I shared earlier this week that my union was going on strike starting on Monday. Well, today is the 4th day of the strike with no resolution in sight. If you are interested in the details of the strike you can check it out at We Teach Tacoma. It's been really ugly and mean. You read about strikes that get resolved in 1/2 a day. This has not been one of those strikes.
I struggled (still) with the idea of teacher's striking. We are public employees. It is a hardship on our families. There are budget cuts around the state. All of those things being true there were some other truths involved in this decision. We (the teachers) have already lost our COLA and 2 additional training days of the past 2 year. We currently have a system of displacement that, while not the best, is at least equal to all employees. The district wants to impose a system that could be easily abused by administration. Our class sizes are already too big. Adding another 1-2 kids would be unfair to both teachers and our students. So.....
Based on all of this I've decided to strike with my fellow teachers. This means that I walk, and I walk, and I walk. In the first 3 days of the strike I have walked 26.69 miles on the picket line. I pick up my sign at 8 AM and start walking. Everything from my waist down hurts! In a few hours I will start walking again. Ready for some good news????
I can walk. I can walk, and walk, and walk, and walk. My legs are strong. My core is solid. It's like I have spent the last 2.5 years and 170 pounds working towards this strike. I never could have done this in 2009. Also, I think that in 2009 that I *may* have refused to picket. I would have been too worried about what people think. I am doing this for me and for my students (and my children who are in the same district!). I have leared that there are times where I need to put my needs ahead of others. Usually this applies to fitting in my exercise, but today it will apply to me exercising my right to be a part of a union. On the plus side I was down to 189 this morning. This is the first time since the surgery that I've been able to break through the 190s. I know that it will come back a bit when I stop walking 8+ miles a day, but it's fun for today.