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Post-Labor Day Wrap Up
posted by: Alix | September 06, 2011, 03:58 PM   

This week we look back on another Labor Day gone, and the hope and promise of a new school year ahead. While most Americans see Labor Day as a long weekend marking the end of summer, it is critical to not only recognize the history and hardship of the workers of over century ago, but recognize the state of labor today.

For our teachers, unionization rose out of an overly oppressed and persecuted female workforce. Early teachers were expected to work for low wages with no job security or safeguards. In a time where women had few professional options, our nation's teachers banded together to create a profession that would be treated fairly and recognized for hard work. Unfortunately, over one hundred years later, the modern day teacher union is an entirely different animal.

What remains this Labor Day 2011, and heading into another school year, is a massive, powerful special interest group that does not use their member dues exclusively for the betterment of the teaching profession. Instead, despite changing times and a weakened economy, the teacher union monopolies have for years been more concerned with their own well-being than the interests of their members.

The fact is big labor, in general, and teacher unions, specifically, have been on the defensive for years; particularly in states where governors have made it their mission to end forced-unionism. Unfortunately, this Labor Day holiday was not a celebration of our working ancestors, who 125 years ago literally fought and died for better working conditions, rather a radical show of political posturing and rhetoric from some of our most high-ranking office holders.

After a profane and rousing speech by Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa at a Labor Day function yesterday, President Obama took to the stage to express his support for an organization that threatens to "take people out" for disagreeing with them.

At another event, Vice President Joe Biden told gathering AFL-CIO members that union members and leaders are the only ones "keeping the barbarians from the gates."

Sadly, this is the attitude of labor today. While it is important to recognize our history, more and more educators are beginning to realize that the adversarial and overreaching tactics of today's teacher unions are degrading the professionalism of teachers and hurting our nation's students.

Here at AAE, we have seen unprecedented growth this back-to-school season. We are thrilled to see teachers in states like Wisconsin join in numbers like we have never seen before. It seems that the current education and labor reform climate, the AAE mission of professionalism without the politics is resonating with the nation's teacher workforce. We will continue to lead the way in recognizing our member teachers as the professionals they are called to be.

What are your thoughts on the legacy of Labor Day and the state of teacher unions today?
Comment below.

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