Report Recommends Banning Teacher Strikes


Bob Unruh has the story in

. . . there is at least one answer being proposed: Not allowing “illegal” teacher strikes.

It comes in a Policy Memo from the Goldwater Institute to members of the Arizona State Board of Education.

Those closures are unlawful, the memo explains, because “employees of the government have no right to strike except where authorized by statute.”

The argument presented is this: The state constitution guarantees a right to education, and the legislature is responsible for that obligation.

“Once it has [provided the system], by establishing, regulating, and funding a school system, then the system it has established must be complied with. People may disagree with the policies and laws the legislature enacts, and may want more funding for schools than the legislature has provided, but the proper recourse is then to petition the legislature, engage in political protests, and vote one’s conscience – not the violate the laws…” the memo explains.

Sure, public employees have First Amendment rights to express opinions.

“They have no right, however, to strike, violate their contractual obligations, disable the state’s school system, and engage in political activities on the taxpayer’s dime,” the report said.

In Arizona, where the institute is located, the Arizona Education Association this year claimed “school employees have the right to strike because there is no law forbidding it. This is incorrect. Public school employees, like all government employees, presumptively have no right to strike unless such a right is given to them by statute.”

The report continues, “Teachers are ultimately employed by the state, their pay is received from the state, their pensions are part of the Arizona State Retirement System, and they discharge duties established by state law. The state board has authority to ‘supervise and control the certification of persons engaged in instructional work.’”

Public school managers actually aggravated the problem, the report said.