Freedom Foundation
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Teacher Strikes and Union Harms to Student Services

Washington Education Association (WEA) officials are attempting to make their voice trump all others in the discussion about how to spend the billions of new dollars the Legislature has been sending to school districts.

Last year, the WEA knew a “strike/day of action” was going to occur this spring, and scheduled it to be convenient for the union’s annual Representative Assembly. All that was necessary was to wait and see what part of the spending plan it wanted to criticize.

As has been fully documented, teacher strikes are illegal.

The Freedom Foundation has just completed a major study documenting how collective bargaining has harmed the services families receive in unionized public schools. The report, “Grading the Teachers Union Contracts,” also examines the various “no-strike” provisions school boards and union officials have committed to follow.

Of the districts intending to disrupt student learning this week, below are the contract requirements that bind their teachers and school boards.

In the case of Bellingham and Blaine, the school board is obligated to withhold a day’s pay from teachers who abandon their students. The Lakewood School District is required to administer discipline against teachers who disrupt services.

In many other districts, union officials are breaking their word.

However, the Lake Washington School Board has promised its teachers will be allowed to disrupt the school services any time WEA calls for it. The Arlington school board allows teachers to strike any time the NEA, WEA, AFT, 4th Corner UniServ and its members want to.

The law requires citizens to pay taxes and levies for schools or they face consequences. The law requires students to attend school or they face consequences. Even the Legislature faces consequences for its education budget.

How is it that union agitators can disrupt these services without consequences?

Education is so important that the Constitution makes it the paramount duty—and the union marketing experts remind all the other participants of this fact regularly. How is it that the union officials can incite publicly compensated employees to violate their paramount duty without being seen as hypocrites and bullies?

Education funding has increased very dramatically in the past three years, and is on track to increase significantly again this year. This strike is only about attempting to strengthen the power the union enterprise wields over spending priorities.

No-strike language unions and school boards promised to follow

Anacortes

4/24/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage, but prohibits use of facilities to advocate a stop work action)

Arlington

4/22/15

 Invites a strike 

“During the life of this agreement, it is not the intent of the association to take part in any strike, unless called by or proposed by NEA, WEA, AFT, 4th Corner UniServ and with the agreement of our membership, PSE, SEIU and/or the AFL-CIO.”

Bainbridge Island 

4/30/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Bellevue 

5/20/15

Union promised no strike. Union to notify.

“While this Agreement is in effect, the Association will not call, condone, advocate or participate in any strike, slow-down, sick-out, or other work stoppage by members of the bargaining unit covered by this Agreement. In the event of any such action by a member or members of the bargaining unit, and upon demand by the District, the BEA shall notify the participating individuals that they are in violation of this Agreement and shall make all reasonable efforts to terminate the violation. While this Agreement is in effect, the District will not engage in any lockout as the result of actions by any BEA member. During the term of this Agreement, no employee shall refuse, except for reasons of personal physical safety, to cross a picket line established by any labor or employee organization when such refusal would cause said employee to be absent from his/her normal work assignment.” Pg. 5

Bellingham 

4/24/15

Union promised no strike. Union to notify. Employees shall be docked pay.

“During the life of the contract, the association agrees that under no circumstances will it authorize, sanction, condone, acquiesce in or take part in any strike or work stoppage of any kind or nature. Strike or work stoppages shall be deemed to include slowdowns, sit-ins, concerted mass sickness or any curtailment of work or interference with the operation of the School District, including picketing or demonstrations of any kind, during working hours. In the event of any strike, slowdown, or other interference with operation of the district by any of the certificated employees, the association shall use all of its efforts and influence to stop the disruptive activities. For every day absent from work as a result of activities described herein, the Board shall exercise the specific remedy of deducting from each certificated employee so engaged, one (1) day’s pay.”  Pgs. 48-49

Blaine 

4/24/15

Union promised no strike. Union to notify. Employees shall be docked pay.

