Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SEIU Support is Not An Endorsement

One point of particular contention stems from a comment from incumbent candidate Terry Ragins.

She boasts about her endorsements from the Torrance Teachers Association and SIEU Local 99, as though those endorsements signal the support of the employees.

First of all, union leaders take money from their members, whether they join or not, whether they support the union or not. Unions exist for their own ends, and not specifically, or exclusively (if at all) for the workers.

The SEIU questionnaire released to every school board candidate is particularly revealing about the SIEU'S priorities, and much of it has nothing to do with kids, teachers, or education:

7. Do you support a $15 minimum wage and access to healthcare for all employees?
8. Under what circumstances, if any, do you favor privatizing existing District services?
9. What rights and benefits do you believe the District should afford its part-time and temporary employees?
10. Do you support the right of part-time and temporary (extra help) workers employed by the district to unionize and to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions?
11. Name your top three budget priorities.
12. How do you propose increasing revenue in order to support improved educational services/outcomes?

What does pushing a $15 wage have anything to do with good education for kids? At any rate, a forced hike in the minimum wage will only force more people out of work while driving up operation costs. Ugh! What is this talk about helping workers to unionize? School districts exist as a service for students, parents, and communities, not employment mills.
How about these questions?
13. Would you ensure that all buildings owned by the district and leased to private entities use unionized janitors and security officers?
14. Will you ensure that only responsible contractors are used for services overseen by the district?  If so, please define what you would consider to be a reasonable contractor.
15. Do you support having Project Labor Agreements (PLA) for all District facilities construction?
What about ensuring proper treatment of all employees? What about making sure that public facilities on TUSD campuses are open and available in the first place? And on and on, the questions exposed that public sector unions are not interested in the best interests of the public, but rather themselves.
Who would want their endorsement?

Sorry, but I want candidates who listen to We the People, not They the Union Bosses. When will school boards listen to other interest groups in our community, like the parents, the teachers, the students, the local businesses who want to connect to schools?

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