Teachers Unions: Obsolete, Corrupt, Counter-productive
Is “incestuous” too graphic? Perhaps “unscrupulous” is better. Hmmm…maybe “extortionate” is more descriptive. Please help me Webster, to find a word that describes the absolute contemptible nature of teachers unions!
I’m the victim of a teachers union bully in my school district. He’s a really lame bully, but bear with me:
I’m at the school board candidates forum, where the Republicans just naturally gravitate to the right side of the auditorium, and whiny liberal teachers union-types to the left. The moderator calls out the number of my chit, so I ask my question; “This is for all of the panelists–What is your stance on money following the child to the educational option the family chooses for a given student. In other words, do you support vouchers? Do you trust parents and students to know what’s best for their needs?” I sit down. The guy immediately across the aisle from me begins to stare daggers at me. He does this for the entire evening. Perhaps he is trying to pull a Carrie on me, and blow me up with his evil telekinetic powers. As the evening progresses his outbursts of applause and physical gestures become more pronounced. Is he having convulsions? And between spasms, he stares, piercing me with darts of loathing.
A week or so later, I fill a supplemental job for a teacher at an elementary school. While I’m preparing for class, a man who also teaches at the school walks past my door several times, giving me the evil glare of detestation. Although I don’t make eye contact, I recognize him as the convulsing man from the forum. As I walk to the cafeteria to pick up the students, he steps outside of his classroom door and insults me with an embarrassingly vapid insult! But I decline to respond and continue to go about my duties. I report the incident to the principal via email, and CC the Superintendent of schools as well. After school the principal calls us into her office where Convulsion Man admits that he insulted me in the hall and–get this–he admits he targeted me because of my involvement in the Tea Party! This guy is such a dope! And in such deep doo doo!
This instance was innocuous, simply because the perp is a hapless fool whose name I won’t mention because it would impart a measure of notoriety to that sad sack. However, it illustrates the goon mentality that modern unions foster in their members, which is not a laughing matter. The future of our school system is at stake as those like me try to wrest school districts from the control of grifters.
If teachers unions kept to their defined duties of representing teachers in authentic disputes, advocating for fair wages and protecting teachers from unreasonable working conditions, they would be valuable. Although they purport to do all of the above, they have become little more than militant lobbying firms for liberal Democrat policies. Teachers, for decades have been the cultural “untouchables,” immune from criticism, and elevated to a level of perceived virtue that, in many cases is undeserved. Teaching, like all professions, hosts a spectrum of characters, from the incompetent to the exceptional. But teachers unions do not exist to encourage professional competence or exceptionalism. They exist to protect their members’ jobs, use the threat of strikes as a Damocles’ sword above the heads of school boards and parents, and to support liberal Democrat politicians in their campaigns.
The relationships teachers unions maintain with school districts is completely inappropriate. Liberal board of education candidates benefit from–sometimes massive–contributions from the teachers unions, local, state or national. In most school districts, boards of education negotiate teacher contracts which are often crafted by the union. What you end up with is a Rube Goldberg construct in which union dues go to elect liberal candidates who, once elected, negotiate contracts with the union which funds their next campaign. Teachers who join the union have a vested interest in electing liberal–usually Democrat–school board members who will then reward them with their desired wages, benefits, and sparse school calendars. Public-sector unions exist to self-perpetuate, and they get away with it because, until recently, teachers and their unions have been protected from critical scrutiny by the myth of the “all virtuous” teacher.
In private life, when governing boards of corporations and other forms of local government are controlled by those who wield the power to procure higher wages and bigger benefits, it’s called “corruption.” It’s time we call out teachers unions for the same.
Not all teachers support this incestuous relationship, and not all teachers belong to unions. More and more teachers are standing up to the unions, fighting such tactics as forced unionization and supporting school reform, vouchers, charter schools, and other innovative ideas. Not all districts force teachers to join the union, especially those in right-to-work states, and a group of teachers in California is suing the CEA and NEA to end forced unionization. It is also self-evident that teachers unions don’t represent the political viewpoints of all their members. Although a majority of public school teachers–and a vast majority of unionized teachers–vote Democrat, there are many who are conservative and disagree with the philosophies and tactics of teachers unions. Those conservatives who dare to take a stand, even in red counties like mine, become targets for bullying by those who are pro-union.
Like waking to a morning of fresh sensibility, school districts in counties and states are coming to the realization that teachers unions are obsolete, counter-productive to the ends of education, and, by their very nature, politically corrupt. I’ve been a teacher in public schools for many years. I have never joined a union:
It’s time for school districts to stop allowing their teachers and resources to be used as pawns of the Democrat Party.
by Marjorie Haun 10/28/13