SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Why A Strike Could've Been Problematic

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Why A Strike Could've Been Problematic

A strike would have been financially difficult for me as I am sure it would have been for many others. A strike shouldn't be called for all willy nilly like one caucus keeps on calling
for. People have financial obligations as well as familial obligations. The vast majority of us don't live in a fantasy bubble and/or have mommy and daddy to fall back on to maintain one's hipster Brooklyn lifestyle.

Having said that, I would have voted for a strike and supported a strike. I think the UFT was hasty in calling for a strike. In my opinion, they should have done like Solidarity and sought injunctive relief in the courts first. I don't see how they would have not prevailed in court and in all probability we would have gotten a much better deal.

But a strike would have been difficult for several reasons. And I am not talking about the loss of pay, the loss of dues check off, loss of tenure. Not to mention, possibly the two interpretations (UFT vs DOE) of a strike is allowed due to safety reasons.

How do we picket? Imagine we are on strike. We are on strike due to a concern of getting COVID-19. We don't want to be in crowded and unclean places with a lot of people. Right? Guess what? That's what basically a picket line is. Crowded. Some of the schools that will be picketed the areas are not healthy. How then can we justify picketing if we justify not being in the school buildings? Yes, I understand there is a difference. With picketing everyone will be socially distant, wearing masks, and be outside. But that's reality. People don't care about reality. They care only about perception. But if there is a way to picket remotely, I am all for that.

So say there is no picketing. At least with picketing you can keep tabs on who crosses the line and discourage those that are thinking of it. But picketing or no picketing, what's to keep a one from crossing the line remotely or even know if a someone is crossing the line remotely? The numbers crossing the line could be too great for those on strike to have any impact.

Lastly, and this is most important, the past knowledge of the labor movement in those, (I'm just choosing a random age) under 35 is not there the way it is for those my age and maybe ten to fifteen years younger.

My step mother was a teacher and an AP. All her friends were educators. I heard all the stories of 1968 and 1975. I heard all the time from one of her friends who told me, "You schmucks have given back everything we fought for!"  He was right. But I listened. I learned from her friends. Even as a kid we knew people who were in unions, who fought for their rights. Then, when I started teaching in 1995, there were plenty of teachers left from the sixties and seventies who imparted their experiences. Where are types those today?

But these young ones. These non-tenured fresh teachers, will they sacrifice? Even the teachers that are tenured but have less time in, will they? What about the ass kissers every building seems to have about a good half dozen of? Will they sacrifice?

I do believe those younglings from that other caucus will support a strike. I'll give credit them credit for that. But there will be many who cross ranks that are too new, too ignorant, too scared, and don't have mommy and daddy to fall back on. Plus, that Brooklyn lifestyle is tough to give up. The alternative is moving to Yonkers


Anonymous said...

Pete, how come you don’t say a word against Mulgrew anymore? Seriously, have you joined Unity? If so why?
Barry Johnson - Littlejohn (retired a thousand years ago; and sick of seeing Mulgrew’s shiny pate every month here in Florida, with his hand out looking for money :)

Pete Zucker said...

I've joined Unity? ROTFLMFAO!!!! I don't think my last two blog posts were pro Mulgrew. Nor do I think my last tweet was.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, very happy to hear it. Up here visiting one of my buddies. Most of us, except for a notable few, don’t know anything about the canceled strike, other than Mulgrew flexing his biceps for the old broads down here. He’s got a couple of eighty year old groupies that toss him their panties when he does his ole soft shoe for COPE donations. He can kiss my keister. Don’t ever get old Pete, it fycking sucks. - Barry