Most contracts are throwbacks to when nascent teacher unionism modeled itself on industrial unionism. Then, that approach made sense and resulted in better pay, working conditions and an organized voice. Yet schools are not factories. The work is not interchangeable and it takes more than one kind of school to meet all students’ needs. If teachers’ unions want to stay relevant, they must embrace more than one kind of contract. ---from Teaching Change
Teachers unions derive their money from the fact that, no matter how badly they function, public schools don't shut down. That's why they bitterly oppose any attempt to introduce competition into education.
It's why the Detroit teachers union organized a walk-out that sabotaged a $200 million private offer to fund charter schools in that troubled city. (The new schools would not have been unionized and would have competed with Detroit's decrepit public education system.)
But competition between schools isn't the only kind that teachers unions can't accept. Competition among individual teachers, with incentives for the best performers, also undermines the unions' chief selling point, collective bargaining.
If teachers are paid on their individual merits - like every other kind of professional, from accountants to dentists to engineers - why would they want to negotiate their salaries through a system that collectively lumps innovative, energetic educators together with slackers doing the bare minimum? ---from Unions are Ruining...