Hummel and the Union Trio
Jim Hummel, filling in for Dan Yorke, has had three unionists on the program since 3:00, and as I’ve pulled up flooring and cleaned my jobsite, I’ve been itching to make three points:
1. Regarding the teachers’/union’s behavior at the latest School Committee meeting, NEA lawyer John Liedecker pointed out that the police had said, on the radio, that at no point did the evening approach a riot. Is that the standard, now? Appropriate behavior on one side of the line and rioting on the other?
2. Local East Providence union President Valerie Lawson stated that all they want is for the School Committee to return to the negotiating table and try to get the two sides’ numbers a little closer. As we’ve also experienced in Tiverton, this ignores the reality of what the School Committees have begun to do — namely, to tell the teachers exactly how much there is available and to move from there. In other words, there is no hidden pile of gold. Either the teachers are refusing to believe reality, or they are, in effect, demanding that the districts cut broad swaths of other spending, even though teacher pay and benefits have been draining other areas of expenditure for years.
3. I want to give a quick tip of the hat to the blogging revolution. The union trio had been claiming that the heckling was all about School Committee Chairman Anthony Carcieri’s microphone misuse. When Jim Hummel played my clip of the teachers’ shouting down taxpayer Tom Riley, Ms. Lawson could only stumble through a response until Mr. Liedecker jumped in and smoothly changed the subject.
Beware entrenched powers and special interests: Bloggers are out there!