Thursday, February 17, 2011

“Sickout” reveals teacher unions’ priority is politics and power, not students

The unions are fighting back as best they can – and I don't blame them.  This is life-or-death for them:


The Madison teacher union's decision to stage a "sickout" Wednesday finally unmasks the teacher unions as the self-centered, politically-motivated organizations that they are.


     Over 1,000 Madison teachers called in sick on Tuesday night, forcing the district to cancel classes because student safety could not be guaranteed.


     By walking out on their students and disrupting the learning process, the Madison Teachers Inc. can no longer claim with any credibility that it is an organization of professionals who have the best interests of Madison's school children at heart.


     The fact that the union's power is slipping away had WEAC President Mary Bell on the verge of tears.


     "I stood at this podium on Tuesday and I announced a set of bold reforms that educators and educators' unions across the state were willing to bargain at bargaining tables in order to improve the quality of education for our students," Bell said in the video. 


     Perhaps the unions should have cooperated years ago, before Wisconsin started careening toward insolvency. For years, teacher unions have resisted making any concessions regarding salaries and pension benefits. WEAC also used the collective bargaining process to force districts into purchasing costly, union-owned  WEA Trust insurance, draining school districts of precious operating funds. Finally the unions are willing to make a deal? What took them so long?


     "I can hear the weeping strings of the world's smallest violin playing for Ms. Bell and the other union bosses," said Kyle Olson, CEO of Education Action Group. "They've ruled the roost for years and now Scott Walker is coming to clean up the mess."


"Sickout" reveals teacher unions' priority is politics and power, not students

Madison students left to twist in the wind as 

teachers engage in cheap political theater

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