If the campaign flyer was to be believed, then Shane Parmely and her Breakfast Club were looking to create a more harmonious SDEA. In reality, their promises of being transparent, of working for all members, and pushing to reunite SDEA were like make-up on a duck: under the lipstick and eye-shadow…it’s still a duck.
After the elections were over, one would expect the winners to be thankful, and the losers to be gracious. I was hopeful…until I received this email sent by Shane, Michelle Sanchez, and the other leaders of the Breakfast Club:
(I’m taking out the names of all the winners/losers of the election…you can get those from the .SDEA website)
Email title: BC Candidates Win Board Majority but Lose Presidency…For Now
Two years of work just paid off in a BIG way. Remember, two years ago, immediately after winning on a “No Layoffs, No Concessions” platform, our union leadership took a hard turn towards concessions, towards collaborating with the district, and away from transparency and democratic inclusiveness within our union. And two years ago, a grassroots group of rank-and-file SDEA members decided we were going to do whatever it took, for however long it took, to take our union back.
Today, two years later, that finally happened. Based on the election results announced today, Breakfast Club reform caucus members will hold eight of the fifteen voting seats on the SDEA Board as of August 1. That’s a Board majority!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TEAM BREAKFAST CLUB — that’s all of us who worked these elections over the past two years. GO TEAM US!
But a good Board with a weak President can only do so much. We’ll have the votes to block bad ideas but we may not have the power and influence to move our good ideas forward.
So what’s next? Doing what union members do: enforcing our rights. The unfortunate truth is that SDEA’s incumbents broke the rules all over the place. We did not get the fair election we deserved. With full-time released President Bill Freeman using union-paid time to campaign round the clock since January, with incumbents accessing office resources to gain publicity and campaign on union time, and with incumbent slate supporters even using the union’s official web resources to promote their campaign, it’s pretty incredible that we pushed them to victory margins as slim as they were. We’ll be spending the next few days compiling the list of all of the campaign violations that occurred, and we may need your help, so keep an eye out.
And no matter what, all of us need to be pulling together and uniting behind our union’s bargaining campaign, or we can get ready to live under the worst contract we’ve ever seen. Fighting tooth-and-nail for a strong bargaining campaign is exactly what our new SDEA Board majority will be working towards, and we’re going to need every single one of you standing with us to make it happen. Union democracy and union organizing are not competing priorities. They are both crucial to a strong union, and that’s what we’re all about!
1) “Take Our Union Back?” I thought we were ALL the union. I don’t remember being asked if I wanted my union taken back…especially by people who have no respect for the membership.
2) “Go Team US.” Looks like we’re not all part of their team. I guess if you’re not in The Club, you’ll have to sit on the bench while they play all of the positions.
3) “A good board with a weak president.” Lindsay hasn’t even taken the post and they’re already disrespecting the office. This is a woman who has worked tirelessly for our entire membership. She has bargained on our behalf, and is working to get us a strong contract. She (and others) were instrumental in saving over 1,500 jobs last year. And that’s a sign of weakness? She sounds stronger than Superwoman.
4) “…our new Board Majority…” “..we may not have the power to move our good ideas forward.” I thought this campaign was to unite the membership. It seems that the Club is still working with an Us Versus Them mentality. Expect to see unpopular motions being passed through willy-nilly. And, who’s to say what is a “good idea?” People who wanted YOU to lose your job? No thanks.
5) “…Lose [the Board] Presidency…For Now.” This is the most insidious, most heinous part of their message. The Clubbers now have a chance to work for real reform. They had the chance to show they really meant to work together. So of course their new focus is…searching for perceived campaign violations in order to force a challenge to the seats they lost. I seem to remember last year they went after people in the aftermath of elections…and ended up costing our members over $40,000 in funding.
And they have the nerve to tell us we all need to be “pulling together” behind our bargaining campaign. Which is being led by Lindsey Burningham, our new President…you know, the one they think is “weak.”
Watch out, SDEA members. The Breakfast Club has blinded you with their lies of solidarity and cooperation. Their mission is and always has been to create a climate of fear and division. And with a board majority, they are now able to push through their own agenda, no matter how bad or ill-conceived it may be. Be vigilant, lest you fall victim to their machinations.
I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message. These are the musings of me, myself, and I. I do not represent any other person or group. And I most certainly do NOT support any decisions pushed through by a group of people who do not have our membership’s best interests at heart.