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View Poll Results: As a whole, are unions needed?
Yes 32 40.00%
No 48 60.00%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:04 PM #106
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To the teachers in here-

Would u guys be confident enough in your abilities in preforming your job to get rid of tenure for a double to triple increase in pay?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:05 PM #107
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Keeping the current testing systems in place?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:07 PM #108
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Keeping the current testing systems in place?
Hmm yes. But if you could change it how would you?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:15 PM #109
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Hmm yes. But if you could change it how would you?
I think the better question is how do we ensure teachers are putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed without some sort of standard test?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 PM #110
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Originally Posted by tsbalr120 View Post
To the teachers in here-

Would u guys be confident enough in your abilities in preforming your job to get rid of tenure for a double to triple increase in pay?
Hell, yes. Actually, here in Oklahoma, we don't have tenure anymore. Got rid of it two years ago and we got NO increase in pay. ANYONE, regardless of time served in the classroom, can be let loose now, so long as the evaluation system and subsequent follow up plan of improvement doesn't work. The problem now is the issue of administrators who have grudges against certain teachers due to conflicts of the years. Yes, this is a very real issue but fortunately for Oklahoma, we have such a teacher shortage that we aren't really threatened at being let go unless we just can't do well on the TLE (teacher evaluation).

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Keeping the current testing systems in place?
Hell, no. The current testing system is a joke. You're basing an entire year's worth of work (or a few years worth of work) on a snapshot, a few minutes to judge hours and hours and hours of sweat, on a test that is never really fair to begin with.

If you want to see REAL testing, there should be a test at the beginning of the year to judge where the individual student is currently at, then at the very least a test at the end of the year to judge how much said student has grown - especially since not all students are ever at the same level.

My idea would be to test three or four times per year, actually, and get a real sense of how the student is progressing. You can't compare how one student, who is low at the beginning of the year to one who is already high and will blow the curve for all the other kids. Not only that, but the way the tests work now is that the students of any one teacher this year will be compared to the students of the same teacher last year with no regard to the class makeup, social situations, financial situations, ethnic makeup and the general atmosphere of the group. The comparison of students is asinine, improper and doesn't prove anything.

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I think the better question is how do we ensure teachers are putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed without some sort of standard test?
I think it's an unfair assumption thinking that teachers AREN'T putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed (yes, I know there are bad teachers but they are honestly not as common as you think). To be fair, how do we know YOU aren't putting forth YOUR best effort in your job? Or your doctor, or lawyer, or policeman, or mayor or garbage man, etc.? At the end of the day, it IS just a job after all, and in ALL jobs there are those that work harder than others. To assume because we work with kids that we should be somehow morally above where all other workers in the world are is putting the profession on a pedestal that the profession really doesn't want anymore.

However, I do understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, the standardized test is the common way to judge a student's success in the classroom. However, as I stated above, I believe the testing itself should be changed, and GROWTH over the year used to determine a student's success, not a score compared to other students.

Drgonzo was right, btw - there are TONS of teachers every year that really, really want to retire, but won't because they can't afford it. Seriously, I've never seen anything like this before - unless you're in awesome health, it's a negative thing to retire. Insurance is so expensive, and while most retirees are still of working age (a lot of teachers can retire after 20-25 years depending on state guidelines) they're unable to really start a new career due to their age, and they actually lose money by retiring because of their payment of insurance rates. It's really set up to keep us FROM retiring!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:21 PM #111
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Originally Posted by vikingshadow View Post

I think it's an unfair assumption thinking that teachers AREN'T putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed (yes, I know there are bad teachers but they are honestly not as common as you think). To be fair, how do we know YOU aren't putting forth YOUR best effort in your job? Or your doctor, or lawyer, or policeman, or mayor or garbage man, etc.? At the end of the day, it IS just a job after all, and in ALL jobs there are those that work harder than others. To assume because we work with kids that we should be somehow morally above where all other workers in the world are is putting the profession on a pedestal that the profession really doesn't want anymore.