“During the life of the contract, the association agrees that under no circumstances will it or any of its members authorize, sanction, condone, acquiesce in or take part in any strike or work stoppage of any kind or nature. Strike and work stoppages shall be deemed to include slowdowns, sit–ins, concerted mass sickness or any curtailment of work or interference with the operations of the school district, including picketing or demonstrations of any kind, during working hours. In the event of any strike, slowdown or other interference with operations of the district by any of the certificated employees, the association shall use all of its efforts and influence to stop the disruptive activities. For every day absent from work as a result of activities outlined herein, the Board shall exercise the specific remedy of deducting from each certificated employee so engaged, one day’s pay.” Pg. 1

Burlington Edison

4/30/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Camas

5/13/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Central Kitsap

5/7/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Chimacum

5/15/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Columbia  Burbank

5/21/15

Invites a strike

“In the event of a WEA statewide strike or local job action, the date for determining the school calendar and the previous paragraph would be invalid for the duration of the strike, including the setting of the opening day of school.” Pg. 47

Conway

4/24/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

East Valley (Spokane)

5/27/15

Union promised no strike. Union to help stop it.

“The parties agree that during the term of this Agreement there shall be no strike or other economic action by the employees and the Association . . . In the event of any violation(s) of the type described above, the District/ Association, through its officers and representatives, agree it and they shall promptly exert every possible effort and take all possible action to expediently cause the people involved to immediately discontinue their violations(s) by . . .” Pg. 17

Eastmont 

5/18/15

Union promised no strike

“There shall be no strikes or other concerted economic actions by the Association” Pg. 10

Ellensburg

6/1/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Everett 

5/22/15

Union promised no strike. Employees subject to discipline.

“The association agrees that during the term of this Agreement and regardless of whether an unfair labor practice is alleged: (a) there will be no strike, sitdown or walkout and (b) the Association will not directly indirectly authorize, encourage or approve any refusal on the part of employees to proceed to the location of normal work assignment. Any employee who violates this clause shall be subject to discipline. The employer agrees that during the term of this Agreement there will be no lockout of employees covered by this Agreement. Any claim by the employer that the union has violated this Article shall not be subject to the grievanc e procedure of this Agreement and the employer shall have the right to submit such claims to the courts.” Pg. 80

Evergreen Clark

5/13/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Ferndale 

4/24/15

Union promised no strike 

“During the life of this agreement, the association will not cause and no employee shall take part in any strike, work stoppage, sit-down, sick-out or slow-down.” Pg. 54

Franklin Pierce 

5/8/15

Union promised no strike. Employees may be disciplined.

“During the life of this Agreement the Association and members of the bargaining unit, as individuals or as a group(s), shall not cause or participate in any strike, or picketing, or any other restriction of work against the District. Employees shall not honor any picket line established at or around any District building. Disciplinary action, including discharge may be taken by the District against employees violating this Article.” Pg. 9

Grandview

5/29/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Granite Falls 

5/8/15

Union promised no strike. Union to instruct employees. Union subject to damages. Employees shall be disciplined.

“During the term of this Agreement, there shall not be authorized or recognized any strike, slow down, or work stoppage by the employees and/or the Association, regardless of whether an unfair labor practice is alleged or otherwise. Should a strike, slow down, or other stoppage by the employees or the Association occur, the Association will immediately instruct the employees in the bargaining unit to return to work. If the employees in the bargaining unit do not resume work immediately as required by this Agreement, any such refusal shall be sufficient cause for discharge and such employee shall be subject to disciplinary action, including discharge, and the Association shall be subject to damages for any failure or refusal to make all reasonable efforts to have the employees return to work. The parties recognize that during the period of this Agreement, there shall not be authorized, allowed or recognized by this Agreement any lockout of the employees by the Board or the District’s management personnel.” Pg. 3

Highline 

5/21/15

Union promised no strike. Employees shall be subject to discipline.

