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Smart List: 60 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education
One Reply to “Battle Of Central Fallout”
Am I the only one old enough to remember the air traffic controllers strike in 1981? In that situation Ronald Reagan threatened to fire all the controllers if they didn’t report for work. When the controllers decided to defy him, all the workers were immediately fired by the President who replaced all of them with people from the military. The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was dissolved and very few fired controllers ever got their jobs back. That is an example of union busting.
Contrast this with Central Falls. In late February all the teachers were fired and told that there was no chance any would be hired back. Both Arne Duncan and President Obama expressed praise for the dismissal of all these teachers. Within days (hours?) the teachers were told that some could reapply for their jobs. Next there was talk about “conciliation” and “discussion.” Mr. Duncan and President Obama said little else in public but my guess is that they were saying plenty behind the scenes, especially after getting enormous pressure from parents, students and teachers from across the nation. Finally the teachers signed the contract and EVERY ONE OF THEM was rehired! And now the union is being praised for its “conciliatory efforts.” Yes, the teachers did make concessions, but anyone who thinks this was union busting needs to go back to Labor 101.
Don’t count out the power of schoolteachers; they’ve got the American people on their side.