Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: strike


Strange sympathy for Longshore lawlessness

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

What are Washington’s Longshore unions thinking? How can raw thuggery in Longview possibly deserve sympathy strikes in Tacoma, Seattle, Everett and Anacortes?

Longshoremen at the Port of Longview on Thursday looked and acted like they were out to confirm every stereotype of ugly, brutish union goons.

According to news reports, at least five hundred of longshoremen and supporters – some wielding baseball bats and crowbars – overwhelmed police, broke into a terminal, held security guards hostage and sabotaged boxcars.

The provocation appears to be a police attempt Wednesday to prevent longshoremen

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Tacoma school strike threatens unconscionable family distress

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Decisions to strike are made by unions, so the responsibility for opening Tacoma’s schools on time Thursday rests squarely on the Tacoma Education Association.

Advice: Be there for the children.

This is not question of caving in on everything vs. shutting down the schools. The TEA has a third option – temporarily working without a contract, which is commonly done when public employee unions are at impasse with employers.

It’s not a good option, just the least bad. The school district and the union must figure out how to swallow the Legislature’s

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Tacoma schools must open on time next week

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

The Tacoma School District has long enjoyed a rare degree of community support, as evidenced by successful levies and generous construction funding.

That bond must not be broken lightly – and a potential teachers strike next week threatens to do just that.

Let’s be clear about what led to the tense showdown between Tacoma’s school administrators and teachers.

This isn’t a matter of greedy teachers or callous school officials. A stark conflict was built into their contract talks from the start. District leaders and the Tacoma Education Association are at odds because the Legislature was forced to cut funding for the state’s public schools last spring.

Had the district received money enough to maintain a healthy-sized staff and strong programs – and give teachers the money and small classes they want, everyone would have walked away smiling before now.

Nor are lawmakers the culprits. They were dealt a losing hand by the distressed economy, which forced brutal cuts throughout state government, schools and colleges. The core issue in Tacoma is the core issue everywhere else: The money just ain’t there.
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Judge vs. teachers in Kent

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Some leaders of Washington’s teachers unions seem to share the credo of Boeing’s machinists: You’ve got to strike on a regular basis, or you don’t get taken seriously.

That pugnacious attitude has a respectable heritage rooted in the early years of the labor movement – the days of sweatshops, company goons and starvation wages. Today it often flat makes no sense.

We get what the teachers were saying when they went out on strike in Kent this week. They – and thousands like them elsewhere in Washington – are fed up with the financial squeeze public education is suffering under the state budget.

In many instances, fewer teachers are being asked to teach larger classes. Educators are right when they say that students are getting hurt.

Still, 2009 is the wrong time for a strike – and Kent is the wrong place.
In terms of the law, there’s never a right time for a teachers strike. The illegality of such strikes is well-established in Washington.

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