There are a few reasons why I am not overtly friendly to unions, I understand that unions are there to protect worker rights and make sure their membership gets fair wages. However there are things that help reduce public opinion of groups such as the California Teachers Association, a political heavyweight in our political process.
Recently the CTA sent the call for the opposition to SB 1530, a bill by State Senator Alex Padilla, (D-Los Angeles) who wanted to make it easier to dismiss educators and classified employees who abuse the public trust by abusing children. The Miramonte scandal has affected Senator Padilla’s district and he wanted to carve a solution that would make it harder for another scandal to happen. We should not have to bribe an accused educator to resign if they allegedly abused students over 23 times as the case with Mark Berndt.
SB 1530 failed in the Assembly Education Committee in a 5-6 vote where Joan Buchanan, Tom Ammiano voted NO. While Betsy Butler, Mike Eng, Das Williams and Wilmer Amina Carter of Rialto abstained because they likely knew voting NO would be fatal for their political careers and did not want to vote YES to lose out on the valuable campaign cash the CTA would provide.
We need to maintain the trust of our public school employees and for public education itself. If there is no confidence in the public education system then how will people support school bonds or tax increases to fund public education? This might not help the CTA and their friends in the quest for more revenue.
I could understand that the CTA wants to protect educators just in case if teachers are railroaded due to false accusations and hysteria as what happened in incidents such as the McMartin Pre-school incident in the 1980s. Some elements of SB 1530 should be kept in a future version of the bill such as unpaid suspensions for serious charges, but I would make sure that educators who are declared innocent could get the money back from the suspension. Maybe the CTA may think this is another case of union bashing, but we should not have to pay for educators to be in rubber rooms when they are under suspension for serious issues.
As what the Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy stated how a teacher could beat a kid, smoke marijuana with a kid or even rape a kid and we still can not fire the teacher. It sadly comes to the conclusion that the CTA could care less about the students, because students and their parents are not paying dues to the CTA.
Personally as a future educator taking teacher education classes to earn my credential, I am embarrassed by what the CTA has done. I am likely to get my liability insurance and pre-career guidance elsewhere until I am legally required to join the CTA due to state agency shop law. If the CTA wants to keep their monopoly they need to listen to the pulse of the average voter else they might get bitten to where the sun does not shine.