Former Teacher Discusses Forced Dues

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A former teacher discusses forced dues and the reality of teacher union power. Check out Arthur Schaper’s column on townhall.com.

When I started out in education, the teachers union reps would tell me, “We are here to protect you.” However, what I learned on the job—and after leaving the profession altogether—is that unions protect unions, not the individual workers, and definitely not the kids. In many states, first-year teachers pay the union dues, even if they do not formally join the union, but get no protection. The classic phrase among veteran teachers is “you can be fired for the cut of your hair.” As for the core interests of these public sector legal mobs, teachers’ union strikes have erupted all over the country, disrupting education for their students, betraying a sinister political agenda to help Democrats going into Election 2018. In school districts across the country, rank politicization has become commonplace. For example, In Laguna Beach, CA, teachers allowed students to beat a Trump piñata.

These unions are worse for the students since they hide behind the eternal banner of “We care for the kids”, yet they go to notorious lengths to protect their worst members while refusing to benefit their best. Project Veritas recently published incredible undercover footage of teachers union leaders not only admitting to their professional cover-ups, but also the routine lies they trot out to protect their members at all costs. Listen to Dr. Dave Perry detail the steps he would take to “bend the truth” for a supposed teacher who had hit then threatened a student in a New Jersey middle school. Another New Jersey teacher admitted to protecting a teacher who had had sex with a student. This perversity isn’t isolated to the Eastern seaboard in deeply Democratic, urban enclaves. Steve Wentz, President of the United Teachers of Witchita, Kansas, admitted to hitting, abusing, and threatening kids. Incredibly, schools insist on asserting in loco parentis authority as guardians for these children.

One would think that the press would look out for us. While local alternative newspapers have taken incredible steps to research and expose bad teachers (LA Weekly, for example), other newspapers shrug off the exposure and even attack James O’Keefe for his undercover efforts.

Thankfully, the empire of American teachers unions is on the wane. First, there’s the federal court system. Friedrichs vs. CA ended in a sad 4-4 stalemate with the death of Justice Scalia. This short yet devastating judicial setback to end coerced dues from individual employees has given way to a more likely victory this year with Janus v. AFSCMEThat case asks the fundamental question should a public sector employee be forced to pay dues to a union, even if they have not and do not want to join?  Public sector unions and their fawning press are predicting the worst.

Despite legal inertia in the court system, states have already enacted comprehensive collective bargaining reforms (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa). Now in blue states, a bitter fight has broken out over how left-wing the unions have—and should—become. Public sector unions have ditched Dianne Feinstein for hard-left, open-borders state senator Kevin De Leon in California’s upcoming US Senate race. In New York State, the Workers Rights Party has frayed inexorably, further straining an already contentious primary fight for incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, who will be facing “Sex and the City” alumna Cynthia Nixon. The infighting shows the decreasing power of top union leaders over their own members, many who are chafing under the cronyism and inattention of their leaders.