Maryland teachers union planning a “work-to-rule” protest over salary dispute with board

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HARFORD, Md. – Teachers in Harford, Maryland are planning to make their students pay the price for their anger with the school board by refusing to work beyond the letter of their union contract this fall.

Half-apple-half-workThis type of slowdown – known as “work to rule’ – is a popular negotiating tactic with teachers unions across the nation. Union members refuse to perform any duties that are not specifically spelled out in their collective bargaining agreement, and use growing public frustration over their lack of effort as leverage for more money.

Teachers at one elementary school in Harford even had the audacity to send a letter to parents, to make sure they know what teachers will and won’t be willing to do when school starts in August, the Dagger Press reports.

They do not intend to:

-Organize or volunteer for afterschool events (i.e. – Generations Dance, Spring Fling, Reading and Math Night, S.T.E.M. Night, etc.).

-Organize or assist with clubs/organization (Engineering club, Lego club, etc.).

-Participate in extended day field trips.

-Return phone calls/e-mails outside of the duty day which is 8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.

We hope that you understand our difficult decision to limit our participation in extracurricular activities due to the budgetary constraints brought on to us by the County Council and Board of Education.”

In case parents don’t understand the teachers’ reasoning, let us put it in perspective.

Union bosses in Harford want retribution because city and county officials have denied their demand for an across-the-board 1 percent raise, as well as automatic “step” raises most teachers get every year.

Of the district’s 2,900 teachers, 650 have voted to participate in the union’s work-to-rule stunt, though union president Ryan Burbey told the Dagger, “I believe the vast majority of teachers, union and non-union, are going to be working to rule” when school starts this year.

Teachers unions are notorious for using peer pressure to motivate their members to action, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Burbey’s prediction is correct.

Regardless, the union’s “won’t do” list makes it clear that the stunt will impact students the most.

Union officials want teachers to cut off contact with parents and students promptly at 3:50 p.m. and meet in the school lobby and walk out in defiance each day. The union also wants its members to resign from their after school responsibilities, which will undoubtedly cancel many student clubs and activities.

In similar protests we’ve covered, teachers have refused to write college reference letters for students, conduct after school tutoring, and do much else outside of the regular classroom schedule.

We hope local residents, parents and students see through the union’s tactics and realize those participating in the protest are holding the education process hostage for their personal gain.

This situation is not the fault of the school board. The greedy union deserves all the blame.

Victor Skinner at

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  1. anarchyst says

    Teachers’ union president Albert Shanker once remarked that he would “look out for the interests of children when they start paying union dues” . . .

  2. anarchyst says

    The ancient concept of “shunning” can be used to reign in recalcitrant “public employees”, union members and officials. Find out their names, addresses and other pertinent information and encourage businesses and individuals NOT to have any interaction with them. Refuse to do business with them and their families. When they have to go “out-of-town” to get things done, maybe they will realize the “error of their ways” . . .

  3. woofpacker75 says

    (1) Repeal the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act) and (2) fire every union member who doesn’t “get it”. It worked for Reagan’s Air Traffic Controllers, and it’ll work for arrogant, pro-union teachers, too.

  4. hitthedeck says

    The bully tactics of the unions has intimidated the dwindling percentage of good teachers in our schools. These greedy union officials care nothing about the children and that is evident in their denying the children’s needs and extra educational activities to better the welfare of the learning child. Its all about the almighty dollar they goes directly into the union officials pockets. as the golden benefits go up for the teachers the union dues increase to reap in cash for the enforcers. Where did these fools think the after school clubs and afterhours tutoring came from. They were formed and headed by the teachers who felt that these activities would give a child a better environment and move their education to a higher level. They not only started these activities but volunteered their services without pay. Now the bloodsuckers at the top not only threaten the School board which as you know are sometimes union members their self’s but also threaten their own union members to follow their blackmail tactics. I say the hell with the unions and the hell with the teachers that think an extra buck is worth more than teaching a child. Fire the have not’s and hire teachers who have the desire to teach children which is worth a hell of a lot more than an extra buck.

  5. bahndon says

    Time for the Churches in Maryland to step in, by providing the place for the clubs along with volunteers to oversee and organize the activities that the teachers refuse to do. The Church volunteers could cause the teacher strike to backfire, as well as get the children back to God.

  6. carolannie10 says

    Maryland is owned & operated by Democrats & unions (sorry, same thing). That certainly was a winning combination for Detroit.

  7. samantha says

    That’s it, let’s not think of the children. As usual, they ARE left behind. . .

