No-hitter: WEA has yet to get on base on legality of strikes

Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no-hitter against the Orioles at Safeco Field today, just the fifth no-hitter in club history. It was a fantastic effort on Iwakuma’s part.

The no-hitter brought to mind, in an odd way, the vote teachers in the Pasco school district will take tonight on whether or not to go on strike. Just as the Orioles were unable to get a hit today, the state teachers union has yet to get any court to even let them take a base on the question of whether teacher strikes are legal.

That’s because they’re not.

A few months ago, when district unions around the state were conducting one-day strikes to protest the Legislature, we wrote on SGW:

Let’s be clear: Teacher strikes are illegal in Washington. They are not allowed under state law. The same goes for all public employees at the state and local level.

The reason doesn’t matter. They’re not legal as a protest. They’re not legal for collective bargaining purposes. They’re not legal under any circumstances.

Union leaders know this. That’s why they strenuously avoid prolonging strikes to the point that a court would rule against them and order teachers back to work or levy fines. This process could be sped up, but school boards are often reluctant to be seen as “suing” their teachers.

These strikes are bad for kids. They’re bad for public policy. They’re a bad example of how to work for what you believe in. And, they’re illegal.
-Rob McKenna

https://smartergovernmentwa.org/reminder-teacher-strikes-are-illegal-in-washington/
Reminder: Teacher strikes are illegal in Washington
APRIL 20, 2015 BY ROB MCKENNA

Several local teachers unions around the state are planning one-day walkouts as a protest. Neither the House nor Senate budgets are sufficient, they say, so to grab some attention for the issue these teachers will not show up for work.

Let’s be clear: Teacher strikes are illegal in Washington. They are not allowed under state law. The same goes for all public employees at the state and local level.

The reason doesn’t matter. They’re not legal as a protest. They’re not legal for collective bargaining purposes. They’re not legal under any circumstances.

Of course, there’s a little hiccup here. While strikes are illegal under state law, the law does not specify any penalties. Judges can impose penalties, but that only occurs after an injunction is sought and issued to require the employees to return to work, and then the employees defy that injunction.

Which means the unions know that they can get away with a one-day strike, with no price to pay. And they want it to be as disruptive as possible. As Liv Finne of the Washington Policy Center pointed out in 2011, it is an intentional union strategy to hold these strikes mid-week, when they will inconvenience parents and the community the most.

Breaking a law with no penalties is still breaking the law. That’s not the example our public school teachers should set.
-Rob McKenna

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.