History of Teaching Back in the1800’s, school was different from today. The Student Body Students of all ages were in the same class. Some of the younger students were three or four years old and other students were sometimes older than the teacher! Class Size “80 or 90 pupils in one class from all grades with one teacher.” Letter from a student 1901… “Right now Miss Matheson is living at the Durkson's house. But next month it will be our turn to board her. I wonder if one day parents will build the teacher her own house?” Compensation Most teachers didn't get paid very much money. They received $4 to $10 a month. A lot of teachers had to " board round", meaning they had to live with their students. A teacher could not afford to support a family solely on this salary. Discrimination in pay According to Pennsylvania annual school reports published in local newspapers, men consistently received a higher salary than women. Sound stressful? “Maria Waterbury, a teacher who went to a "water cure" resort in Elmira, New York, to recover her health, reported that the physician who greeted her said he was used to seeing members of her profession... "We have the most trouble with teachers of any class of patients. They are worn out. They wear out faster than any other class of people." The Right to Bargain Collectively In 1935 Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), which guarantees the right of private employees to form and join unions to bargain collectively. Note:13 states still expressly prohibit collective bargaining by public school teachers or other public employees! It got better… Slowly labor unions around the country fought against oppressive, and debilitating work environments. But not much… “The Depression years accentuated the problems facing teachers: low salaries and economic insecurity. Worse, female teachers found themselves faced with “contracts which still stipulated that an employed teacher must wear skirts of certain lengths, keep her galoshes buckled, not receive gentleman callers more than three times a week and teach a Sunday School class.” -The American Teacher Many teachers lost their jobs fighting for basic rights we have today. “In the early 1900’s Loyalty oaths were being required in some locales, and teachers were dismissed for joining the union or for working on school board election campaigns.” Protecting Teachers In the 1950s, loyalty oaths cropped up again. The union took leadership in opposing this blight upon academic freedom during the McCarthy period, defending those teachers wrongly accused of “subversion.” Fighting for civil rights NEA was also in the forefront of the civil rights movement, filing an amicus curiae brief in the historic 1954 Supreme Court desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, and expelling locals that had not followed an earlier mandate to desegregate. Public vs. Private… Until the early 1960s, teachers had no due process or collective bargaining rights. Many teachers had only a two-year college degree. School boards in some states fired teachers simply because they had attained too much education and had advanced too far on the salary schedule. No legal recourse for teachers was available. The Right to Collectively Bargain In 1962 Wisconsin became the first state to pass legislation governing public employee bargaining. The Wisconsin statute required local governments to bargain in good faith with employee groups and also created administrative enforcement measures. The law also marked the beginning of widespread recognition of the rights of public employees to bargain collectively. Within the next five years, New York and Michigan passed similar laws, and by 1974 thirty-seven states had passed legislation permitting public employee bargaining— a number that remains unchanged to this day. What rights did we achieve? The far-reaching rules established may include working conditions, such as the length of the school day, hours of instruction and preparation time, and interaction time with parents; class size; the number and responsibility of supplemental classroom personnel, such as aides; employment protection; assignment to schools and grade levels; criteria for promotion; reductions in force; professional services; in-service and professional development; instructional policy committees; student grading and promotion; teacher evaluation; performance indicators; grievance procedures; student discipline and teacher safety; and the exclusion of pupils from the classroom. The list goes on… Today Suffice it to say that collective bargaining agreements, through negotiated rules and regulations, establish school policy and govern how teachers, administrators, parents, and students interact in the delivery of educational services. As the Wall Street Journal noted nearly three decades ago, “Teachers’ unions have become crucial forces in deciding how public education should be run in the U.S.” The following are some of the matters that are often the subject of bargaining today: • • • • • Academic freedom Curriculum Wages and salaries Training Hours, workload, and teaching responsibilities • Tenure and probationary period • Promotion • Reappointment •Reclassification and reduction •Evaluation procedures •Grievance procedures •Personnel files •Student discipline •Retirement benefits •Sick leave •Leaves and sabbaticals Some Important National Issues addressed by NEA today • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) /Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) • Education funding • Merit pay • Minority Community Outreach • Dropout prevention • Achievement gap • Social Security Offsets (GPO/WEP) • School vouchers • Charter schools Join Us! • You’re one of the hardest-working people in the United States, and you’re doing our most important work—preparing the next generation of citizens. You’re not paid what you’re worth, though you’ll likely spend a good deal of your own money for things your district won’t supply your students. You’re getting better every day, though policymakers who haven’t been in a classroom since they were students will tell you how to do your job. • Hang tough! Keep the faith! And keep putting your students first—your Association has your back.