I'm not sure how many of my "readers" are actively involved in their Teachers' Union, or if they even teach in public schools. Regardless, I'm involved in bargaining our next contract and recently began looking at some comments some staff members have listed on a recent survey that was given. I'm not going to list a bunch of them, but one of the thing that baffles me is the lack of understanding some people have about the real world. In my state, where health care extremely expensive and taxpayers are all over our benefits, many teachers still feel they are "entitled" to great benefits, even though the costs are outrageous. Some also believe that in order to "get what we want" in negotiations, we shouldn't have a collaborative, working relationship with our administration. I guess these people don't understand that the positive relationship is a benefit to us. In addition, there are some complaints that we teach too long into June. Well, since a state law requires us to start with students no earlier than September 1st, and we have to put in X number of days, the math forces us to work into June. Some would like us to get out of school earlier and yet add some record keeping days to work on reports cards. Is that even possible? This entry has turned into a little venting session, a rather calm one nonetheless, but I think I'm going to stop your misery for now.

In an earlier post, I stated that I hoped more people would find my blogging interesting. Well, after rereading what I've just written, I'll probably lose the readers who recently stopped by. I hope to provide a much better read soon.

6 comments

  1. Pissed Off // February 26, 2007 at 2:58 PM  

    I don't think you should every bargain away any of the things you already have in your contract. The UFT has done that in NY and it is a disgrace to see what it has done to teaching. Health benefits are important, more important than a raise. As for collaboration, I would want to know exactly what that will mean.

    I'm one of those that just started readying your blog. While I might not agree with all you write here, I am glad that you are putting it out there. How can anyone express an opinion if they don't know what is going on? I'll keep reading.

  2. IMC Guy // February 26, 2007 at 9:00 PM  

    What are some of the things you disagree with?

  3. Pissed Off // February 27, 2007 at 2:54 PM  

    Bargaining away health care for one, and longer school years!

  4. IMC Guy // February 27, 2007 at 9:53 PM  

    I never said I wanted those things. What I mentioned were some of the comments our members wanted. Unfortunately, the cost of health care in Wisconsin is higher than most states, therefore, increases in salaries are eaten up by the insurance increases. If anything, we'd like to shorten the school year if we can't get a raise. Then, you're getting more money for fewer days. I certainly know how important health care is and our district has one of the best retirement plans in the state. As of right now, the only portion of our insurance that we pay is a $10 office visit copay.

  5. Pissed Off // February 28, 2007 at 2:59 PM  

    Sorry I misinterpreted. Recently I have seen my copayments for drugs go from $5 to $30. My co-pay is $20 (up from the $5 it was a few years ago) and it is almost impossible to get approval for some tests the doctor orders. I guess that is why I reacted so strongly to your comments.

    We also now go back two days before Labor Day and have given up holidays so our school year is longer.

  6. Dr. Homeslice // March 3, 2007 at 10:10 AM  

    No one understands the contract or what they get out of it because of you. You are there to interpret it for them, to make it make sense to them so it's something they don't have to think about, read, discuss or learn about it. When the rubber hits the road and you ask them something about it, they demonstrate the most basic knowledge of it or ignorance-- often times both.

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