Will teachers get paid if we strike? If so, how?
While we will receive no salary from the College on our strike days, striking teachers will be eligible for strike pay, paid out of JACFA’s strike fund. The JACFA General Assembly recently voted for a strike pay amount of $120 per day. Our accumulated strike fund is in a position to pay for all five strike days, if needed.
Income from strike pay is not taxable. $120 of non-taxable income for full-time teachers is equivalent to taxable income of between $171 to $285, depending on a teacher’s salary, and whether or not they have other sources of income.
Normally, eligibility for strike pay is conditional upon participation on the picket line. Given the evolving nature of the current pandemic, the executive is still evaluating the possibilities for limited picketing that respects public health orders and based on emergent scientific evidence. If in person picketing is deemed not possible, the strike pay will likely be conditional on some form of virtual participation.
Picketing during the pandemic
While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents logistical challenges to executing a strike, the obstacles we face are likely not insurmountable.
Emergent scientific studies have revealed that transmission of COVID in outdoor settings is low. At the same time, public health orders still permit outdoor activities under certain restrictions. Given that the strike days are likely to happen during late spring or early fall, when the weather is conducive to outdoor activities, the JACFA Executive is exploring various picketing scenarios and other mobilization activities that will involve limited on campus picketing.
One possible scenario is carrying out picket lines in shorter, staggered shifts, with fewer people, at more entrances. This measure will make it easier to ensure physical distancing, while still allowing large numbers of teachers to participate. We would also of course make sure that other precautionary measures are taken, such as masks and distancing. In addition, we are considering ways of dealing with cases where a health reason prevents a JACFA member from participating in a picket line. For fall-time strike days, the fact that most people will have had their first vaccination shot will also add a layer of protection.
We hope to see you on the 20th!