A letter to the editor from a former Dalton teacher presented an impassioned view of the financial problems faced by classroom teachers. Unfortunately, that is an accurate description of the challenges teachers face with inadequate compensation for supplies. However, the description of what he viewed as an assault on the ability of teachers to bargain collectively in Wisconsin was not correct.
What the unions are resisting is giving up the right to force union membership and dues as a requirement to teach in Wisconsin. The teachers’ union would still have the right to collective bargaining for wages and other issues. What the proposed law would do is to say teachers would have the right to opt out of required union membership and dues. Wisconsin law allows compulsory unionism, and teachers are required to join simply for the privilege of having a job.
Wisconsin teachers have no say about the more than $800 a year deducted for union dues. Locally, the National Education Association and the Georgia Association of Educators offer collective protections for teachers, especially in legal services, but it is a conscious decision by the teachers if they wish to join. Although union membership is not a requirement for employment in Georgia, I chose to belong to both when I was employed by the Dalton school system.
The teachers in Wisconsin were not protesting on their day off. They called in “sick” and were caught on camera getting fraudulent notes from doctors. Some even encouraged their students to skip school to protest with them.
What is sad to see is the return to physical “thuggery” by union members that gave a black eye to union organizers so many years ago. One would hope they could persuade the public to their views without resorting to physical and mental intimidation.
Our teachers are intelligent enough to evaluate whether unions really represent them as professionals. Because Georgia is a right-to-work state, teachers have the right to opt out of union representation if they disagree with the way their unions use their dues.
Ina Fay Manly
Citizens of the Week: Charlie and Henry Edwards
Last year, Charlie and Henry Edwards decided they wouldn’t just wait on Santa Claus to bring them presents for Christmas. They’d help him out.
Postponing parade was right decision
Dalton’s “Dreams of Christmas,” its theme for this year’s downtown holiday parade, are put off, at least for a week.
Christmas parades bring tradition of joy
It is a gift that has kept on giving for decades, and its magic will be unwrapped once more when the Dalton Noon Lions Club sponsors the annual Christmas parade downtown on Thursday.
Mark Millican: Advent can be an adventure
It’s hard to remember — did we take off last Thursday for an actual day of Thanks-giving?
Charles Oliver: Police unsuccessful in persistent drug search
David Eckert has filed a lawsuit against Deming, N.M., police, the Hidalgo County sheriff’s office, several officers from those departments and the Gila Regional Medical Center after he was forced to undergo a number of invasive medical searches.
Letter: Unwitting tools?
The t-e-a in tea party stands for “taxed enough already.” And if you are the average citizen this certainly is true.
Lee H. Hamilton: Dogged journalism is a blessing, not a curse
Let’s start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know what’s happening in the world — and understand the plans of allies and enemies — to keep the nation prepared and secure.
Guild event honors local heroes
When we were younger, many of us played at being Batman or Superman or Captain Marvel. These caped comic book superheroes inspired many of us.
Citizens of the Week: Providence Ministries’ holiday volunteers
For more than 20 years, Providence Ministries has fed the hungry in the Dalton area. And it has helped make sure that even the neediest have the sort of full holiday meals that most of us take for granted.
Mark Millican: Thankful? Yes!
A case could be made Thanksgiving has become just another day on the sales calendar, a prelude to Christmas signaling ’tis the season to buy, buy, buy.
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- Citizens of the Week: Charlie and Henry Edwards