Some nice quotes in this Philly Notebook piece:
Denise (Dee) Rogers: Let’s face it – my teaching conditions are your kids’ learning conditions. The temperature in my classroom is the temperature your kids have to sit in all day. If there’s 38 kids crammed in there with 30 desks, that’s your children sitting on this desk, on the radiator, anywhere. So when we’re fighting for school staff … those things benefit children. …
Trey Smith: I don’t want to malign the [District] school I was in because I worked with some wonderful, wonderful, teachers…and especially a great union rep. But if I’m organizing an event in my school, like field day, and it requires teachers to maybe come outside during lunch, the first concern is, “What does the union have to say about us losing our lunch?”
I know none of the particulars in the second case, but I'd guess the issue was that the teachers just didn't want to do it (for whatever reason) and were just using the union as an excuse.