Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Work to the Rule" Terrorists are in Stafford Schools— Is Spotsy Next?

Who's running Stafford schools? Terrorists are, apparently if the current Stafford Education Association threat sees the light of day.

Teachers are generally underpaid (starting salary $37k but they peak at $75k), I hope we can all agree on that. School administrators are woefully over-paid (median salary $100k). School administrators set the salaries, raises and benefits of the teachers and employees; the School Board just votes yes or no on it. The SEA doesn't want you to know that because they aren't always in agreement with the administrators good choices to balance a budget for example, and it's much easier to herd sheep to rail against a 'board' rather than a decision or the concept of accountability in public spending.

No one ever stops the SEA from donating their salaries to the teachers to make up for the cash they say is missing. That's simply because they want YOU to give up YOUR family's cash in lieu of their own.

It's real easy to spend other people's money isn't it SEA?

Adminitstrators, like our own Superintendent Jerry "I'll sue you" Hill (paid more than $240k) demand more cash from parents and taxpayers every single budget cycle, never less, always more... LOTS more. But they give themselves raises, BIG RAISES every single year; and the teachers are tossed a scrap once in a while. The groundskeepers and custodians are tossed even less, and the bus drivers are all but forgotten.

So one would think that I'm about to advocate for a teacher's raise, and I would, BUT not in the form of a TERRORIST-taking of what I worked hard for MY family to have. I work 10 hour days plus a commute. I don't get weekends off quite often, I don't have a planning period, I'm not home by 3pm, I don't have a few months to myself in the summer, and I've never been offered 1-2 days off every couple months so I can plan my upcoming work days, I work most holidays, and I'm thankful for the job I have. Are you in a similar situation? Most working adults are.

The Stafford Education Association, an embarrasement to all its education-related members, is telling their members that they need to just work what's in their contract: a 7.5 hour day, and nothing more, until they get raises. The Cost of Living raises they just got weren't good enough.

I'd be FIRED if I tried this crap at my job! And that's exactly what I hope the Stafford school administrators do— fire the lazy, and disband the ridiculous SEA that creates nothing and takes from the teachers themselves to feed their own greed.

Thankfully, according to this Free Lance-Star article, written by a real school reporter, not all teachers feel the same way the SEA does.

Only about 54% of Stafford teachers belong to the SEA, and of the SEA members, only 80% agree with the "work to the rule" method of terrorism. This breaks down to 43% of the employed teachers in Stafford support this effort and 57% DO NOT. If this were an election, it would be a huge upset against the SEA.

To non-SEA teachers: be it forever known that you are IN THE MAJORITY- you DON'T HAVE TO BOW TO THE LIBERAL SEA.

ALL TEACHERS: The SEA is in trouble and NEEDS MORE OF OUR CASH to support itself! The way they get cash is by increasing membership; which increases dues paid. Then they increase dues by a seemingly miniscule amount, which pads their pockets and when done in volume adds up fast. If teachers get 'a raise', no matter how small, the SEA claims they got it for you, and asks for MORE of your money to fight the next fight or cover costs to get you your raise. Think about it- what DO THEY REALLY DO FOR YOU??

If you don't think the Spotsy Education Association which includes Ed Houck's wife aren't salivating at the future results of this minority attempt to hijack Stafford's tax dollars, just wait— it's coming to Spotsylvania next ... from Sunday's Free Lance-Star:

Some Stafford County teachers, upset that they won't receive cost-of-living raises next school year, will protest the budget by working less.

At a meeting last week, Stafford Education Association President Jannette Martin told the School Board about the organization's plan to "work to the rule" starting tomorrow.

The campaign, called "Restore Our Value," urges teachers not to exceed the 71/2-hour day required by their contracts. That means they won't do any unpaid work, such as tutoring.

The SEA doesn't know how long the protest will last. About 1,000 of Stafford's 1,866 teachers belong to the group. A little more than 80 percent of SEA members who responded to a survey wanted to enact "work to the rule," Martin said. They also plan to hold what the SEA is calling "media events."

"We want to make it clear that even though it was the lack of cost-of-living raise that spurred this action plan, the issues go much deeper," Martin told the School Board on Tuesday.

Over the past three years, she said, the Board of Supervisors hasn't given the division enough money to meet the needs of schools. Board of Supervisors Chairman George Schwartz has said the protest is an issue between teachers and the School Board.


For those of you who don't remember what "media events" were the last time they did this, the SEA sends home letters in the kids' backpacks essentially saying that the schools will come to a halt and they won't have any teachers left to teach if they don't get their money. You might also remember the "funeral for schools" flop of theirs too.

