La Cosa AFTstra

Columnist Mark Patinkin has been focusing on the teacher dispute in Central Falls for weeks, now, but an essay on teachers who (quietly) disagree with the union’s activities brings to the fore a central reason that many of us have a constitutional aversion to unions:

“As a C.F. High School teacher I agree with you,” the e-mail said. “The Union blew it. The only mistake you made was writing that we voted it down. This is untrue because we were never given the chance to vote. The Union leadership made the decision for us and many of us are not happy.”
Why not express that unhappiness?
“Many fear Union retribution,” the letter said. …
“You have to understand,” one wrote, “not only would I be going up against my own teacher’s union, I would leave myself open to abuse from every teacher’s union in the country and perhaps beyond.”

No doubt, some union organizer or other has pointed to Patinkin’s column, and will point to this very post, as evidence that breaking ranks and speaking out will only open the union to political attack. One can hardly dispute that “solidarity” is part of what empowers unions to accomplish what they do. That doesn’t, of course, mean that members or society at large should want them to accomplish those ends. Indeed, the insidious problem of silence is that it allows union reps to pick their own objectives and limit all internal objections to a controlled, intimidating environment.

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michael
michael
11 years ago

Loose Lips Sink Ships!
In the IAFF we fight about everything, pay, benefits, hours, vacations, haircuts, you name it. We keep it in house. Nothing to do with fear of reprisal, we torture our leaders more than anybody else. We don’t need to air our laundry for the general public to pick apart and pontificate upon. It’s just common sense and self preservation, nothing more.
I don’t know how the teachers operate, sounds different that’s for certain.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Yes, Michael, very different. The two teachers unions are the most politicized unions after the SEIU. Their members are thoroughly indoctrinated and tested in Progressivism as a condition of getting their license to get a job in the field. Their leaders are extremists in left-wing politics.
The biggest reason for the difference from the IAFF is that while the firefighting job deals with tangible reality (lives and property saved in dangerous situations), public school teaching is an intangible activity whose results are less easy to measure. And the teachers unions have done everything they can to resist measurement so that they can remain unaccountable for their performance.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

I believe that NEARI’s Pat Crowley used to work as a Teamster organizer. The language below is from a notice that the National Labor Relations Board made the Teamsters post related to a strike or organizing drive involving Overnite Transportation (circa 2003). While the teachers unions don’t rise to the thuggery of the Teamsters, union intimidation and retaliation of dissenters is established fact, as that CF teacher’s fears confirm: WE WILL NOT brandish or carry any weapon of any kind, including, but not limited to, guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, sledge hammers, bricks, sticks, or two by fours . . .. “WE WILL NOT use or threaten to use a weapon of any kind, including but not limited to guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, hot coffee, bottles, two by fours, lit cigarettes, eggs, or bags or balloons filled with excrement . . .. WE WILL NOT damage, threaten to damage or attempt to damage any vehicle or equipment owned or operated by Overnite, its employees or security guards, by any means or manner, including but not limited by slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, knives, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, bottles, two by fours, eggs, or paint, or by tearing off mirrors, windshield wipers or antennas, or breaking windows. WE WILL NOT disable or attempt to disable vehicles owned or operated by Ovemite, by any means or manner, including but not limited to disconnecting or otherwise severing air brake lines, padlocking doors, spraying substances in or otherwise jamming locks, stealing keys, puncturing radiators, cutting hoses or door cables, flattening tires or throwing, placing or otherwise spreading any nails, screws, star nails, jack rocks or similar devices capable of… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“I don’t know how the teachers operate”
For goodness sakes, you finally admit it!!
“sounds different that’s for certain.”
Again, YES! That’s why so many of us bang our head against a wall when we talk about teachers’ unions and you tell us “it isn’t like that, because in MY union…”

michael
michael
11 years ago

“Again, YES! That’s why so many of us bang our head against a wall when we talk about teachers’ unions and you tell us “it isn’t like that, because in MY union…”
All I’ve heard for years is “It’s THE unions,” or “The Unionists,” or “Labor…this, or “Labor that.”
When I write something about labor I’m writing from where I sit, if that encompasses all of labor, as most of labor’s critics do, then so be it.
I never could figure out teachers unions though. Their members seem to be to ones most likely to blame their bosses for the fat checks in the drawer every Friday, and the other benefits as well.

Crazyjust [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
Crazyjust [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
11 years ago

Tested on ” progressivism”oh really I must have been out that day. I will ask my other union zombies if they took the test after we are done brainwashing the kids and bowing to pictures of Mao and Chavez. What a bunch of BS you guys are being fed. Maybe you can look at reality after listening to Glenn Beck and Justin Katz spew their self serving crap some more.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Oh, look – we have a new ill-mannered, ignorant child among us. Welcome, Crazyjust!

Uhlybobn [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
Uhlybobn [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
11 years ago

Hey bob is that your best input. What a ham and egger you is.

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