Career Calling

June 18, 2012

The End of Workers Rights for Teachers

I recently saw two articles that linked Ronald Reagan’s firing of PATCO air traffic controllers with a possible strike by teachers in Chicago Public Schools.  In Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Michael Sneed speculated that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel might follow Reagan’s example and fire any striking teachers.  The columnist tried to cover her tracks by quipping “Or is Sneed smoking posies?”  No, she’s flacking for a conservative political strategy that is trying to destroy public unions.

Today in Common Dreams, Alan Morse, a progressive and former teacher/school board member in Maine, discussed the same issue.  While Morse calls out the game people like Sneed are playing, his column underscores the real threat that a Democratic executive, Mayor Emanuel, could follow the example of Ronald Reagan.

It’s easy to demonize teacher, especially those teaching in some of our countries toughest neighborhoods.  What we need to ask is:  Who will want to be a teacher when pay is non-competitive and teachers have no protection or real benefits.  We want the best to teach, but we want to treat them like part-time workers.

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