We are going on strike as of Tuesday. - ProTeacher Community




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We are going on strike as of Tuesday.

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1tired 1tired is offline
 
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We are going on strike as of Tuesday.
Old 09-15-2019, 10:41 AM
 
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Have any of you been through strikes before?
I have some concerns, but I will stick with the union because we are getting an unfair deal and
I am truly afraid the next thing the district would do to us (joking...kind of) is take away our 30 minute duty free lunch. Not that it would hurt me to miss a lunch or 2. We just have practically very few breaks in the day.
1 of the many things that is bothering me the most is it seems like it has all become a fight of them vs us (teachers.)
Disrespectful things have been said in negotiations ( At 1 point, 1 of the district's lawyers ( I think , but am not sure 100% who)...told the teachers to "put up or shut up")
Then the Super wrote a very 1 sided email and sent it to all of the parents. From the tone of the letter and what was in it, many teachers felt angry, upset, and like they'd been thrown under the bus.
There are other really concerning issues to this with me. Parents and some fellow teachers are anti union. Are there anythings that helped you get through a strike? Any advice? Thanks for any support! <3


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Old 09-15-2019, 03:39 PM
 
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Iíve never been through a strike before. Good luck. I hope everything turns out ok.
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Thank you!
Old 09-15-2019, 03:41 PM
 
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I hope it does too!
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:33 PM
 
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I've always worked in a right to work state, so no strike experience for me. I wish you and your colleagues well. I hope things are resolved soon and to overall satisfaction.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:14 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are going through it but glad you are sticking with the union. Hope it is resolved quickly.


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U
Old 09-15-2019, 06:26 PM
 
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The school board will always put a spin on the story. Start talking with parents and tell them how your working conditions are their chid's learning conditions. For those teachers who are ani-union talk to them and find out what their concerns are. (Aren't you frusrated that you have X amount of students in your class? How do you feel about us losing our duty free lunch period?) See if you can find something that the would be willing to fight for. Right now your school board is threatened that you are exercising your right to strike. That's why they are saying those things. Can you make up some fliers and have teachers stand off school grounds before or after school and let parents know that you are fighting for? Striking is scary, but can be powerful. Remember, United we stand, divided we fall." Good Luck.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:50 PM
 
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At first, it was scary because we didnít know what to expect. But after, it brought us together and it was empowering. PM me if you have specific questions. Iíll share some general memories.
-previous to striking, we walked the neighborhood (rough area so we went in pairs) and handed out pamphlets. Everyone we met supported us!
-walked picket line everyday, afternoon we went to rallies
-worst part was seeing our students as we picketed
-some principals were nice, mine was not so we couldnít set foot on the grass, couldnít use bathroom, bought donuts for the subs (none for us when we came back)
-the subs they got were not the best; one was a high school student!
-struck for a week; we got pretty close to what we wanted
-didnít get any pay (no strike fund)
-of course the district painted a bad picture of teachers; itís adversarial
-strength in numbers, stick together and support each other

I hope this helps. It was, overall, a good experience. And what youíre fighting for will last years. Good luck!
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Be careful
Old 09-16-2019, 01:49 PM
 
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When I started teaching a hundred years ago a coworker talked to some parents about the current negotiations. She got called on the carpet because our contract specifically states we are not allowed to discuss negotiations during certain times of the process.
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Right to work doesn't mean no strikes...
Old 09-16-2019, 06:57 PM
 
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AZ is a right to work state and our teachers went on strike a year and a half ago.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:18 PM
 
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Our teachers were on strike for the first 3 days of the school year this year.
It was terrible.
Our district used their facebook page (and the pages of the individual students) to published biased reports about contract negotiations to try to win parent support. That honestly backfired on them.
It got very ugly.

There are three main things that I think helped us (the teachers at my school and our union as a whole). 1- our state union sent basically a crisis team to our district to help support our union officials and get us organized. Those people were wonderful, calm and willing to answer so many questions and concerns.
2 - our staff stuck together. Almost every teacher came every day for at least part of the day. We also had many paras come walk with us. Our bldg admin was in the building and we never saw them all three days, but they had lunch delivered to us at lunch time on the first day. We set up basically a campground rest break area and people brought chairs, blankets, food, water, etc. The striking sucked - people with fitbits tracked 20+ miles of walking in 3 days - but we got to talk to each other and get to know each other more than we would have. In short, we tried to make the best of it.
3- Be visible where the bargain and district admin are. One day the entire district of teachers picketed our district admin building, which is on a busy street in our town. News outlets came and reported. Supposedly (according to our bargaining team) that turned the momentum of negotiations in our favor.

It was really hard to stay off social media and ignore people posting ignorant things about teachers on news articles and the district posts. I eventually stopped looking at them. Ultimately though most people "sided" with the teachers.

