By Chris Janotta March 15, 2011 10:52 am
Perhaps Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and people like him are correct: unions need to be dismantled. After just returning from my second Illinois Education Association Representative Assembly, I’ve come to realize that my union is indeed out of touch with reality.
I mean, we still follow the democratic process for goodness sake! Walker would have been appalled at the way normal, every-day citizens (educators no less!) made their way to microphones to express their varying opinions on the multitude of amendments being made to our legislative platform. Each one was allowed to speak his or her mind, all the while following the precise directives of Robert’s Rules.
Oh, and how furious Walker would have been when we managed to approve a budget that had been balanced without taking a single penny more out of any union member’s pockets! I know the notion is absurd–balancing a budget without having public workers, such as teachers and support professionals, contributing a larger amount of their ridiculously large salaries–but that is just what the IEA did. Shameful, yes, but also unfair, obviously poltically-motivated in some way, and–to be honest–downright un-American.
Equally disturbing was when over one thousand union members reached into their own pockets to contribute nearly nine thousand dollars to help their fellow public employees in Wisconsin stand up to Walker and his new laws that were created the new American way–with bullying and big money contributions from the private sector.
In fact, having public sector employees contribute money to help the slobs in Wisconsin and then collecting only nine thousand dollars only proves what everybody already knows about unions and their members: unions only care about supporting the status quo by helping the slovenly pit of unsightly, smelly citizens continue to peacefully fight for what they think is right.
And can we say greedy? I mean nine thousand dollars? That’s mere pocket change to a group of already overpaid, underworked teachers–they should be shelling out the big bucks if they are really as “concerned” as they claim to be.
It seems unions just can’t help themselves when it comes to proving those who are criticizing them correct. I just thank the stars above that none of them were there to witness the propaganda videos that were shown throughout the Assembly.
At one point, a video was even shown that had Frank Sinatra (yes, the Frank Sinatra that has often been rumored to have mob connections) sitting with a group of school children singing “High Hopes.”
One doesn’t have to search too hard to discover the blatant message behind that video: Sinatra represented the fact that our union is nothing more than a mob using brute force to extradite money from the public in order to fund our lavish pensions and to do the bidding of our leaders. You know, things like trying to find ways to fairly fund all schools, keep class sizes small, and look for ways to help teachers become more effective.
All that phony-baloney nonsense might fly in some other country, but this is America darn it! We’re smarter than that. We know that saying they want things to be “fair” is just another way for those union leaders to whine. Small class sizes? Why, so those teachers have it even easier with even less kids to teach? Put away that wool you’re trying to pull over my eyes with that one. And helping teachers become effective? Ha! Sorry, but everybody knows that the only way to do that is to take their collective bargaining rights away. Haven’t they been paying attention to the overwhelming success this plan has had in Wisconsin?
Another video featured some great “teacher” showing off his skills in the classroom and talking about how dedicated he is. In fact, this video is one of several already available on the Illinois Education Association’s brand new Facebook page called “Great Schools For Illinois.” Great public schools? Great public teachers? If you believe that, then I’ve got some bug-free Microsoft products to sell you.
It’s obvious the IEA is just trying to use real people in real situations to try to convince you that union members are something more than just a bunch of thugs. Go ahead and watch the videos and invite every one of your friends to do the same. I think you’ll all agree that these videos can’t hold a candle to Michelle Rhee discussing how she taped her students’ mouths shut, and that was just audio!
Yes, after spending two days watching unionized public workers peacefully debate, reach compromises, and conduct an election that went more smoothly than any I’ve ever witnessed, I definitely cannot agree more that unions are out of touch with America as it should be according to Walker and the many like him. And it is for that exact reason that I will continue to faithfully pay my dues, do whatever I can to support my union and its leaders, and fight until the bitter end to make sure that unions play a part in American labor for as long as there is an America.
The IEA is only one perfect example of everything a union can and should be, and that is why Walker and so many like him are so afraid of us. Whether they admit it or not, they know they have awoken a sleeping giant that knows how to do things the real American way.