Wichita public school teachers want to be treated as professionals. Their union, however, sends a different message. The background to the following excerpt from a recent Wichita Eagle story is how teachers portray themselves as heroic public servants, working many hours of overtime each day in order to teach Wichita’s schoolchildren.
The union proposed that weekly professional development sessions be worked into the regular school day by having students start later or leave earlier on those days.
Negotiators also proposed cutting the number of in-service days — now at 11 per year — which are designed for teachers to attend professional development programs.
“It’s not about the money,” Landwehr said. “It’s about being treated as professionals and listened to.”
Superintendent John Allison said in a written statement Friday that “our district is not at a position to decrease the amount of time worked without a corresponding decrease in employee pay, which is what the UTW negotiating team sought in lieu of a salary increase.”
So we see the school district and union quibbling over the number of minutes to be worked each day.
The quest by public school teachers to be treated with professional respect will not be taken seriously until teachers abandon their union.
Besides this, teachers should examine whether the union is really in their best interests. While not specific to Wichita, my post Study of public and private school teachers reveals sharp differences reports on the extreme dissatisfaction public school teachers have with their working conditions. Where are the teachers unions on this issue?