Precinct 333

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Good For Them!

I’m not a fan of much that comes out of Berkeley, California, but I must admit I like the tactic adopted by teachers there to protest the lack of pay raises and or a new contract with the district over the last two years. No, they did not go on strike. Their solution? Adhering strictly to the terms of the old contract. That means no grading papers outside of school time, no calling parents outside of school hours, and no volunteering for activities outside of the school day. A Black History program had to be cancelled, and parents had to staff the science fair.

"Teachers do a lot with a little. All of a sudden, a lot of things that they do are just gone. It's demoralizing," said Rachel Baker, who has a son in kindergarten.

Teachers say they don't want to stop volunteering their time.

"It's hard," said high school math teacher Judith Bodenhauser. "I have stacks of papers I haven't graded. Parents want to talk to me; I don't call them back."

The action was organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, which wants a cost-of-living increase next year.

Asking for a cost-of-living increase isn’t unreasonable. If Ms. Baker wants the teachers back, all she needs to do is get together with other parents and pressure the school board to get with the program and give the rather modest raise that the teachers are seeking.

That is, of course, assuming that you really do value all those things that teachers usually do.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.