Putting Education Reform To The Test

Feedback Loop: A Change of Heart Over Collective Bargaining

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact Ohio

Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke addresses a Cleveland SB-5 repeal watch party.

Based on November’s voter turnout in Ohio, it’s no surprise readers were ready to respond to our story this week that Florida leaders likely won’t initiate a collective bargaining fight in Florida this year (despite past statements to the contrary).

On Facebook, Angela Howard said there’s little advantage to collective bargaining anyway:

I don’t understand why they want to do anything about collective bargaining. Teachers don’t go on strike in FL. It’s not like our local teacher’s union her ever been able to do anything when the county doesn’t live up to what’s in the contract anyway. Districts can decide to give or not give raises and there’s nothing we can do about it. The only benefit I’ve ever gotten is the protection of my 25 minute lunch and my 50 minute planning period.

Candise Willow said union would find more political support if they did not protect bad apples:

To the comment “teacher’s in Florida don’t strike” I say NOT YET . Unions no longer protect the “good” worker they protect the bad ones who feel they are ENTITLED to a paycheck and the benefits that come with being a union member. Until the GOOD workers stand up to the BAD ones then the unions will continue to have complete control over the employer, the product and/or the children…Unions clearly have way to much control and really no accountabilty with regard to doing the job the individual worker was hired to do. It is up to the individuals in the UNION not to tolerate others CHOICE to not do their job.

PhilEngamer said the issue is a political live wire, but the rising cost of public employee labor means something has to be done:

It’s certainly a touchy issue, and as you saw in Ohio, if you’re too aggressive in your approach, things can backfire quickly (http://eng.am/z3xDfA). That said, looking into public sector compensation is vital to sustained economic harmony. Some of the trends we’ve seen recently are simply unsustainable. During the recession, while private sector compensation expectedly struggled, public sector compensation rose (http://bit.ly/pn5weF).

If you continue to ignore this problem you’re bound to only exacerbate the problem. Rhode Island was on the brink of total insolvency due to a total lack of foresight in managing their pension fund (http://nyti.ms/wn7HlE).

Florida may not want to be gung-ho like Wisconsin or Ohio, but avoiding the problem will only lead to larger problems in the long term.

LBL said the motivations are self-serving:

Since Gov. Scott’s ratings are the lowest in the country, I’m guessing his agenda his strictly politically motivated and has no basis in what is best for the people of Florida. I do not trust him one iota!


Reader reaction is an important part of building StateImpact Florida’s education coverage. Feedback Loop will be a regular feature highlighting your questions, criticisms and comments.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »