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NEWS: Berkeley Teachers Refuse to Assign Homework Over Contract Dispute

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 07:02 PM
Teachers in the Berkeley, California school district have gone on a semi-strike by refusing to assign or grade homework, help students outside of class hours, or talk to parents outside of school hours. The teachers are demanding higher salaries even though they are already among the best-paid public school teachers in the state. The work slowdown has been in effect for over a month.
Teachers in a California city are refusing to assign homework or help students after class. It's all part of a bitter dispute over pay.

They're contracted to work 7 hours a day. And now, Berkeley teachers -- in a battle over pay in their new contract -- are refusing to work a minute longer, even if that means refusing to answer student questions in the hall.

At a recent board meeting, some of Berkeley's 700 public school teachers reiterated their support for a "work to rule" policy which says when the last bell rings, they're done.

They won't help kids before or after class or during lunch. They don't return parent phone calls when they're off the clock. And they're not assigning any homework because correcting it would take extra hours.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I think this is ridiculous, as it's only hurting the students. The teachers are supposed to care about the kids and not use them as pawns in their union contract disputes.

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 07:30 PM
Nuts. Although I can't say I wouldn't mind it myself.

I've never beena huge fan of unions, and I've always been glad that the teachers union here in NYC gets fined heavily when they strike. Certain professions we cannot afford to strike (garbage, doctors, teachers, public transportation, etc.) and when they do so it is a very, very selfish move that hurts many, many others. They don't usually care one iota.

Now, the other side of this is that we need to pay these people more. Teachers are on the whole greatly underpaid, and are on the whole one of the most important resources we have in the country. We can't have that kind of disparity.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:24 PM
Not really being in the 'fight' and having read the briefs (pun) all I can say is a partial strike against no pay=no work seems to be in line with everyone else I deal with.

I never had a doctor offer to treat me for free (on a routine basis)

How many of YOU would routinely work for no pay?

Parents are abusive by nature. I can't imagine putting up with them for $0.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:37 PM

The teachers are supposed to care about the kids and not use them as pawns in their union contract disputes

Says who?

These people aren't glorious volunteers trying to save the world. They're people with a job, and they have this thing that they can use to leverage for better pay and working conditions. I say, go for it.

Teachers aren't special. The amount of fraud and waste in the schools is getting to be a joke, why be concerned over this?

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 05:37 PM
Like Amorymeltzer said, civil servants have a special obligation not to strike because of the pain and hardship it causes to society.

And it's not like these teachers have it bad, they're some of the highest paid in the country, with some senior ones making north of $70K. I think that's great for working school hours and having the summers off.

I agree teachers should be paid more, but lets start by raising the salaries of the lowest paid ones, not the highest paid ones.

[edit on 4/25/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:34 PM
Heck, I don't think any of them actually deserve pay increases, and the civil servant aspect is a good point. But heck, why shouldn't they use everything in their power to get more and more for them? I mean, we can't require them to be good, competent, honest people right? Or at least, we don't.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:42 PM
These teachers do not live to serve, they are doing a job and if they have gripes about issues then they should be able to strike.

And it's not like these teachers have it bad, they're some of the highest paid in the country, with some senior ones making north of $70K. I think that's great for working school hours and having the summers off.

They work outside school hours also, preparing lessons before and after school, extracurricular activities and grading homework. They do an enormous amount of work and should be respected for it.

To say that they should not strike because they are public servants is laughable. They are people with families and lives and sometimes they have trouble making ends meet.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 08:28 PM

Originally posted by Nerdling
They work outside school hours also, preparing lessons before and after school, extracurricular activities and grading homework. They do an enormous amount of work and should be respected for it.

The respect isn't the issue, it's the fact that they're hurting a lot more people for a potentially long time than a lot of other people who go on strike. The fact that they would consider going on strike is a huge problem in itself, but it causes huge problems when teachers do so.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 09:36 PM
People aghast at teachers trying to make a better wage is another example, I believe, of American's tendency to lash out against a symptom of a problem, rather than the problem itself. Is it just easier that way, I wonder? Rather than moan and groan about what the teachers have done, I think we would be better served to understand why it was done.

After some critical thinking, and you still have a problem with it, please let your voice be heard. But I think there is a knee-jerk hysteria griping the US, ready to place blame, but too lazy to find a solution for the root of the problem.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 09:46 PM
I'm not going to bash teachers, because I have a lot of them in my family, and I know how hard they work.

But, having said that, if they are going to strike, I would have more sympathy for them if they didn't always do at the end of the term, thereby politicizing the schools, and dragging the kids into it. If I was a more cynical person, I might think that the timing is done on purpose, to force a quick resolution in the favour of the unions, because if they don't go back to work, children will not graduate.

