Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Day 37: We've tied the record

Today is day 37 of our strike. We tied the state record set a few years ago in Fife, and with no new talks scheduled for two more days (not that anyone expects anything to actually happen then anyway), we will break it. Thanks a lot, Marysville school board!

A few items:

  • My colleague who got a ticket a few weeks ago for honking his horn in support of us as we picketed the district office? All chargers were dropped. But he has started a new group called Honk-Anon.

  • The union is cautiously optimistic that they can beat the rap in next week's hearings on an injunction. This is the first time something like this has been tried by a parent group instead of the district, so we may be setting some precedents. The fact that is is a parent group, and therefore not directly involved in the situation, and that the district has not been negotiating in good faith appear to make this a difficult one to decide against us. Apparently the fact that penalties are specified only for the teachers and not the board members and superintendent, despite the fact that the district is named as a defendant, may also be a factor.

  • I gather that radio talk show host John Carlson came out last week and told the school board that this strike is their fault, as they knew how the teachers felt but still didn't do anything about it. What makes this so surprising, however, is that Carlson is a conservative, who usually is not a fan of unions, teachers, or public education. So if a guy on the same radio station that plays Rush Limbaugh can see what's actually going on, why can't the board itself? It would only take three members of the board to tell the negotiators to back off and actually do their job to get us back to work.

  • Teachers and parents are starting to picket in front of board members' homes and businesses. One of my colleagues picketed at dawn at one of the board member's homes, and found lots of yard signs at the neighbors supporting his opponent in next month's election. One of the neighbors also brought them donuts. At a clinic co-owned by another board member, picketers were threatened with police action if they impeded any of the patients, but since the gripe wasn't with the patients, the police never had to get involved.

  • Next Monday, educators from around the state are gathering in Everett to cheer us on in a Day of Commitment — essentially, a big pep rally. Should be something to see.

And I guess that's about it. More tomorrow, and I hope there's some good news coming some time before long.

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