Thursday, February 03, 2011

Not so fast my friend

The teachers union sues to say the school board MUST negotiate with them weather they like it or not. The school board fires back that the union truly did not hit the required number of members and the Maggart bill will make it all moot any way.

School board attorney Jim Fuqua said he believes the association might not have the majority needed to negotiate.

"Quite frankly, it is close enough that it is hard to tell," Fuqua said. "The staff said they had 52.5 percent of the gross number of people with teacher's certificates, but that is really irrelevant.

"The question is, did they have 50 percent plus one of the people holding jobs that 'require' a teacher's license? There are a number of union members who couldn't be counted because their job does not 'require' a teacher's license."


I fail to see why anyone has the guaranteed right to force an employer to negotiate with a union if they don't want to. Where else besides government does that happen in the real world?

17 comments:

  1. Private daycare owners/workers in Michigan were forced to become United AUTO Workers union members and contribute to the UAW against their will.

    Teachers in Grand Rapids are being sued by the NEA/MEA (their own union) because they don't want to fork over their paychecks to the union any longer, since their school board voted that they will no longer automatically extort the teachers for the union and the teachers must write the dues checks themselves.

    But Truthsayer says Michigan doesn't count.

    I wonder how many Tennessee teachers would write out those $800+ worth of checks every year vs. how many would just take the automatic $800 raise...

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  2. Where are the dues $800 Mr. Holcombe? Certainly not in Tennessee. Teachers have not had a salary increase in 4 years Mr. Holcombe thanks to (Representative) Campfield and his fellow legislators. Have prices of gas and food remained the same for 4 years? Once again you and your Senator cite untrue statistics. Also, never said "Michigan doesn't count". Do you want Michigan's education system here? This is not about education and never has been, its about payback and the Senator has indicated that is fine with him. None of the proposed bills do anything to reform education, only punish teachers!

    Bargaining is NOT mandatory in Tennessee and no matter how many times you say it it is not going to be true. I doubt very seriously you even know what is bargained in negotiating sessions with school board teams ( the school board members don't bargain). Why do you and the Senator want to take teachers choice away from them? No one is forced to join TEA as you and the Senator claim. If unions are so bad and are indeed the source of all society's ills why are you not seeking to prohibit ALCOA from continuing their affiliation with their union? What about the TSBA which is the school boards union or any other union in the state. No, the truth is this is an attack on the teachers in Tennessee because they freely chose to support some democrats instead of republicans. You should know however that TEA DID endorse and support republicans just not Ramsey and Campfield thus the vengeance. We are seeing in these attacks on teachers that perhaps they had good cause not to support these gentlemen.

    I supported Zach Wamp in the primary and worked to get him elected so I guess Senator Ramsey could target me personally for supporting one of his own party's opponents. But, he's targeting me anyway. I have been a republican for 41 years but am disappointed in my party.

    You want to take away my freedom of speech and my right to petition my government for a redress of grievances among other rights enjoyed by the citizens of this state, except teachers according to you. I always believed the republican party stood for less intrusive and smaller government and was the protector of citizens rights. Apparently I was mistaken.

    Speaker of the House John Boehner said that republicans should end the practice of gotcha politics. It is clear Senate Speaker Ramsey and others including Senator Campfield doesn't want to follow Speaker Boehner's advice.

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  3. Well, as usual, you have made a lot of bold claims. Unfortunately (Also as usual) they are not true. When did I EVER vote against teacher raises?

    I in fact voted for teacher raises and or bonuses this last year as part of RTTT. I voted for bonuses last year as well. I voted for more funds into education as part of BEP 2.0. The first bill I ever perposed was to get a greater % of money into the classroom and to teachers.

    Possibly you need to stop spouting TEA talking points and look at the vote history your self.

    I have never said "Punish teachers" My mother is a retired teacher. Where did I say "Punish teachers?

    If bargaining is not mandatory then you should support Deb Maggarts bill as it will kill the lawsuit brought by TEA for not negotiating with them. Possibly you did not see or read the link I provided.

    As for me "targeting you personally" I think you must have a complex or a huge ego as I don’t even know who you are. As A matter of fact I doubt I could name off any one specific member of the TEA.

    You still have a right of redress to your government even if this bill passes. none of that changes. If it did it would be struck down as unconstitutional in about 2 seconds and the ACLU would already be licking their chops.

    As for me following anyone. Some people offer good advice. Others bad. I will be my own person and do my best to follow God and not men.

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  4. "First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me."

    This is the end you want to see for teachers Senator. All your denial and stretching of facts will not change the fact that you want to destroy teachers rights! The TSBA is also a union but you do not have a problem with them. They lobby for their members but you have no problem with their political activities. One day the pendulum will swing the other way and if you and your colleagues continue down this path of destroying education and teachers rights it may come sooner than you think. I have been a republican for over 4 decades but am ashamed of what my party is doing to teachers.

