What would it take to legally establish teacher unions in states where they are currently banned?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrTempest, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    I wholeheartedly believe the environment for teachers and quality of learning would significantly be improved if states that ban teacher unions would change to allow them. What would be the process of making such a change?
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What states ban unions? I didn't think that was legal.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I don't know how accurate this list is but this is what I found:
    What states are unions illegal?
    They are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa,Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada,North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
     
  5. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    I live in FL and was part of a union when I was in the public schools. We have them here, they just aren't as strong because you aren't required to join one. When I worked in PA, I didn't have a choice... I was a teacher, I was part of the union. Because it's a requirement in other states, the union seems to have more power.
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Not to be a contrarian, but I’m glad I’m not part of a union and that teachers aren’t required to pay mandatory union dues anymore. I believe that districts should do away with collective bargaining and allow the teachers to negotiate their own salaries just like any other place of employment does.

    For instance, I like the model at my school, which is if you are deemed to be an effective or highly effective teacher, then you are placed at a higher step on the teacher salary schedule. And even then you still can negotiate if you offer a lot to the school.

    Basically, there are four primary factors that go into how your compensation is determined: 1) teacher effectiveness, 2) educational level/skill set/experience, 3) standardized test scores (if applicable), and 4) school community involvement. With that said, we do have a salary schedule but it is very fluid in that you can be placed higher if deemed you should be. And I also like that admin not only consider teacher observations (from the P, three VP’s, and department heads), but how well your students do on your formal assessments (they routinely and anonymously check the gradebook), the rigor of your classes (they monitor who regularly submits their lesson plans and how rigorous they are), if you employ different teaching styles to meet the needs of all learners (they look for this during their observations), and how prominent and contributory you are in the school community (though the first three criterion take precedent), etc. I think this is more fair of a process because a younger teacher has the same chance at salary advancement as someone who is more established. Performance >> tenure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    We may not have a "union" in Alabama but AEA covers my butt if needed. They fight for us at the state capital when other groups don't.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I live in Louisiana. Am member of a union. We are not required to be, and have the choice of three locally.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Can you cite your source regarding states that ban teacher unions? I don't know of any where teacher unions are banned. While a state may not require a person join a union or have right-to-work laws limiting what a union or association can do, I don't know of any outright ban.

    There are states that ban teacher strikes.

    Some will say that the NEA is not a union but an association when the person is in a right-to-work state, but it functions as a union in many ways, particularly in collective bargaining.
     
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  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think semantics is part of the equation. Many states don't have unions but they have teacher associations that fulfill many of the qualities of a union...contract negotiation, work rules, etc.
     
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  12. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I'm a union member. I work in Utah. We just aren't forced to be a member. You can't stop a group of people from getting together no matter the reason, so long as they aren't being violent. See: First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
     
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  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I have worked in two unionized public schools and two non-unionized schools (one private, one charter). At the non-unionized schools, I had class sizes of 40+, no guaranteed prep time, had to do lunch and recess duty, and generally was treated like a replaceable machine part. I would never work in a non-unionized school again.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Yep, we have a Constitutional provision that guarantees we have the right to assemble and a right to protest.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

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    Can you honestly say that your experience in the non-unionized schools are indicative of ALL or the majority of non-unionized schools or just the ones you worked in?
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yeah, it's not accurate.

    It is a common misconception that many states ban unions. I'm in NC and three of my employers had active union membership.

    Teachers cannot strike in NC.
     
  17. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aren't they striking in/around Nash county on May 1st? Didn't they close schools for it?
     
  18. TeacherNY

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    I guess it's up to the individual to research the schools they are applying to work in and find out if they have a union (if that's what you're looking for).
    It's also a misconception that private schools do not have unions but I work in a private school and we have one.
     
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  19. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    The problem in a non-unionized state is that teacher have no power to counter any of the nonsense that is pushed upon them from admin and the district. This could be anywhere from implementation of poor practices or flat out violations of state code. Admin gets comfortable not having teachers counter them for the benefit of the classroom and for those who may challenge them are seen as “rocking the boat” and they will find a way to get rid of them.
     
