After reading Steve’s excellent response regarding union elections, I just want to be absolutely clear: my emphasis for this blog is not the trials and tribulations of collective bargaining in general. I may get there someday, but what I first want to address is a particular situation here in Maine (although it exists elsewhere, as well): the fact that the “educational policy” bargaining prohibition limits teachers’ input/influence to educational reform issues.
With the very few posts I’ve written so far, all I’ve tried to do – in a relatively simple tutorial fashion – is explain the basics of collective bargaining so anyone reading this blog will understand the underpinnings of the ed policy issue here in Maine. There really is a plan; it will just take a couple of weeks to play out…
I would love to be able to simply refer everyone to another blog or online book or union website that explains collective bargaining, particularly for public employee unions, and just get on with the ed policy discussion. I don’t know of one.
When I was still working for MEA and did presentations about collective bargaining, my favorite reference website was Rank-‘n-File from the independent United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Their “Union Steward” explanations are well-written and assertive and factual, but not afraid to rankle. However, they don’t apply across the board and I have not found an NEA affiliate website that even comes close. Many of those hide whatever they write about collective bargaining behind passwords and firewalls as though it were somehow a deep, dark secret.
Next time: public employee unions