by Sam Hieb
Interesting column in today’s Greensboro News & Record by Guilford County Association of Educators president Todd Warren. Is it me, or is Warren calling for a teachers’ strike here in North Carolina without coming right out and saying it?
Right-to-work laws, collective bargaining restrictions and laws limiting workplace actions have not hindered public school workers in other states; in fact, their restrictions are similar to North Carolina. This should send a clear message to public school employees: There are no immovable objects. Given the right conditions, context and points of leverage, everything is fair game.
Put plainly public school employees in North Carolina should be looking at the growing slew of red states in various stages of teacher revolt and notice what perhaps should have always been obvious: It’s hard to fire teachers for standing up for our rights; there is no one to replace us. In every one of our 115 school districts, teacher retention is a priority issue; no one can afford to fire teachers, certainly not teachers advocating for themselves and their students.
How long will we continue to live like this? A year? Two years? A career?
West Virginia answered that question. 9 days.
It’s not so much that Warren draws comparison to West Virginia, which ranks strong in an nationwide ranking of teacher unions, but that he draws comparison to other red states with teacher uprisings such as Oklahoma, Kentucky and–last but not least– Arizona, which ranks as the weakest teacher union in the country.