However, I do understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, the standardized test is the common way to judge a student's success in the classroom. However, as I stated above, I believe the testing itself should be changed, and GROWTH over the year used to determine a student's success, not a score compared to other students.

Because people review my work and if it isn't up to snuff i hear about it like every other job. The ultimate goal of my job is to submit my work that has been completed on time, is of high quality and is done appropriately. Teachers don't "submit" work to their bosses in that same way so there needs to be a way to ensure they are doing their job, and their job is to educate. I mean I honestly don't know an easy way to do it because they people that are closest to the teachers are the students.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:27 PM #112
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Originally Posted by vikingshadow View Post
Hell, yes. Actually, here in Oklahoma, we don't have tenure anymore. Got rid of it two years ago and we got NO increase in pay. ANYONE, regardless of time served in the classroom, can be let loose now, so long as the evaluation system and subsequent follow up plan of improvement doesn't work. The problem now is the issue of administrators who have grudges against certain teachers due to conflicts of the years. Yes, this is a very real issue but fortunately for Oklahoma, we have such a teacher shortage that we aren't really threatened at being let go unless we just can't do well on the TLE (teacher evaluation).
I can dig this.

Quote:

Hell, no. The current testing system is a joke. You're basing an entire year's worth of work (or a few years worth of work) on a snapshot, a few minutes to judge hours and hours and hours of sweat, on a test that is never really fair to begin with.

If you want to see REAL testing, there should be a test at the beginning of the year to judge where the individual student is currently at, then at the very least a test at the end of the year to judge how much said student has grown - especially since not all students are ever at the same level.

My idea would be to test three or four times per year, actually, and get a real sense of how the student is progressing. You can't compare how one student, who is low at the beginning of the year to one who is already high and will blow the curve for all the other kids. Not only that, but the way the tests work now is that the students of any one teacher this year will be compared to the students of the same teacher last year with no regard to the class makeup, social situations, financial situations, ethnic makeup and the general atmosphere of the group. The comparison of students is asinine, improper and doesn't prove anything.

If I remember correctly from highschool, a few teachers did something this to see where students struggle the most on upcoming subjects. Its a good idea but many students didn't put much effort in it because it wasn't graded for correctness, so it was probably pretty skewed.

Quote:
I think it's an unfair assumption thinking that teachers AREN'T putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed (yes, I know there are bad teachers but they are honestly not as common as you think). To be fair, how do we know YOU aren't putting forth YOUR best effort in your job? Or your doctor, or lawyer, or policeman, or mayor or garbage man, etc.? At the end of the day, it IS just a job after all, and in ALL jobs there are those that work harder than others. To assume because we work with kids that we should be somehow morally above where all other workers in the world are is putting the profession on a pedestal that the profession really doesn't want anymore.

However, I do understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, the standardized test is the common way to judge a student's success in the classroom. However, as I stated above, I believe the testing itself should be changed, and GROWTH over the year used to determine a student's success, not a score compared to other students.

Standardized testing will always be the top of priorities as long as colleges use them as a benchmark for admissions.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:44 PM #113
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I mean it has to be one or the other. Social security is not solvent.
That's not true.

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We either need to put more money in or stop giving as much out. We don't live in a magical world where we can keep the benefits without paying for them.
The way to determine which is to figure out the source of the problem. Need has not dropped, but the distribution of wealth has, putting much money out of reach of the funding mechanisms. Given that the distribution of wealth has a direct effect on perpetuating need, it's an absolute no-brainer that the fix is on the funding side.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:50 PM #114
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Because people review my work and if it isn't up to snuff i hear about it like every other job. The ultimate goal of my job is to submit my work that has been completed on time, is of high quality and is done appropriately. Teachers don't "submit" work to their bosses in that same way so there needs to be a way to ensure they are doing their job, and their job is to educate. I mean I honestly don't know an easy way to do it because they people that are closest to the teachers are the students.
You're kidding, right? You want to evaluate teachers as if they're 9-5 office jockeys based on how children perform on some authoritarian fill in the bubble bull****?

