Monday, May 25, 2009

My union says that I’m anti-union

I wrote a really nasty letter this week to all the teachers in the district, basically shouting from the roof-top that I was sick of the constant injustice from our union.  I listed parts of the bylaws they broke, I called out the oligarchs that run it, and I expressed my anger with my usual tactfulness that I’m known for. 

Ok, so I wasn’t really tactful.  In fact, I was down right mean.  Well, it was going to happen in one of two places; either this blog or in that letter.  And since I’m not interested publically announcing the embarrassing actions of our glorious UTA leadership (it would make you sick), I had to relegate it to an internal memo.  The response I’ve received is about 70-30 in support of the memo, although many people said that I was a little undiplomatic with calling out specific people.  This was years of frustration building up and when the high school received a survey regarding teacher opinions on what should be negotiated next year, and almost all of it was related around elementary schools, I sort of blew a fuse.  Hey, if I’m paying money (dues that were risen last year) and I’m seeing negative results, I’m going to say something, even if I need to yell a bit.

The same day I sent the e-mail, I went to a UTA meeting that included a total of 6 people, including many of those I called out.  When they confronted me about my displeasure, they stated three things:

1.  It is the district’s fault, always.

2.  The high school doesn’t get involved enough in UTA business, so get involved and you might get something.

3.  What would you want negotiated?

I was a little thrown off by the question of what I wanted, and very aware that the group did nothing to answer my questions regarding breaking the bylaws.  In the end, I told them that for the solvency of the district, and for the pay of hard working teachers, I wanted the union to take a look at the millions available for incentive pay.  They stated that it was on the survey, but that it wasn’t where they wanted to go.  In the end, they said that my problem was that I was “anti-union” and that I didn’t believe in unionism as a concept.

That’s a cop out.  It’s like taxes, I don’t mind actually paying taxes, but if the money is being wasted then I get irritated.  I don’t mind paying money to my union, but I want the union to actually work for me, and not do things that make our profession look bad.

I’m not anti-union, I’m pro-teacher.

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