“It’s critical for parents to feel that the union is not putting teachers’ personal interests ahead of their children’s well-being, ” writes Lois Weiner in The Future of Our Schools.
As long as there is the illusion that teachers’ unions care, I guess.
She continues, “It’s suicidal for the union to go into negotiations with demands on salary and benefits and nothing about class size or other conditions that parents and communities see as essential to students’ well-being.” (p.47-48)
What would those “other conditions” be?
Personally, I think parents and the community would like to know that public employee pension funds are draining resources from their children’s classrooms.
Or, that unions demand the district buy health insurance through health trusts that union interests control, thereby inflating costs, which once again drains resources from their children’s school.
No, here’s one. . .Parents would probably like to know that some teachers find it acceptable to increase their own wages even if it means other teachers get let go. . meaning increased class size for their children. Oh, class size! Somehow I don’t think Lois meant it that way.
Funny how parents aren’t invited to give input at the critical point of actual contract negotiations. Lois even says so, “In states that still have laws that give teachers unions collective bargaining, the union will probably not be able to involve parents and community in the official bargaining process.” Illusions, illusions. . . to my knowledge, parents have never been invited into the bargaining process.
If you’re a parent on the school board, and happen to be there apart from the teachers’ union funding your school board campaign, you may be able to actually represent parents. Please do. They’re counting on you not to be just an. . .illusion.