You want to turn teaching into office work? What kind of sadistic *** would do that to children?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:52 PM #115
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I've seen The Office and I'm sure kids would appreciate all the comedy.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:58 PM #116
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Quote:
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You're kidding, right? You want to evaluate teachers as if they're 9-5 office jockeys based on how children perform on some authoritarian fill in the bubble bull<del>****</del>?

You want to turn teaching into office work? What kind of sadistic <del>***</del> would do that to children?
Did I ever say that? He asked how they know if I am doing my job so I told him. I even say this:

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Originally Posted by benji25 View Post
I mean I honestly don't know an easy way to do it because they people that are closest to the teachers are the students.
and
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I think the better question is how do we ensure teachers are putting forth their best effort to help kids succeed without some sort of standard test?
Chill the **** out dude.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:06 PM #117
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Because people review my work and if it isn't up to snuff i hear about it like every other job.
I get observed multiple times a month, my lesson plans are checked every week and my work is reviewed constantly. Same as any teacher in our district, and I'd assume most schools.

Quote:
The ultimate goal of my job is to submit my work that has been completed on time, is of high quality and is done appropriately. Teachers don't "submit" work to their bosses in that same way so there needs to be a way to ensure they are doing their job, and their job is to educate.
The ultimate goal of our job is to also submit our work, also completed on time - which not only includes lesson plans but also IRPs (6 page Individualized Reading Programs for each student below grade level discussing in depth what I, as the main core teacher, plan to do to move these students up to and beyond grade level THIS YEAR - 18/23 students this year for me, including three non speaking Hispanics) Benchmark testing and tests (one per student every quarter in English, science, Social Studies and one every two weeks in reading and math) Title I reports every month, IEPs (Individualized Education Program for special ed kids - pages and pages of Fed BS), Common Core lessons and plans every week (on top of weekly lesson plans) not to mention grading and testing that must be loaded online by every Friday. There are other things as well, but you get the picture. Oh, and all these usually have deadlines of a few days to a couple of weeks - depends on when they want to tell us about them!

Unfortunately, our job these days are more paperwork than education. And as I said, the new Teacher Evaluation that was set up this year by the state and required by the Feds to be removed from the NCLB guidelines is a major ***** to get through - not even kidding. The "short pamphlet" we received from the state department to explain it was 14 pages long - legal sized paper, front and back and the online form the principals use to observe us is 8 pages long. I'd say we're every bit as observed and watched, even more so, than most jobs these days - if for nothing else than we are constantly having to defend ourselves from the public 24/7.

Quote:
I mean I honestly don't know an easy way to do it because they people that are closest to the teachers are the students.
This is the crux of it all. If we sit down at our desks to finally get a start on this work and we have students in our rooms, if the principal walks in, we get a hickey on our evaluation because "we should always be up walking around the room observing our students" - not even kidding on this! And yet, despite all the observations and surprise walk through visits by the admins, like you said, the people who most see us are the students. Yet, despite their assurances to their parents, friends, admins and other students, teachers are still suspect. It's assumed we're not doing a good job by just about everyone (except the admins. To do that, they'd have to admit they were falling down on their jobs!)

(I'll give you a hint as to the whole problem. Honestly, if parents would become more involved with their children, and less defensive of their children when they get in trouble or don't do their work, and realize MOST teachers want to help their children become successful, I believe we'd see HUGE gains in education. Let's face it. We've thrown money hand over fist at education, changed programs multiple times, every year some new "breakthrough" comes around only to fail again, teachers go to meetings after meetings, workshops and classes after workshops and classes....maybe it's not the teachers? Maybe we should focus on parents now!)
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:08 PM #118
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To the teachers in here-

Would u guys be confident enough in your abilities in preforming your job to get rid of tenure for a double to triple increase in pay?
Abso****inglutely
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:15 PM #119
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I was a union member with the SEIU when I was the Chief of Nuclear Medicine while on staff at Kaiser Permenente Hospital. Never agreed with the strong arm tactics and mind games they played against the private sector and the non-union management. Wonder how the hell that hospital system stayed aloft with that amount of organized crime happening literally underfoot. Stood by, helplessly, while watching patient after patient receive greatly sub-par care and the union supporting the positions of the ones implementing such injustices. Glad I jumped at the opportunity to go into private practice 9 years ago. Looking at other revenue streams now do to Obama Care being phased in.
In my opinion unions, Especially the SEIU, is just another front for organized crime.


