Out in California, the Fresno Teachers Association has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.
A strike you say? In NY that word is never spoken among government employees. We are too afraid of the Taylor Law which makes strikes illegal in the public sector in "progressive" New York.
Never mind that an agency of the United Nations called the International Labor Organization ruled that the Taylor Law is a violation of workers' rights to free association and collective bargaining.
Why don't we tell our new progressive friend Governor Andrew Cuomo about this law that a UN agency says violates international law?
We can keep the Triborough amendment that allows expired contracts to remain in place until there is a new one. However, the two days pay penalty for each day of a strike and jailing union leaders as well as crippling fines on unions for striking need to go.
The Fresno teachers have been working without a contract since 2016.
A look at some of the issues out there shows that salary and health benefits are of course in dispute. They are also fighting over lower class size and student discipline.
From the Fresno Bee piece:
The FTA also wants a greater emphasis on reducing class sizes, asking for class-size ratios to be capped at 24 students per teacher in kindergarten through third grades, 26 students in fourth through sixth grades, 28 students in seventh and eighth grades, and 30 students in high school. So far, however, the district’s proposal calls for reducing class size ratios only in core classes such as English and math at the high school level.
On student discipline from a separate article in the Bee:
A call for stricter, more uniform discipline policies has also been a top priority for FTA, with teachers reporting that the district’s restorative justice efforts have led to unruly – and sometimes violent – classrooms.
You see if we were united and ready to do union battle, we could have a say in our working conditions.