Friday, January 16, 2009

'Arbeit macht frei..."

I couldn't end this week's blogging without a tip of the hat to the nation's worst piece of fish wrap, the NY Post, for discovering a new "freedom"--the freedom for teachers not to have a union.

I don't know how this one could ever have been left out of the Bill of Rights. Post writer Marcus Winters from the right-wing Manhattan Institute, thinks it goes right up there with the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Yes, it's the freedom for employers to bust unions so that can be free from workers' collective-bargaining rights--especially from the rights of teachers to belong to a union.
One of the most important freedoms charter schools enjoy in New York and other states is that their teachers need not be unionized. That's why this week's news that teachers in two of the city's most successful charter schools - KIPP AMP in Brooklyn and KIPP Infinity in Harlem - have agreed to be represented by the United Federation of Teachers is so distressing.
I guess those KIPP teachers didn't appreciate being free to work 16-hour days with no added compensation. Or the freedom they had to be fired from their jobs without any due process. And they obviously didn't value their freedom to push low-scoring students out of KIPP in order to artificially boost test score averages.

It all reminds me of the sign that hung over the nazi concentration camp at Dachau which read: "Arbeit Macht Frei" -- work makes freedom.


  1. I'm ambivalent about the KIPP development myself but that is funny and ridiculous -- even more so because you don't generally hear right-wingers advocating FOR additional constitutional rights!

  2. Anon,
    What are you ambivalent about?

  3. Ah, the time-honored freedom to not unionize. Another of our great rights, along with the "right" to secret elections about whether or not to unionize, the ones that never take place. Lord protect us from those union thugs, the ones who, unlike our employers, can't fire us or intimidate us in any way whatsoever.

    Thank goodness we've had GW there for eight years protecting our "rights."

  4. I find it ironic that the charter network that receives praises (and tons of money from supproters) has teachers who want to unionize....I will admit, working 16-hour days without additional compenssation is a bit much..and then there are the weekends and being accessible at night-definitely not a job for someone with kids.

    Here's something a little more shocking: Did you know that there are NO teachers unions in Georgia??? This is right to work state, meaning employers can harass, intimidate, and threaten you and say whatever they want and then still fire you without cause...Good luck to the teachers @ KIPP who are trying to get a union started!

  5. Anonymous,
    That's true with much of the South. That why is important to support the Employee Free Choice Act.


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