For those who may not know, I lost my bid for re-election to the SDEA Board of Directors this past spring. That’s fine – I don’t mind giving someone else the opportunity to get active and advocate for our membership.
However (you knew there would be one), our BOD is slowly being infiltrated by The Breakfast Club. Frankly, that makes me worried – and you should be too.
We’re entering a contract negotiation year. Next spring, we’ll be voting on a brand new contract. And, while the district will be receiving more and more funding in the coming years, their CFO will continue to tell tales of financial ruin and woe, while advising the SDUSD Board to keep us from our well-deserved due. That includes our hard-won and hard-kept fully paid health care. The decisions of our union BOD will become even more critical. They will – they MUST – work for the good of ALL members, not just the minority factions.
Sadly, at my last board meeting on 6/14, it was already clear the the Breakfast Club’s minions on the SDEA Board are already going to work towards the lesser good. It seems, based on discussion during the day, that the people who were elected have been given strict instructions to push the Waffle line in all measures and matters.
At one point in our day, we were asked to break out into area groups and discuss what we felt were the priorities for the board for the coming year. Before we could even get introductions out of the way, newly-elected Area 3 Seat 8 officer Stephanie Marble immediately began touting the Breakfast Club line. Every conversation within our group was countered with (in various ways), “Well, here’s how the Breakfast Club would do this…” Every. Single. Time.
How was this made possible? How did so many waffles make it to SDEA’s sanctum santorum? Not by any majority vote, that’s for sure. They were elected through apathy. They were elected because our membership just doesn’t care who sits on the board, as long as they get what they want. In Area 3, there are approximately 700 members who could have voted. In the first round, less than 100 cast their ballots. That’s just sad, people.
I’m not afraid to admit that I’m frightened of my future. If you think back to last year’s heated discussions on our MOU with the district that saved over 1,500 jobs, you’ll remember that The Breakfast Club was adamantly against it. They shouted it down during rep. council meetings. They peppered our BOD meetings with naysayers and doom casters. They held up signs on the day of voting. And when it finally passed, with a 2-1 margin, did they actively embrace the change and work towards the common good?.
No – they initiated a series of failed recall petitions, because WE had voted the amendment into existence. Of course, they completely ignored the fact that almost 3,400 members voted to pass the changes that saved our jobs, and decided that the BOD was to blame. Their ME ME ME attitude was detrimental then, and it’s even more so now.
They’ve tried to thwart the good work done by SDEA all year long. And now, they’ve gone from 2 BOD seats to 5…maybe six (I’m still not sure about one of the new members). And while their budget decisions must be brought to rep council for approval…well, you’ve seen/heard how that goes. Even more syrupy commentary, designed to accuse, derail, and destroy our future.
Unions thrive on solidarity. We’re one of the strongest in the state. But the constant distractions by the Club will become our downfall.
What can you do? Watchdog them. Attend BOD meetings and questions every decision they make, every good deed they try to unravel. Watch and hold them accountable when they deviate from the common good to focus on their subversive agenda. Get your sites involved. Heck – you could even take the leap to become your site’s Area Representative. Or – dare I say it? Run for election next spring. There will be several more seats opening up come 2014. Including President.
Do you want SDEA run by President Solidarity…or President Waffle?
I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message. These are the musings of me, myself, and I. I do not represent any other individual, group, or breakfast pastry. Not even a tasty Eggo. ‘Cuz I”m on a diet.