Former Union Militant Admits Recent Strike Has Hurt
As the 2018-2019 school year drew to a close late this
spring, rank-and-file teachers in Oakland, Calif., who had heeded Big Labor’s
strike siren song this winter finally learned how much their unauthorized
absences from the classroom would cost them.
A number of teachers were reportedly shocked to learn their
losses were greater than the gains they thought they had reaped.
According to a June 12 news account by journalist Lily
Jamali for KQED, a San Francisco-based public radio station, one of the
flabbergasted teachers was Raymond Pulliam.
Teachers ‘May Not Have Been Prepared for the Type of Losses
That They Received’
Mr. Pulliam, at the time the teacher of a third- and
fourth-grade combination class at Parker Elementary School in Oakland, had been
a “strike captain who encouraged fellow teachers to go on strike in February,”
reported Ms. Jamali.
He expected he and his colleagues would benefit financially
from the walkout.
But now he estimates, he and others lost “about a third” of
their earnings “for one pay cycle,” that is, “a few thousand dollars.”
As Mr. Pulliam admitted to Ms. Jamali, he had begun to have
“misgivings” about his actions as a strike organizer:
“I felt as if I was taking my soldiers into a winless fight.
. . . Yes, we all took a financial hit. I feel so sorry about those who also
took that hit, but may or may not have been prepared for the type of losses
that they received.”
His bitter experience as a strike captain and the
“disappointing” deal union bosses ultimately struck with the school district
both “played into” the recent decision he and his family made to pull up
“All of the things that I experienced during the strike are a microcosm of what’s happening across [forced-unionism] California. . . . You’re losing more than you’re gaining. We decided that we need to get out of this web and move to where things make more sense.”
California Teacher Raymond Pulliam
Top Teacher Union Bosses Praise K-12 School Strikes, Including
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix
“The vast majority of Americans recognize that
schoolchildren, parents and taxpayers are hurt when government union bosses
call teachers out on strike, regardless of whether the strike is formally
barred by state law, as it often is, or legally permitted, as is the case in
Big Labor-ruled California.
“Unfortunately, top teacher union bosses have, despite the
havoc wrought by the recent wave of K-12 school strikes in California and a
number of other states, repeatedly praised such job actions, even as Big Labor
routinely denies responsibility for those that are illegal.
“For example, at the conclusion of a flagrantly political
strike that shut down the Los Angeles Unified School District for seven days
this January, National Education Association [NEA] union President Lily
Eskelsen Garcia gushed:
“‘What we are witnessing is not a moment but a movement . . . by educators who are fighting for the public schools our students deserve.’
“The fact is, union bosses openly order or quietly instigate strikes to advance their institutional interests.
“As the late national teacher union boss Al Shanker once acknowledged, it’s a ‘fact of life’ that there is no ‘voice for students’ in Big Labor collectivism. That’s true of school strikes, especially.
“And, as Raymond Pulliam and many of his colleagues recently learned, rank-and-file teachers don’t come out on top in strikes, either.”
NEA President Eskelsen Garcia
State Bans on Union Monopoly Bargaining Protect Public
Mr. Mix noted it is significant that the state to which Mr. Pulliam and his family opted to move, Right to Work Virginia, is one of just seven where union monopoly bargaining over public educators’ pay and other terms and conditions of employment is barred by statute or by case law:
“As Raymond Pulliam succinctly put it, ‘things make more
sense’ in states like Virginia, where teachers cannot be forced to bankroll a
union or cede control over their pay, benefits, and work rules to union
“Right to Work members agree, and that’s why they continue
to fight to expand such protections for teachers and other employees to