Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Could There Be a Silver Lining to the Friedrichs Decision?

Clueless in Seattle

When the Supreme Court rules in the Friedrichs case to end the ability of public sector unions to collect agency fees from non-members, we can likely anticipate something along the lines of a mass panic, widespread angst and people like Weingarten and Mulgrew declaring yet another victory. NYSUT will be torn between a twitter blast and videotaping ourselves doing a Last Tango dance. Lily and her posse at NEA will read Randi's memo and do whatever it says but they'll stretch it out for a few days to make themselves look more deliberative. They will fool nobody just as they did with their Hillary vote.

I for one am pretty much convinced the same crew who gave us Citizen's United is going to give working Americans another good bending over in this decision. Why wouldn't they? What do we have to go on that they will rule in favor of unions collecting a fee from a dozen aggrieved teacher twits whose sanctimony and selfishness has got them this far? It's the red meat of right wing radio: some greedy public union wants to snatch money from a hapless worker who doesn't want to give it to them -- left out of course is the fact that these myopic teacher twits will enjoy all the same benefits the union negotiates for them as everyone else including salary, health, personal and sick time ad nauseam.

Hard to predict exactly where things will go but ever since Mrs. McCarthy pointed at me in Grade 7 when a kid asked what cynical meant - and needed no further explanation - I have labored to find the silver lining to every cloud. It might also have something to do with being more of a Buffalo sports fan than I try to let on. Seeing my hopes annihilated and my dreams smashed like the bottle of Crown Royal in the  magazine advertisement might have conditioned me to searching something of value in the flotsam and jetsam of the collective Poseidon Adventure of growing up in B-Lo.

So let's try looking at it this way and trust me I barely trust me but maybe this is the pony buried in that huge room of horse manure. If NEA and AFT are unable to collect money from members who simply check a box that says "Bugger Off Randi" on their deduction card, can you really see any future or present use for Randi let alone one that's worth the $550K she's collecting now? And trickling down the line -- as we all now these things do since Ronald Reagan told us they would -- does anyone think we need a Punchy Mike or a Karen McWho? An Andy Palotta or a Marty Messner?

As they say at AA: We think not!

Naturally there'd be no call for Lily's prattling on about the sacred mysteries of Common Core or the patronizing beneficence of Gates or Broad. And we wouldn't bother asking Randi why she won't fight Common Core even though we know why she doesn't we'd just smile and give her that trite little flight attendant's wave and say Buh-bye.

Of course this is wishful thinking to some degree but right now what good do either of the two major union presidents do teachers? They ignore us on Common Core. They pay lip service to ending high stakes testing but there's no balls to any wall on the issue. It's just whining that's easily tuned out. They ignored us on Bernie Sanders and threw their weight (not ours) to Hillary effing Clinton a Gates crony and former Wal Mart board member who supports The Core and The testing and will give us the same F.U. the current resident of 1500 Pennsylvania Ave. gave us just as soon as he counted up the teacher votes he collected. The current regimes serve Randi and Lily and a small band of merry pranksters who wouldn't know a smart board from a dry eraser. They are out of touch and out of step and they don't even have to give a shit because they have the process loaded up to keep them in power and keep teachers from getting any real representation. Anything that unloads this parasitic self serving dead weight from leadership positions in the teacher union ranks is a good thing in my somewhat jaded book.

And then what? Good question. Ask Karen Lewis. Ask Jesse Hagopian. Ask Barbara Madeloni. Ask Beth Dimino. We are not without leadership. We have plenty of leadership and leaders whose ability to lead is currently obstructed by the Praetorian Guard-like structure of our two major unions. Presidents Lily and Randi enjoy their cocoon like removal from the drive by Danielson raids, the word and data walls, the SLO's, DIBLS and Aimswebs not to mention the untested unproven dementia of the Common Core State Standards. This year New Yorkers can look forward to another round of April Foolishess with a newly hired version of Pearson that has never delivered a single statewide test to anyone and plans to do so online this year. What could possibly go wrong there? This is the stuff that sends us in for refills of Citalopram and Bupropion. Don't laugh either half of you are on them. It's the stuff that sends us scouring the want ads and lands us in the liquor store parking lot on the way home from work. This is the stuff that eats our teacher souls and we laugh about it because we have to. It's the stuff Randi and Lily couldn't be any more removed from if they were looking for the Nigerian school girls or Wishing Sharpton a Happy Birthday on Atlantis. It's our world not theirs. We live under constant attack and they live under their snowglobe.

We're going to get change whether we like it or not. I think it will be up to us to recover and rebuild and create a union that's worthy of our dues. What we've had and have now isn't worth the carboard Randi's Hillary signs are printed on. 

A short p.s. to all of my wishful thinking: Our current state in B-Lo with the T.F.A. bacteria is that we are somehow stuck with them as they are technically considered B-Lo teachers. I look forward to cutting this umbilical cord and setting them adrift once they are offered the chance to disaffiliate themselves with our union, one I am sure they will pounce on.  Once we're no longer stuck with them I think we set sail for the course Pittsburgh and other places have taken in bidding them adieu and encouraging them to avoid the door hitting them in the ass on their way out of town. Told you my glass was half full. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Surely not a popular post with a lot of people.

  2. So, what are the implications here in NYC for teachers who "opt out of paying union dues" if they have the choice? What does this mean, if the judge rules against the unions here?

    1. It means there will be a lot less money available to unions to do things like collectively bargain. I think it will also necessitate unloading the upper management figureheads who all work for ed reform and against us anyway. Let me say I hope that's what happens.

  3. I'll be long gone on the dues paying if I can choose to...In the end, the big duomo slackers at the UFT will pay for their deadbeat ways, since I believe most of the newbie teachers will opt out in a heartbeat. $1,500 a year is a small fortune, and since the union has been so slothful, said union will be shown the door...pronto. INMHO "anyways", like Bloomturd used to say. I'll never forgive Weingarten for allowing The Turd to a third term. How much did she receive in some offshore shell corporation account for backing Bloomberg?I'll take my chances with and opt out immediately. Union can eat me...

    1. I think you'll have teacher cheapskates who never pay for anything if they can get out of it. Then there will be the self hating types who advocate against unions for whatever convoluted reasons they can cook up. And finally the protest vote which will consist of people who are long past sick and tired of watching Weingarten and her slimy ilk sell us out and stab us in the back again and again and again while being portrayed as firebrand activists in corporate media that's likely owned by the very people she's working for while pretending to work for teachers.