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STRIKE: Legislators need to strengthen ban

Letter by Karen E. Dinicola, Tacoma on Oct. 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm with 16 Comments »
October 3, 2011 2:38 pm

We need to change state law to prevent another extended teachers’ strike. The unions will certainly resist this.

The Tacoma strike worked well for the union and its members who stayed off the job for six school days following a judge’s order to return to their classrooms. They suffered no consequences, and the district ceded all three issues.
But the community suffered.

We could not procure this government service elsewhere during the strike. Thousands of parents paid extra day care costs and lost precious vacation time. We had no say in designating strike makeup days. Nearly half a million dollars in food and other strike-related expenses was wasted.

I will continue to support my children’s teachers on the job and in the classroom. But I cannot support or condone their contempt of court.

Further reductions in state funding for teacher salaries and smaller classrooms are likely. Long-term consequences of the strike could include levy and bond failures, resulting in even harder choices.

The Legislature must affirm that public employee work stoppages are illegal and strengthen the ban by defining meaningful sanctions for unions and members who defy it. This will be a difficult but necessary debate.

We all should urge our legislators to ensure that widespread harm to communities from public employees’ strikes does not happen again.

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Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Publico says:

    The union was right. You are wrong.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I agree, the unions break the law and democrats won’t go after them.

    While the legislature is at it make a law that tells the unions to collect their own dues. Stop taking it out of my wife’s pay forced at gunpoint.

    Federal workers don’t have to pay union dues. Why do WA state workers do this??? Because the unions donate your tax dollars back to them.

  3. theglovesRoff says:

    Looks like the publico moniker gave up his sumner alias to comment only with the publico name, because they appear to be one and the same now.

  4. Fibonacci says:

    Um, Karen. What was the widespread harm the community suffered?

  5. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Karen, your ideas are good, but the only way for this to happen is to vote in a majority of Republicans.

  6. Wow Publico… shallow even by your standard. Do you aspire to being the creepy guy in mom’s basement?

  7. KARDNOS says:

    “theglovesRoff says:
    October 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm
    Looks like the publico moniker gave up his sumner alias to comment only with the publico name, because they appear to be one and the same now.

    E tu, Larry?

  8. KARDNOS says:

    “Federal workers don’t have to pay union dues. Why do WA state workers do this??? Because the unions donate your tax dollars back to them.”

    State workers can donate their dues to a charity….next piece of false information?

  9. KARDNOS says:

    To the letterwriter…..

    You claim you support teachers…and yet, you don’t want them to have the same union bargaing rights as other union employees….

    Nice support.

  10. KARDNOS says:

    “Thousands of parents paid extra day care costs and lost precious vacation time.”

    The true issue. It’s called NIMBY

  11. Kardnos: You are technically correct but one and only one teacher in this state donates all but collective bargaining fees to a charity “he chose.” All other agency payers may donate to charities ” approved” by the Union. For instance, non-union agency payers “may not” donate union fees to the Boy Scouts.

    Take off the blinders . . .

    When state employees directly defy a court order they should be terminated.

  12. commoncents says:

    There was little to no harm done to the community as a whole. Certainly there were individual cases where people were suprised by the strike and didn’t have any contingency plans but that impacted a significantly small group. Certainly not worth the cost of addressing this in our legislature.

    Can’t quite wrap my hands around why people think that collective bargaining is a bad thing. I can only imagine the cost increases that would occur if we didn’t treat the good and the bad the same. Of course, I recognize that administration plays favorites and that they know that they can simply raise taxes to increase pay for those labeled as superior. Especially when “plays well with others” is one of the job requirements.

  13. E tu, Larry?

    I see you have come to the same conclusion I have.

  14. Go ahead and change the law to prohibit teachers’ strikes. But also change the law to require binding arbitration like the uniformed public employees have.

    Fair is fair.

  15. LarryFine says:

    Yabetya… not.

  16. theglovesRoff says:

    Correct.

    Brute

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