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Pennsylvania’s Corrosive Strike Culture

The Wall Street Journal recently had an interesting article on the extremely high percentage of teacher’s strikes in the State of Pennsylvania. The Journal noted that Penn. teachers account for an astonishing 42% of all teacher walk outs in the nation.

This, apparently, despite the fact that Pennsylvania’s teachers are some of the highest paid in the nation.

The strikes take place despite the state’s ranking in the top 20% nationwide for teacher salaries in 2006-2007 — the most recent data available — with an average of $54,970. Those paychecks go even further when adjusted for the state’s cost of living compared to top-spending school districts in places like California.

The Journal notes that 37 states have passed various laws that limit or eliminate teacher walk outs but union bigwigs in Penn. have succeeded in burying all attempts to implement such laws in the Keystone state.

What we have here, of course, is an example of a culture of striking that has arisen in the state. Despite that teachers in Penn. have little legitimate reason to be responsible for nearly half the teachers strikes in the nation, these strikes have become a common response to unions not getting their way. That combined with lax rules that facilitate the ease of resorting to walk outs as a first reaction to union talks stalling, we find the culture of constant strikes has developed.

This is also the sort of ultimate logic of unionism and why it has a corrosive effect on the workplace.

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