Ad Astra, Per Aspera

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

“Schamp Likely Recalled”

…not likely.

That headline was from a recent Breakfast Club post, back on Nov. 15, after they submitted their collected petitions.

Another headline comes to mind when reading theirs:  “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

According to the election committee (God bless their hard work), The Breakfast Club did not submit enough signatures to force a recall.

They’ve wasted our time, energy, and money.  They’ve caused distractions and division within our Union.

And, ultimately, it was all for naught.

They failed.  Period.  No matter how many signatures they will tell you they “gathered” or submitted, there is only one word to describe this nonsensical recall effort:


Now…let’s get back to the real work at hand.  We need to come back together and support our board AND each other to ensure that our future in the SDUSD is secure.  We need to be vigilant against the district to ensure that our contract is upheld, the money we’ve earned comes our way, and that we can get back to the job of teaching.

We need to be united.  Not divided.

My name is Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the opinions of me, myself and I.  I do not represent any other person, group, or breakfast food.  However, now that our long, national nightmare is over, I’m headed out for an All American Grand Slam.  With Double Bacon.  



A break from the vitriol

OK – while I still have more to say on subject of … you know…

I think it’s important to also have a bit of fun/whimsy/interaction with my readers.  So:

These past few weeks, my musical tastes have been running rampant.  I find that as I work – lesson writing, grading, etc. – I tend to put on music that will fuel my creativity as well as give me pleasure.  Here’s what’s been in my playlist recently:

Dredd Zeppelin: Un-Led-Ed

Book of Mormon soundtack

Spamalot! soundtrack

Tin Machine – Tin Machine 1

Surf Music’s Greatest Hits

The Best of Dean Martin

Two Rooms: A Tribute to Elton John

Queen: The Game

Adam Ant: Antics in the Forbidden Zone

Paul Anka: Paul Anka Rock Swings

So…please reply with what fuels your creativity – I’d love to know!

SDEA Board Takeover Under Way

Two pieces of information surfaced this week, further cementing the underlying mission of the Breakfast Club: taking over the majority voting block of the SDEA Board of Directors.

Let’s make one thing clear from the start: I’m all for democracy.  People will vote for whom they think will give them the best representation in their government.  However, when one side takes to the airwaves and uses lies, deceit, twisted truths, and militant actions, their actions become a harbinger of what could be.

First, this statement from a Breakfast Club post – read it carefully:

“Claudia Weimer — Bayview Terrace Elementary School teacher and Breakfast Club endorsed candidate — won the election for SDEA Board Seat Four!CONGRATULATIONS TO CLAUDIA!!! And congratulations to all of you who campaigned and voted on her behalf. This is a great sign for our campaign building up to this March, when six more SDEA Board seats will be up for open election. If we sweep those Board seats, we’ll hold a voting majority of the SDEA Board starting next fall when we go into bargaining our next contract.”

Check that last sentence carefully, and you’ll see the truth behind their year-long machinations:  Creating a Breakfast Club Voting Majority on the SDEA board.

What that would mean: Draconian measures when it comes to dealing with the district.  No communication between the board and the district (which threatened 1,500 jobs this year).  No representation of a majority of our membership…only the petty dealings of a small faction (be sure to look the definition of that word) who wants to oust every board member who does not agree with their short-sighted plans.

Now read this.  This comment was made in our most recent Rep Council meeting by the SDEA secretary.  A question had arisen from the body, wondering why certain items were being included in the official minutes…items that had nothing to do with the meeting.  Her comment:  I pick and choose what to put in the minutes.

That’s right.  The board secretary – a founding member of the Breakfast Club – feels that her position allows her to pick and choose what goes in the minutes of our meetings.  No matter if the information she chooses doesn’t belong there, according to Robert’s Rules of Order.  No matter if it’s pertinent to the discussion at hand.  “I pick and choose what to put in the minutes.”

What that means:  Important information will soon be out of your reach…especially if the Breakfast Club follows through with their master plan of controlling SDEA.  Comments that are not in concert with their ideology might be removed from the minutes before you even have a chance to read them.  Board meetings could become closed to the public, and your voices shut down, unless you agree with their policies.  Executive session discussions and decisions could end up as public record, for anyone to see…including the SDUSD School Board.  How long would it take them to undermine any negotiation discussions regarding our contract should our private minutes become public?

I don’t know about you, but I’m scared.  I’m scared that, should their takeover come to fruition, our contract negotiations in 2014 will result in the largest loss of jobs in the history of SDEA.  If we had followed their request to not collaborate with the school board, then I and 1,499 more of you would be flipping burgers or selling used cars instead of being in the classroom.

