. But I went onto the BCTF site and a huge part of the union's gripe is wages. That's why my beef is with unions, not the members per se. I find that often union members don't always agree with the unions actions.

    And again getting a pay cut by not receiving a cost of living increase is just stupid. The fact that people in other jobs take it - says more about them - they should not take it - they should unionize and stop letting the millionaire owners become billionaire owners. Since they can only make the money on the backs of their workforce.
    We're going to have to agree to disagree on this point. While it would be ideal to be able to tell an employer who won't give COL increases to shove it, the reality is that many companies simply cannot afford it at the moment. That's what many unions seem to not realize, or choose to ignore. When a company is not profitable (such as my husband's company) the choice is often cut costs or close shop. Not providing salary increases and cutting benefits is a way of keeping the doors open. Employment without a pay increase is better than no employment at all. Unions don't stop this from happening, they hinder it IMO. Forcing a company into a contract that they can't afford, whether it's wages, benefits, or future pension payouts, only hurts the company and eventually leads to layoffs and job losses.

    When it comes to public service unions, the increases that are being asked for come from tax dollars. Why should people pay higher taxes to increase someone else's salary, when their own salary is not increasing? There is no Man In A Marble Tower raking in his billions. The money is coming from working schmoes who often have lower salaries and fewer benefits than what the unions are asking them to pay for...for someone else's benefit.

    If the Province can't afford the services that the teachers want then where are they supposed to get the money for wage increases? It's not logical or realistic.

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