The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Maryland Teachers Demand the State Honor Its Promises

Jun 4, 2012

On May 25, as school was ending, about 100 Harford County public school teachers began a protest outside their elementary school in Bel Air, Maryland. They held signs along the highway, demanding the $650 bonus promised to them, which the county had just cancelled. And they denounced the fact their pay had been frozen for four years.

On May 28, the protests spread early in the morning to Bel Air High, where teachers began a “work-to-rule” policy. One teacher informed the media that teachers “will be entering school at 6:50 a.m. and leaving the building at 2:20 p.m. as a group.”

This action was not taken lightly. Several protesting teachers expressed their desire to take part with their students in before and after school activities. But they are fed up with being made to pay with their livelihood for what the county won’t provide.

Tuesday night a good number of teachers marched outside the Harford County council building and then walked right into the chamber when the council was taking its final vote on the 2013 budget.

The protests began after joint moves by the state and county governments to make public workers and teachers pay for the state’s decades-long failure to fund public pensions. Instead, the politicians use state money to fund profits for the big corporations.