Without Labor Unions, We’d Have no T.G.I. Friday’s
Thanks to labor unions, the United States has what is commonly known as “the weekend.”
If it weren’t for the awesome things unions have done, you wouldn’t hear things around the office like, “It’s Friday, let’s go to happy hour,” and you wouldn’t hear people ask, “Is it Friday yet?” on all the other days of the week.
Without unions, you’d be working all day Saturday and Sunday along side your little nieces and nephews, hoping that no one got sick because you wouldn’t have any health insurance.
Unfortunately, and mostly due to the incomprehensibly demoralizing movie, Waiting for Superman, many Americans seem to think that teacher unions are the enemy, that their primary purpose is to prevent bad teachers from being fired. The Waiting for Superman-ers believe that if we could get rid of unions, we could get rid of those horrible teachers that are ruining America, hire some new ones (preferably trained by Bill Gates himself), then *poof* everyone would be ready for college.
The Waiting for Superman-ers think that charter schools are a good idea when, in fact, charter schools are statistically no better than public schools. (I know, I know, the charter school your kid goes to is awesome.)
But, charter schools don’t provide their teachers with union representation, and that’s kind of a big deal.
Today, teachers in charter schools have to do things like work extra hours (on top of the extra hours they already work) for no pay, take on extra administrative duties that they aren’t trained for, or work in buildings that have no windows. What happens if their medical benefits are cut? Or they’re suddenly faced with an oppressive or discriminatory supervisor? What happens if their “good” teacher rating turns “bad” one year, as often happens with the Value-Added Model?
More than likely, he or she will get canned, then replaced with one of the thousands of unemployed teachers in Southern California who, at this point, are probably willing to do even more work for less money. This cycle could continue ad infinitum, but the LAUSD would remain the second worst school district in the country because the real problems haven’t been addressed.
To all the teachers out there who are struggling to get all your grading done before Monday, don’t work too hard. To the rest of you, have a nice weekend.