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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|First of all, if you are looking for a real in-depth analysis of the ballot initiatives, you should do what I do: READ BEN! He's got the goods.|
As a teacher, I am often assumed to have certain political leanings. Just for fun, I often play along, just to see what my colleagues have to say.
Yesterday, the union representative at one of my schools came back from a district-wide meeting in breathless distress over this year's ballot. She said that, based on what was told to her in her meeting, there was the potential that the passage of Amendment 47 could mean the "end of teacher representation, and the school district would no longer have to follow any rules about how they ordered you to spend your time." She even went so far as to say that the passage of 47 would be more devastating for schools than the failure of either the Mill Levy increase or of the Bond election.
If you've been around Jefferson County for any length of time, you'll know what a huge statement that is. The state's largest school district absolutely lives and dies by the biannual mill levy election ritual. So for something to be even MORE important than that is, well . . . big.
Of course, there is something to be said for the usual suspects. The teachers' unions, particularly that in Jefferson County, has hardly been a model of common sense and wisdom for a long time now; so for them to reflexively scream that the sky is falling over Amendment 47 seems about par for the course.
What is Amendment 47, you might ask? Well, not that it matters to the union, but here are the pertinent sections:
(2)(a) NO PERSON SHALL, AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT, BE REQUIRED TO:
(I) BE A MEMBER OF A LABOR UNION; AND
(II) PAY ANY DUES, FEES, ASSESSMENTS, OR OTHER CHARGES OF ANY KIND TO A LABOR UNION OR TO ANY CHARITY OR OTHER THIRD PARTY, IN LIEU OF SUCH PAYMENTS
(b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT ANY PERSON FROM VOLUNTARILY BELONGING OR VOLUNTARILY PROVIDING FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO A LABOR UNION
OOOOOHHH. The sheer EEE-vil of it all!
Seriously, this is what the union is all worked up over.
For the record, I neither belong to the teachers union, nor do I provide any financial support to the teachers union. And yet, somehow, I've managed to stay employed with all the benefits of the negotiated agreement for close to two decades now.
I'm tempted find some variant on this question to ask "my" union rep: so, if the union does lose membership because of 47, where do expect it to start cutting first--its PAC activities, which flood hundreds of thousands of dollars into hard-Left causes and candidates; its lobbying activities, which guarantee that Big Education is a player during the legislative session; or its negotiations, which are what it is actually supposed to do?
Yeah. I'd put my money on that third thing, too.