The Strike of 2006: Judge orders DPS teachers back

From The Detroit News online, “Judge Orders Striking Teachers Back to Work.” I’m not entirely sure how this will impact us, but I think it might might nudge the administration to going to court, too. Which, IMO, would be good. The judge would either order us back to class while we negotiate or he/she would tell the administration to go back to the table and work it out.

3 thoughts on “The Strike of 2006: Judge orders DPS teachers back”

  1. Yes,
    What is needed is some sort of ‘face saving’ event to happen.

    As for NWA, let me clarify one fact, when the mec.’s went on strike the company was not bankrupt; they were though, union busting as they had spent months training (unqualified) mechanics. BTW, The mechanics worked for 70k through all weather during the holidays (think about some of those negative degreed weather and blizzards) and they had the lives of all the people in their hands. And now, they only make 50k. There is something wrong with this.

  2. I agree that there’s something wrong with this indeed. And one of the reasons why we’re hanging tough is because this is, in some perhaps small sense, a stand against these horrible union busting tactics.

    I wanted to add something here about money, too. I am certain that airplane mechanics earn every cent they make and I am in no way trying to suggest that it is somehow fair that they’ve been cut to 50K or so a year. I really really am not. That’s a job I couldn’t do and I like to think that when I get on a plane, it’s been maintained by a happily compensated person.

    But let me just describe for you my own situation:
    I am a tenured associate professor, meaning that I am not what you’d call at the “entry point” of the salary and/or promotion structure. And I’ve been at EMU since 1998
    I have an undergraduate degree, a masters degree (actually, an MFA), and a PhD. These are all credentials that, in the general marketplace, ought to be worth something. Afterall, that’s why parents send their kids to college.
    Counting my time as a graduate student, part-time instructor, and a professor at another school, I’ve been in this field for 17 years now.
    I don’t make $60,000 a year.

    I’m not saying all that to get anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m just saying that to point out that it’s not like we’re sitting on a pile of money here, that’s all.

  3. Only 50K? I have a BA, MA, PhD, and 12 years teaching experience, and if the 4 percent raise the union proposes goes through I *still* will be making less than 50K.

    This strike, for me, is not about the money. However, it is important for the public to understand that faculty are not a bunch of overpaid, greedy crybabies. A column in the AANews pointed out, for example, that the average salary for faculty at EMU is $7000 less than the average salary for Ann Arbor high school teachers.

    Also, we understand that times are hard everywhere, but if one union caves in to management, then others will follow. Nationwide, the wages of workers continue to drop, while the wages of CEOs continue to rise. Workers’ wages continue to fall, as their hours rise. Unless we stand firm, these trends will continue to worsen.

    The strike at EMU, which initially began because the adminstration wanted us to take a pay cut, has now evolved. It seems to me (and to many of us) that the EMU administration is attempting to break our union. We can’t let that happen. As much as I would love to be in the classroom Monday, I will be on the picket line.

    The administration walked away from the negotiating table. The union wants to return to the table. The students want us to return to the table. The administration is refusing to bargain and demanding we end the strike because they are trying to break the union. I think if enough students and parents demanded the administration return to the table, and if they returned, we could have this resolved in a matter of hours, and we could all be back in the classrooms.

    I love working at EMU–I still feel that way, even in the midst of this crisis. I am saddened to see a new faculty member post to this blog that he is sorry he ever came to EMU and want to tell him that EMU, generally, has been a great place to work. I care a great deal about my students, and it is very upsetting to me that they are caught in the middle of this dispute. I want students to know that we all want this resolved as quickly as possible. I’m also very grateful for all the student support we’ve gotten–I hope the student petition demanding the adminstration return to the table has made its way to Fallon’s desk and to the media.

    –Annette Wannamaker

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