GRPS warns teachers: don't strike

GRPS warns teachers: don't strike

There are 381 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Sep 24, 2008, titled GRPS warns teachers: don't strike. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

The Grand Rapids School District has sent a warning to its teachers who are battling over a new contract.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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unknown

Fenwick, MI

#1 Sep 24, 2008
Let's see, the state is in very poor shape along with all of the counties, cities and schools. The teachers want a lot more money, free insurance, more retirement, cost of living and whatever else they can get or they will strike. I say strike and let someone else who is in need of a job teach the kids. There are plenty of unemployed teachers looking for work. Give it to them.....
JJay

Rochester, NY

#2 Sep 24, 2008
In the fall of 1991 the teachers in Cedar Springs participated in a two week "illegal" strike. Not one teacher was ever fired as a result.

Their actions lowered the morale for the entire school year. I recall the Cedar Spring Post printing the salaries of each teacher the summer before. It was rather difficult for the community to feel sympathetic to the teachers wanting significantly more, being that the tenured teacher in particular were earning salaries well above the average citizen in the community.

Grand Rapids Public Schools has never met the financial instability that Cedar Springs did in the late 80's and early 90's. Many years went by before a millage was passed. In 1991 the school district did not have busing and being that the district, geographically is the largest in Kent County, this was a major burden. In 1988 students were required to pay to play sports. For the teachers to strike in 1991 after the district had gone through tremendous financial hardship was very selfish.

In my opinion, every one of them should have been fired. I also believe that G.R.P.S. teachers should definitely be fired if they participated in such an action. Primarily because, as the letter states, this action is illegal. With the economic crisis that Michigan is in, it would not take long to find unemployed teachers to fill these positions. They would be thrilled to be paid a living wage with benefits included.

I am not certain if the negotiations revolve around benefits, salary or both, but Michigan is in a tremendous economic hole. Any person who has a job with benefits should be thanking their lucky stars, because there are so many who do not, educated and uneducated, alike.

The bottom line is, that those children need their teachers. For many of those students, their teachers are the only positive role model available. Please do not do this to those children.
Yooper

United States

#3 Sep 24, 2008
If they do strike, let's see if the administration has the guts to uphold the "LAW". If they do strike "FIRE THEM".
meetoo

Grand Rapids, MI

#4 Sep 24, 2008
better insurance, cost of living raise (who gives those anymore?), and better insurance. i want those too, i think i'll strike.

..oh wait, i'd be replaced in a heartbeat.

give up teachers, and join the rest of us who get the short end of the deal!
GRPS is badly managed

United States

#5 Sep 24, 2008
This is why I don't send my kids to GRPS. They think it's OK for teachers to go TWO years without a contract but then intimidate them into not taking any action in protest. Yes, teachers have an obligation, whether legally detailed or not, to teach our children. That does not give a school district the right to treat them with the regard GRPS has shown. Four years ago was the last time we had our kids in a GRPS school and the teachers could not expect to keep a job through October(!) much less the rest of the year. They don't know how to plan or run a district and Dr. Taylor has only contributed to this mess. They need to wise up and realize teachers are not a cost center but rather teachers are implementing the primary business: teaching. Pay them. You want to cut back, GRPS? Cut from the top down, not bottom up.
Unknow

Grandville, MI

#6 Sep 24, 2008
I coulnd't have said it better myself! There are so many unemployed people out there looking for teaching jobs. Not to mention how greatful they would be just to have a paycheck.
unknown wrote:
Let's see, the state is in very poor shape along with all of the counties, cities and schools. The teachers want a lot more money, free insurance, more retirement, cost of living and whatever else they can get or they will strike. I say strike and let someone else who is in need of a job teach the kids. There are plenty of unemployed teachers looking for work. Give it to them.....
Just Me

Cedar Springs, MI

#7 Sep 24, 2008
Why don't the schools just treat the teachers fair and they would not need the unions.
Buck

Lakeland, FL

#8 Sep 24, 2008
It’s too bad that the GRPS Board cannot see the waste of resources they are causing by not negotiating with the Teachers Union. Think of the money that could have been used on the students instead of prolonging this struggle for two years. In the letter that was sent out to the teachers, it seems the board has the upper hand with the law. The teachers union should go before a Federal judge to ask for an amendment or relief to the law which would allow the teachers to lawfully strike after this much time has passed. It’s clear the GRPS Board has no intention of settling this. Maybe they just don’t know how. The people of GR need to understand that it is in the best interest of the students that the teachers have a contract. You will lose some of the best teachers to other districts or states. Parents can send a message on count day by keeping their children home.
Driven

Whitehall, MI

#9 Sep 24, 2008
Thank God! A school district finally growing some balls and standing up to the MEA. Stick it to anyone who strikes. There are a lot of college graduates out there with teaching degrees who can't find schools to teach at. Give them jobs.
CHAD

Ionia, MI

#10 Sep 24, 2008
"Who cares about the kids? I just want more money!"
If that's the attitude we have to deal with, our kids are in a lot of trouble. Certain people should not be allowed to strike:Teachers, police and fire personnal, and government workers.
Ken

United States

#11 Sep 24, 2008
"A strike will reduce the number of students that remain in the District and only harm our financial viability."

