Unions are a funny thing. I come from a very anti-union family, yet here I am, a card carrying member of the CTA.
It means that instead of losing $1200 this year out of my paycheck, I'm only going to lose $500. Yes, I will actually be grossing less than I did last year, because of the increased health care costs our school board so graciously passed on to us.
It also means that the board can't just add a half hour to our work day (with no pay increase, mind you) because they think it's a good idea. And the union bargaining unit is made up of the people who got the extra six hours of adjunct duty a year (again with no compensation) off the contract.
It also means that I hand over $77 each month to an organization with whom I don't always agree.
Our school board is particularly disrespectful of the teachers in our district. I know there are other districts where this isn't so. Their audacity is illustrated best by a comment made several years ago, when teachers were picketing before school hours. Not striking, not working to rule, just picketing. Of course it was a contract problem. This was in December, and the contract had still not been settled, even though we start working in August.
Board member X:
"We don't need to pay teachers here more. They get to live here. If they don't like it, there's at least five people waiting in line for their jobs."
Oh, about what exactly were the teachers disgruntled? The second year in a row of pay cuts. They were picketing not for a raise... oh no, they were picketing because they were earning less money than they were two years earlier.
I love teaching. I hate the politics of it.