Sort of like how in Canada, the Postal Union always goes on strike mid-November, usually 5 or 6 weeks before Christmas.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 10:24 PM
we have the same types of problems here with primary school and highscools. teachers refuseing to take part in extra curicular activities as well. even out and out strikes. this is not good for the students involved. it lessons what they can learn as homework is a major part of schooling. however they are trying to earn a liveing and should have the same rights as the rest of us.

i have many friends and people i know who teach everything from daycare to university. one thing they don't talk about much is all the work involved in teaching. my best friend is a highschool teacher so i will use that as an example.

what does a teacher do?well the simple answer is that they teach
it is not so simple however. they have many things that they need to do in order to teach. generaly we just think of a teacher's job as standing in front of a class imparting knowlagee, and getting po'd when we act up. well lets take a look at the life of a teacher.

to start off they spend much time and money getting a teaching certificate. the needed things differ area to area. my friend has a masters(?) in teaching. it took several years to compleate , just like for many carrers.

now the complaint seems to be the unfareness of not giveing out homework. most will see this as just harming the education of those that they are teaching, for no real purpose other than to PO their superiors. this is not exactly true.

a highschool teacher has say 4 out of 5 classes to teach a day. some schools even run on a two day that is 8 classes at a time. now all of these classes are not the same. they may teach two or more subjects at multiple levels. grade 9-12 and basic to advanced. they may have 1 free class to mark and prepare for other classes. that is not takeing into account that they also have to take turns watching the halls and lunch rooms. in fact much of teaching takes place at home.

my freind tends to work every night at home. he has marking to do, he has to come up with how he is going to teach something ( a lesson plan). he also needs to come up with homework to try to make shure that you learn what is needed. it has to be challengeing for even the best students, while not being too difficult for poor students. same goes for tests. exam and report card times are even worse. exms must be cordinated by multiple teachers working together as everyone gets the same one no matter who is the teacher. he tends to even spend a good portion of his weekends doing this. many times has he canceled out on things because he has marking to do.

lets look at tests. ever wonder why teachers use multiple choice? easy it is to save time. yes you might guess the right answer, therfore looking like you know something but it is an important consideratin for marking times. you can see in a second if the answer is right or not. just look at a simple 3 page test.

now said teacher has 3 classes (not even half of his students) takeing it. he is looking at 270 pages of marking that needs to be done. do you honestly think a teacher has enough time to mark all of these in school? just look at a test that you have taken. time yourself on how long it takes to slowly read each page to mark the answers as right or wrong. also remember that there will be worse handwriteing than you have as well as a lot of bs put in to make it seem like you know what your are talking about.

i have seen a test where you would swear that the person KNEW the answer. but in reality they just went in circles without actualy answering the question. (you have just spent 5 minutes on one question trying to figure out if it is right or not). some answers are not easy to figure out they may just be answered correctly but poorly. or they can sound realy good but in fact there is no answer given, or it is wrong. you have to CAREFULY read them to find out. this takes a lot of time, most of it on your nights and weekends.

same thing for all homework asighnments. you have to read every single one of them. then you have to judge if they are correct or not. again mostly done in your "free"time. you are not paid overtime for this. again just think about that one piece of homework that you had to do then multiply it out for all the students that take that course with the same teacher.

now as if this is not enough, teachers also have (yes here they have no choice but to do it, you are volinteered), things like: the chess club, the school paper, sports teams, math clubs, science clubs ect. again mostly done before and after school. also no extra pay. most would agree that these things are needed to help students in life. then you have all the time spent after school trying to help out those who are haveing problems.

even after all of this you have to deal with "class clowns", diciplen cases,those who are board, tired, and just plain rude and ignorant. how ever much someone might egg you on you cant hit them, even in self defence to a degree. even a hint of a sexual complaint can end your career. even if a complaintant later admits to lieing about it you are still out of work generaly, the harm is caused just by the possibility of it, not the factualness of it.

ooo teachers get summers off. yeah right. they spend summers upgradeing their skills, and working on possible lesson plans for the following year. yup nice UNPAID vacation.

in short teachers do NOT recieve pay equil to all the time put into their classes as much is done off the clock. heck at my company you can be fired for working off the clock, it is expected of those teaching. some teachers even deserve danger pay as some schools are close to being battle grounds. they tend to be abused by students and parrents alike. they get watched like hawks from the school boards. in reality teachers should be amoung the highest paid in our society.

why should teachers not have the right to strike and have job actions? they are generaly treated like garbage. they are paid minimaly. and have to put up with much more than can reasonably be expected. and lets be honest about it if we had no teachers we as a society would be screwed. and these underpaid workers are what our society relies on to keep it going.

[edit on 26-4-2005 by drogo]

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 11:48 PM
The Teachers Union has become far too Powerful in California...even Arnold had to back down when a push came to a shove, they launched nasty TV ads full of lies about our good Governor.

These Moronic teachers at Berkeley should be givin their pink slips tomarrow morning and escorted by security off the campus.


[edit on 113030p://222 by LA_Maximus]

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