Why Aren’t Texas Teachers Striking?

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Why Aren’t Texas Teachers Striking?

Nima Francis, Contributing Writer

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While teachers from other states are striking, Texan teachers are not. Why is this? Is everything so peachy in Texas that no Texan teacher dreams of striking? Quite the contrary in fact.

In Texas, teachers are forbidden from striking on the pain of losing. According to Alex Samuels from the Texas Tribune “all their civil service rights, reemployment rights, and any other rights, benefits, and privileges the employee enjoys as a result of public employment or former public employment.” With this kind of laws, it is no wonder that Texan teachers don’t dare to strike like their counterparts in states with laxer laws.

So it is no surprise that Texan teacher based organizations are actually encouraging their members to not to strike. However, there is a loophole in the law.

“The law doesn’t extend to individuals demonstrating — only those who are “acting in concert with others in an organized work stoppage,” Samuel’s stated in his news article “Teachers in other states are striking. Texas teachers can’t do that,”

So if individual Texan teachers want to protest for higher pay, they can and they won’t lose their pension or other benefits. They would have to be very careful if they decide to take such a bold step though, as the whole thing could be twisted to say they were part of an organized work stoppage.

Texas lawmakers currently aren’t in session to listen to or react to a teacher’s strike. All it would do is just make the lawmakers even more angered that teachers are intruding on the lawmakers’ private time.

Jeff Stanglin, a government instructor at Kilgore College, advises teachers to focus on the elections as it really is the only practical and realistic way to get any change. “What the Legislature will listen to this year is votes,” Samuel’s added.