  20. MissCeliaB

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    That has not been my experience at all, living in a non-union state.
     
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  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Not my experience in AZ--a right to work state. I have seen the admin. incredibly scared of the union when it got strong when I worked in public schools. West Virginia, Arizona, and other states are learning to exercise union power even in a right to work state.
     
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  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    And vice-versa! I think we overgeneralize a lot -- union and non-union can both be situations that can work / not work. Looooooootttsss of elements at play!
     
  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I agree. That’s why I’m always careful to say “At the private school where I work, we...” I don’t generalize to say ALL private schools do what mine does. ;)
     
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  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I’m a union gal! My current supe began her career in a ‘right to work state’ and would probably prefer that as an admin. Our association has gone toe to toe with her on a variety of issues where she tries to wield power over policy. Statewide, our union is beginning to chip away at attacks to our pension, health care and collective bargaining rights. Without unions, we would not have sick leave, child labor laws, workers comp, overtime, weekends....
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

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    No, not striking. Teachers took one day off and many school systems closed because there weren't enough subs. Everyone will be back on May 2nd.
     
  26. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Pennsylvania recently put through a bill that allows teachers to NOT join a union if they don't want to. Personally, I think the PSEA has outlived its usefulness a long time ago, they've sold out. If I were teaching today, I would not join.
     
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  27. Aces

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  28. 2ndTimeAround

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  29. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    The CNN article clearly says:
    Thousands of North and South Carolina teachers are protesting -- but not just for the reasons you might think
     
  30. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Same for South Carolina. A rally, not a strike.
     
  31. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    From the aforementioned article,
    “What will happen next?
    If Wednesday's protest doesn't produce enough change, teachers could be out of classrooms for much longer next school year.
    "We are prepared to work with the Legislature to avoid a long-term walkout, which will most likely happen next year at this time if these needs aren't met," Walker said.”

    Teachers will “rally” next year, too. Riiiggghhht.
     
  32. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Maybe it's just a matter of syntax but they took enough personal days they had to shut school districts down. I mean that sounds like a strike to me. Even if it was just for a day.
     
  33. MrTempest

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    You make references to unions in your examples. I am referring to areas without unions.
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

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    No, a strike is when employees are out until their demands are met or negotiations are made. However long it takes. It is expected that ALL employees join in solidarity. Employees purposefully bring production to a standstill and the threat of not going back is what gives them leverage.

    This rally only shut down schools because the conditions are so bad that there aren't enough subs to cover. Most employees refrained from taking the day off. Everyone knew that school would continue the next day. It was for attention, not coercion.
     
  35. readingrules12

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    All 50 states plus District of Columbia have teacher's unions. I live in Arizona and know a lot about the unions here. I don't know of a decent sized district in Arizona that doesn't have a teacher's union. This is coming from a state that is dead last in teacher's union strength. (see article link below).
    The point is that all states and nearly all districts have unions. Just some teacher unions are weaker than others.
    https://fordhaminstitute.org/nation...-are-us-teacher-unions-state-state-comparison
     
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  36. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    I am not talking about Teacher Associations, I am talking about unions. Even the report you cited stated the following in its link for Georgia, "Compared to teacher unions in other states, Georgia’s associations are not particularly involved in state politics."

    Check this out:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/states-where-teachers-unions-are-illegal-2011-2
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    These associations are unions. It is just that their activities are curtailed in different states because of state laws.

    Are you really asking why some states can ban certain union activity?
     
  38. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    This is not the norm--I saw the opposite. When i worked in NYC (one of the most powerful unions in the country) I taught in a closet, no texts, no materials, and was teaching at least one subject I was unqualified to teach - ESL. And this was my first year teaching. In my right-to-work state, while it hasn't been perfect, I pretty much get what I need, my class sizes are generally around 25 (there are exceptions) and my pay, pension and benefits are just as good as in the union state (I live in a much lower cost-of-living area, so my paycheck goes much farther)
     

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