TROY, Mich. – Teachers protested in front of Troy Athens High School before a scheduled school board meeting Tuesday to demand a new union contract that includes the reinstatement of their annual “step raises.”
The union and district agreed to freeze teacher pay two years ago, the Daily Tribune reports, and district officials want to extend the freeze another two years.
Troy Education Association President Tony Lucchi has dollar signs dancing in his head, because the district currently has $22 million in fund equity.
“We need our community to step up with us and stand by us,” he told the Tribune.
Lucchi contends district officials are using a “manufacturing mentality to manage public education.”
We fail to see the problem with that, considering that teachers in the district are using industrial-style union tactics to get their point across, and have always demanded industrial-style work rules that favor seniority over teacher quality.
The fact is that the annual “step raises” the union wants to reinstate are based completely on seniority and the number of college credits earned. That means the school would be forced to continue rewarding teachers for doing nothing but keeping their jobs from year to year.
The union might argue that graduate level college classes make teachers more effective, but many studies have determined that’s not the case.
If the raises were rewarded based on teacher performance, it might be a different story. But that’s not the case, so who can blame the school board for standing its ground?
The most recent Troy teachers contract expired in June and the school district “remains committed to negotiating a fair and fiscally responsible contract with the union,” according to a district statement quoted by the Tribune.
Lucchi told the news site teachers won’t walk out on students, as teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan, but the union will continue its obnoxious behavior.
“We will obey the law, but we will be vocal in doing so,” he told the Tribune.