“The Association agrees that during the term of this Agreement and regardless of whether an unfair labor practice is alleged that (1) there shall be no strike or walkout and (2) the Association shall not directly or indirectly authorize, encourage or approve any such action by employees. Any employee who violates this clause shall be subject to discipline.” Pg. 81

Hockinson

5/13/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Issaquah 

5/19/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Kennewick 

5/21/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Kiona-Benton

5/21/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Lake Stevens 

5/8/15

Union promised no strike. Union to instruct employees not to participate. Employees shall be disciplined

The parties recognize that during the period of this Agreement, there shall not be authorized, allowed or recognized by this Agreement any strike by the employees and/or the Association. Should a strike occur which is specifically prevented by this Agreement, the Association will make reasonable efforts to instruct the employees to return to work. Employees not returning to work may be subject to disciplinary action.” Pg. 12

Lake Washington 

5/6/15

 Invites a strike

“In the event the association, its officers or agents, acting individually or in concert with others, engage in any strike or work stoppage in the district, the deduction of any payment of membership dues and representation fees made in accordance with this Agreement will be terminated forthwith by the district for the duration of such strike or work stoppage.” Pg. 8   “During the term of this agreement, the association, its members, its officers or agents, acting individually or in concert with others, regardless of whether an unfair labor practice is alleged, will not engage in any strike, slowdown or work stoppage against the district, and the district will not lock out any employee covered by this agreement. The association shall not be precluded from participating in a Washington Education Association-related statewide action.” Pg. 50

Lakewood 

4/22/15

Union promised no strike. Union promised to work to discourage. Employee shall be disciplined

“The association agrees that for the duration of this agreement, it will not foster, condone, acquiesce in or encourage any job action (strike, work stoppage, sick-in, crossing picket lines, etc.) by bargaining employees. If such conditions arise, the association agrees to use its influence to discourage participation in said action and to make clear to all bargaining employees that the association is not a sponsor or supporter of such action. Individual employees who violate this provision shall be subject to disciplinary action by the district.”  Pg. 49

Longview

5/27/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Marysville 2012-14

5/1/15

Union promised no strike

“During the life of this Agreement, the Association will not cause or permit its members to cause or take part in any strike, work stoppage or slowdown, or any curtailment of, or interference with, the activities and operations of the District. ” Pg. 5

Mercer Island

5/19/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Monroe

5/15/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Moses Lake 

5/21/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Mount Vernon 

4/24/15

Union promised no strike

“The association agrees that for the duration of the agreement, it will not foster, condone, acquiesce in or encourage any job action by bargaining unit members against the district.” Pg. 3

Mukilteo 

5/20/15

Union promised no strike. Penalties may be levied

“The parties recognize that during the period of this Agreement, there shall not be authorized, allowed or recognized by this Agreement any strike, slow down or work stoppage by the employees and/or the Association, except that nothing herein shall be deemed to prevent such activity in the event of an unfair labor practice by the District after determination by PERC. Should a strike, slow down or work stoppage by the employees and/or the Association occur which is specifically prevented by this Agreement, the Association will immediately instruct the employees to return to work. Employees not returning to work may be subject to disciplinary action.” Pg. 4

North Kitsap 

5/18/15

Union promised no strike

“the Association and the members of the bargaining unit agree that there shall be no strike, work stoppage or slow-down for the duration of this agreement.” Pg. 11

North Thurston

5/20/15

Union promised no strike

“While this contract will be in force, neither the Association nor its members will engage in any concerted action against the District including, but not limited to, strike, work slowdowns and/or reprisals against Board members and/or administrators.” Pg. 6

Northshore 

5/6/15

Union promised no strike

“For the duration of this Agreement, and any extensions thereof by mutual agreement, the Association, its officers, or agents, acting individually or in concert with others, shall not engage in any strike, work slowdown or stoppage against the District.” Pg. 11

Oak Harbor

5/1/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Olympia

5/26/15

 

“the Association agrees that there will be no strikes during the term of this Agreement.” Pg. 66

Othello 

5/20/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Pasco 

5/21/15

Union promised no strike

“During the term of this Contract there shall be no strike or other economic action by the Association” Pg. 8

Peninsula 

5/19/15

Union promised no strike

“The Employer and the Association agree that the public interest requires efficient and uninterrupted performance of all district services and to this end pledge their best efforts to avoid or eliminate any conduct contrary to this objective. Therefore, the Employer agrees not to lock out. The Association agrees not to strike during this Agreement.” Pg. 31

Port Angeles

5/18/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Puyallup 

6/3/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Rainier

5/27/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Richland 

5/21/15

Union promised no strike

“The parties agree that during the term of this Contract there shall be no strike or other economic action by the Association and there shall be no lockout or other economic action by the District. In case of an impending statewide work stoppage, the Association and the District will meet to consider modifying the school calendar.” Pg. 6

