September 27, 2013
Illegal faculty strike impacting students
Public employees have no legal right to strike in Washington. Notwithstanding that, the faculty at Bellingham Technical College, which was scheduled to start its academic year on Wednesday, is on strike. For students, many of whom are older and have families, the strike's impact is being felt in some very real ways. From the Bellingham Herald:
As a faculty strike at Bellingham Technical College entered its third day Thursday, Sept. 25, with no end in sight, some of the nearly 2,500 affected students are voicing their frustrations.
By law, the college can't release financial aid monies to students until classes start -- and college officials canceled classes for Friday. That has left some unable to pay rent or buy food, they say. Others are frustrated they had quit their jobs to start school, only to realize they could have earned more while classes have been canceled.
The Herald reporter interviewed several students about the position the strike has put them in, which is worth a read. In an initial hearing, a judge refused to issue an injunction ordering the faculty back to work. Absent a settlement, the college and union will be back in court on Monday.
Posted by Adam Faber at September 27, 2013
05:41 PM | Email This
1. A victory of the free market, now all those other schools will get those students.
2. The college cancelled the classes. That's why the students didn't get the money, not because the teachers were striking.
3. A temporary victory for the teachers, playing dogs-in-the-manger. Their refusal to work forced the college to cancel the classes, and the illegal strikers need to be hit with a class-action lawsuit, jointly and severally, to provide restitution to the student victims of the teachers actions.
4. Okay, they 'have no legal right to strike' - but is it illegal for them to strike? Are they breaking a law? I have never fully understood this of 'public employees'?
The hack rides again.
For students, many of whom are older and have families, the strike's impact is being felt in some very real ways.
Because naturally -- for conservatives at least -- employees working without a raise for six years and their families are feeling no impacts at all.
@4 Duffman on September 28, 2013 08:35 AM,
In short, no it is not criminal for public employees to strike. But it is not a right public employees are entitled to in WA like the right to strike employees of non-public employers have under law.
Public employees can strike, and if their public agency has a grievance with that action they can plead their case with the court seeking an injunction to end the strike, as was done here.
It's funny how the supposed party of liberty and personal freedom loses its bearings whenever the question comes up over an individuals right to decide whether to provide his labor in exchange for offered wages.
Wingnuts are the first to compare simple taxation to slavery. What do they call it when they insist that someone work against his will?
Nobody is being forced to work against their will. They are free to quit and seek employment elswhere..or not. This whole issue could be addressed by the WSSC, the AG has issued an opinion letter based on lower court decisions and the issue appears to be that they do not have the legal right to strike, but there has never been a legislative designation of a penalty for striking.
I wonder if Silent Bob Ferguson will step to the microphone and take this to the Supreme Court.
9. Nobody is being forced to work against their will.
That's true so far, but Adam doesn't think that's right. The faculty contract has expired, so right now they don't have an agreement on wages and benefits, and they haven't agreed to work. Adam and others seem to think they should be made to show up for work anyway.
Would you show up for work if you didn't have an agreement on how much you would be paid?
PS: McKenna's opinion isn't worth much if he hasn't tried it in court. Others disagree with him. Also, I don't think the AG has standing in this case.
10. Why don't the Teachers take it to court if they feel they will prevail? If the AG's opinion letter "isn't worth much" then perhaps the new AG would like to put his stamp on the issue and provide some certainty for the citizens of Washington instead of doing this dance every school year. Or does the contributor base of the one party monopoly in this state like things just the way they are.
11. The teachers are bravely standing up against big government.
@11. The teachers are bravely standing up against big government.
Until their contract is signed, then they again become part of big government.