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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Strike!

The the first teachers strike of the year in our area has been narrowly averted.  This year's honor goes to Scranton.  The Scranton Federation of Teachers put out the warning last week-- no contract, no school.  No one can say they're surprised.

A judge stepped in with an injunction yesterday, while negotiations, fact finding and other technicalities continue.  No strike.  For now.  At least 60 days.

We've been through the dance before.  Strike.  Back to work, even though there's no new contract.  Repeat.  It doesn't seem to solve anything.

I experienced two strikes during my school days, one at the start of seventh grade.  The other was three years later.  We started school a few weeks late, and were stuck there until late June.  I don't remember why we went back-- new contract, court order, mutual agreement...  I do remember feeling my time was wasted.

Unions feel they have to strike and make their point.  They want the right to strike, like everyone else, and I get that.  I'm still not convinced a strike gives school boards the incentive to bargain and settle.

It keeps kids out of the classroom in the fall, and in the classroom in the summer.  It disrupts lives, and it seems like the wrong ones get hurt.

I'm not taking sides here, but there has to be a better way.