Comments about ‘Hundreds rally against new Ogden teacher contracts’

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Published: Thursday, July 14 2011 1:00 p.m. MDT

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The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Public employees labor unions should be illegal.
They get behind politicians that will give them more and more money and less and less work and no responsibility. I have seen these unions lie about good people to get their pawns elected, and it worked.
One out of 57 doctors will lose their license.
Only one out of 2500 teachers will lose their teaching credentials.
I live in Washington state and here they cannot even fire a teacher who was jailed for child rape. It takes years of court proceedings and there is not guarantee.

Tenure must go as well.

open minded
Lehi, UT

If these teachers are smart they will sign the contract and then all walk out the first day of school and stay out until the district agrees to negotiate with them.

salt lake city, utah

When are teachers going to realize that their own unions are their worst enemy? Unions relentlessly fight any type of competition to the public education system. Lack of competition not only hurts school kids (and taxpayers) it hurts teachers too. In a competitive situation, there would be competition for the services of teachers (or at least the good ones). And when there is competition for your services, you will inevitably get paid more. Wake up.......

West Valley, UT

@The Rock: You said it. Public employees unions should be illegal.

I'll agree that teachers are underpaid. But you don't teach to make money, you teach for the love of doing it.

In a time where we are all forced to cut back and work for less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way? After all, funding this expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess in the first place.

I say fire 'em all. You can't tell me that with unemployment knocking on the door of 10% there aren't qualified people out there who would jump at the chance to have that job and its cushy benefits.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Couldn't the DN supply us with a few more DETAILS about the issues involved?

What do the teachers want, (besides negotiating) what did the district offer?


I agree with open minded don't show up, head into the real world and actually try to compete, they will all be back in a month with a real education. We are in a financial crisis now and education is the biggest money pit we have, changes have to be made or they will be teaching in Chinese.

Herriman, UT

Open Minded, you're asking for an open door through which the teachers would be shown the exit. I, as a taxpayer, think they should be glad they have jobs in this economy.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Too bad it sounds like the union let them all down. I'd go for the Union leaders' heads in this fight, the school board was just trying to get teachers in classrooms.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: open minded | 2:09 p.m. July 14, 2011

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) pulled that stunt on President Reagan. He told them to go back to work or he'd fire them. They thought he was bluffing right up until they were fired and PATCO was decertified.

There are a lot of teachers looking for work right now and you can bet your next paycheck that they'd be happy to take those jobs.

VA Saint
Chester, VA

I am wondering how many of you that are commenting are actually (or have been) educators. How many in the Ogden School Board are or have been educators? Yes, one teaches for the love of it, but it would be really nice to be able to make a living out of it! And the Association is NOT a union. I have worked in a union and non-union state and I'd much rather work in a union state so that I am protected from abusive administrators. Granted, some of what the unions do is preposterous, as they were originally set up to protect the worker, but come on! These teachers deserve everything they are asking for!

Vernal, UT

@VA Saint
Sorry, the days of anyone DESERVING anything they're asking for are long gone. We are in the days of public employees getting what the taxpayers can afford. I should know, I am one. The taxpayers are paying my salary, and I don't have the right to ask them to pay for my cushy pension funds or all-out benefits packages like the teachers get. Teachers already get a 3-month vacation every year at my expense.

We need to start being fiscally responsible. Get rid of public employees unions!

West Haven, Utah

The comments on this board are unbelievable.

Rock - do you know what tenure means for teachers here in the state of Utah? It means that the administration has to give them a reason for termination when they're fired. That's about it. Being a Washingtonian myself, I know tenure is different in Washington State than it is in Utah (My sister teaches in Washington; my wife teaches in Utah). Tenure does not mean that bad teachers continue in the system when they should be let go - at least in Utah.

DeltaFoxtrot - You agree that they're underpaid, but that Public Employees Unions should be illegal? What kind of reasoning is this? If you're in the military (as your name implies), does the same reasoning hold for yourself? You, as well as the rest of the people in this country, have benefitted greatly by Unions. As far as your remark of 'fire them all' . . . let's see you do it for the wages they earn.

The rest of you - When Administration negotiates in bad faith, it is our job as the public to vote the School Board out of office. They need to go - not our teachers.

