Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Day 15, and things are wearing thin...

Today, we had our first real setback in keeping it all together. Our picket captain and another teacher got into a big shouting match, right on the corner where all of us and all the traffic whizzing by could see it. I don't really know what the issue was, and I frankly don't care. I understand that nerves are getting frayed and we're all tense, and it has to get out at some point. But that was not the place to handle it! The district is trying to break us apart, and right there, we handed them the first crack on a silver platter. We expect our students to resolve their differences in a mature way, so why couldn't they? To make matters worse, a handful of other teachers were also getting in on it, adding their input, while the rest of us did our best to avoid the situation. Me, I was so disgusted by the display and all the negative energy that I just stayed at the other end of the street for a while. At least those two later calmed down enough to part, then it looked like they later got back together, away from prying eyes, and calmly talked it out and ironed things out, but it still left a sour taste in my mouth.

Later on, we all — and I mean all — went to a local farm for a pep rally. Yes, every teacher in the MEA was invited, and it was the first time so many of the teachers had gotten together since the strike vote was taken over two weeks ago. It was a lot of fun, we got pep talks from union presidents from all over the area, the WEA, and others. And we sang protest songs — one of which was contributed by my very own wife, Laura! It was impressive hearing all those teachers singing the Marysville Redux version of "Solidarity Forever," but it was even more impressive seeing it on the news later that afternoon! (Oh, yeah, you can also catch a glimpse of me marching in front of my school at one point.)

Anyway, a "new" proposal is on the table later today — the bargaining teams are meeting right now as I type — and a short shift tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll be at Sylvan pulling books this evening as our regular puller sprained her ankle...

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