With all due respect for XXX whom I actually do respect, I too wholeheartedly believe in sound discourse supported by ample research. Allow me offer a counterargument to her attempt to “dispel misinformation.”
- For many years, Clovis teachers (not admin.) have voted overwhelmingly against a union. To assume these many votes have been cast in ignorance or disinformation is a discredit to the vast majority of our colleagues.
- These many votes and voices against a union are made and spoken without fear of retribution. When I speak to those who fear this, my feeling is that such fear is coming from within. I personally have spoken to our School Board at their meetings with a complaint about our District and never received any retribution or felt any threat.
- If there exists any teacher in Clovis who used to work in a union school district and actually preferred it, they must be a very silent minority. On the other hand, when given the opportunity, we hear endless stories from those who have worked in, or around, unions (like myself). We would do anything to avoid ever again enduring what we know to be the real truth: lack of efficiency, pervasive division, misplaced priorities, etc.
- To claim that union dues go to those who work for us is an overgeneralization. Unions, historically, grow large and wealthy and often support causes in direct opposition to their members. A union soon becomes an entity in and of itself and priorities shift from its members to its own self-preservation at all costs. For example, it is the antithesis of a union to put students first. Its very existence and purpose is to put what it deems to be best for the teachers union. And that is what will drive every union policy.
- Fact: you lose individual freedom and choice. Want to work instead of strike? Tough for you. Get along with your site admin.? Doesn’t matter; the union will put them in the same boat as the entire admin. of the entire district. Want to come in on the weekend? Not if the union decides it doesn’t want you to. And on and on.
- Unions get you more pay. Statistically that’s true when calculated generally, but the math has been done multiple times by multiple CUSD teachers. Figuring in dues, benefits, and total compensation, Clovis teachers are NOT underpaid compared to comparable districts. Some other districts pay more, but not necessarily because of a union. Usually it’s because the schools are so awful and poorly run they can’t get anyone to teach there otherwise. And there’s a perfect example of union mentality: They get us more pay, but no one asks if it’s worth it, or even if pay is the most important factor in a job.