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Breakfast Club Still Out To Take Over SDEA

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!
POINTS:
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.  

Breakfast Club Supporters Break Campaign Rules

I originally typed this entry a week ago.  I’ve been hamming and hawing about posting it.  But, I can wait no longer, because our union members deserve the truth.  

All this talk about running a “clean campaign” seems to have been all for naught. 

It seems that The Breakfast Club’s supporters have just been caught using the District E-Mail Server to promote their slate of candidates.  (Names have been removed to protect the innocent…but I know who did what.)

Here’s the text of the email that was received by one of our members just a few days ago:

******************************************************************************

From: A Teacher at My School
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 8:07 AM

Subject: sdea vote

Im sending over a flier with my recommendations for the election in April. They go against Schamp and SDEA but these people want to fight to improve our salaries and not just buckle and cower to the district/board.


A. Teacher

***********************************************************************************

This was the attached flyer:

 spring-2014-flier81

******************************************************************************

Personally, I like how the sender assumes that they are “…going against Schamp and SDEA.”  My role in all of this is to get someone in charge of our union that will work for everybody.  How is that going AGAINST SDEA?  I sure wish I knew.  I always assumed that the people in charge should be working for everyone in the union, not just pushing the agenda of a small few.  “…buckle and cower…”   Hmmm…getting the district to honor our contract, returning our money, and coming to us with an extra, unasked-for, returned furlough day, adding another 1/2% to our pay.  That certainly sounds like we’ve buckled and cowered.

However, I digress…

Let’s check our standing rules, shall we:

E. Campaign Finances and Use of Unit Resources (5/25/11)

5. District email addresses and/or systems shall not be used for campaigning.

  •      Using district email servers to support a campaign?  CHECK!

11. All campaign flyers/materials must include a disclaimer stating that the view and opinions expressed are those of the candidate and not necessarily those of the unit, CTA or any of its affiliates

  •     Failing to note that this campaign email is not supported by CTA, NEA, or SDEA?  CHECK!

Now, it’s not in the campaign rules (as far as I’ve been able to find), but I do believe there is a rule in place that forbids/prohibits members from doing Union business on District time.  And yet…If you not the time stamp on the email, you’ll see that this campaign email was sent out 37 minutes after the starting bell at our school.

  • Sending a campaign email at 8:07 am, during our contracted work hours?  CHECK!

What’s the Verdict?  Three clear violations of our standing rules. Not supposed violations, where you have to go and dig deep to discover the truth for yourself…but actual, on-the-front-page violations.

Shocking?  Not really.  For all their bluster about being above board and transparent, the Breakfast Club and their supporters are out to take over our union at any cost.  If that means breaking rules that are clear and unambiguous…well, apparently those rules apply to everyone but them. 

Is this the type of union leadership we want?  People who subvert the democratic process when it suits them, while pointing fingers at those who follow the rules?  If this is happening during the campaign process, just think what could happen should they take office.  Go ahead…I’ll give you some time…

I urge all of the members to break away from the subversive Breakfast Club and join me in supporting The Strength and Unity Party for SDEA.  It’s the right choice – especially where truth is concerned.

I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message.  These are the comments of me, myself, and I.  I do not purport to represent any other organization, group, or breakfast pastry.  However, now that a Sonic has opened much closer to my house, I’ll be supporting their Texas Toast breakfast sandwich.  

More Lies My Waffles Told Me, Part 2

Number 2 in a series…

If you’re “lucky” enough to be on the Breakfast Club mailing list, then you may have received an email about the upcoming campaign…and the attempt of the Club’s members to once again derail an election and discredit the opposing candidates.

They even want you to keep an eye out for funny business.  That’s funny, when they’ve participated in so much of their own.

Their claims – That the Strength and Unity party have violated two tenants of the SDEA election rules.  Let’s peel back the paperwork and analyze their claims…and the actual truth:

In a previous post by the Breakfast Club, members have complained that Bill Freeman, our current SDEA President, has violated several campaign/election rules by supporting one party over another.  This claim was shot down during a Rep council meeting with facts from our election committee.  These are the rules they cite for this claim:

Election Standing Rules: D11, E8, E10:

D11: Candidate’s Rights
a. Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates
b. Each candidate shall receive a copy of the election timeline, procedures, and guidelines.
c. Each candidate shall have the right to a list of the name and address of work sites and the number of Active members at each site for the purposes of campaigning.

E8: Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates. Treating all candidates the same by refusing to honor requests for distribution of campaign literature at candidate’s expense (with the exception of Procedures 7‐10 above) is not permitted.