That’s what you have to look forward to, should their coup continue.  Only you can stop it.  Support your current board members.  When election time comes next spring, be sure you know who you’re voting for, and what they actually represent.  Be informed.  Come to a board meeting and see for yourself how we work for the entire membership.  Just Say No.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the opinions of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other person, group, or breakfast food.  Trite, I know.  But, unlike a bag of bagels left to spoil on the counter, I’m still fresh and tasty.  

Bill Freeman Once Again Under Attack

In a true example of sour grapes. The Breakfast Club has once again turned their focus on our union president, Bill Freeman.

As you may have heard, their recall effort of Mr. Freeman failed.  No matter what they will say or publish in the next few weeks about the number of signatures they say they “received,” or how they compare it to how may people voted, the bottom line is:

Our union membership believes that Mr. Freeman is doing a great job.  The Breakfast Club did not get enough signatures to force a recall vote.  They can cry victory from the highest yardarm…the sad truth is they failed to remove one of our best union leaders.  So, you’d expect that they’d now be willing to return to the folds and work together to prevent layoffs next year, right?

Wrong.  If you believed that statement in any way, you’re wrong.  Now that they’ve lost their evil, distracting, personal vendetta against Mr. Freeman, they have to look for new ways to try and divide the union even further.

Hence their latest attack.  Now they’re complaining about how Mr. Freeman doesn’t take the furlough days that most, if not all, of our membership takes.  Here’s my answer.

So what?  So What, I say!

Mr. Freeman puts in more hours fighting for you, me, your co-worker…heck, even members of the Breakfast Club…more hours that even (I think) he’s willing to admit.  Where does he do this, you ask?

* He takes phone calls at all hours of the day or night from members who have concerns about their job, be it lay offs, poor administration, harassment from coworkers, benefits questions…the list goes on.  I wonder if any of The Breakfast Club members are willing to speak with concerned teachers well into the wee hours of the morning.  I sincerely doubt it.

* He works away from home on a regular basis, travelling to meet with other union leaders, trying to ensure a unified front for education funding reform within our state.  I wonder how many of The Breakfast Club members would be willing to stay away from their loved ones for long periods of time.  Probably zero.

* He walks picket lines, organizes rallies, heads committees…many of these on his own time, in order to ensure that our membership retains their best possible contract under disastrous financial conditions.  This past year, he was instrumental in saving 1,500 education jobs.  I wonder if the Breakfast Club would have been willing to spend their own, personal time to do this?  Based on the number of them I’ve seen on committees, probably not.

As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Freeman shouldn’t have to take the furlough days that you or I are taking.  He’s already paid those days back to us hundreds of times in the past two years, has continued to do so throughout the most recent election campaign…and I fully expect him to follow through with his commitment in the coming year.

That’s OUR ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP.  Not just the majority of us who believe in him, but even the people who don’t.

THAT’S how much he cares for our future.

Can the Breakfast Club say the same?  Based on their recent attack, I’d say not.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the opinions of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other person, group, or breakfast food.  And while this statement may be getting as stale as a plate of waffles left out on the counter for too long, it needs to be said.  

Proposition 30 Passes! Proposition 32 Fails!

Congratulations.  Give yourself a pat on the back, because you deserve it.  We all do.  Every single member of SDEA – and right now I don’t care which “side” you’re on – deserves a pat on the back for our efforts on these two education-changing initiatives. Whether you walked a neighborhood, worked the phone bank, handed out flyers, called your relatives, posted on Facebook/Twitter/blogs, held up signs outside your school, or just mentioned these propositions in passing, YOU played a part in the future of education in California.  Thank you.

What does today bring?

First, those nasty furlough days are off the table.  The funding from Prop 30 ensures that.  Not just here in San Diego, but across the state.  And – based on the amount of money that begins to come in – the five we currently have may be reduced to 4, 3, 2, 1, or…dare I say it…none.  Our students would have a full school year.  It seems the public actually does value education.

Next, according to your ratified agreement, the long-delayed reinstatement of our previously-deferred raises comes into play.  We could see an increase as early as January.

Also according to your ratified agreement, our long-term players – Step 17 – will receive their 1% boost in salary compensation.  That’s a HUGE win in our books.

In addition, funds will begin to trickle back into the Prop. 98 fund, so that our future years won’t be so bleak.

Why were we so successful?  Your elected board created a plan to educate the populace, directed the activities, and sent us forth with guidelines, talking points, and other tools to get the job done.