In the end, we had a tentative agreement at the end of day 3. We voted to accept our new contract. 99.5% of our teachers voted yes for it.

Personal advice for yourself: if you have to picket, wear good shoes and bring bandaids. Bring a big water bottle and drink lots of water. Do things after picketing to take care of yourself (get a pedicure, take a name). It is physically and mentally stressful.


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Rhanks, Book Geek for the well wishes!
Old 09-16-2019, 07:21 PM
 
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I needed them! Still do as the situation is far from ideal.

Last edited by 1tired; 09-16-2019 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:25 PM
 
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Thanks, I hope it is resolved quickly too. I actually felt guilty saying good bye to my kids this afternoon. They are 1 of the sweetest groups I have had in yrs. I kind of felt like I was deserting a few who are real needy, but sweet.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:44 PM
 
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You are so right about the "spin" on things. I have been stunned by 1 thing in particular. I know they got a lot of blow back and their propaganda blew up in their faces.
I can't believe the number of teachers, husbands, parents I have seen online openly calling it garbage and calling bs on them. I am not that gutsy!
I'd just leave it as they were disrespectful and showed their lack of respect for teachers.
I talked to parents I have known for yrs and trust for weeks trying to avoid a strike. We've put up signs in businesses and neighborhoods. The anti union teachers are not the nicest group. They've been vocal enough that I don't feel comfy going there with them.
Yes, I do believe they feel the pressure now.I wish I'd have seen this before work. I'd have made the flyers. I never thought of that and would have done it.
I do believe in United we stand for sure. I kind of said jokingly that they'd take away our lunch if they could, but it is actually serious that some P's would try to make us eat lunch w/ the kids if they could. Thank you for the advice and support.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:02 PM
 
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It really is kind of scary and I seldom feel unsafe. There were threats called into the union and the police will not allow the contents of the threats to be released for some reason.
I am having visions of some idiot driving by w/ an AR 14 spraying us all. I am generally not a fearful person either. I would like to know what the threats were and who they were made to exactly.
Whatever they were, they were serious enough for a meeting to be moved to an undisclosed location and time.
I am glad yours turned out to be a bonding experience for you guys. I have heard 1 person's story that was hilarious. The schools got subs and funny things...really hilarious happened.
It is odd cus I worked for many yrs in a nonunion district and the relationships were MUCH more respectful on both sides. Maybe a cultural thing...IDK...There is def strength in numbers. My best friend for various reasons does not want to participate in the picketing which bums me out. Adversarial is the exact word for it. Thanks for the wishes of luck. I hope I can sleep tonight!
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Loveslabs...whoops!
Old 09-16-2019, 08:10 PM
 
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Too late! I did not talk about negotiations though. I just told them the reasons (facts) on why we might have to strike.... off school grounds, on my own time. Hopefully, that is OK.
Our union leaders told us to do it, so hopefully it was at an OK time to talk.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:41 PM
 
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An extremely biased letter was sent to parents, but oh, my goodness! I never expected the blow back from that letter. I was shocked when I 1st rd it. Someone copied it and made something like a blog w/it. IDK exactly what you'd call it,
but oh! The comments are unreal. Most supporting the teachers. There was a man ( probably from district office) on there trying to start fights w/teachers. I was visiting relatives when 1 rel started reading the comments aloud. The comments made me laugh and another relative told me I was mean for laughing, but I think he was joking.
Our state union has sent a team and we have others from further away. They are very knowledgeable and specialize in this kind of thing. Our staff is not as cohesive a group as others I have known.
I had planned on comfy shoes and water, but tyvm for the band aide advice! I never thought of that. I'll bring a box because we'll all need them. I actually want to picket the district admin building, but have heard nothing about it yet. I think you are right about not looking at district and negative media. It just bums me out. It is like an us vs them thing that I really don't like. I am so sorry yours got so ugly, but am glad you guys got what you wanted. I hope we don't get cussed out , flipped off, or shot tomorrow!
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Howís it going?
Old 09-17-2019, 06:26 PM
 
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Iím so sorry that you received threats! I was on strike in a very different time, years ago. The political climate and attitude towards teachers is so negative now. I hope you and your colleagues were safe. Iím keeping you in my thoughts and wish for a safe, speedy, and successful end to your strike! Go teachers!!
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:16 PM
 
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For me it sucked but was necessary. It was a 60 mile round trip and not getting paid. I thought it would only be a few days since parents don't want to lose their free day care. It lasted two weeks. With that and the snow days we were out in the middle of June.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:50 AM
 
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Yes, it came to a point where it was necessary for us to stand our ground too.
Fortunately, we got out of it easier than you. Yeah, I was going to need to spend a lot more in gas without a paycheck too. I wasn't looking forward to June either, but it is all over and we got what we wanted.
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