    I will not take the time right now to correct all the untruths in your reply. You might try telling the truth behind those so-called raises and bonuses you voted for. We haven't had a raise in over 4 years, the bonus was tied to economic improvement and you KNEW that wasn't going to happen and the BEP 2.0 you speak so highly of actually cost our county hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thank You Senator for taking money from our students! You should be proud and testify to that fact!

    There was NO money in RTTT or TnFTTT for teacher raises Senator, another untruth on your part. I actually signed one of the MOU's with my Director of Schools making it possible for the state to receive that $500 million. You needed us then Senator but now you want to punish us by taking away our right to choose representation! I will speak out against you and these draconian bills until they are defeated, or until you take that right away too!

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  5. As I have said in the past, to you. I do not think the state should be collecting funds for ANY group that spends money advocating for the victory or defeat of any person or party. That is not the states job.

    I am sorry you are not grateful for the job you have or that you think you are not paid according to your skills. Possibly you would be better off by quitting and looking for a job that pays better in the free market for a person of your considerable talents.

    You have the right to choose whoever you want to represent you but I do not think anyone should be forced or compelled by law to negotiate with them.

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  6. Sorry Senator but once again you do not speak truth. The state does NOT collect any money for political activities. Dues deductions are no different than any other deduction like United Way or any of the other voluntary deductions employees request deducted from their checks. Insurance is deducted and they lobby and support candidates that support the insurance industry and the list could go on and on. Do you want to prohibit that too? How about 401K? The banking industry lobbies Senator.

    I love my job Senator. I just wish politics were not part of it! When you get politics out of education we can get education out of politics!

    You never provide proof of anyone being forced to bargain or compelled by law to negotiate with employees. You have a history of misstatements of fact and you always blame everything on the TEA, i.e. teachers. Contacts are contracts Senator or do you believe contracts between boards of ed and employees should just last until the board decides they just don't want to play anymore?

    You recently cited the teacher in Knoxville that was absent 56 days and not a good teacher and I would agree with that assessment from what I read. What is wrong with your statement is, no where in the article does it mention the "union" protecting the teacher. In fact, as you know but won't admit, tenure does not protect 'bad' teachers, it provides due process but I can only guess that you don't want teachers to have that. In the Knoxville case it was up to the school board to decide the teachers fate not TEA and you know that! I know of three teachers right now facing discipline and/or dismissal. Administration has done its job and the process established under state law will be followed, just as it was in Knox County.

    Senator you once said, "we live in a free society that trusts its people. A society that expects people to defend themselves from violent thoughts, words or action. Once we start removing protections and rights, others will fall. Second, then the first." You and the others pushing these bills to destroy TEA and teachers rights are making a mockery of your words!

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  8. Again you do not speak the truth. What I said was...

    "I do not think the state should be collecting funds for ANY group that spends money advocating for the victory or defeat of any person or party"

    What you said "The state does NOT collect any money for political activities. "

    The difference is my sentence talks about GROUPS that advocates for victory or defeat of a person or party as the TEA does and has done. To say they do not is false.

    As for you getting politics out of education you need to remember who you work for. Teachers are not an autonomous body and should not be. An outside body should set up standards that you should be working toward. That body is currently the state and in some cases unfortunately the federal government. That body is the representative of the customer (The parent and the child) and sets standards to their goals and wishes. That standard is and will be political. I am sorry but inmates should not run the asylum. If they did all schools would be ice cream socials 3 days a week learning would be an afterthought.

    As for being forced to negotiate I will again reference you to the story where the TEA is suing Deb Maggarts district saying they were not negotiated with as is required.

    As for the teacher who missed 56 days in one year (amongst other things). All tea member teachers are defended by the union unless the teacher decides otherwise.

    That teacher had been doing similar things (or worse) for YEARS! The type of behavior that would not be acceptable in any other field or job for one week. The problem was the multiple levels of burocracy, red tape, repeat chances that took years to finally get to result where the teacher was removed.

    You may think that paying and leaving such a clearly deficient teacher in charge of little children’s education for multiple years while the system goes through the process is acceptable but I do not.

    Protection and education of the child (the customer) should always be paramount to the wishes of the union or the employee.

    You seem to have a twisted vision of what a right is. Rights are protected in the bill of rights. Yes, you and your TEA comrades have and should have the right to assemble. I never said otherwise. You seem to be under the misconception that assemble also means that others must participate with your assembly or cater to your demands. They do not.

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  9. "The difference is my sentence talks about GROUPS that advocates for victory or defeat of a person or party as the TEA does and has done. To say they do not is false."
    What about the TSBA? You refuse to address that GROUP that advocates for victory or defeat of a person or party! They are funded TOTALLY from taxpayer dollars whereas TEA collects VOLUNTARY donations from anyone wishing to make a voluntary donation including teachers.

