Greg Johnson tells the story of a Tennessee public school teachers reprimand because her point of view did not follow the chosen unions point of view.
From the article...
Fisher said she was "reprimanded" and told that only the Sevier County Education Association - an affiliate of the Democrat-supporting Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association - could put messages on the school's bulletin board. "As an American citizen," Fisher said, "I should have the right to put the article up and inform teachers of an alternative to TEA."
Fisher first fell out with TEA and SCEA in 2008. At a meeting of the teachers' union that election year, Fisher said, the TEA representative handed out literature promoting Democrat Barack Obama. Fisher said she then realized, "(TEA's) goal is not to improve education. It's to elect Democrats." She began to distance herself from SCEA and TEA because she "didn't want her money going to political purposes" she didn't support.
Fisher took her concerns to Jim Wade, director of personnel for Sevier County Schools. Wade told her the principal acted correctly and only SCEA and TEA could post notices and information. Why? The union negotiated an exclusivity clause through collective bargaining.
"In our contract, SCEA is the exclusive agent for the teachers and they (SCEA) may then use any of our facilities to communicate," Wade said in a phone interview. "Ms. Fisher may have any opinion she likes and express that opinion, but she cannot use any of the school facilities to promote any other group."
Most collective bargaining agreements across the state contain an exclusivity clause. Such clauses give TEA and its affiliates a monopoly on information distribution whether through bulletin boards, teachers' mailboxes or taxpayer-funded email systems.
"(Teachers) can say whatever they want," Wade said. "They can hand out, to an individual, anything they want." But because of collective bargaining, they cannot post a column opposing TEA.
"Teachers should not feel fearful for sharing their views," Fisher said. But she said teachers who go against the union grain are shunned and those who don't conform to the TEA code are ostracized, even harassed. "I feel my voice is being stifled and silenced," Fisher said. "Is this what we've come to in America?"