Aruments Against Educational Collective Bargaining

According to a 2007 issue brief from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, collective bargaining is a threat to public school reform. According to the authors, public schools across the U.S create collective bargaining agreements that are as large as one hundred pages. This, the author argues, creates a mountain of bureaucracy that contains and implements restrictions on administrations, teachers, and school boards. These documents contain items that make it almost impossible to fire a teacher for poor performance and pay is rated on experience and education, not classroom performance. Some of these agreements even go as far as to require the principal to give the teacher advance notice before visiting classrooms. These restrictions even limit parents. There are some items in the agreements that limit the number of conferences where parents and teachers meet to discuss a child’s performance. The structural integrity of the institution is stretched as union members are allowed spaces and facilities within the schools for their own use.

Kendrick (1982) also argues against collective bargain. In an opinion article he expresses concern over legislature that would make it mandatory for teachers to join the collective bargaining process. He contends that the collective bargaining process is unpopular with the general public. He also argues that the process is too expensive for some districts to afford. This would diminish local control of education giving the power to the teachers and away from the public. He concludes that the collective bargaining process is detrimental to the educational process and in the end would hurt educational reform.

The CEO of Apple Inc, Steve Jobs, made remarks against teacher collective bargaining according to Bernard (2009), She quoted Jobs as saying, “what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way. This unionization and the lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off the charts crazy.” According to the author many believe that Job’s is right.  She contends that teacher unions can prevent principals and management from making the best decisions for schools.

Reference:

Bernard, S. (2009). Do teacher unions promote educational reform? Edutopia: A George Lucas Education Foundation. Retrieved on July 28, 2009 from http://www.edutopia.org/do-teacher-unions-promote-education-reform

Collective Bargaining: A Dangerous Threat to School Reform (2007) Baton Rouge Area Chamber Issue Brief. Retrieved on July 28, 2009 from http://www.brac.org/uploads/BRACCollectiveBargainingFINAL110107.pdf

Kendrick, S. (1982). The case against collective bargaining in education. Government Union Review, 3(2). Retrieved on July 28, 2009 from Eric database.

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