June 26, 2005

The NEA-Rhode Island's Pathetic Attempts to Manipulate East Greenwich Residents

Sometimes there are simply not words in the English language which can communicate sufficient disdain.

Welcome to a posting which reviews various pathetic attempts by the NEA teachers' union to manipulate public opinion in East Greenwich. The NEA's false comments, stupid comments, and errors over the months would almost be humorous if their efforts weren't focused on trying to legally extort the taxpayers of East Greenwich while simultaneously hurting our children.

So what happened most recently? Well, the NEA sent out a glossy flyer to all town residents. Calling itself a 2004-2005 report card on the School Committee, it gave them all F's.

Two of the comments on the flyer said:

  • Failing our children as the School Committee members fumbled their way through the school year.
  • Failing homeowners as the School Committee dismantles a once proud school system - and starts your property values on a downward slide.

These words have the sophistication of a 2nd grader trying to mimic George Orwell. Just to point out the obvious:

  • Who refused to provide academic assistance to our children? The teachers, not the School Committee. So who was failing our children?
  • Who refused to even discuss a 6%-10% health insurance premium co-payment proposal? The NEA union representatives, not the School Committee who offered those terms. So who was looking after the interests of homeowners?

The so-called report card has stirred one of two reactions in town: Laughter at the juvenile nature of the mailing or outrage at the union's attempt to mislead and manipulate residents.

Nice try NEA, but your pathetic actions backfired on you - again.

Oh, I didn't tell you the funniest part about the mailer: One side has a list of all 7 School Committee members with phone numbers to call in an attempt to have residents put pressure on the members. Only one problem: 2 of the 7 phone numbers were wrong!

But their pathetic behavior is nothing new. Consider what they were saying in January:

Comments by National Education Association (NEA) teachers’ union officials remind me of words spoken years ago by Soviet officials, whose views of the world were subsequently shown to have no connection to any form of reality.

As the union cranks up its disinformation campaign to intimidate East Greenwich residents, let’s contrast their Orwellian comments in recent newspaper articles with the facts:

Comment #1: The School Committee needs to get serious…Taxes in East Greenwich aren’t that high compared to other communities. FALSE...

Comment #2: The School Committee offer was completely unacceptable…It must make a financially reasonable offer. IT DID...

Comment #3: We do not deserve a pay cut in any fashion...Teachers would ultimately be getting the raw end of the deal. FALSE...

Comment #4: Teacher pay is lower than what other districts offer. FALSE...

Comment #5: The union takes exception to comments that teachers were hurting students by working under [minimal] contract compliance...TOO BAD THE TRUTH BOTHERS YOU...

Comment #6: Teachers are still accomplishing what is expected of them legally…If we are not working the hours that we are supposed to work, then they should take us to court...BAD NON-PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE...

Comment #7: For the last twelve years there haven’t been any previous problems during negotiations...SORRY, THE PILLAGING GIG IS OVER

Comment #8: Upset that the School Committee publicly releases specific details of the negotiations instead of working with the union to finalize a deal...IT'S HARD TO LEGALLY EXTORT RESIDENTS IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW, ISN'T IT?

Welcome to the surreal world of the NEA, completely disconnected from the economic reality of working families and retirees of East Greenwich - who pay for the teachers' salaries and benefits out of their hard-earned monies.

More recently, the NEA officials made a series of over-the-top, delusional public comment blunders that had residents shaking their heads in bewilderment at the utter stupidity of the words:

1. "The teachers had to do [contract compliance] to show parents how much extra teachers really do." NONSENSICAL BLABBER.

2. "[Work-to-rule] simply means we won't do anything extra." TELLINGLY TRUE.

3. [Tutoring (i.e., any form of academic assistance) before or after school] is not part of their job description." FALSE.

4. "Teachers have been doing more than what's required for no money in the past." FALSE.

5. "...a majority of East Greenwich residents can afford to hire tutors for their children but have been receiving these services free from public school teachers for years." FALSE.

6. "More than 50% of East Greenwich residents have a very high income, $500,000 or over." FALSE.

7. "In the private sector no one works overtime without getting paid. And if they're off the clock at 5 p.m., you can bet they're out the door at 5." FALSE.

8. "...contract compliance is not hurting the children. Not going on a field trip isn't hurting a child." FALSE.

It is hard to shake down a community after you insult residents so directly.

What is most pathetic is that the NEA did all of this to themselves.

Welcome to the world of the NEA-RI, where having any connection to a fact-based reality is not a requirement for employment. And they want to tell us how to run our schools! Scary thought, isn't it?


In a nutshell, here is what I think the negotiating position of the East Greenwich School Committee should be on some of the key financial terms of the contract.

Other postings include:
Background Information on the East Greenwich NEA Labor Dispute
The NEA's Disinformation Campaign
East Greenwich Salary & Benefits Data
More Bad Faith Behavior by the NEA
The Debate About Retroactive Pay
Would You Hurt Our Children Just To Win Better Contract Terms?
The Question Remains Open & Unanswered: Are We/They Doing Right By Our Children?
Will The East Greenwich Teachers' Union Stop Their Attempts to Legally Extort Residents?
You Have To Read This Posting To Believe It! The Delusional World of the NEA Teachers' Union
So What Else is New? Teachers' Union Continues Non-Productive Behaviors in East Greenwich Labor Talks
"Bargaining Rights are Civil Rights"

In addition to financial issues, management rights are the other big teachers' union contract issue. "Work-to-rule" or "contract compliance" only can become an issue because of how management rights are defined in union contracts. The best reading on this subject is the recent report by The Education Partnership. It is must reading.

Other editorials and postings include:
ProJo editorial: Derailing the R.I. gravy train
ProJo editorial: RI public unions work to reduce your family's quality of life
ProJo editorial: Breaking the taxpayer: How R.I. teachers get 12% pay hikes
Selfish Focus of Teachers Unions: Everything But What Is Good For Our Kids
Tom Coyne - RI Schools: Big Bucks Have Not Brought Good Results
The NEA: There They Go, Again!
A Response: Why Teachers' Unions (Not Teachers!) Are Bad For Education
"A Girl From The Projects" Gets an Opportunity to Live the American Dream
Doing Right By Our Children in Public Education Requires Thinking Outside The Box
Debating Rhode Island Public Education Issues
The Cocoon in which Entitled State Employees Live
Are Teachers Fairly Compensated?
Warwick Teachers' Union Throws Public Tantrum
Blocking More Charter Schools Means Hurting Our Children
RI Educational Establishment: Your Days of No Vigorous Public Oversight & No Accountability Are Ending

The Deep Performance Problems with American Public Education
Freedom, Hard Work & Quality Education: Making The American Dream Possible For ALL Americans
Parents or Government/Unions: Who Should Control Our Children's Educational Decisions?
Now Here is a Good Idea
Milton Friedman on School Choice