Sunday, September 18, 2005

Union Unfair Say Workers

Even the teachers' union must confront the fact that money doesn't grow on trees:

About 50 members of the Washington Education Association's Staff Organization — that is, the people who make the union run, from secretaries to lobbyists — picketed outside the union's Federal Way [WA] headquarters for the second straight day yesterday as the WEA's board of directors met inside.

The informational picket was in protest of the WEA's latest contract offer, which workers said would take away training funds and eliminate protections against forced transfers while providing a meager 1 percent pay raise.

"We're gravely disappointed," Staff Organization President Lucinda Young said. "They have very regressive proposals on the table. We work very hard to get cost-of-living adjustments and fair contracts for our teachers. We're just trying to get the same thing for ourselves."

....The sides were unable to reach agreement, and a federal mediator is scheduled to begin working with them Sept. 26 — the second consecutive year a federal mediator has been called in. The Staff Organization has been on strike twice previously, most recently in 1983, said Rich Wood, who picketed yesterday and whose day job is WEA spokesman.

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