How good are your districts at negotiating contracts on time? Ours expire every two years. At the end of the second year we always end up going into the next school year on an expired contract and work almost the entire school year on that expired contract. It’s not that we are asking for the moon, usually our raise is about the same as the rising price of healthcare, so it ends up being a wash. The workload only increases.The district also made us put in a “no strike” clause in our contract.

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You have said everything I would’ve said about our district. We started August 11th and are still working with last year’s contract. However, administrators were given a raise. It’s been a stressful year so far with Co-vid. We’ve had teachers and students quarantined. There are no subs, so we split classes.

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Me too, but never has that been considered for us.

As an active teacher union representative when I lived in MI, I saw how common it was for educators to work with an expired contract. And whether or not it’s included in the contract, it’s illegal in many states for public employees to strike. That includes teachers, police officers, TSA workers and may others!!

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I don’t ever want to strike, and I feel my co-workers have the same belief. We always said that would be the last possible resort. But then to see it in the contract was disheartening because we do t even gave leverage to threaten it. You can strike in our state. St. Paul did so a couple years back.

Wow. In my 25 years, I've never had this issue. Every two years, I receive my new contract between April and May of the previous school year.

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How strong is your union? Pennsylvania is a strong union state so that helps all of our locals. In the 16 years that I've been teaching, I've only had to work on an expired contract once. We usually get three year deals and start the negotiations process in January, since our contracts always expire on June 30th. PA law mandates that we start the process in January. Our most recent contract, which started on July 1st, is a four year deal. Our local got involved in school board elections and that also helps to make a difference.

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Holy cow I can’t imagine having to negotiate every other year. That sounds exhausting.

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Ours is every 3 years and it’s still exhausting! The only time we were without a “new” contract and extended ours another year was when we were between superintendents.

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We also tend always work through at least half a year on an expired contract, but that acctually makes us "strike legal" if it came to that.

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It’s ridiculous. Like I said, there is nothing in there that is new. We typically get a 2% raise, but many years have been less or no raise at all. I could see a hold up if we were asking for 10% raises and bonuses. But we are not.

We negotiate every three years. Sometimes we settle on time and others, we work under an expired contract. I find that it depends on the superintendent. The one we have now is willing to work with us, the prior superintendent didn't want to give anything up.

Same! And our last superintendent was so bad that we had to let the lawyers do the negotiating which of course took forever. 

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In Texas, no strikes are allowed anyway—it’s a “right to work” state. 😒 However, we do have in my county a very strong teacher’s “Union” that gets a seat at the table with the uppers as they discuss amd development much of the running of the district so they can report amd advocate. Our raises are tough-won and usually minimal, but definitely smoother process and better Teacher outcome due to the Union involvement.

CA is also a right to work state but we can strike. Our contracts often supercede state laws, which is frustrating. We have to negotiate bathroom breaks becausr State and Federal break laws don't apply to us. We don't get 2 10 minute breaks like other workers.

This is pretty much how it is at every suburban district in NJ except it is every 3 years. All of this points to the absurdity of have local districts and local unions. Ultimately it divides and weakens the bargaining unit. It also facilitates conflicts of interest where teachers who live in the district can more easily maneuver to acquire position of power within the local union and are more easily swayed into negotiating contracts that lower taxes on the town.
It all sheds light onto the reality of American education, where there are no public schools, every school is a private school where tuition is dictated by home prices and property taxes.

We negotiate every year. We usually have a contract by about mid-May and we sign it as we check out for the summer.

We negotiate continuously throughout the year every year to solve situations and make better plans.

Contracts? What is a contract?

ours is the same, they never seem to really take care of us.

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