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 The Pickett Line: Your Unofficial Rant 

Is it time for NC teachers to form a union?
Poll ended at Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:22 pm
Yes 71%  71%  [ 5 ]
No 29%  29%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 7

 The Pickett Line: Your Unofficial Rant 
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What's your rant?

When I was in 6th grade I got a weeks vacation from school b/c all of the teacher's in WV went on strike for improved benefits and higher wages. It was absolutely powerful to drive by the school and see my teachers standing by the road in front of the school with pickett signs. Then, while I was student teaching, motions were made to strike again for pay raises but the state settled before a strike was organized. Once again teachers in WV are now talking of striking for another pay raise (dropped from 32nd in pay to 47th). The organizers are threatening to picket during the WESTEST (equivalent to EOGs). A WV newspaper article I read earlier last month demanded highly qualified = highly paid....


What I want to strike over is the stinkin' $85/day sub fund for personal time..... when my wife and I were hired in NC we were like what the hell??

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Heath Belcher


Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:22 pm
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Wow, Heath. You must've hit a nerve with this one. There's been lot's of views but not many votes and no responses. Wow.

I voted no.

To me, being a teacher is based on wanting to help students learn and be successful. I've never taught in another state and I grew up in NC, so I have never been around a teacher's union. However, I can't see myself picketing based on something for me to gain (like not have to pay $80 for a personal day). That's the first thing that comes to my mind - and I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the reasons for the strikes in other states in the past. I would be interested in seeing the reasons teachers have gone on strike before in hopes that I have the wrong impression.

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Lisa Fortenberry


Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:37 pm
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I think a union does not have to be about picket lines and weeks out of school.. but it can be about a professional advocacy. How many times has teachers in North Carolina felt like we are getting the short end of the stick because there are few ways to truely advocate for the profession. Sure there are professional organizations but how much pull do they really have. Look at what originally happened with the calendar bill.. would that have occurred with a teacher's union?.

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Kami McKay


Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:11 pm
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I agree with Kami. Teachers have often not been vocal about their needs and wants for fear of being accused of not having the best interest of children at heart. I have always thought that having teachers who are valued, appreciated, well-compensated IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN. To bad politicians often forget this.

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." M. Twain


Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:39 pm
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I think unions should be an option in all occupations. All workers deserve proper representation. Like Kami said, its not all about picket lines and signs.


Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:30 pm
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Unions do not have to mean strikes and lockouts. I worked in a union state for three years, and the only difference between there and here (from my perspective) was collective bargaining and better salary/benefits. Every school district in Colorado has its own arm of NEA, and most of them have a "master agreement" between the district and the union in order to avoid work stoppages. When I moved back to NC, I was shocked, not so much by my new salary, but by the fact that health insurance was so expensive (for state employees, no doubt!) and that I was responsible for paying for my sub out-of-pocket if I needed a personal day.

I voted yes, because I think unionization could help make life easier for teachers. My only concern is the focus of our empahsis. In CO, it seemed to me that most teachers were more concerned about their own personal welfare than the welfare of the students. My experience in NC has proven that we are much more student-centered here, and if unionization happens, I wonder if we will expect things to become so much better for us that the focus shifts to teachers at the expense of students.

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Logan McGuire


Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:03 pm
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http://www.bdtonline.com/princeton/local_story_075104951.html?keyword=secondarystory

Teachers in WV staged a walkout this week demanding respectful salaries.

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Heath Belcher


Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:46 pm
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