Saturday, June 18, 2011

Letter: To Survive, the Teachers Union Must Stay United

I don't think it's in the best interest of the teachers union to try to silence members who disagree with the actions of union officials. The demand for perpetual unity is authoritarian and unhealthy for a democracy. It actually reminds me a lot of San Diegans 4 Better Schools, which is also endeavoring to weaken the role of democracy in schools. If more teachers were to speak out, it might actually result in better decision-making by union officials--and administrators! Sadly, most teachers live in a bubble of silence.

Letter: To Survive, the Teachers Union Must Stay United

June 15, 2011
Jenny Rivera

I think SDUSD was quite successful with Ms. Mathy ("Teacher Implores Union to Renegotiate").

She has now pitted herself against more senior teachers, believing that the union is either for or against senior or junior teachers. She is representative of the effort to divide the union membership to fight against itself. This is the very thing that the union membership needs to vigilantly guard against, if we are to survive the continued underlying efforts to bust the union, destroy our professionalism and create teachers a disposable commodity.

I wonder if Ms. Mathy would feel differently if the layoff notices only went to the five-year mark. Would she be willing to disregard the fairly negotiated contract and take more concessions to her livelihood?

The union's point is that the district has stated that the layoffs could be rescinded, if we would only allow them to renegotiate, yet again. If the ability is there to rescind, then DO IT! Opening the contract would not only address the few issues stated in the press, but would open the entire contract to renegotiations. That is not an acceptable situation for our membership.

Jenny Rivera is a third grade teacher (24 years) at San Diego Unified. She lives in La Mesa.

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