Farmington, UT

I really think some of you are jumping in against "unions" a bit prematurely. I'm not sure you'd call the OEA a "union" as the primary purpose of the OEA is to help teachers continue to improve as teachers. They're not much more than a third party trying to help the Ogden School Board understand.

Furthermore, remember that the teachers who are members of the OEA taught a full year without a contract. If that isn't good negotiation intent, I don't know what is.

The story, here, is that the Ogden School Board decided they didn't need or want any input on teacher contracts, and they made up their own stuff. Most teachers would support merit pay, which was a surprise in the new contract, but teachers need to have input on how merit pay is done. If they can't have any input on their contracts, then they have a right to be skeptical on how something like merit pay would be constructed.

Salt Lake City, UT

@VA Saint
As long as my tax dollars pay the teachers, I don't have to be an educator to have a say in this matter. I try to be understanding, but come on, rounds of mediation and still no deal? Teachers are underpaid, but I'm sorry, in this economy, even teachers are going to have to give a little.

Salt Lake City, UT

Teachers fight merit pay and think everyone should get paid the same -- does that include the half-dozen or so who have been convicted of child molestation in the last 12 months, those that will be discovered in the next few years, and those who will go undetected?

I am NOT saying all teachers are abusers, but some are. Just like some are competent and some are not. Unions and Associations treating all teachers the same -- including the incompetent -- is why public sentiment tends to go against them. That and the fact that every year the number of half-days the kids get off tends to increase.

salt lake city, utah

VA saint- Workers do not need unions for protection and haven't for decades. Unions still exist only because liberal politicians have kept them on artificial life support all this time. If teachers want more money, they should embrace a system where there is competition for their services. When that happens, the good teacher will get paid more and the rest will start picking fruit....

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

deltafoxtrot: "In a time where we are all forced to cut back and work for less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way? After all, funding this expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess in the first place."


No, Utah families having tons of children have put us into this situation.

I grew up in Holladay in the 1960's. Plenty of kids to be educated. When I look at my sixth grade picture, there are about 30 kids. My granddaughter has about 40! The classes are huge and that makes about 1/3 more work for the teachers today.

We are causing our education crisis because we do not want to pay to have these kids educated in a class that can give them the attention and direction they need. We have become selfish. We think we need tax breaks when we need to pay more.

And I would not call education "expansive government stuff." This "stuff" is the future of our country.

Farmington, UT

The Ogden School District is arguably the worst school district in Utah. Results on student achievement exams depict that argument--half of the poorest performing elementary schools are in the Ogden School District. Therefore, the Ogden School Board must just feel desperate, and these contracts are somebody's response to feeling desperate.

The Ogden School Board needs to reflect about their facts: their student population is transient and has the highest percentage of non-English speaking students. These are the top two indicators of poor performance on these standardized tests.

So what should the Ogden School Board do? Listen to the OEA. Listen to their teachers. Most of them are not idiots. They want to learn new ways to help their challenging, changing student population learn. They're open for ideas.

As the Ogden student population continues to change, and their tax base continues to decrease, they need to be creative. My expectation is that they would involve the teachers, who are on the front line talking with the students every day, so the Ogden School Board has failed miserably in being creative.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I can just feel the love for the teachers on this web page and in this state. It's so loving and respectful. It is so encouraging. It is so saint like.

And how about this union? I think we over exaggerate the power of the unions. I mean let's think this over. The teachers of Ogden are forced to accept a contract by some date or they are fired. The school board and district just makes a take-it-or-leave it offer. This doesn't sound like the teamsters led by Jimmy Hoffa but a union or association that is impotent to do really anything for its teachers.

In regards to the real world. I think teachers live in it too. They pay taxes like the rest of us. They have bills to pay like the rest of us. They have families like the rest of us. They want respect like the rest of us. They want to feel valued like the rest of us.

VA Saint
Chester, VA

@seeswater - teachers don't get a three-month 'vacation' - teachers usually work during the summer months, either with professional development, classes, summer school, etc. Teachers do deserve a decent contract, as they are in the middle of what oft times is a battle zone in our schools.
@michaelitos - teachers do give, constantly. I am going on my fourth year without a raise, and next year I will have to fork out an additional $80 a month for health insurance. Teachers are the ones who get hammered first.

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