Saturday, July 28, 2007

A clarification of my motives

I received a package in the mail today. It was my initial membership paperwork from the Association of American Educators (AAE), which is the professional educators association to which I will belong instead of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and National Education Association (NEA).

I previously blogged about my decision to leave the Teachers Union, and I wanted to take the time to lay out in greater detail, the reasons for my decision.

It is not the case for every state in the Union, but in California, if you want to be a public schoolteacher, you must pay dues to the Teachers Union, which in our case is the CTA. Notice I didn't say you must be a member; but you must pay the dues. Even if you choose not to join the CTA, you must still pay dues to them. The dues you pay are divvied up between the NEA, the CTA, and your local union organization in your district. Much of these dues go toward the yearly contract negotiations between the teachers and their district, but a good-sized chunk of a teacher's yearly union member dues goes toward pet political projects and activism that leaders of the union choose to support.

If you are a union member teacher who is a leftist or a Democrat (or both), I'm sure you are usually quite happy about where your union dues are being spent in regards to political activism. However, if you are a union member teacher who is an unrepentant conservative-libertarian like myself, then you are most likely afflicted with a sense of revulsion when you see where your union dues are being spent, and that is why I recently sent my resignation letter to the CTA/NEA and my local organization.

To give you an idea of what I find revolting, here is a partial list of some of the donations that were made by the NEA in 2004-2005, when I was paying my full dues like a good little union member. This list comes from the EIA blog, which is a very well respected resource:
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): $45,000 - This is a pro-illegal alien organization which calls for opening our borders.
  • Protect Our Public Schools: $500,000. The anti-charter school campaign in Washington state. - I support charter schools; why would I want to fund an organization trying to do away with charter schools?
  • North Carolina Democratic Party Building Fund: $25,000 - I sure as hell don't want to support the Democrats in any way, shape, or form!
  • The Fund to Protect Social Security: $400,000 - I think Social Security should be relegated to the ash heap of history. Why would I want to fund its protection?
  • Rock the Vote Education Fund: $10,000 - A thinly veiled attempt by MTV to persuade their young minions to vote for leftists and/or Democrats.
  • Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition: $14,000 - Anything with the word progressive in it should set off warning alarms.
  • Alliance for Nevada's Working Families: $250,000 - As should the term working families, which usually means non-families who don't work. A rich family is also a working family, but I'm sure that is not what this group has in mind.
  • Amnesty International: $5,000 - An America-hating organization that often turns a blind eye to human rights abuses by governments which share AI's leftist politics.
  • Center for Women Policy Studies: $5,000 - A feminist organization that calls for taxpayer-funded abortions on demand.
  • Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: $39,940 - A bunch of congressional leftists who once tried to exclude a black congressman because he was a Republican. I thought they were the "Black" Caucus; not the "Black Democrat" Caucus.
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute: $35,000 - Not to mention, I get testy about these segregated organizations in the first place. Wasn't the idea of the Civil Rights Movement to get rid of this kind of thing?
  • Economic Policy Institute: $45,000 - A pro-socialist organization whose motto says it all: Research for broadly shared prosperity
  • Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund: $5,000 - MALDEF is another pro-illegal alien organization which advocates open borders, free college tuition for illegal aliens, and voting rights for criminals.
  • National Association for Bilingual Education: $5,000 - I don't support bilingual education; why would I want to fund efforts for its continuation?
  • National Council of La Raza: $7,900 - A pro-reconquista, pro-illegal alien organization. La Raza means The Race, and that's what these people are: a bunch of racists.
  • National Women's Law Center: $5,000 - Another feminist group calling for taxpayer-supported abortion-on-demand. They are also a bunch of Title IX zealots who believe that if not enough women are engaging in sports, then it is all the fault of us men, and that men's sports teams should be cut in the name of fairness.
  • National Alliance of Black School Educators: $30,000 - I'm sure it's a fine organization, but I do not support this trend of self-imposed racial segregation. Describe for me the reaction if there was a National Alliance of White School Educators?
  • Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards: $5,000
  • Human Rights Campaign: $15,000
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): $5,000 - There is quite a contrast between benign indifference to the gay lifestyle - which is my philosophy - and support of these three radical gay groups who advocate the teaching of homosexuality to kindergartners, and the teaching of "fisting" and other non-intercourse sexual techniques to high schoolers.
  • Rainbow/PUSH Coalition: $5,000 - Jesse Jackson's racist extortion racket: "Hello multi-billion dollar corporation! Either you donate a few million dollars to Rainbow/PUSH, or I am going to the media and tell them you are a bunch of racists... even though you're not."
  • Democratic Leadership Council: $25,750 - Again, I don't want to support the Democrat party. And where is the NEA's financial support for Republican organizations? Didn't you know about 1/3 of NEA members are Republican?
  • Wellstone Memorial Fund: $5,000 - The late Minnesota senator, Paul Wellstone - God rest his soul - was a loony left-wing moonbat. I don't want to support any part of his memorial fund.
  • Children's Defense Fund: $10,648 - Headed by Hillary Clinton crony, Marian Wright Edelman. This group constantly calls for increased welfare spending, no matter how ludicrously wasteful it is, along with socialized medicine and higher taxes to pay for it all.
  • People for the American Way: $51,200 - The tens of thousands of dollars given to this Orwellian-named organization may well be the most insulting donation of all. PfAW is a despicable organization that finances just about every destructive, deceitful, loony left-wing cause under the sun. It sickens me to think that my union dues went to pay for anything those moonbats did.
And two more interesting items:
  • Joe Ragan's Coffee, Ltd.: $25,962 - That's alotta java!
  • Initial Tropical Plants, Inc.: $42,472
You mean I have to pay for their office decor and their coffee too?

