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Are Teacher Unions A Small Or BIG Part Of The Problem In Education?

March 1, 2013 by Tunya

Internationally teacher union actions are plaguing parents and students who choose public schools. Following the stories, we see that much of the agendas, demands and tactics have similarities:

– smaller class size
– more pay, more benefits
– more local control by teachers

Yes, teacher unions share a lot of information in order to advance their cause which is two fold: 1) more protection and security and benefits for teachers, and 2) more influence in policy decisions, curriculum and social change.

The first agenda item affects taxpayers as these demands are costly.

The second is a political role teacher unions have been adopting ever more steadily — that is, changing society in the direction of forced equality or social justice as it’s called.

Teacher strikes are a problem because they affect families. There are calls by citizens to get their legislatures to enact strike-free guarantees.

Some people feel that mandatory union membership is unfair — that teachers should be able to get jobs regardless of membership. Right to work laws have been brought forward to respond. Some feel that teachers, as professionals, should belong to associations like doctors and engineers and pay malpractice insurance — not belong to trade unions.

Because of international teacher union vigilance those jurisdictions, which deviate from the general government monopoly model of public education, hit their radar. Alberta, which offers many choices from which parents choose, is coming under increasing pressure to change. New Zealand, which has adopted school-based management for over 30 years, is attracting strong criticism because parents are actually involved in governing their own schools.

Whole books — many books — have been written complaining about teacher union abuses. Here are just a few titles:

 – The War Against Hope: How Teachers’ Unions Hurt Children, Hinder Teachers, and Endanger Public Education – Rod Paige

 – Schools in Jeopardy, Collective Bargaining in Education – Peter Hennessy

 – The Worm in the Apple, How Teacher Unions are Destroying American Education – Peter Brimelow

 – The Teacher Unions, How They Sabotage Educational Reform and Why – Myron Lieberman

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