Unionization in our local education has become more of a problem than a remedy.
Yet Torrance School Board candidate Terry Ragins proudly announces support from the Torrance Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union.
I have read the correspondence from many teachers unions.
The programs promote some of the most illiberal policies and politics.
I was a member of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, and some of the credit classes promoted by UTLA were pro-Palestinian and hotly anti-Semitic. I was listening to anti-Israeli propaganda in one session, and nearly walked out.
I received mailers from the California Teachers Association, and all of them pushed gay marriage, or forced tax hikes, a number of Democratic candidates and talking points.
All of this is wrong.
Unions have opposed choice, charter schools, tenure reforms, merit pay, many reforms which would help teachers.
Individual teachers have spoken against unions, and they particularly resent forced membership.
When I was a student at Torrance High School, one of my teachers complained that the teachers union was donating his dues to the Democratic Party, even though he was a Republican.
Ouch! How is this fair?
TTA President Julie Shankle argued that there was no talking to me, because I do not care about "fair share" and "fair use".
Forced membership is not fair.
Making people pay dues to a union whose policies and promotional agenda counter your own - that is not fair.
More importantly, what does all this union activity have to do with helping kids learn?
Granted, there are many non-teaching staff who help schools and aid student achievement.
Yet the heavy, politicized activity does not aid or enhance the employees. I looked over the SEIU questionnaire presented to the four Torrance School Board candidates for Election 2015.
The agenda implied in the questions had nothing to do with education or kids, or even the best interests of the employees!
Here is a question which has nothing to do with the final role of a School Board Trustee:
How will you effectively represent the District and its workers?
The primary issue rests on how the School Board will represent -- the schools, not the employees. What about the students? What about the parents? What about the taxpayers whose money funds the schools?
Do you support a $15 minimum wage and access to healthcare for all employees?
First of all, who would not support a high wage for all workers? The real question should speak to how to get the money to pay such wages. In a public school district, all pay comes from taxpayer dollars. Those wages should respond as best as possible to supply and demand, market forces within free trade. If employees on a school campus do not believe that they are properly compensated, they can consider seeking other employment, better education, taking on more hours.
Strike-threats and forced wage hikes are not generating more wealth for workers. These policies punish businesses and push more entry level employees into unemployment. A growing number of young people struggle to find work in areas where the forced wage hikes have hit $15 an hour.
In Los Angeles. unions are now seeking exemptions from the forced wage hikes, too.
That is certainly not fair!
Would you ensure that all buildings owned by the district and leased to private entities use unionized janitors and security officers?
Represent Schools, not Unions!
What if a School Board candidate wanted to lease out working contracts to private firms? That would not be a bad thing, would it? Such maneuvers would ease the financial strain on school districts, particularly in their largest expenditures: salaries and benefits.
Unions are negotiating bad deals for their own members, if they insist on this progressive, costly agenda.
Nothing about students, nothing about what is best of the teachers or even the staff supposedly represented by the unions.
Terry Ragins should not be proud of her endorsements from teachers unions (and neither should Don Lee).
Tell Torrance School Board Candidate Terry Ragins:
Represent Students, Parents, and Teachers, not Unions!