Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How Much Is The CTA Spending On Politics Not Directly Related To Teacher Pay, Benefits, and Working Conditions?

Every cent that the CTA is spending on politics this year, that's how much. I don't see any initiatives, or any candidates for political office, that have anything to do with teacher pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Since the CTA is legally entitled to my money because California is a so-called fair share state, there should be some legal limits on how much money they're entitled to and on what they can spend it. I can't believe there could be any reasonable objection to a requirement that dues money be spent only on campaigns directly related to teacher pay, benefits, and working conditions, although I'll entertain such objections in the comments.

Here's just a small sample of how CTA is spending money during this election:

Speaking of which, the California Teachers Association is getting the biggest headlines of all for its $1.25 million in monetary contributions to the No on Prop 8 campaign (NEA has not contributed money). The irony is that the union contribution is receiving criticism from some members because gay marriage has nothing to do with education, while the union money is being spent on TV ads that directly state, "Proposition 8 has nothing to do with schools or kids."

Considering the culture war aspect of Prop 8, it's surprising that more attention hasn't been paid to the fact that CTA has also contributed $450,000 to defeat Prop 4, which would require parental notification before abortions are performed on unemancipated minors.

The one proposition on the ballot that CTA supports, the Children's Hospital Bond Act, has received a grand total of $161.77 from the union.

Bless their hearts.


Elaine C. said...

Aaaannndddd... this is PRECISELY why 10 teachers just left our union this week.

(Of course, I have to also partially blame you. I, um, kinda used your info about CTEN to help them take the final step. Because the only thing, after Prop 8, that was keeping them was insurance. I sent them to CTEN's website, and from there they found the links to places where they could get better insurance than the union offers!)

The union is now struggling at my campus. Less than half the teachers are members. On top of that, we're a charter school... so there's a very real possibility that we could get rid of the union if CTA keeps up their funny business. (It helps that our administration is AWESOME!)

Darren said...

I'm not quite sure that "blame" is the right word, but thank you for the shout-out!

Elaine C. said...

*heh* I used blame incorrectly on purpose... because if it were not for reading your blog, I would not have known that there were choices besides 'union' and flying solo.

Your links/posts about CTEN let me (and thus many teachers at my school) know that that there WERE viable alternatives.

So many thanks!

Darren said...

I'm glad I was able to help.

Jane said...

Yes, I too think the unions have become more of a business unto themselves and less about serving teachers. I am all for legal gay marriage, but I don't see how this concerns the teacher's union.