Strike is over.
Children have buggered off to school where they bloody well belong.
There's all of a week and a half's worth of school left before the summer vacation, so ya' know, the teachers are really going to earn their hard fought raise this month!
I know. I know. I know. I really should be more supportive. And, I am. No really. I am. Teachers have a thankless and difficult job. In order to get (and keep) the good ones, we need to pay them the wage that they're worth to us. Plus, how can I fault them for taking advantage of a negotiation tactic that I've believed for years now that American teachers* need to be more aggressive about using.
I finally found a place that listed average salaries for Norwegian teachers (a surprisingly hard fact to track down). This was not from an official site, mind you, so I won't swear by it or even link to it, as I can't seem to find it a second time. But my shadey sources tell me that the starting wage of a teacher in Norway is 319,000 NOK**. Right now the exchange rate is about 6.5 kroner to the dollar, so that's $49,000 per year. Just 'fer starters. teacherportal.com lists the starting wage of a teacher in Utah as $26,521. Even making amends for the inflated cost of living over here, that's a huge difference. Huge. Clearly one side has been much better about making themselves heard. And I'm all for that. But a two week strike for higher wages still feels ever so slightly off to me at a moment when the rest of Europe is in financial meltdown mode.
Whatever. I'm over it. We're all totally over it. Except my trash can, which hasn't been emptied for three weeks now. And wasn't it just my luck that the strike ended on our regular pick-up day, so we have wait another damn week before they get around to our bloated, stinking midden.
*By 'American' I guess I should admit that I'm talking mostly 'Utah' since that's where both my parents live and taught, and it's their gripes I'm most familiar with.
**The average after 16 years on the job goes up to (I think--I don't remember exactly, and like I said, I can't find it again) 380,000 NOK ($58,000). Not much of a raise at all, really. It was much easier to see why they're on strike after finally finding these numbers.