Thursday, April 25, 2013

RH Jones: Retired teacher "scabs"

From RH Jones, April 24, 2013 
To all retired and active teachers:  
In a nearby common public school district, there is a strike going on for some time now; and wouldn't you know it, a retired ORTA member is being paid by the school system to recruit replacement teachers commonly know as “scabs”.  I can't mention the member’s name, but believe me he exists. Also, there are, most probably, retired teachers substitute teaching in striking school districts; in either case, in my opinion, it is “selling your soul” for a few dollars.  
The retired teacher “scabs” seem to not realize that when active teachers do not have adequate wages for their training and experience, this results in less seed money coming into our STRS to invest; and, this effects the pension income of all present and future retired educators. Simply put, your monthly checks will, therefore, be less.  Rather, a better strategy is to join the actives on your local common public schools picket line or, at least, bring them some coffee and donuts or iced tea on the coming hot days. They need help not hindrance.  
It is in the best interests of ORTA and OEA-R to publish how retired teachers; either working to recruit “scabs”, or working as a “scab”, indirectly diminishes their, and our, take home pension checks. In this case, we retired teachers MUST be in harmony with our depressed active brethren, struggling under terrible working conditions and low professional pay. There is no alternative; the STRS will have no other option but to lower our pension, which is already modest
Personally, having talked to several active teachers, I have found that morale is at an all time low among them. This feeling will most certainly carry over to the students in the classrooms. Some presently retired teachers have no idea how awful it is to work under the recent asinine work rules and pay proposals. Did you know that there is a new House Bill (HB) 153 that will make teaching even worse? This is what I think this HB 153 may try to do:            

1) Cut back on the number of Ohio teachers.
2) All Ohio teachers will be paid the same regardless for the differences of cost-of living in the various school district areas.
3) Districts will be required to do away with “step” increases.
4) Set-up a lower minimum pay scale.
5) Evaluation of the teacher based on student test scores.
6) Parents and students directly review teachers.
7) Thirty-minute observations twice per year.
8) Fifty-percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be determined by student performance.
9) Wages decided on how the teacher is rated.
10) Experience will no longer be a compensatory factor.
Retired teachers, please be reasonable and be in sympathy with the active teachers who are paying into our STRS. Their teaching situation is now tedious, frustrating, irritating, exasperating, worsening, and just unpleasant. Help them don’t hinder them!  
RHJ retired
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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