Michael at Best Destiny, a Jefferson County teacher by day, writes:
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.
Another anecdote that shows the teachers union – in this case, the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) – to be a font of disinformation and fear-mongering. Amendment 47, of course, is the Right-to-Work initiative. As the official Blue Book draft points out, Amendment 47 simply “eliminates the possibility that any employee can be required to pay for the cost of collective bargaining or join a union as a condition of employment.” Nothing more. Nothing less.
What’s most absurd about the reported comments is that overwhelmingly teachers in Colorado (and all teachers in Jefferson County) already have essential Right-to-Work protections. Public educators are not compelled to join or subsidize any labor organization. It’s hard to imagine how a law that would not change conditions for teachers could remotely, in any way, threaten the “end of teacher representation.” And I would be interested to hear the case for how Amendment 47 would prove “devastating” to schools.
Maybe the union rep who returned from a meeting with JCEA leaders simply misunderstood what she had heard? Not likely. Or maybe JCEA leaders are simply plugged into the deception (and more deception) of Protect Colorado’s
Culture of Corruption Future.
Why do union leaders seek to scare teachers with nonsense about ending teacher representation and devastating schools? Because they can get away with it. If union leaders thought it would work, they might also claim that Amendment 47 (as well as the good-government measures Amendment 49 and Amendment 54) will cause hair loss, infertility, and the cancellation of American Idol.
Sheesh. Will hard-working teachers read the Blue Book and research the issues for themselves, or will they blindly follow the advice of their union representatives who breathlessly return from headquarters with startling “facts” about the purported effects of ballot initiatives? I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen or heard National Education Association (NEA) members judge the authenticity of a factual claim merely on the basis of “my union said so.” (Kind of like Democrat state senate candidate Evie Hudak – who has accepted thousands of dollars in teachers union contributions – saying she agrees with the “entire Democratic Party platform.”) This observation is representative of many – but certainly not all – teachers who pay dues to the union. And it’s a sad commentary about many of those who teach our children.
Thankfully, we also have teachers like Michael at Best Destiny who exercise their ability to think for themselves, by forming reasonable opinions on facts they ascertained on their own. What a concept!