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The False Conflict Between Unionism and Professionalism


Ceolaf -- you must be referring to a discussion that has completely vanished from my memory. In any event, whether or not we call teaching "professional" seems to be completely semantic, not substantive. What of any substantive consequence would follow from calling teachers "professional" or not?

How many actual professionals ever rely so heavily on salary schedules?

So I guess the answer is none.

Stuart, I don't know how many use formal schedules (if you do, please share), but I'm certain that many professionals have arrangements - whether formal or informal - to receive annual raises. Either way, the point of the post is that being a professional - and the concept of professionalism - is not about salary structures, job security, etc. You don't have to like these policies, but they don't determine whether workers are professionals or treated as such. MD

Stuart, I've fairly certain I've mentioned airline pilots to you before. So, you know damn well that there is another profession that has traditionally been dependent upon salary scheduled. I am also fairly certain that I have pointed out to you know that salary schedules are not about the profession, but rather are about the organization in which they work. When professionals are the the frontline workers -- as opposed to generally being management -- and treated largely as widgets within large organizations, their compensation structure is often quite like that of non-professionals. When professionals are in firms run by professionals, when they are in smaller firm, or when they cluster in management, they tend to be treated like non-professionals, too. As dumb as it is for teachers to claim that because they are professionals they should not be supervised or evaluated, it is just as dumb for anyone to claim that because they are professionals they should not have salary schedules. There are all kinds of reasons why they should or should not have salary schedules, but their status as professionals is quite irrelevant. In fact, the historical reason why we have salary schedules is that the evalautors were not trusted to make salary decisions. In fact, the evaluaters/supervisors were not trusted -- by the central offices -- to make any number of decisions, or perhaps did not want to be bothered to do so. We have salary schedules NOT because teacher unions or teachers have insisted upon them. Rather, we have them because district administrators have put them into place and because they are easier to administer.


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