"harm our financial viability"

The GRPS overriding concern: "their" money...
Batch37 Pain Is Good

United States

#12 Sep 24, 2008
This is fun to watch!
Derwood

Haslett, MI

#13 Sep 24, 2008
CHAD wrote:
"Who cares about the kids? I just want more money!"
If that's the attitude we have to deal with, our kids are in a lot of trouble. Certain people should not be allowed to strike:Teachers, police and fire personnal, and government workers.
Well they aren't allowed to strike. I know that Police & Fire do have binding arbitration in the event a contract cannot be reached. I don't think the teachers do though.
Ken

United States

#14 Sep 24, 2008
If it is illegal to strike, then it should also be illegal to not have a valid contract. If the two sides can't agree, a state mediator should be appointed and begin a three month mediation process. IF after this time, no agreement is reached, a contract should be imposed (on both sides) at 90 days after expiration of the original contract. Too bad if neither party likes it, but they should settle this issue quickly. Responsible people would not allow this to continue to drag out and create ill will and negative publicity against Grand Rapids on a national level... Get over yourselves and take care of business...
Kathy

Duvall, WA

#15 Sep 24, 2008
So let me see .......... it's okay for the teachers to go TWO YEARS without a contract but yet they can't be upset about it without catching flack from the community? No other business would treat their employees like this so why should the teachers have to put up with it? You people have no idea the crap the teachers have to take from their students and you whine about how much they make? I'd like to see YOU spend a day in their shoes. Then you'd appreciate all they do. And yes, I do know for those of you wondering, I work in a school district, I see it all.
Past GRPS teacher

Holland, MI

#16 Sep 24, 2008
CHAD wrote:
"Who cares about the kids? I just want more money!"
If that's the attitude we have to deal with, our kids are in a lot of trouble. Certain people should not be allowed to strike:Teachers, police and fire personnal, and government workers.
Why is it not okay for these people to strike. Don't they have the same rights as everyone else? Until you have worked in the district and seen a contract please don't comment on something you know nothing about.
MoreToCome

Boulder, CO

#17 Sep 24, 2008
with this issue....MEA, doesn't have a clue nor do they want a clue....so let the Teachers go if they strike, maybe then they will have a reality check.

Some districts wanted to off other health plans that were more cost effective, but the unions and the teachers...don't want that, so taxpayers are paying for their idiotic ideals.

Since: Apr 08

Grand Rapids MI

#18 Sep 24, 2008
I kind of thought this new Super was a union buster the first time I saw him take sides. Thats not the kind of leadership I want our schools to have. Teachers work very hard for what they get. Our congressmen and senators should work so hard! GRPS could have made deal a long time ago, but thats not what seems to be on their agenda.
They seem to be power hungry. They want to exercise more control when they haven't even begun to demostrait masterly over the control they now have.
as my mom would say, " Clean your plate before you get more!"
DRCARP

Dorr, MI

#19 Sep 24, 2008
I must say it is very unfortunate that the economics of our society at large do not support the inferred relationship between an employee's skill level and their rate of compensation. With the corrosive effects of a global economy eroding away at the number of employees receiving gainful wages, combined with inflationary factors impacting our everyday lives, the current status of any individual working for a government entity is potentially subject to the ingrained mechanisms involved in dealing with finite resources.
voter

United States

#20 Sep 24, 2008
well this is tough for our teachers. how does grps really feel about their teachers??
there is no information as to how grps can give the teachers their enployees a contract just don't strike he says.
mr taylor is always about following rules why doesn't he take the bull by the horns and make a do able contract. for two years the teachers have been forced to work with no contract no real help from their bosses??
is this america or what??
taylor is a big bully and cares for nothing or no one.
except he make a million dollars so he can retire. i am interested how he communicates other than shove people around. do what i say and now.
i am interested as to how the lottery is affecting our school district. do we get monies or not??
he is not a good leader for the children to look up to.
especially when he refuses to help his helpers../phooey on him.

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