Seattle 

5/19/15

Union promised no strike

“SEA will not cause or encourage its members to engage in any strike or other work stoppage.” Pg. 132

Sedro Woolley

4/29/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Sequim

5/18/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Shoreline 

5/11/15

Union promised no strike

“During continuing bargaining to resolve contract issues, the Association, its officers or agents, acting individually or in concert with others, shall not engage in any work stoppage against the District during the lifetime of the Agreement.” Pg. 6

Snohomish 

5/8/15

Invites a strike

“During the life of this Agreement, the Association will not cause or permit its members to cause or take part in any strike, work stoppage or slowdown, or any curtailment of, or interference with, the activities and operations of the District.  The no strike clause above shall be deemed null and void in the event the local Association participates in a multi-local strike during the term of this Agreement that shall include at least fifty (50) percent of the student population in the greater Puget Sound region to include Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap counties to encourage legislation aimed at improving wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. There will be no reprisals of any kind for participation in such a strike. The Association agrees to meet with the Board and the Superintendent at least thirty (30) days prior to participation in a multi-local strike in order to discuss plans and issues. It is further agreed that the Board will establish makeup dates after receiving Association input and recommendations.” Pg. 80

Snoqualmie Valley 

5/15/15

Union promised no strike

“The Association agrees that there shall be no strike or walk-out, nor shall it approve any such action on the part of the staff members. The District agrees that there will be no lockout of staff members.  The Association or any individual employee shall not unilaterally change the terms of the employment covered by this Agreement.” Pg. 44

South Kitsap 

5/20/15

 Invites a strike

“The Association and the members of the bargaining unit agree there shall be no strike, work stoppage or slow down for the duration of this Agreement. Section 13.1.1 By mutual consent of the parties, the calendar shall be amended to allow employees to participate in state-wide activities aimed at enhancing the support for public education. ” Pg. 66

South Whidbey 

5/6/15

Union promised no strike

“. . . every bargaining unit member as herein defined shall have the right to freely organize, join and support an educational employee organization for the purpose of engaging in collective bargaining or negotiation and other lawful concerted activities for mutual aide and protection except strikes or work slowdowns during the term of this Agreement.” Pg. 9

Spokane

5/27/15

Union promised no strike

“The Association agrees that during the life of the Agreement it will not authorize, condone, sanction, or take part in any strike, walkout, or work stoppage of employees covered by this Agreement. ” Pg. 10

Stanwood-Camano

4/22/15

Union promised no strike

“During the term of this agreement, members of the bargaining unit will not participate in any strike, work slowdown or work stoppage, nor shall such members engage in any concerted activities which are inconsistent with or inimical to the programs and operations of the district. The employer shall not engage in any lockout of the employees during the term of this agreement. In the event that any employees violate the terms of this provision, the association shall use all reasonable efforts to bring such employees into compliance and the Association shall not engage in any activities, during the term of this agreement which directly or indirectly encourage, support or direct a violation of this Section.”

Steilacoom 

5/20/15

Union promised no strike

“The Association agrees that during the terms of this Agreement, it will not cause or encourage its members to engage in any strike or other work stoppage. ” Pg. 5

Sultan 

5/15/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Tumwater

5/22/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

University Place 

5/20/15

Union promised no strike

“During the term of this agreement, employees, while acting in the course of their employment, shall not honor any picket line against the District when called upon to cross such picket line in the course of their employment.” Pg. 9

Washougal

5/13/15

 

(Silent on work stoppage or disruption of services)

Wenatchee 

5/18/15

Very narrow union promise not to strike

“There shall be no strike or other economic action by employees or by the Association, nor shall there be any lockout or other economic action by the District while this contract is in effect over any dispute which arises out of the interpretation or application of this contract or an alleged violation of the terms of this contract.” Pg. 62

Yelm

5/27/15

Invites a strike

“Both parties acknowledge that there may be concerted activities to promote legislation to improve wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment. In the event the Association wishes to participate in multi-local association activities, the Association President and the Superintendent shall meet to consider options, such as adjustments to the school day or student calendar, to allow participation without violation of this Agreement.” Pg. 114

Related:

Washington State Teacher Salaries