    "An outside body should set up standards that you should be working toward. That body is currently the state and in some cases unfortunately the federal government." THAT is ALREADY the situation Senator! Teachers have NO input into what is taught, when it is taught, how long you have to teach it, adapt it to meet the needs of each individual child in their class, etc.

    "I am sorry but inmates should not run the asylum. If they did all schools would be ice cream socials 3 days a week learning would be an afterthought." It is unfortunate you now refer to teachers as inmates in an asylum and think we would turn schools into ice cream socials. Look at the above statement on the demands made on our time and get real Senator! That is a disgraceful statement and you call yourself a Christian?

    "As for being forced to negotiate I will again reference you to the story where the TEA is suing Deb Maggarts district saying they were not negotiated with as is required." There was a contract in place Senator. Do you think contracts are binding or not? That is what courts are for. If the SCEA does not have the required numbers then the board will prevail. If your problem is with due process for educators introduce a bill to deny due process for educators and education groups! Interesting that you and Maggart have said non-bargaining locals earn more and have better benefits than bargaining locals when the first action of the Sumner County board was to increase teachers insurance contribution by 33% thereby decreasing teachers income.

    "All tea member teachers are defended by the union unless the teacher decides otherwise." Teachers have the option to have TEA represent them or they can get their own. Imagine that Senator, freedom to choose! Why are you so against due process rights? You claim to support the Bill of Rights but want teachers to have no due process! Should teachers who have been charged with misconduct or accused of anything inappropriate have the basic right to be represented? Or is it you just don't want them represented by TEA, or not at all!

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  10. "The problem was the multiple levels of burocracy, red tape, repeat chances that took years to finally get to result where the teacher was removed. You may think that paying and leaving such a clearly deficient teacher in charge of little children’s education for multiple years while the system goes through the process is acceptable but I do not."
    Never said I believe that teacher or any teacher that is deficient or acting inappropriately should retain their job. There is a process to dismiss these people and the TEA does not want these kind of teachers in the classroom either. The TEA did not keep this teacher in the classroom Senator the administration did! All they had to do was document and bring it to the board for dismissal as permitted under state law. During the first 3 years she was employed why didn't administration discover these potential problems? They could have chosen to non-renew and TEA would not have even been involved whether the teacher asked or not because it is in state law. The process you complain about Senator is state law not TEA rules! BTW, you don't know anything about me or what I think so please don't try to say you do.

    "Protection and education of the child (the customer) should always be paramount to the wishes of the union or the employee."
    And to the POLITICIANS Senator! What educational expertise do you have except your mother was a teacher? Have you attended a college for 6 to 8 years and received a MS degree in Education or an EDS?

    "You seem to have a twisted vision of what a right is."
    Really Senator? 'Twisted vision' because I believe people should have the freedom to choose who they want to associate with and who they want to represent them? Freedom to be secure in their employment and free from discrimination and nepotism? I never said "others MUST participate with" our assembly or cater to our demands. That is another one of your creations. It is called freedom to choose and no one is forced to do anything! You have a very narrow view of freedom and rights! Apparently it is true what one author wrote about you; "Rep. Maggart and Rep. Bass are rapidly becoming members of Rep. Campfield’s “It’s my State, you just live in it” club where they get to decide – based on their whims – when Tennesseans abide by the U.S. Constitution and when we don’t. Tsk." How true!

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  11. "Interesting that you and Maggart have said non-bargaining locals earn more and have better benefits than bargaining locals"

    Really? Where did I say that? Please provide proof of another one of your false claims.

    "Why are you so against due process rights? You claim to support the Bill of Rights but want teachers to have no due process! Should teachers who have been charged with misconduct or accused of anything inappropriate have the basic right to be represented?"

    Tennessee is a right to work state. Due process is for a court of law. Not a job. The exception is already in place for violations such as civil rights violations such as discrimination based on race, sex, etc. What you want is extra, special rights for one group of special employees. Union Teachers.

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  12. "What educational expertise do you have except your mother was a teacher? Have you attended a college for 6 to 8 years and received a MS degree in Education or an EDS?"

    I am sorry. I did not realize that the only people who are qualified to talk or care about education are people like the teacher we just spoke on. I guess you also feel the same about all the other legislators who do not hold those high degrees. I guess that leaves Rep. Tommy Brown from the education Mecca of Memphis to lead us to the promised land.

    "Look at the above statement on the demands made on our time and get real Senator! That is a disgraceful statement and you call yourself a Christian?"

    Again, if you do not feel the reward is worth the time asked of you then I encourage you to quit and seek an opportunity in the free market that will truly give you what you are worth. I am glad you support Christian philosophy as an ideal but the verses about reward for work (The slaves and the coins) and those who do not produce should not eat, fly in the face of tenure as well as a system that does not reward for those who produce superior results.