E10: A candidate cannot use the official logo of the unit or official logo of the unit or official Association title in a way that suggests that the candidate has the support of the unit, CTA or any of its affiliates. This prohibition includes candidate email addresses.

D11-a: During this campaign, all candidates have enjoyed the same privileges.  They have the opportunity to ask others to campaign on their behalf.  It’s a time-honored tradition to have incumbent officers endorse a candidate for their office.  Happens in this country all the time.  Bill happens to support the Strength and Unity Party.  While he is the president, he is also a teacher and a union member, and is free to support whomever he chooses.  Sounds like the Club is just upset that he’s not supporting them.

D11-b: No question this was handled above board, since all of the candidates have had their names/faces in the public eye for weeks.

D11-c: I imagine this list is theirs for the asking.  Any candidate worth their salt would take advantage of this clause.  So, no question here.

E8: I wonder if anyone has asked Bill to distribute campaign literature from the Club. Can’t really answer this. However, as long as Bill is not saying I Am Your President And I Demand You Vote For…, then there’s no foul.  He’s allowed to endorse anyone he chooses, because he is also a private citizen, a teacher, and a member of SDEA.

E10: Note the key words “A Candidate.” A candidate cannot use their official SDEA title or office when campaigning.  None of the flyers have the current SDEA titles of the Strength and Unity Party on them, so I’m wondering what the problem is.  Bill Freeman is not a candidate; therefore, this rule doesn’t apply to him.

The challenges against this election are disappearing faster than waffles at the Hotel Del buffet.

Hang in there, team.  With truth comes clarity.

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.  Please vote for the members of  the STRENGTH AND UNITY PARTY.  They are what’s right for SDEA and will lead us to better days.

More Lies My Waffles Told Me, Part 1

If you’re “lucky” enough to be on the Breakfast Club mailing list, then you may have received an email about the upcoming campaign…and the attempt of the Club’s members to once again derail an election and discredit the opposing candidates:

They even want you to keep an eye out for funny business.  That’s funny, when they’ve participated in so much of their own.

Their claims – That the Strength and Unity party have violated two tenants of the SDEA election rules.  Let’s peel back the paperwork and analyze their claims…and the truth:

Election Standing Rules E5, E8

5. District email addresses and/or systems shall not be used for campaigning.

8. Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates. Treating all candidates the same by refusing to honor requests for distribution of campaign literature at candidate’s expense is not permitted.

Earlier this week, the Strength and Unity Party of SDEA, through their own expense and time, released campaign postcards into the United States Mail.  These cards were addressed to various members at their school sites.  These cards were not issued by SDEA, nor were the addresses given to the candidates by SDEA.  The Breakfast Club claims that:

This is information that we only provided to the District, and which is accessible to the SDEA membership in only two ways:

  • Someone at SDEA, who has access to the District lists, has provided this information to the incumbent slate. This would be a use of union resources.
  • The incumbent slate has accessed Power School to get member information to use for campaign mailers. This would be a use of District resources.

Hmmm.  Every teacher’s name is listed in the public section of a school’s website.  It only takes a few clicks to see who works where.  The address of the school is also on that website.  A PUBLIC website.  Even my Great Aunt Myrtle could find out who works where in our district and send that person a letter, a request to buy Girl Scout Cookies, or…if so inclined…a postcard in support of candidates.  Is the same information on a district list? Sure.  Is it in Power School?  Maybe…I’ve never looked.  Is it also out in the World Wide Web, publicly accessible by anyone?  Damn straight it is.  If you have factual evidence that the Strength and Unity Party accessed any district records or used district information to get these addresses, then please provide it so we can all see the evidence.  If not, well…

More in the next issue…

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.  Please vote for the members of  the STRENGTH AND UNITY PARTY.  They are what’s right for SDEA and will lead us to better days.

SDEA Elections Heat Up

Well, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the Breakfast Club slate started crying “Foul!” when this campaign season started.  See, while they all talk a good game, if you look at the experience record between them and the Strength and Unity slate, there’s no contest.  So it’s no surprise that they’ve already started planning to challenge the election…and it hasn’t even been run yet.

First they’re upset about our current president using his personal time to campaign for the Strength and Unity party.  They claim that having him supporting anyone is a violation of our election guidelines.  Not so, explained our election committee.  Sure, he’s the union president.  But he is also a private citizen, and a union member.  As long as he is not using his 8-5 work hours or and SDEA resources, he’s allowed to support whomever he wants in the upcoming election.

