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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our Union is Better Than the Other Union

Considering that some New York garment union workers tried to murder my grandfather over eighty years ago, it's ironic that I'm writing something good about a union.

I'm a member of Irgun Morim, Teachers Union, and not the Histadrut Teachers Union. The Histadrut signed a very bad contract for its members, which reduces, yes I said reduces, the hourly wage for teachers. The weekly requirement of hours is much greater, so full-time teachers will receive a bit more monthly, but they'll have to work a lot harder for it. Well, that's the basic premise of the government and many of the public. "Teachers just don't work hard enough." It's like those supermarkets which cite studies that the women manning the check-outs, cash registers, work more quickly if they spend their eight hour shifts on their feet. No chairs, no stools!

Well, my Irgun Morim has refused to sign, and many of the teachers are striking. The yeshiva high school where I teach isn't striking, for various reasons I can't get into right now, but we're allowed to take off to go to all the big demonstrations. That's where I was yesterday instead of in the classroom, a big rally in Jerusalem while the Knesset was discussing the strike.

Ron Erez, head of the Irgun Morim, was enthusiastically received. We don't want him to buckle or weaken.
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josh said...

I understand that the union's biggest adversary is not even the government, but rather the other teacher's union, school principals and even teachers themselves.

I'm trying to find a good 'op-ed' about this. The gist of it is that most teachers are women, most of them are not the primary breadwinner, most of them do not see the longrun, and many are breaking the strike all over the country (unrelated to torah classes which some Rabbis are saying should be on strike as well since the strike's purpose is to raise salaries and working conditions which would draw more and better teachers into the system).

Hang in there Batya. The country has gone passed the 'red line' on system-teacher relations. I have too many friends who are young teachers, who have a lot to contribute, are frankly fed up and giving up on and moving on.

Batya said...

What really frightens me is the ignorance of many of the Histadrut Morim members. They haven't a clue, and they're teachers.
Once elementary school teachers have to work factory hours, the women will look for easier jobs.