By Thomas Ferdousi
Being an educator in Upstate New York I am forced to pay dues into the corrupt union structure, even though I am not a member nor intend to be. Among the many benefits of (not) joining one of the public employees unions in New York include the union taking nearly one percent of my gross pay to use towards political campaigns.
Among the "benefits" not immediately clear is a mandatory subscription to their monthly propaganda. This month's naturally rails against the cuts of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as against Governor Walker's actions in Wisconsin.
In this era of civility in which the public employees unions want to appear reasonable and striving for the best for our children, the New York State Union of Teachers' publication NYSUT United's headline screams:
"DEFEND WHAT MATTERS! EDUCATE, COLLABORATE, AGITATE!"
NYSUT United calls for the state to reject a property tax cap-- even after the state has seen massive tax increases over the last decade, especially in rural and suburban areas. They call the cuts made by then-Governor David Paterson last year 'draconian' and rail against Andrew Cuomo's cuts of $1.5 billion, or triple last year's cut.
Their self-centeredness can be exemplified by the first paragraph of its article calling for its members to 'agitate.' It cites a 2,000-strong protest in rich Long Island calling against budget cuts "in a turnout so large than [sic] it closed an exit of the Long Island Expressway." So the turnout was so large that it clogged one of the busiest roads in New York State! And cost taxpayers their time and money idling so these union thugs could pressure elected officials.
Further in the article the cuts are called "horrendous" by NYSUT's Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta to "cheering throngs."
So what does the union call for its members to do? Some are pretty basic, like sending out emails and postcards. But the methods become more sinister.
One is to give money to NYSUT's political fund VOTE-COPE, which is extremely liberal and donates almost exclusively to Democrats. Considering the union involuntarily takes 3% of its members' gross incomes and gives a lot to Democratic candidates anyway, this is particularly putrid.
Next, and perhaps most wrenching is calling for its members to "attend school board and PTA meetings." In other words, interrupt concerned parents who are trying to take action for their children or elected officials who are already under massive pressure to try and prevent layoffs. Forgive me for being cynical, but it's hard to call for 5% raises while boards across the country are dealing with who to lay off.
There's an entire section called "Mythbusters" about how the tenure system is not corrupt and that if it was overhauled, teachers would be summarily fired "for no reason." Nothing like overstating things to catch attention!
To see how horrible the potential cuts are, read this excerpt from a story about "NYSUT Activists:"
Argyros, a junior from Comse wogue on Long Island, is already feeling the effects of budget cuts from last year. Her Advanced Place ment English language course has 35 students in what is supposed to be an intense seminar.
"Two to three programs have been cut already," said Argyros, in cluding a women's history elective she was planning to take.
Within the publication comes an exhortation to retain the so-called 'millionaire's tax' in New York State-- that affects those making $209,000 a year. According to the article:
NYSUT... is insisting lawmakers extend the surcharge on high earners...to help the state deal with its $10 billion shortfall.
NYSUT is one of the most politically corrupting unions in the country. They have driven New York State's education system into the ground and have devastated college education programs in order to drive down potential teachers and create an artificial shortage of teachers.
Meanwhile their union dues are being spent hiring people to run the union with cushy salaries and benefits while also coercing the New York State Senate and Assembly into doing its will, or else. It's time to shut these crooks down.
Don't like what you just read? Call the union:
For more information, contact editor-in-chief Mary Fran Gleason, c/o NYSUT United, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455, (800) 342-9810 or (518) 213-6000; e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and address.