    1. LeSellers says

      Firing teachers, indeed, shutting down all government-run, tax-funded welfare schools, is the best thing that could happen to and for the children. It’s also the best thing that could happen for their parents and for taxpayers.

      Schools are misnamed: they are, in truth, indoctrination centers, youth day prisons run by the department of propaganda. Horace Mann, the “Father of American public schools”, told us that his goal was to divorce children from their parents, and from their parents’ values, particularly their religious values.

      Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

  8. Norm says

    Lets be honest about the situation. If you were to need to hire a person, they came to you and said, they will work 180 days of the year (about every other day), they get full medical ,full dental, full vision, 15 paid sick days, a 7 1/2 hr day,45 min lunch, 1hr break (while kids at art, music, phys ed, etc……. they will work no weekends, no holidays, no overtime, they will be paid 60 to 80K per year after 30 years they retire with full pension,if they are incompetent, they can not be fired,if it snows or is foggy, they get the day off -paid, plus many other perks. I would bet you would tell that prospective employee to take a flying leap, before the interview was over. That is exactly what you do have working for you and your tax dollars and you blindly put up with these part time workers demanding these things, when do you wake up and see it?

  9. DPMP says

    All this time I assumed that teachers were intelligent enough to negotiate their own contracts
    and didn’t need unions to tell them what is good for them.
    My bad I guess unions are more intelligent, they have all the teachers money.

    1. Norm says

      never confuse education, with intelligence or wisdom, they are not taught those things, and actually they are taught to ignore the older experienced teachers in favor of “the new methods”

      1. LeSellers says

        Your statement is accurate if you equate “education” and “schooling”.

        May I suggest that is a false equivocation? There is very little education that happens in school. A true education does impart wisdom. Schooling rarely (to the point of zero) does so.

        Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

  10. charles borger says

    fire the union

  11. LeSellers says

    The answer is to starve the schools. Not starve them of money, but starve them of students (i.e., indoctrinees).

    No parent who loves his child should even consider sending that child to a government-run, tax-funded welfare school. They were designed to divorce children from their parents (in the words of their importer, Horace Mann).

    For those who plead they cannot afford Family-Centered Education (“home schooling”), private schools, Mom Schools, Dame Schools, or any other option, I ask, can you afford a “free” school? The cost is not money, but the cost is high. The cost is your child.

    Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

    1. 7papa7 says

      Excellent post. I couldn’t agree more. Churches can have volunteers who teach the children different subjects. I am sure retired people would love to do so. They would have years of experience, a love for children and can depart real wisdom to the kiddos. Small churches can ban together to do this. The bottom line question is where are the priorities?? We home schooled our children and they are all successful, have an excellent work ethic and no how to produce. The goal should either be to break the union or to, like you said, starve them of students. Once again great post.

      1. Kent2012 says

        grand idea, small problem though, kenyan boy would have eric von holder, minister of justice and gun sales, make any schooling that did not take place in the halls of communist enlightenment taught by inspired cadre illegal and punishable by burning at the stake with the children sent to hillary’s village……..

        1. 7papa7 says

          If the entire country refused to bow the knee at the alter of obama and say NO, he would not get away with it. Remember government can only get away with what the people allow them to and the people have abdicated far to much power to them that is why we are where we are. We need to take back the power and put it where it belongs and that is at the lowest level that can do it. Education is a classic example, the federal government does not have the authority to tell the local government how to run the school system. They need to read the 10th amendment which says.

          “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

          In other-wards the government has no right telling the states how to run their schools be it government, private or home schools.

        2. LeSellers says

          The state of Oregon passed a law doing just what you suggest O’bama would do. (It was sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan, btw.) The Supreme Court (Pierce v.Society of Sisters) ruled it unconstitutional.

          Yoder is another case where the Court ruled that the state cannot require compulsory schooling in government-run, tax-funded welfare “schools” (better labeled Indoctrination Centers, or Youth Day Prisons). I know O’bama has no regard for the Constitution, but he’d have to overcome those declarations. We still have a few weapons in our quivers and sheaths.

          Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

      2. LeSellers says

        Thank you — it is most kind of you to say so.

        I failed to note that once there are few (or no) students, there will be no money for them, either, because the only way government can justify forcibly taking the money (taxation) for schools is if there is a demand (however artificial) for the “service”. (I grew up on a ranch. We should all remember what “service” means: it involves a bull, a cow, and, 295 days later, a calf.)

        Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

        1. 7papa7 says

          You are right, schools get funded based on head count. To answer your question, their will be no jobs under obama.

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