Public Employees: How has collective bargaining improved your workplace and work life?
Without collective bargaining I would still be working through my lunch. I wouldn't be paid for the months of July and August. I wouldn't have a preparation period. I would have to accept yard duty, lunch duty and hallway duty. But most importantly, I wouldn't have any avenue of redress against charges or allegations against me by my principal. I would, in other words, be nothing more then an indentured servant with no recourse or rights of my own.
My work life improved immensely when we started the Wisconsin Professional Employees Council in the early '90's. I started receiving pay for being on call, received comp time for all of the extra hours I worked and also received back pay for overtime I was forced to perform the previous year. Today I have 40 hours of professional improvement time per year that I can use for almost any course I'd like to take in order to broaden my career or well-being.