There is a parallel between the demonstrations in northern Africa and the amassing of large, contentious crowds in American state capitals: in both situations, populations of humans beings are asking to be treated fairly. In Africa and the US, citizens want their government officials to be accountable for how public resources are used and for how public laws are enforced. History has taught the human race that unchecked authority begets tyranny, Democratic societies are most productive when we guard diligently against governmental bullying.
Much is being said about the importance of unions to our state's teachers and government workers, but when unions become monolithic political machines, they cease to be socially beneficient and become detrimental (toxic) to the public welfare.
Nepotism, cronyism, self-interest (these are not new words). All paid for by the public...who is broke (these are the new words).
What is the difference in what the people of Bahrain want and what Scott Walker's electorate wants? This gutsy, controversial governor is representing Wisconsin's taxpayers...and their futures, as he was elected to do. In Wisconsin, as in Oregon, taxpayers have been misrepresented by some bad actors in organized labor.
There would be no drama in Madison or Salem today if union leaders were not so unaccountable. And so unwilling to give up power...
Corrupt unions are corrosive in a country with a vast public education system, yet we are doing so little to oversee them. When have you read any bad PR about OEA lawyers, of whom there are many? The OEA is merely funded by classroom teachers; it does not represent them. Its current leadership serves a privileged few--and any dues-paying OEA member who thinks he/she will be supported should a conflict arise with an entrenched bureaucrat will be forced to sign a confession or risk losing his/her career (this apparently does not apply to select pedophiles in Oregon who, should they know too much, can receive support from the TSPC in the form of secrecy agreements).
When I needed a real union, I learned that I had been paying individuals who worked closely with some unaccountable school administrators—people who were not following many rules. I was abused by lawyers and state employees for years after I was fired, with my union representatives' tacit approval.
BTW, fellow teachers: My mother (special ed 35 years) was dying and I had asked to quit after being paid unfairly...
So it is offensive to me that Gail Rasmussen speaks "for teachers" while her organization routinely sells us out...and charges us for the indignity. She owes me ten years' of dues.
2003 Westview High School "Advisory" program
(four-year home room)
Starring A. J. Anderson...
Created and produced in 2003 by Don Bellairs, Westview High School video productions teacher, for former Westview principal Malcolm Dennis for a presentation to Beaverton School District administrators and principals.