Diary

Philly Teachers Want More Money, and Demand Less Work

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

We have previously noted how teachers’ unions across the country are wanting to retain the luxury, for them anyway, of ‘remote instruction,’ though they still want to impose liberal values on everybody else.

And now teachers in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia are demanding more money, but also want to stay out of the classroom.

In-person teaching puts my family at risk, but the Philly school district leaves me few options | Opinion

Hannah Patrick, For The Inquirer | October 19, 2020 | 1:44 PM EDT

Last Tuesday, the School District of Philadelphia released a plan to reopen schools starting on Nov. 30. As a second grade teacher in the District, the news shook my family to the core and left me with an impossible dilemma: leave the profession that I moved 1,000 miles for, or put my fiancé at risk of catching a virus that could kill him.

I moved from Florida to Philadelphia a year ago for one reason: I wanted to advocate for students whose access to quality education and resources are unjustly determined by their 5-digit zip code. Joining me on my journey was my fiancé, Reuben. Life seemed perfect for us, planning a wedding, both working our dream jobs, until COVID-19 hit.

At 13 years old, Reuben was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. In order to treat it, he takes immunosuppressants. The result is that his body can’t fend off disease in the same way a healthy person can. For us, this means even the common cold is concerning. A COVID-19 diagnosis could put Reuben on his deathbed, so starting in March we rationed our groceries and only left the house to restock every 2 weeks.

There’s more in the middle, as Miss Patrick describes the problems her family and she face personally, and how the School District’s Employee Guidance & Expectations handbook does not provide her with an accommodation for her circumstances. She also claimed that a long-term substitute teacher would be counter-productive to the education of her students.

But, in her final paragraph, the truth is revealed:

I know how badly we want things to be normal: We want our kids back with their peers and we want to be back in our classrooms and away from our screens. But in the words of the Baltimore Teachers Union, “if families opt in, we are forced in.” I am calling on families, unions, teachers, and city leaders to be our allies. Protect my family and so many others by stopping the District from reopening schools in November. Provide proper accommodations for those with family members who are at risk. It is not enough to simply offer sick and personal days. Teaching virtually is the only way we can keep everyone safe.

Simply put, the teachers in the City of Brotherly Love want to be able to teach remotely for the entire school year, and they got one teacher who has a bad situation to write the article. It can be argued that Miss Patrick needs an accommodation, but not all of the teachers do. The effects of remote instruction on students are already being shown, and they aren’t good. But for teachers, not having to put up with unruly students, it’s great.

That other school personnel, custodians, school bus drivers, lunchroom personnel, teachers’ aides, etc, wouldn’t be needed, well, too bad, so sad, must suck to be them! That keeping children at home and away from schools is adversely affecting people’s, primarily women’s, careers, well the female-dominated teachers’ unions don’t care about that, either.

And now Philly’s teachers might go on strike!

Philadelphia teachers facing first strike vote in decades after contract talks with district fall short

by Kristen A. Graham | Posted: October 19, 2020 | 5:57 PM EDT

Philadelphia teachers could consider their first strike vote in decades as talks with the Philadelphia School District on a one-year contract extension drag on with no end in sight, officials said.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan gave members the news in a meeting Monday night.

“The district has decided that they are unwilling, at this time, to resolve our one year contract extension,” Jordan wrote in an email to 13,000 teachers, nurses, counselors, secretaries, and other school workers. “And as I shared with you, it is necessary for me to ask you to consider authorizing me to call for a strike if (and only if) we reach a point that negotiations have entirely stalled.”

The issue is money, of course: the teachers want more. The union president claimed that his members are “working harder than ever,” though how teachers freed from the duties of managing unruly classrooms are having to work harder than ever was not explained.

All 120,000 Philadelphia students now attend school virtually; district officials last week announced plans to return up to 32,000 prekindergarten through second-grade students to buildings two days a week beginning Nov. 30.

Some other students could return by February, but there is no current timetable for when the majority of young people in grades three through 12 could come back.

They haven’t been in the classroom all year, and under current plans, will have three months out of a nine month work schedule with no students in the classroom. Even then, the number of students in the classrooms will be reduced. The “nurses, counselors, secretaries, and other school workers” the union president mentioned? The teachers apparently don’t want them to have jobs at all. If you don’t have students in the school buildings, you don’t need school nurses.  If the students are all ‘learning’ from home, the counselors have nothing to do.

More money, for less work, as well as trying to force having less work for the entire school year, along with costing other people their jobs. Yeah, the Philadelphia teachers sure are some great people!
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