As an Agency Fee Payer, I am still required by California state law to pay all union dues that go toward paying for teacher contract negotiation, even though I am not a member of the union anymore. The difference is that now that I am no longer a union member, the union must return to me the amount I pay that would have gone toward their political activism. From what I have heard from teachers who have done this, out of about $900 in annual union dues, they get back around $300. Since my annual membership fee for the AAE is only $150, this all works out quite nicely. The bottom line is that my hard earned money will no longer go toward supporting any of the crap that you see listed above. Maybe some of you readers support one or more of these organizations; that is fine by me. Give all the money to them that you want. But what angers me is that as a teachers union member, I had no choice about supporting these organizations, even though I find them to be abhorrent.

In addition to their heinous political activity, lets talk for a second about salary. Teachers make somewhere between, say, $30,000 and $70,000 a year. Let's see what employees at the NEA make. This quote is from an illuminating article from the Wall Street Journal about the NEA's spending habits:
We already knew that the NEA's top brass lives large. Reg Weaver, the union's president, makes $439,000 a year. The NEA has a $58 million payroll for just over 600 employees, more than half of whom draw six-figure salaries. Last year the average teacher made only $48,000, so it seems you're better off working as a union rep than in the classroom.
What further angers me is that as a non-union member, even though I still will be required to pay all union dues pertaining to contract negotiations, I am no longer eligible to hold union office, or to even vote on the contract that my dues helped pay for. There is the "pro-worker" union for you. Even with that bit of sacrifice, I am ecstatic that I am no longer associated with these charlatans who run the state and national teachers unions with such disregard for the beliefs of a significant portion of their membership.

Good Day to You, Sir


Law and Order Teacher said...

Excellent effort. This laundry list of leftism is truly sickening. Aliteration aside, I found this very interesting. My question is if they are going to spend so much on plants, I wonder if they could cultivate some pot and at least have a self-sustaining cash crop. Then they could give us all a rebate.

Dan Edwards said...

Great post.....between reading about your and Darren (Right of the Left Coast) and dropping your Union membership, I am thinks more about it.

That being said, I can't see anyone at my school stepping up to do what I often do on their behalf, as a building rep.

Oh, there are a couple of California school districts whose teachers are affilliated with AFT. I think San Francisco is one of them.....

Darren said...

And there is a district in Clovis that has no union. The teachers and the district actually work cooperatively--I know, go figure! The unions periodically try to get in there but are repeatedly rebuffed.

As for the specifics of your post, allow me to add many Hosannas!

Anonymous said...

When I began teaching in my district, union membership was voluntary. Then, the local union actually requested as a negotiated contract item with the district to make union membership mandatory as a requirement for employment. Now didn't that just make me feel all warm and fuzzy toward my local association!

Anonymous said...

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone was a patriot, a teacher, and much better American than any Republican now alive. That said, the union has no business contributing to that fund.

W.R. Chandler said...

Paul Wellstone may well have been a heck of a nice guy. Who knows? I didn't know him personally. What I do know was his voting record, and time and time again, he showed himself to be in favor of, as Professor William Anderson puts it,
"abolishing private property (except that held by the political classes), high tax rates, massive wealth confiscation from some people to transfer it to others, and making everyone heavily dependent upon the state literally from cradle to grave."

If you are a fan of collectivism and statism, then by definition, you are not a patriot. End of story.

Even with all their faults, there are quite a few Republicans that put Paul Wellstone to shame. Careful about such blanket statements. Don't let your emotions cloud your judgment.

sexy said...