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  13. Correction sir - Rep. Brown is from the county of Hamilton. I believe she is seeing the light on homeschoolers.


    Truthsayer, now that's the kind of union vitriol I am used to. Didn't take long to wear off that 41-year Republican veneer.

    Just shut up and pay your taxes, leave it to the professionals, we need our freedom to take more of your money, 49th in education (spending), etc.

    And if you are looking for someone to back up the Race to the Trough (like the NEA/TEA does) or John "crap sandwich" Boehner or Bailout Wamp, you are barking up the wrong tree. Nice red herring attempts though.

    So, since Michigan is now fair game (and by the way, we will have their education system very soon thanks to Common Core State Standards, aka complete federal takeover of public education), would you support legislation to give teachers the freedom to pay their union dues themselves rather than have them automatically extracted? How about the NEA (whom you have stated you disagree with on many issues)? Would they grant you as a teacher the freedom to choose your representation as being your TEA Tennessee teachers and NOT simultaneously fund the NEA?

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  14. Mr. Holcombe your statement makes about as much sense as the Senators. Neither one of you have a clue what education is all about. I would love to see you two experts walk into a classroom full of kids sitting wide-eyed awaiting your instruction. I would love to see how you handle the discipline required and write lesson plans, research, gather supplies after you have taken the money out of your own pocket to purchase them because there never seems to be enough from the county although they always manage to find enough to give themselves 5 -6% raises a year, deal with parents, deal with all the needs of the kids, provide comfort when needed and sternness when necessary, and finish paperwork required by government officials, etc.

    Senator. You seem to want anyone who dares to disagree with you to quit especially if they dare question your self-aggrandizement and honesty. If you really want to improve education you are the one that should quit! When decision makers consult difference makers education will improve by leaps and bounds!

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  15. I have had a very good look at education and its problems. Sorry to let you down but for many years I did work in the class room. I was a part of the read with me program for 3 years, I taught entire classes on state government several times (40-50?)as a guest lecturer. I even helped one female PE teacher teach an entire segment on H.S. wrestling (start to finish) when she had it assigned to her and had no clue what she was to teach. As for higher ed, at UT I helped teach (including primary instruction and testing) a class for @6 years.

    Of course I did not ask for pay.

    As for questing my honesty. Very seldom has that happened and when it has I am able to back up what I say with facts. The only person whose honesty is in question is yours. You have made several false claims. I have asked you to back them up and you can not. Why? Because many of your claims are false.

    If you have a problem with the county school administrations pay I suggest you take that up with them as it is not a state function (possibly other then where they and the TEA worked to stop my bill saying a greater % of money had to go to the class rooms and teachers. Oh, and that year your "Non partisan" union worked against me even though that was my only ed related bill I came in contact with.)

    As for your thoughts on improving education you need to see "Waiting for superman". Your education administration/union has been in total power for 50 years and Tennessee and US education results have flat lined or gone down in comparison to the rest of the world year after year.


    The Sen.

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  16. "I would love to see how you handle the discipline required and write lesson plans, research, gather supplies after you have taken the money out of your own pocket to purchase them because there never seems to be enough from the county although they always manage to find enough to give themselves 5 -6% raises a year, deal with parents, deal with all the needs of the kids, provide comfort when needed and sternness when necessary, and finish paperwork required by government officials, etc."

    Well, you would have to visit our living room. We pay for everything out of our pockets. There are no salaries - and therefore no raises. We deal with all the needs of our kids (meals, transportation, housing, books, supplies, field trips, etc.). We are the parents, so we deal with ourselves too. We choose the curricula (and buy it, and change it and buy it again if we want to). Our kids take nationally-normed standardized tests (at our choosing and fully paid by us) and aren't hidden in the TN TCAP bubble. Our kids do well on them, but they don't mean much to me. The public taxpayer doesn't fund our operation, so we don't deal with them like you have to (this is also why I will not take vouchers or tax credits - if they existed). We also don't ask our neighbors for 51% of their property taxes. I believe it is my responsibility to educate my children, just as it is to house, feed and clothe them. I don't think that suddenly stops at age 5 (or 3)and becomes my neighbor's responsibility. We save our local government $8,000+ per child per year, but get accused of "stealing" money from the public schools (still can't figure that one out). We see local private schools operating at 60% of that amount and wonder why the public schools can't do that - or at least look into what they are doing.

    I have relatives that are current and retired public school teachers in TN. I have also taught at UT - but I am less a public servant than Sen. Campfield, I didn't work for free.

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  17. truthsayer, you've been well and truly owned in this discussion my friend. Not only are you wrong on so many counts but you fail to see it too. You've just made a hash of your argument at every instance. Makes for an amusing read though, for that I thank you.

    Mark in New Zealand

    p.s. I guess because I'm not American nor am I a teacher, my opinion doesn't count right?

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