Also, my children attend a non-union Charter School. They currently rank in the top 10 of Californias' Charter Schools, and the teacher love the working environment.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:18 PM #120
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I can agree with that statement! While some good can come of them, it seems it's rare. I took the opportunity and jumped from the Union once I found out all the NON education stuff (and where my money was going) the teacher's union did.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:18 PM #121
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Wait a sec. I get observed multiple times a month, my lesson plans are checked every week and my work is reviewed constantly. Same as any teacher in our district, and I'd assume most schools.



The ultimate goal of our job is to also submit our work, also completed on time - which not only includes lesson plans but also IRPs (6 page Individualized Reading Programs for each student below grade level discussing in depth what I, as the main core teacher, plan to do to move these students up to and beyond grade level THIS YEAR - 18/23 students this year for me, including three non speaking Hispanics) Benchmark testing and tests (one per student every quarter in English, science, Social Studies and one every two weeks in reading and math) Title I reports every month, IEPs (Individualized Education Program for special ed kids - pages and pages of Fed BS), Common Core lessons and plans every week (on top of weekly lesson plans) not to mention grading and testing that must be loaded online by every Friday. There are other things as well, but you get the picture. Oh, and all these usually have deadlines of a few days to a couple of weeks - depends on when they want to tell us about them!

Unfortunately, our job these days are more paperwork than education. And as I said, the new Teacher Evaluation that was set up this year by the state and required by the Feds to be removed from the NCLB guidelines is a major <del>*****</del> to get through - not even kidding. The "short pamphlet" we received from the state department to explain it was 14 pages long - legal sized paper, front and back and the online form the principals use to observe us is 8 pages long. I'd say we're every bit as observed and watched, even more so, than most jobs these days - if for nothing else than we are constantly having to defend ourselves from the public 24/7.



This is the crux of it all. If we sit down at our desks to finally get a start on this work and we have students in our rooms, if the principal walks in, we get a hickey on our evaluation because "we should always be up walking around the room observing our students" - not even kidding on this! And yet, despite all the observations and surprise walk through visits by the admins, like you said, the people who most see us are the students. Yet, despite their assurances to their parents, friends, admins and other students, teachers are still suspect. It's assumed we're not doing a good job by just about everyone (except the admins. To do that, they'd have to admit they were falling down on their jobs!)

(I'll give you a hint as to the whole problem. Honestly, if parents would become more involved with their children, and less defensive of their children when they get in trouble or don't do their work, and realize MOST teachers want to help their children become successful, I believe we'd see HUGE gains in education. Let's face it. We've thrown money hand over fist at education, changed programs multiple times, every year some new "breakthrough" comes around only to fail again, teachers go to meetings after meetings, workshops and classes after workshops and classes....maybe it's not the teachers? Maybe we should focus on parents now!)
I agree with you 10000000% on the parents comment. And like I fully admitted, I am not very knowledgeable on the intricacies of the teaching to suggest a way to solve it how teachers should be reviewed. However, it is the main goal of the teacher to educate their students so there has to be *some* accountability to student performance. How they measure that or how it affect a teachers review I do not know how to answer but it should weigh in somewhere.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:55 PM #122
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Oh, I see where you're going now. Yes, you're right. I totally agree, and I believe most teachers I have spoken with agree. The problem is finding a good way to do it so it is an accurate judge of a student's success and how that directly relates to the teacher's input and skill level. This has been a topic of dispute for a very long time now....and it seems we can't come to a consensus on how to fix it.