They hold press conferences that no one attends but the media where they make all kinds of accusations and threats against the School Board and parents to make their case. You might recall the protest "health proposals equal discrimination" they did a few years ago to call attention to wanting 100% premiums for health insurance paid for. I'm a little forgiving on this one since the pay is indeed lower than it should be, but my family doesn't have free health insurance yet, so I have a hard time advocating for others to.

This is not collective bargaining methodology when it comes to kicking parents when they're down already, saying nothing to the fact that Virginia is not a unions-only state, we're a right-to-work state.

However, this is a great example of what happens when you feed liberal spend-0-crats more money— they just keep eating it up and DEMANDING more. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!


At May 18, 2008 at 5:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrorists? People are feeling the crunch of high gas prices, high food prices, and a slowing economy all brought on by the failed policies of the republican party which has clearly lost its way. We spend billions on a war we didn't need but when teachers look for a raise they are terrorists.

At May 18, 2008 at 6:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not the teachers themselves looking for a raise so much as the Stafford Education Association= a group bent on taking more than it gives to its members.

Bringing up the GOP has nothing to do with the SEA's actions. Trying to equate spending billions to liberate opressed people is the cost of being the world's policeman. The French and Spanish helped us out quite a lot when we decided to separate from England. That too has nothing to do with the FACT that the SEA is holding taxpayers and its own members hostage for cash.

At May 18, 2008 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Equating a teaching association with terrorism using a picture of a bomber in front of a school bus is beyond stupid.

How does working to the terms of a contract hold anyone hostage?

How is it terrorism for a teaching association to encourage teachers to advocate for better compensation?

and .....
The billions spent in Iraq could be used to fix our roads, improve mass transportation, provide incentives to companies developing alternative fuels, fix social security, or many other worthy causes. We went there to find WMDs which were never there, so the mission changed to liberating an oppressed people, and then changed to fighting terrorists which weren't there until we got there. The Iraq war will go down in history as the biggest foreign policy blunder in US history.

At May 19, 2008 at 7:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is putting an obviously posed picture on there any less stupid than being a teacher who says, "I can't help you now, come back tomorrow."

Education is NOT ABOUT MONEY it's about teaching. Teaching comes in many forms not just telling kids ot read the next chapters. We need role models that raise expectaitons and walk the walk!!!

At May 20, 2008 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW....a little political satire goes a long way. So many anonymous people out there not willing to say who they are. I give credit to Phil B who has it right. The message here is simple. It really is not about Republicans or Democrats, it is about leadership and the willingness to stand up and do the "hard right" decision versus "easy wrong". Do you really think the money spent on the war would be allocated at the same levels for our education and transportation? I think it would be fantastic if we spent that kind of money on our future, but it just is not going to happen like that. The Republican party has not lost it's way, this country has lost it's way when we kicked God out, let complacency set in, and we are reaping in the results. It's just happens the Republican's hold the White House. It has to be a collabortive effort by everyone at a grass roots level, otherwise we will just keep paying more, keeping less, and working longer to get father behind.


At May 28, 2008 at 12:36 AM , Blogger Trying to make a decision said...