Now, the Breakfast Club is kvetching over the campaign postcards that arrived through the United States Mail from the Strength and Unity Party.  Since they came through the U.S. Mail, and did NOT arrive via interoffice mail, they are allowed to be distributed into our members’ school mailboxes (unlike straight campaign flyers which may NOT be place there).  These cards were completely paid for by Lindsay Burningham and the Strength and Unity Party.  The postage was paid for by them.  The election system cannot control the U. S. Mail.  Therefore, as explained by our election committee, this also was above board.

“But…how did they get my ‘personal information’ for the address?”  “They must have used an SDEA mailing list!”  Let’s see…these cards arrived at your own site with your name on the label.  I would have to say that that information was found on your school’s website.  Or perhaps they paid extra personal $$ for access to one of those People Search websites.

The Club is claiming that the SDEA address list must have been used.  Do they have any proof?  No – only their innuendo and guesses.

Knowing the members of the Strength and Unity Party, and how fairly they want this election to run, I sincerely doubt they would do anything to jeopardize a clean election.

As I’ve said before – if elected, the Breakfast Club Subversive Party will be the downfall of SDEA.  Their paranoia runs rampant, and we must do every legal thing within our power as SDEA members to ensure the election of the Strength and Unity Party.

Lindsay Burningham; David Erving; Kisha Borden; Scott Mullin; Kristin Brown;

and the other members on this slate.  They are what’s RIGHT for SDEA.

Board Candidates Should Pay Attention When Voting

This Just In:  Leader of the No Waffle Party Publically Waffles! A Nation Mourns.

A Presidential candidate for a Teachers’ Union should stand behind their decisions.  They should be aware of the discussions and decisions being voted on in their board meetings.  They should know all of the details before casting their vote.  And they never, ever, should waffle in public.

And yet, that’s just what happened at the February 19th Rep. Council meeting.  Shane Parmely, the leader of the notorious Breakfast Club and current candidate for SDEA President, approached the microphone and loudly announced her intention to waffle…on an issue that she originally supported.

At the previous week’s SDEA board meeting, a discussion was held regarding the upcoming SDEA elections.  The Board was discussing the chosen company, and the cost of postcard mailers announcing the election to our members.  The members felt that the cost of the mailers was prohibitive, and the Board voted against including them in the contract.  Ms. Parmely, according to her own words, voted in favor of that proposal.  She threw her support against including the mailers.  Ultimately, the motion passed.

Just one week later, at our Rep Council meeting, Ms. Parmely took to the microphone, and indicated that she was now IN FAVOR of including the mailers.  Why?  Well…apparently she wasn’t feeling well that night, or wasn’t paying close enough attention to the discussion, or was confused on the issue she was voting on.  At least, those were the reasons she gave while changing her mind.

That’s right:  The leader of the Breakfast Club…the subversive group whose motto proudly proclaims No Wafflingwaffled.  On an SDEA Board vote, no less.

Now, as an SDEA member in good standing, and one with intimate knowledge of board actions, I can say this with all truth and honesty: Not once did I see Mr. Freeman, Ms. Burningham, Mr. Mullin, or any other Board member vote on a proposal without first getting ALL of the information or discussing it thoroughly with their fullest attention. If a Board member didn’t understand the topic, or needed more information, they ASKED for clarification before voting.  Conversely, in my years of experience, if a board member was unclear as to the topic at hand, they ABSTAINED from voting.

They certainly didn’t vote one way, then publically change their minds one week later.

Is this the type of President we want on our Union Board?  Someone who votes on issues without their full attention being given to the topic?  What would happen if – God(ess) forbid – that vote had been about a contract issue, such as our salary increase or our health care?  What if they had been voting on YOUR grievance?  Wouldn’t you want a President who knows and understands what is being voted on?

I know I would.

And that’s just ONE reason we cannot allow The Breakfast Club to take over our union.  They will take us back to the dark ages, where we sat on the doorsteps of the Pink Palace, dressed in tatters in rags, with our empty gruel bowls held out in the hopes that someone, anyone, would hear our cries of, “Please, Sir…could I have some more?”

If you’ve been listening to their half-truths and lies as long as I have, you’ll know of what I speak.  If you’re new to their propaganda and are being swayed to the Dark Side, I ask that you to speak to a veteran of the Rep Council so that you get the full story.

Come April, I urge you to vote for the Strength and Unity slate of candidates.  They have ushered us into an era of prosperity and respect for teachers.  And that is exactly what we need at the helm of our union.

In Solidarity!

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.  But I have developed a strange craving for a Nutella-covered-bagel.  Go figure

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