I Need Advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MissyB, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2016

    I moved to a district closer to family and friends this summer knowing that there was some drama and just hoping that the worst would get worked out. Well...

    The Basics: The district and the union have been unable to reach an agreement on negotiations. They have gone through all normal meetings, had multiple mediators, and then finally a fact finding panel of 3 with a "neutral" party releasing their results. Before the fact finding (before the end of the last school year), the union voted in favor of a strike for the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year if things weren't worked out. The first day is Thursday and no agreement has been made. We were informed today at our staff meeting that as long as there is a threat of strike we have to turn in our keys before leaving every day.

    The union held a meeting yesterday to share/discuss their side and plan out the strike but my grade level teammates told me not to go to protect myself as a probationary teacher in the union. Today I spoke with other teachers, including the union rep for our site, who said that I should stick with the union (and not cross the line if there is a strike) and they would protect me if the administration decided to punish me for it. The rep was actually very honest in saying that while he is sorry for putting me and the other new teachers in this situation and he would support us either way, there are a number of other teachers on site who would view us as traitors or cowards. Apparently all the returning teachers (including probationary 2) are planning to strike if it happens so it would be pretty obvious if the three new teachers did not. I have not been able to talk with the other two teachers.

    I honestly don't know what to do. I have been a member of CTA for two years now so I know there are some protections with them (and the union is claiming that CTA Legal is supporting us) but I'm not sure the full extent of it and I do have evaluations this year. I also moved this summer and depleted a lot of my savings so I am worried about the lose of pay that comes with striking. But if I don't strike I potentially lose all support and respect with my coworkers. So do I strike and risk needing to have the union support me or do I cross the line and ruin my relationship with my new coworkers? I don't know who to talk to about it who is knowledgeable but who is not also invested in it like my union rep.
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Aug 9, 2016

    [​IMG]
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    Stand along side your brothers & sisters and strike!
     
  4. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Aug 9, 2016

    I know how you feel in being an untenured teacher. Here are my thoughts. Hopefully your principal was once a teacher and gets that being in a union tenured or not comes with some obligations should they arise. Nobody expects you to work if everyone else is on strike. Parents aren't going to send their kids if they get wind that teachers are on strike. Or maybe they would? But then what would you do for the day watch the kids who happen to be there?

    I'm also not into ruffling feathers at my school being untenured. I don't trust my Union to protect me if big things happen because basically they can't until you are tenured. It sucks. My Union rep is always trying to get me to be more involved in the union stuff and I tell him to leave me be, we can have this convo when I'm tenured.

    So I would say don't cross the picket line, and maybe don't be one to hold up a sign either. It's hard I'm sorry you have to go through this decision. I really don't think your principal should hold it against you.
     
  5. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 10, 2016

    I would go in each day and do my job. The administration is the one who is observing you and offering you the teaching contracts - not your union. Plus your students need you in the classroom to teach them.

    I work in private schools and have never dealt with this kind of issue, yet I still manage to get a contract every year, benefits, retirement package, and a raise included by April.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2016

    NJ teachers can't strike. We take it easy on the non tenures in my district when it comes to actions during negotiations.
    NT can be let go basically at the whim of admin. our union can't do much about that. :(
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2016

    It seems as though teachers here in Ontario have been in some sort of labour dispute more than we haven't for the past 10 years or more; we're frequently worked for close to a year without a contract. What I've learned is that unity and solidarity are vital. While I hate the idea of teachers involved in any sort of labour disruption, I know that it is sometimes necessary in order to protect our rights and the rights of our students to a quality education. It may be uncomfortable, but my suggestion is to stand with your colleagues. The only party that wins if one side is divided is the other one.
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2016

    I have never been in this situation but I don't think I would go in. If there are only 2-3 teachers in the building, I doubt that you would be teaching anyways. A lot of your students would not be there and you would probably just be helping admin babysit them anyways in the gym or cafeteria. After the dust settles and it is time to renew, if you have been a good teacher in your classroom you will be renewed. If you are not, the fact that you were there early in the school year for a few days won't make much of a difference in any decisions made about your contract. FWIW, I am non tenured.
     
  9. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2016

    Well no strike on the first day, although the at least half of the tenured staff was out picketing before contract hours this morning. I'm still on the fence about what to do and have my fingers permanently crossed hoping that a strike won't happen. I did talk to one of the other probationary teachers and they said that since they are not fully credentialed yet (and sounded pretty anti-union) they are not going to participate in any of it.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Aug 13, 2016

    I'm still on probationary status with my district as well. I am not sure what I would do in your situation. If the strike happens, is there some way you could just not show up at all? Just stay home and catch up on your reading or something? That way you are not crossing the picket line to teach, but you aren't taking part in the strike either. I have no idea how this works having come from teaching in the Catholic school system, but I'd try to find a way to duck the whole situation.
     
  11. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2016

    *UPDATE: Things in the last month have gotten really bad. The district is running a PR campaign against the teachers, making rude and derogatory comments towards us, the state labor board filed a complaint against the district (accused of unlawfully intimidating teachers), and I personally have been working in a classroom with no AC. With all that I decided to stand strong with my colleagues regardless of what happened.

    Today was day 1 of the strike and I was out there on the line. Our entire teaching staff was out there today and we had a lot of community support. And after some things leaked out of what was happening at the schools today without us and we have even more parents with us (subs refused to let kids go to the bathroom so they had accidents, the "enrichment curriculum" the district was providing to continue student learning was letter tracing for all of elementary (K-5) and reading passages and mazes for secondary (6-12). High school students walked out in a student organized walk out but they claimed later they let them go to lunch 1 1/2hrs early and sent out a mass phone call to parents saying they were in talks with the union to reach a settlement but they had not contacted the union in any way. They also paid for breakfast, lunch, and transportation for the subs on top of hiring security to watch us all day. I'll be back out in the heat with my colleagues tomorrow.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2016

    I've never worked in a classroom with AC.
     
  13. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2016

    I could deal with it if they didn't keep telling me everyday they are fixing it and have been saying that for 4 years. And when the only classrooms that don't have a working AC are in the main building (so our kinders and 1st graders) where the office has a working AC (interesting when they are supposedly on the same system...) that is set to arctic levels. And a teacher who has been there for 20 years informed me that years ago they tweaked the system so even if it did work I wouldn't have any control of it in my room with a fake thermostat.
     

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