Mr. Martin,

I am very shocked at the words that you used to describe a group of highly professional individuals who are trying to work for the betterment of our profession and for a higher quality of education for the children in Stafford County.
Yes, the majority of teachers in our country are democrats. There are Republicans who teach as well. We are uniting to promote a higher level of respect for teachers.
I would like to address some misconceptions that you and others share regarding what a teacher does. First, we do work for 10 months and are only paid for those 10 months. Many teachers work during the summer by teaching summer school or seek other temporary employment to make a little extra money to supplement their salaries. Most of us are not home by 3:00! I typically come to work by 7:45 and leave around 5:30. I spend on average 15 hours working at home on school related items such as: grading papers, writing lesson plans, updating my website, looking for lesson ideas, and taking classes to learn new ideas and techniques. That means I work an average of 63 hours a week. That is an average of 12.6 hours a work-day. When interims or report cards are due I will work even longer hours. I too, will continue to work over breaks and holidays because I don't always have enough time to get my work done. I am not alone! Most teachers work extra hours outside of their contracted time in their school buildings and take work home as well.
Let me describe a typical day in my classroom.
Students arrive at 8:30 from their buses. Our day doesn't begin until 9:00 so I am busy with hall duty and making sure that my 23 students are going down to breakfast, using the restroom, and completing their morning work. After morning announcements, they have their specials (where they go to p.e., music, library, or art) which is 45 minutes and is my planning time. (This is very important because we can't just tell the students, "Why don't you find something to do while I grade papers, work on lesson plans, call parents, conference with parents, go and get materials needed for lessons, get my copies down to the copy room, etc...) Lunch is at 11:30 and lasts for one-half hour. I am required to stay with my students while they go through the lunch line. By the time I make it back to my room I have about 20 minutes to eat my lunch and use the restroom because we can't just leave our classroom whenever we need to go. School ends at 3:30 and the students remain in our rooms while the buses are called. The last bus generally arrives at 4:00.
Now, I am not complaining because I love teaching. It is wonderful to see how much my students love learning. They ask wonderful questions and we are able to expand upon what I am teaching. That is one of the "unpaid" benefits I receive.
What teachers are asking for from the School Board and the Board of Supervisors is to be recognized for our hard work. One of the ways we are recognized is by receiving a cost of living adjustment, by making sure that teachers are hired to keep classroom sizes low for all teachers, and by making sure that teachers have the materials the needed to do their jobs.
This is the third year in a row that the budget has not been increased as much as has been requested by the Superintendent. Some of the results of these budget cuts has resulted in over 1,100 overcrowded classrooms and just over 50% of Stafford County schools making AYP in the 2006-2007 school year.
Mr. Martin I earn $40,995 a year. If you divide that by the 10 months I work it equals to $4,099.50 a month. Divide that into 4 weeks it equals $1,024.88. If you divide the 63 hours I typically work in a week that calculates to $16.27 an hour. Do you make $16.27 an hour? I also spend close to $1000 a year on supplies for my classroom. Do you purchase products or tools to do your job or do you expect your employer to do that?
I would like to end by saying that I didn't decide to become a teacher because I was going to get rich. I became a teacher because I wanted to instill the love of learning my fourth grade teacher instilled in me. I hope to be able to do that in each and every one of my students. I am hoping that by "Working to the Rule" the Stafford County School Board, the Board of Supervisor, and the community would take notice that teachers go above and beyond the call of duty each and every day. We would like to be financially compensated for our work. Finally, we are also working to make sure that the children of Stafford County have the best resources available to them. That includes both learning tools and quality teachers.
Lisa Bornholtz

At May 28, 2008 at 12:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


You seem to be intelligent and a hard worker. Understand that neither Mr. Martin nor most anyone has anything but high regad for hard working teachers.

What most all the objections are is to your hypocritical union, the SEA.

They 'demand' things from taxpayers that they are not prepared to pay for. They use unsuspecting teachers to do their dirty work and hold children's education as a threat to degrade if they don't get what they want. That's it, plain and simple.

The specifics of the superintendent wasting money or extra schools being opened that aren't needed are simply bad management decisions. They can be corrected with lobbying and petitions, and if needed, unseating the school board every two years until you get good leadership.

Never, should you hold a child's education as a shield. With your pride and good work ethic in hand, you should also resist the SEA's secret agenda at every turn! Nearly 60% of teachers are not working to the rule. If it was righteous, you would have 90% - 100% doing it.

The methodology is flawed and the SEA is corrupt and self-serving.

Thank you for your dedicated service to education and not the education industry which knows no bounds to spending and taking, and still refuses to hold itself accountable to performance.

At May 28, 2008 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Lisa, would you like to be paid hourly??

I'm a lunchroom employee in Spotsylvania Co. We DON'T make $16.00 per hour, and we are scrutinized for every minute we work. I also work for other satisfactions other than money.

I notice that the school administrations around this area make obscene cash for salaries. They do get home at 4pm, every day unlike us workers. A whole bunch of them could be laid off and no one would notice. Those salaries can easily be split and give us all decent raises.

I often stay past my allowed clock hours to finish up doing my job right even though the company says they can't afford me to be on the clock.

I could work to a rule too, but dishes wouldn't get washed and floors wouldn't be cleaned right. Maybe I should join you and hope no one gets sick, or maybe I should be happy I have a house and a job in this awful economy.

At May 28, 2008 at 10:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this...another reason...for all to clearly see...why the Republican brand is failing in Virginia and nationally. Gotta love the sound of dementia....

At May 28, 2008 at 11:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The failing thing here is SOL scores, AYP ratings, accredidation, SAT scores, teen pregnancy rates, dropout rates, violence rates, attendance rates, and out of control spending by more often than not- liberal democrat run "education" system in America.

Republicans are a far cry from perfect, but at least they stand for something OTHER than socialism and no accountability for actions.

At May 29, 2008 at 9:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter? You don't want to live in a socialist state of welfare from under-achieving teachers (NO offense to the GOOD hard-working teachers)? Do you think we live in a free country or something? The Democrats sure don't.


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