As we approach the strike vote in the Gresham Barlow School District on Wednesday, April 11, a couple of details have emerged that may be of interest to the parents of students all across East County.
First, most people have heard about the GBEA strike vote on Wednesday, but less publicized so far is that Parkrose is also conducting a strike vote the same day. And Reynolds is taking a wait and see approach. One can only wonder how it was that these three contiguous school district unions are
systematically coordinated coincidentally failing in contract negotiations all at once.
The second nugget that has emerged is that Gresham Barlow will implement Card Check during its strike vote – in essence, anyway. GBEA states right on its website,
The GBEA is calling for a strike vote of the district’s implemeneted contract on Wednesday, April 11th 4:30pm at Barlow High School. We need ALL members present for this stand up vote, only those present will be counted.
Hmmm so what exactly is a “stand up vote”? Glad you asked. This explanation comes directly from the FAQ section at www.gbeaonline.org:
GBEA has always conducted strike votes as “stand up” votes. The advantages of this process include transparency and immediacy. This type of vote is not a secret ballot, but then again, neither is a strike.
So in other words, all teachers are expected to be together in one room with their union bosses and publicly vote one way or another. Instead of filling out a secret ballot, you must stand up and symbolically defend your vote. Certainly there is no potential for peer / leader pressure there! Thank goodness unions have never been known to pressure their rank and file members to vote the desired way if they know what’s good for them.
Oh but it gets better. Also from their FAQ Page (which was downloaded in case it gets scrubbed from the website later – view full document here: Strike Q&A.FINAL-1):
3. How should I prepare myself for a strike?
a. Classroom. Get your personal materials out of the classroom. This includes plants and animals.
b. Computers. Any personal information on your work computers should be removed from District computers.
c. Subs. Let your subs know that a strike is a possibility. Urge them to honor the picket lines, and remind them of the potential disadvantage to one’s career of crossing a picket line.
d. Work. You are responsible for doing your normal work. Do not do work ahead in anticipation of a strike.
e. Communications. There will be lots of rumors going around on the days following the strike vote. Get correct information by checking home e-mails regularly, attend whatever meetings are called, and check the GBEA website, http://www.gbeaonline.org/
f. Keys. You should expect to be asked to turn in your keys on the workday prior to the strike. [emphasis added]
Check out C and D above. The leadership of GBEA is encouraging teachers to intimidate replacements and participate in a work slowdown. Classy.
Of course, none of this is being covered by the paper of record. Because why would parents care about these details when it’s foooor theeee chiiiiiildrennnnn!!™