Daily Archives: January 2, 2012

Working Without a Contract

We saw a car today with a sign in the rear window that said, “District 109 Working Without a Contract.”

I take it that District 109 and the teachers’ union haven’t negotiated a new contract.

Of course, even if a new contract hasn’t been negotiated, the old one stays in effect until the new one is negotiated.

The teachers are still getting the same amount of money. They still get the same amount of vacation and personal days. They still get their benefits at the rate they were paying prior to the expiration of the previous contract. All the other aspects of their contracts with the district  remain as they have been.

Some could take that sign to mean that they are working without pay.

Most of us in the real world work without a contract. We are “at will” employees. That means that we can quit our jobs at any time and for any reason. We are free to leave our place of employment. Of course, that means our employer can fire us as well. Employers however are constrained by law as to reasons they can fire an employee, employees are not likewise constrained.

Personally I wouldn’t want to work under a group contract such as those the unions negotiate. I would like the opportunity to prove my worth to a company and have the company compensate me more as a result. If I do a better job, I should be able to be rewarded for it. If someone else is doing a worse job and layoffs come along, I shouldn’t have to worry that I might have to go first if I came in last. My employer should also have the freedom to choose to compensate me more for my added value or to fire me for not doing so well.