Union Rhetoric and Fiscal Reality
There was a rally for Providence teachers yesterday and union leaders, who never met a crisis they didn’t like to exploit, regaled the crowd with unsurprising rhetoric that served to add heat but shed little light.
AFT Union President Randi Weingarten:
[The Providence teacher dismissal notices are] the most wrong-headed thing I have seen in a season of wrong-headed actions against American workers….Something is insane in Providence…On a week where teachers and students were taking a well-deserved break, a secret plan was being hatched in Providence. They thought no one would be there to hear it. Fire everyone — that was their plan….Mass firings don’t fix the budget. They say, ‘This is a city that doesn’t care about schools.’
Got that? A liberal urban mayor and his staff of like-minded folks were hatching a “secret plan” that no one wold “hear”. To seriously think that this is a purposefully malicious act on the part of the Mayor and his staff is ridiculous. Apparently, the best way to keep it secret is to announce it at press conferences and public meetings. Maybe the execution wasn’t perfect, but a progressive conspiracy against a bloc of progressive political supporters this ain’t. And, for the thousandth time, a notice of potential “dismissal” is a far cry from being “fired.”
RI AFL-CIO President George Nee:
You agreed to Race to the Top. And it got you fired. Mr. Mayor, support collective bargaining. Let’s not go down the road with Wisconsin.
Logical fallacy alert. (If one supports reform it doesn’t logically follow that one will be fired). Everything that has been done has been done as per the agreement that was collectively bargained. The teachers were dismissed because layoffs wouldn’t have allowed for the flexibility required to balance the budget.
This is the new reality and it’s not just the Democratic Mayor of Providence who is staring at deficits and proposing cuts. Democratic Governors in New York, Maryland, California, West Virginia, Missouri and Connecticut (just to, you know, name a few) are also proposing job cuts and pensions and salary changes to help balance budgets.
So, rhetoric or reality? Union-busting, secret plans hatched by a liberal Democrat and his staff in the middle of a public meeting and presented at a press conference? Or dealing with budget deficits in one of the few ways available as per a collectively bargained contract?