This is in response to recent claims by David Mielke, president of the Teachers Union, and Debbie Hamme, president of the Assn. of Classified Employees, about how important the joint union endorsements of School Board candidates are. Facts about teacher’s union and district employee union endorsements based on information from District offices and statements by David Mielke and Debbie Hamme:
* There are 335 teachers in the district.
* The Culver City Federated Teachers Union endorsement is voted on only by its executive board which consists of 14 names.
* The math: 14 CCFT Union officials out of 335 teachers = 4.2%. This assumes all voted.
* There are 404 classified employees in the district.
* The Association of Classified Employees Union endorsement was voted on only by 7 people if I am reading Ms. Hamme’s statement correctly..
* The math: 7 ACE Union officials out of 404 employees = 1.7%
Putting rhetoric aside, the union endorsement represents 1.7% to 4.2% of the district union employees. Mr. Mielke is quoted as saying “The community wants to know what the classified staff and teachers think about our school district.”
Yes, the community does want to know what they think about our school district.
But we do not know.
We are only given what the executive boards think. Wouldn’t a more transparent and representative process be to ask the 739 employees to vote on the endorsements? When union members vote on the contract terms, all members can vote to approve or disapprove the negotiations. Why aren’t all members asked to approve or select who they would like leading their District on the School Board?
It is not politics, sour grapes, lack of substantial insight, or “knee jerk” reactions to point out that the union endorsement has questionable probative value.
But this is the way our unions have always run the endorsement process, the unions will rightfully reply. Because it is how it has “always been done” does not mean that it has to continue.
Now it is up to the voters to decide on the importance of the union endorsements. You have the facts, now you make up your mind.
Does the joint union endorsement really, truly, and clearly reflect who our wonderfulteachers and staff support in the school board election?
A quick look at the websites for three of the candidates not endorsed by the unions (Kathy Paspalis, Steve Levin, Sue Robins) show around 100 endorsements to date by CCUSD teachers, employees, and former teachers. Take a look at the union endorsed candidates, you will find significantly fewer union member endorsements.
Does the joint union endorsement really show the community what the majority of staff and teachers think?
Decide for yourself.