The final up-side to all of this?  No more 8:30 pm phone calls from people asking for your vote!

Now – let’s reunite and move forward.  Let’s remember that your elected board helped the state pass Prop 30 and defeat Prop 32.  Remember that we did all of this while fighting to stop these costly, useless, irrelevant recall attempts.  If we can do that…heck, we can do anything.

But – we have to do it TOGETHER.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the ramblings of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other person, group, or breakfast food.  But I dearly love making eggs, bacon, and pancakes for my kids on a school morning.

The Breakfast Club…A Reform Caucus?

“yes…and I’m the Pope.”

I still have to wonder who is believing the grandiose verbiage coming from the Breakfast Club’s website.  They continue to twist the facts to suit their own purpose – nothing less than a hostile takeover of the SDEA board.  Perhaps they believe that their continued use of half-truths will suddenly inspire the masses that they are right.  Sadly, their current laundry list of ills takes more liberties with the truth.

Did SDEA bargain “…the most furlough days out of any teachers’ union in the entire state of CA?” 

No.  Whether or not the TA passed this summer, those furlough days were a foregone conclusion if Proposition 30 failed.  What your bargaining team DID do is attempt to lessen the impact of the furlough days should Prop. 30 fail.  Rather than have all 14 additional days immediately take affect, your bargaining team included language in the TA to create tiered furlough days.  What that means is: for every $32.50 the district loses in per-pupil spending, we are hit with one additional furlough day.  That language was in the agreement that was passed by our membership.

Will SDUSD force us to give up our healthcare coverage? 

NO – they can’t FORCE us to do that.  We have fully-paid health care, for you, your spouses/significant others and your families until the end of 2014…when our contract will be open for negotiations. Personally, I enjoy my fully-paid health care coverage…as do the rest of our membership.  That’s why it was a non-issue for our bargaining team this past summer.  That’s why summer health care coverage for laid-off educators was part of the TA.  The district can ask all it wants.  Until YOU – THE SDEA MEMBERSHIP – decide that you want to bargain with health care, it’s off the table, period.  No matter what horror stories you might read elsewhere.

Why wasn’t there a “no lay-off” clause in the TA?

The bargaining team knew it would be unenforceable.  History has shown that during times of financial hardship, no lay-off clauses within union contracts will not hold.  If The Breakfast Club would actually do some research before screaming about this issue, it would save us all some time.  Check out this previous post for some links to cities where no lay-off clauses were voided by the state government.

Will Prop 30 solve all our problems?

Not all…but it is the first step.  When it passes, mid year cuts are gone.  Any new money coming in returns to us through raises and the removal of furlough days.  Next year – additional raises and the restoration of Prop 98 funding, helping to ensure that this crap doesn’t happen again.

Are we going into bargaining in the next school year?

No.  Perhaps, once again, some research would have been nice.  Our contract is closed through the end of the 2014 school year.  No bargaining next year, just a closed contract.  Of course, I have no illusions that the district will just sit back on their haunches and let things pass unmolested, regardless of how things pan out today.  However…

Our TA also included an agreement between SDUSD and SDEA to have open, ongoing discussion on how to avoid the “pink slip season” in the coming years.  And THAT is something that would not have happened during the previous regime: open, honest dialogue between two opposing parties.

Are we, as the Club suggests, “Bill Freeman’s Board?”

No – we’re SDEA’s board.  Bill Freeman is our president.

Are the Breakfast Club’s claims true?

No – in fact, a couple of the people who are facing recalls didn’t even run this year, including me.  If the members of The Breakfast Club can’t even get that one simple fact right, I wonder what else they’re lying about on their website…

Finally…is The Breakfast Club a “reform caucus?”

First, some definitions from the dictionary:

  • Reform:  Make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Personally, I doubt that any improvement will occur should The Breakfast Club take over our union.

  • Caucus: a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy;

Well…they certainly are a closed group.  Not sure if they are of the same political party.  However, it’s the word “faction” that caught my eye.

  • Faction: party or group (as within a government) that is often contentious or self-seeking.  See also: clique.

Now THAT’S a definition that certainly holds water.  So, if one puts these all together we have a proper definition:

The Breakfast Club – A self-seeking group of contentious people attempting to decide on policy that may not change our union for the better.

Remember – I didn’t make this up. I didn’t create this from thin air.  This is a direct definition of how they represent themselves.   I’ll leave the other dots for you to connect.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the ramblings of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other person, group, or breakfast food.  However, I find that I really do need that large coffee from 7-11 just to jump-start my day.  


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