I tell ya, the person that figures it out will be a very famous and wealthy person! Hahaha!
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:39 PM #123
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I took the opportunity and jumped from the Union once I found out all the NON education stuff (and where my money was going) the teacher's union did.
Such as? The union's job is not "education stuff" ... that's YOUR job.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:12 AM #124
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Well, yes, that is my job. But I joined an education union - assuming that it would only have the issues in education in mind, along with the normal legal protection, etc. when I paid my dues. True, that was my assumption and we all know what happens when we assume.

However, when I dug in and did some research, I found that my $700 a year dues were going towards political issues I didn't agree with (issues I feel shouldn't be in the feds hands or that I just don't agree with and I felt my money should be used in a way I believed in, not them. The final straw was when I found they were fully supporting a candidate I didn't support in the presidential race and didn't want my money going there), I decided to pull out and put my money (which surprisingly was less than half the amount in dues paid to the previous union and came with twice the protection in terms of legal and financial protection and advice and available discounts give - which was another nice surprise - and they ONLY deal with education concerns) in another area.

I'm very pleased with my new union and how they handle things - I feel they're actually an asset to educators rather than just a political machine.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:20 AM #125
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Originally Posted by vikingshadow View Post

This is the crux of it all. If we sit down at our desks to finally get a start on this work and we have students in our rooms, if the principal walks in, we get a hickey on our evaluation because "we should always be up walking around the room observing our students" - not even kidding on this! And yet, despite all the observations and surprise walk through visits by the admins, like you said, the people who most see us are the students. Yet, despite their assurances to their parents, friends, admins and other students, teachers are still suspect. It's assumed we're not doing a good job by just about everyone (except the admins. To do that, they'd have to admit they were falling down on their jobs!)

(I'll give you a hint as to the whole problem. Honestly, if parents would become more involved with their children, and less defensive of their children when they get in trouble or don't do their work, and realize MOST teachers want to help their children become successful, I believe we'd see HUGE gains in education. Let's face it. We've thrown money hand over fist at education, changed programs multiple times, every year some new "breakthrough" comes around only to fail again, teachers go to meetings after meetings, workshops and classes after workshops and classes....maybe it's not the teachers? Maybe we should focus on parents now!)
I'm curious. How much weight does that surprise walk through rating really carry? Does it simply go into another busywork report that the principal hates writing too, and noone ever reads? It is really hard to fire a teacher unless they do something spectacular.

I know the teachers are responsible for a great deal of busywork that is of no help to the students. Personally I think that busy work around iEP etc. creates more confusion for the students because the teacher is not consistently in the classroom. I do feel sorry for you guys in that respect because your requirements are written by PhDs who have very little real world experience and are not invested in the result. They want to make a big splash so that they can get more funding. They don't want to prove the obvious, because that doesn't get them invited to speak at meetings. I think education PhDs are worse than nutrition PhDs.

We, as parents, hate the new breakthrough teaching systems that arrive every few years . The new math is a prime example. It's so much more confusing for the kids than the old system. It also takes longer and much more paper to solve simple arithmetic.

Here is a place that the union could shine. Instead of whining about salaries, protecting the useless and all the other stuff that has nothing to do with education, they could go after quality in the classroom and really be about the children. I think teachers, in general, care about their students. Maybe im being naive , butI believe the parents would back you guys in those fights. I know I would if the local teachers needed it. There is political will for back to basics in education. Why do you think home and charter schools are more popular? Parents are more involved than you give them credit for.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:14 PM #126
drgonzo
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Originally Posted by vikingshadow View Post
The final straw was when I found they were fully supporting a candidate I didn't support in the presidential race and didn't want my money going there)
For 30 years there has only been one candidate unions should be supporting. If it was supporting the other, it would be going against your interests and against its mission.

You may not have known enough to understand that but the union sees it up close and personal in its political dealings. It knows who is trying to screw you, even if you don't.

Unions are the workers' political power! The decline of unions is why workers have so little political power today. Unions are supposed to be political and deal with the terms and economics of your employment, substantive professional issues are for professional associations and advocacy groups. Leaving a union because it is politically active is shooting yourself in the foot as a worker, and shows complete lack of understanding of labor issues.
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Last edited by drgonzo : 11-30-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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