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Archive for the tag “takeover”

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.

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

SDEA vs. UTLA: Brains over Brawn

Hello readers.  I’ve been away from this blog for a bit, because until now, things have looked quite rosy in our little corner of the education world.  However, with the spring SDEA elections rapidly approaching, the doomsayers from The Breakfast Club are once again trying to fill your heads with propaganda and half-truths, in order to scare you into voting them onto the union board and positions of power.

I say thee, “Nay!”  As evidence, I offer this commentary on their latest barrage of twisted facts, written by SDEA board member Shane Parmely.  (Her comments in italics.)

This past Wednesday, the Los Angeles teachers union UTLA Rep. Council voted to go to the bargaining table IMMEDIATELY to demand a 17.6% raise, plus lower class size, the restoration of laid off positions, and other member priorities. How? What? Why?Because it makes sense.

How nice for them.  I’m glad they felt like demanding things of their district.  I do believe that, when times warrant that behavior, marching in with anger blazing could get things done.  But, the climate in LA is much different than the climate in SD, and we have a better relationship with our school board than they do up there. 

In districts all over California, the money for raises and restorations is absolutely there. It’s just a question of how each district chooses to spend their increasingly large funds—and how hard each union pushes.

The money is absolutely there? Wow.  I didn’t know that the BC had that much pull in Sacramento, to be able to walk in and see the budget documents from the Governor’s office.  I’d love to see the proof of this statement, and how she was able to find out such information. 

On January 9, Governor Jerry Brown announced his planned state budget for 2014-2015, and it involves massive increases in funding to education, to the tune of $10 billion (yes, BILLION dollars) more than anticipated. According to CTA, that means a 10.9% increase over current, already increased funding levels. Plus, all remaining deferral debt (the imaginary future debt the District points to every year to justify their current cuts) is totally wiped out. Um, wow!

Yup, just like he’s required to do by law, the Governor released his first preliminary budget plan for the coming fiscal year.  Don’t those numbers look beautiful?  And yet, as we all know, by the time the final budget is released in May/June, those numbers change quite a bit.  Sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but NEVER what was discussed in January.  Brown has some high hopes.  Does this mean it’s true?  Who knows – but we shouldn’t base our desires on what might be…only what is.

What does this mean for SDUSD? A LOT. As in, A LOT OF MONEY. Based on the District’s July 1 budget for the current school year, our 13-14 ADA funding is $6,813.66 per student. Back in July, SDUSD projected that next year’s ADA would be $6,936.66—a measly 1.6% increase for 14-15. Brown’s 10.9% increase would put SDUSD’s 14-15 ADA at $7,556.35. That’s an extra $742 per student! With the District’s projected enrollment of 104,019 for next year, we’re talking almost $80 million above and beyond this year’s funding levels! It’s also $65 million more than the District thought they’d be getting next year. Again, um, wow!

Ah, yes.  The superintendent’s preliminary budget information makes for interesting reading.  If I’m not mistaken, there’s also a notation in that budget that our district is predicting a several-million dollar deficit in the coming year—at least, according to an article by McGee in the UT earlier this month.  So, which numbers are we to believe?  Again – who knows?  Just like the Governor’s first budget release is based on projections, so goes the Superintendent’s first budget release.  Why…because the district’s numbers are tied to the Governor’s numbers.  As we’ve seen in the past, once the actual state budget is released, our district budget changes drastically from the first projected numbers. 

That is why other teacher unions in California are wasting no time in reacting. In the plan approved by the UTLA Rep. Council, they are asking for raises to begin kicking in ASAP. As in, during the current 13-14 school year. It’s a “get it before they spend it campaign.” Sounds about right to me.

Well, of course.  Because being confrontational and demanding and bullying is absolutely the best way to get what you want.  Remember, the UTLA is “demanding” their money right now.  Demanding is great.  But it doesn’t always work.  In some cases, it’s the wrong thing to do.  Especially if you’ve built up a modicum of trust with the party you’re dealing with, like we have with our district.  To be sure, I’d love to have my restoration kick in right now.  But, unlike the Breakfast Club, I’m not willing to risk our upcoming contract negotiations to get it. 

I really hope that this lights a fire under our own union’s leadership to push for our raises RIGHT NOW. At OUR last Rep. Council, our SDEA ARs voted NOT to push for the rest of the 6% salary restorations we are owed to happen any sooner than July 1, 2014. Yup. Our Rep. Council voted AGAINST fighting for a raise for this year, led by SDEA Vice President Lindsay Burningham and President Bill Freeman, who turned over chairmanship of the meeting in order to speak against it from the Rep. Council floor. The motion to push for our salary restorations to happen now, not next year, was made by La Jolla HS AR Pat Thomas, and defended by many Breakfast Club caucus ARs. But it was defeated after comments defending the District’s budget by Freeman and Burningham, as well SDEA Board member Ramon Espinal, former SDEA President Terry Pesta, and SDEA Budget Committee member/Hoover HS AR Dave Erving.

That’s right – OUR Association Representatives listened to your group’s version of a bullying tactic and voted it down.  Quite handily, I might add.  Based on the number of NO votes I heard after the reading of your motion, I wouldn’t be surprised if several Clubbers voted against it as well.  And while members of the Board spoke against your motion, so did several general members.  While your intentions may have been admirable, the format of your motion was not.  It was an attempt at bullying, plain and simple.  And as we all know, bullies don’t last long, wherever they may be.  And therein lies the flaw of your nefarious plan.

 

Well, the extra $65 million in unanticipated funds in 14-15 frees up A LOT of funding for our District THIS YEAR—funds the District has been “setting aside” to fill their fake budget holes two and three years out. Those holes just got incontrovertibly filled. It’s never been more clear that the District has the money to pay us the raises we bargained back in 2010, right now. Shouldn’t we “get it before they spend it” too?

Unless you’re a financial analyst, and can show me how you arrived at this conclusion, you have no way under God’s blue sky to know what is and isn’t available for funding this year in our district.  Have you sat on a budget scrub panel?  No.   Have you reviewed their budget line by line with a CPA or other financial specialist?  I sincerely doubt it (but would be willing to retract that statement if you can prove that you have).  How did you arrive at the “fact” that “…the district has the money to pay us the raises…right now?”  Please show your work.  Because that would go a long way to make a believer out of me. 

That’s what I’ll be pushing for as an SDEA Board member. If you feel the same, let your SDEA leaders, starting with your elected site AR, know. The voters passed Prop. 30 to see lower class size, no more layoffs, and an end to substandard pay for educators. So what are we waiting for?

Hmmm.  As an SDEA Board Member, you should be pushing for the will of the people – the members you represent.  NOT your own personal agenda.  That’s a good way to have a recall petition started…

Bottom line:  We have contract negotiations coming up in just a few months.  SDEA has conducted barging sessions with over 80% of our members, and have a clear priority of what WE want to see in our new contract.  We have a contract in place now that is working well at restoring our previously-deferred raises.  Heck, we just received another returned furlough day, resulting in an additional .54% salary increase for the coming months.  And that was done without demands, without bullying, without anger.  It was done with collaboration and hard work. 

Marching into the district offices with a demand letter at this time will absolutely divide our union membership.  We will be fractured and our throats will be opened to the wolf at the door.  Our bargaining team and contract negotiation team will have wasted all of their hard work for nothing…and all because YOU want us to be like the UTLA.  Well, if you like the way their union runs, perhaps there is a teaching position for you in their district.    

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.  

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