J. C. Bowman with the Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET) issued a press release available to read in full Here. It explains more about what PET is and what their goals are, but also gives a very interesting look at the problems with collective bargaining. We’ve pasted a few snippets below, but recommend reading all of this very informative article.
PET believes it takes everyone working together to improve Tennessee public schools. But the teachers’ union only wants their voice heard and is only interested in an agenda that only benefits them.
Why do union leaders want exclusive representation in school districts? Because exclusive representation can lead to total control over all teachers in a district, even to determine who will teach and who will be fired. That is too much power to vest in any ONE organization that does not have to be accountable to taxpayers in this state. The better term for collective bargaining is monopoly bargaining.
Collective Bargaining is not going to work if it continues as a monopoly in education, and most people across the state realize this fact. We need to work together in a more collaborative fashion. We understand clearly that public education is dealing with more rapid change than ever before:
- We are preparing students for jobs that have not yet been created…
- We are preparing students to use technologies that have not yet been invented…
We are preparing students to solve problems that we don’t yet know will arise.
One organization cannot have all the answers. And the teachers’ union is proving that by clinging to an outdated and adversarial system they are failing to help teachers recapture our position as respected professionals on the issue of public education. They are making it clear that they do not understand the financial crisis in many local and state governments and confirming they cannot act for the common good.
PET also believes that teachers and school boards should not be adversarial to the other, but to the extent possible, work together for the benefit of students, improve performance, attract future teachers, and retain and obtain benefits necessary to keep quality teachers in the classroom. The damage done in many communities by collective bargaining means that teachers must strive to enhance their image in the public’s mind, and be viewed by the public and policy makers as advocates for students. Teachers are the greatest advocates for children, but sadly that image has been lost.