I’m embarrassed to admit it, but when Scott Walker was elected governor, I actually thought to myself that it could be worse, that the governor was basically just a figurehead anyways, right? Within three months my union was stripped of virtually all collective bargaining rights, on top of changes to insurance and pensions that cost me about 15% of my yearly salary as a part time teacher. The pay cut was depressing but manageable. The loss of my union has been pretty devastating.
When I was interviewed, the job offered was 70% – part time, but liveable. By the time I was hired it was down to 50%. The next year they cut it to 20%. For two years now I’ve been up to 80%, but come next year, I could be laid off entirely or made full time, I have no way of knowing. I’ve never had job security. But at least I always had a contract that specified working conditions, prep time, insurance, subbing priority, transfer situations, etc. Without any collective bargaining rights, that’s all out the window. The board will write a handbook instead, which could say anything.
This month a judge declared Walker’s law unconstitutional. Our district has a chance to extend the contract for at least one more year, while the appeal goes to court. They don’t seem the least bit swayed to do so, though.
I don’t mean for this blog to be a place of politics, but I’m feeling pretty down tonight. I just got home from the board meeting. I spoke, and was so nervous my voice shook almost as badly as my hands. Dozens of people spoke. Hundreds more were there, teachers and parents, in support. I don’t think it will have any impact.
When this all started, and the protests were in full swing, it really felt like this would be ok. How could a hundred thousand people be ignored? But we were, and the recall failed, and now this chance is about to be passed over, and in this mess I’m trying to get pregnant? Remember, I’m the stable one, with insurance. Drew’s the self employed baker. I love my job, but I feel sick about this.