PITTSBURGH – It’s the start of a new school year, and that means it’s time for a handful of Pennsylvania’s selfish teacher unions to go on strike.
The Keystone State is known as the nation’s “teacher strike capital,” and it’s certainly living up to that reputation this fall.
The Associated Press reports thousands of students in three school districts are currently suffering through teacher strikes, all of which can legally last until they run afoul of state law which requires students to receive 180 days of instruction by June 15.
The teachers in the three school districts – Old Forge, Shaler Area and Wyoming Area – are probably striking for higher pay raises and lower health insurance contributions, which is generally the case.
But from the media coverage we’ve seen, only Old Forge school leaders have actually revealed to parents and taxpayers the specific contract offer the local teachers union is striking against.
Leaders from the other districts are staying mum, and that’s a huge mistake.
The Education Establishment’s culture of secrecy just plays into the teacher unions’ hands. By denying community members details about what the union is demanding at the bargaining table, parents and taxpayers are left to conclude that both sides – the school board and the union – are to blame for the stalemate.
Union leaders add to that misperception by falsely claiming their members are striking because they don’t have a contract. That’s almost never true. The vast majority of labor contracts contain an “evergreen clause,” which means the terms of an expired agreement stay in place until a new agreement is ratified.
But the union gets away with this because many local reporters are too ignorant or lazy to challenge misleading claims.
That leaves the average taxpayer completely in the dark. They only know that their kids belong in the classroom, so they end up pressuring the district and the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.
This allows the greedy unionists to not only escape the full brunt of the public’s wrath, but it also allows them to get most of their financial demands met. It’s a game teacher unions have perfected, especially in the “teacher strike capital.”
A growing number of fair-minded Pennsylvanians understand their state needs to take action to stop these disruptive and disgusting teacher strikes. But apparently lawmakers aren’t listening.
As a recent TribLive.com editorial notes, “outlawing teacher strikes” isn’t on the Pennsylvania Legislature’s list of priorities “when it returns for its fall session.”
“So, once again, a union swings its strike cudgel and smacks hard the very people its members are charged with serving,” the editorial concludes. “What a sad lesson.”