Labor strike refers to the act of employees downing tools mainly to communicate their grievances to their employers. Such complaints include matters concerning pay rise and collective bargaining agreements (CBA). Further, all constitutions in worldwide recognize striking is legal. The history of labor strikes has however proved productive with legislation set to govern and defend the rights of employees.
Strikes often downgrade the standards of work and the quality of services offered to people (Pynes & Lafferty, 1993). This majorly affects the public sector. For instance, doctors and nurses strike vastly affect the services provided at public hospitals contrary to private hospitals where treatment costs are relatively high. Private industries therefore benefit from the labor unions strikes. Nevertheless, public employees encounter various challenges during the strikes. For instance, the government takes a long time to address their issues; weeks or probably months. In turn, this denies them their average monthly pay. In cases where the government fails to reach a consensus with workers unions or the industrial courts fail to legalize a strike, the situation forces employees to return to work or face the sack.
In case a strike is legal but lasts for long; usually, most firms opt to hire other workers on a temporary basis. In the process, the firms incur high losses as they still pay both the temporal workers and the striking workers. This, however, creates an open window for private sectors to improve economically.
Besides, striking employees are also prone to losing their benefits. Benefits like sick leave or medical insurance cover. Nonetheless, fellow employees harass their counterparts who fail to join the others in striking.
Collective Bargaining as a Primary Strategy of the Democratic Voice
According to Hannaway & Rotherham (2006), collective bargaining defines a proper way of shaping the manner in which a government organizes its employees and the mode of financing used on public workers. This entirely loosens the pressure of working under strict undefined laws that often lead to inconveniences. Labor unions play a significant role in grafting and implementing reforms with the aim of improving standards of work and at the same time meeting the employees' satisfaction.
Unions in the education sector do more than just representing the workers in the efforts to ensure decency in the living standards of teachers (Casey, 2006). It further involves the profession of teaching itself, the standards of schools and the quality of education offered, these, collectively address teachers democratic voice.
Among the strategies often set to oversee and improve teachers democracy is, political action. Violence has always been a menace both to the teaching staff and generally to the education system. Cases of teachers` assault by students evidently initiate criminal-like activity into the education system. Political action plays a role by enforcing laws that focus on curbing violence in schools. Such laws punish hostile students and this has remarkably revived self-discipline and integrity in schools.
Besides, professional development for teachers entails the introduction and running of various types of workshops. This integrated type of development instills teachers with additional skills and expertise on efficient ways to handle students, for instance, teachers are trained on how to de-escalate all forms of confrontations and prevent the occurrence of any physical conflict with the students. This has seen vast improvement regarding student-teacher relationship hence improved education standards.
Contention Concerning Features of Collective Bargaining Agreement and Their Ill Effects on Education
Collective bargaining agreements strengthen unions of teachers by giving them much influence on how the government does the allocation of their resources (Hannaway & Rotherham, 2006); most bargaining laws address a wide range of teachers` requirements: they tend to negotiate over pay rise, firing policies, evaluation, non-teaching duties and teaching hours. Thus resulting in the tremendous reduction in the quality of education since more resources are shifted to the teaching staff ignoring other educational necessities.
Every collective bargaining law has a stipulated time with which its validity is determined. This duration however, may exceed creating a negative impact on the students. More so, this happens when the teaching staff goes on strike due to late or failure of the employer to honor the requirements of the bargaining agreement. In turn, the students forego days without being taught and this result in poor quality of education.
Collective bargaining further widens the barrier between employees and employers. Evidently, in cases where the two parties fail to reach a consensus, an aggravating situation results which may end up stirring an unhealthy relationship between the employer and the employees.
Pynes, J., & Lafferty, J. M. (1993). Local government labor relations: a guide for public administrators. Quorum Books.
Casey, L. (2006). The educational value of democratic voice. Collective bargaining in education, 181-202.
Hannaway, J., & Rotherham, A. (2006). Collective bargaining in education. Cambridge, MA: dHarvard Education Press.
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