Michigan Teacher Sues to be Freed From Union

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I hope she realizes what she is getting in to.

Miriam Chanski, a teacher from Coopersville, Michigan, is suing to be freed from her union, the Michigan Education Association.  EAGNews has more…

Miriam Chanski, 24, attempted to drop out of the MEA teachers union this May after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved legislation making Michigan a right-to-work state. But Chanski told WZZM television station the union responded with a letter two months later rejecting her request.

The MEA, like most teachers unions, only allows members a very small window of time to drop their memberships each year – for the MEA it’s the month of August – and requires specific paperwork to complete the request. Most teachers are unaware of the technical process, and Chanski is no exception.

Chanski is now embroiled in a legal battle to win her freedom from the MEA.

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At least seven other Michigan teachers were also unaware of the union drop policy, and are also suing for their freedom.

The ridiculous rules are obviously designed to prevent members from leaving, but teachers unions also use other tactics to keep members in line.

“In September, the president of our union came into my classroom before school and told me she was aware I wanted to opt out of the union and asked if I had sent in another form in August,” Chanski told WZZM. “I told her I was unaware of another form to send in, I was unaware of the August dates, and she told me at that point if I had not sent in that form, I might have missed my chance to opt out of the union.”

The local union president then allegedly threatened to turn the teacher in to a collection agency and ruin her credit if she didn’t pay her union dues, Chanski told the television station.

Chanski said the bottom line is “I chose to opt out and it’s not being honored.”

Of course, according to the union, they are so great, that Chanski should be forced to stay.  They know what this suit means-if Chanski wins, the flood gates open, and teachers start leaving in larger and larger numbers.  If you recall, when Prop 10 passed in Wisconsin, people left public service unions en-masse, and entire school districts de-certified their unions.  I’m sure the MEA has seen that, and do not want their slaves, and their dues,  escaping.  So, I would image that they are going to make life uncomfortable for Chanski.  While education unions are not known for a ton of violence, they aren’t above making false complaints, sabotaging work, or whatever is needed to silence a wayward member.

In the end, these efforts work best when more people join.  The larger the movement, the easier it is to deal with the nonsense.

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MEA President Politicize Shootings, Uses Tragedy to Push Personal Agenda Using Union Resources

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Hours after the tragic school shooting, I received an email from the Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook. The entire statement can be found on the MEA website, paid for by unionized school employees, but here is the bulk of it:

Regardless of what the details and facts are of today’s events in Connecticut, this nation must have a real conversation about guns and the safety of our students and those who care for them.

“I am a gun owner and avid outdoorsman, but something must be done to protect our children from such acts of violence. Entire school communities — boards, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students — need to be partners in discussions to ensure our school buildings are safe and protected from these kinds of crimes, using the latest in technology and building design to secure buildings and classrooms from those who would bring harm to students, whether armed or not.

But we need REAL solutions. Just yesterday, the Michigan Legislature passed SB 59, which allows for concealed firearms in our schools. Those who think that students and teachers will be safer with MORE guns in our schools are just plain wrong. Thinking that teachers should carry weapons and fire on threats is a recipe for even more death — not safety. I hope Governor Snyder understands this and vetoes SB 59, not only for the safety of our children but out of respect for those who died today in Connecticut. To sign this bill in light of this tragedy would be unfathomable.”

The details and facts of this tragedy, much like the other mass killing sprees that have struck the United States, are that they occur in areas that are supposedly “gun-free” zones in which gun carrying isn’t allowed. Today, a worker or a young student is most vulnerable to being murdered without any sort of chance of help in areas where the government creates a wall that prevents those who would stop such murderous rampages from occurring from doing so. Schools, universities, airplanes (prior to air marshal’s), or private property posted with a no-guns signs (like a movie theatre) are now the scenes of the most deadly gun-related rampages- and that should fact should not be overlooked.

Evil cowards know that they can go on to school property, or visit Steve Cook’s house (assuming that he isn’t a hypocrite), and know that there will be no armed resistance to anything that they intend to do. These zones are ‘gun free’, so anyone who brings a firearm into these areas is superior and does not have to fear being stopped in any way from any sort of agenda that they engage in.

And then when they begin their rampage of death, it is assured to be much more deadly than if someone or several someones had firearms to deal with the evil turd. Professor Eugene Volokh provides several cases where a deadly shooter was stopped after only murdering several people by a brave citizen armed with a firearm and his second amendment rights.

Steve Cook is the usual sort of leftist thug who believes that we should have ‘a conversation’, but really just wants ‘his solution’, which is for the state to have all the firearms and weapons and for people to be left defenseless and helpless, much as they were at this school today. When I read the story of today’s tragedy I was struck at how utterly HELPLESS the people were as death stalked the halls of the school- left with no weapons of any sort, they simply waited to die or prayed for mercy or luck.

This is no way to live, and no way to work, and I am pissed that my union President, who is paid with dues money taken from me without my choice, is using this tragedy to try to take weapons and defences from law-abiding citizens so that more tragedies like this one can occur. Schools, universities, airplanes, and military barracks should be heavily armed and defended, as they protect us at our most vulnerable, and instead union hacks like Steve Cook are preaching the opposite- to take freedom and liberty out of people’s hands and leave us all cowering at the mercy of thugs and evil-doers.

Next I imagine that Cook is going to push to remove all knives from schools after a knife attack at a Chinese school wounded 22 children and 1 adult. In spite of a Chinese law requiring those who buy knives to register, it looks like this attack was stopped through armed security guards and not government laws depriving people of their own ability to defend their property, liberty, and lives.

MEA President Steve Cook is right about one thing- entire school communities including school boards, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students need to be partners in discussions to ensure our school buildings are safe and protected from these kinds of crimes, and in these discussions need to push for more funding for armed security guards, police officer liaisons, training for staff in weapons and firearms, and more training and support for concealed weapons in schools. A professional, liberty-loving, and well-armed workforce is the best defense against future school shootings, not weak, disarmed, and helpless serfs at the mercy of lawless thugs and evildoers. Look to our founding principles and we shall find guidance on this issue, and disabuse Mr. Steve Cook of his backward notions and faulty logic.

For more coverage of this issue, go to memeorandum and read some of the stories  andhere and here.

UPDATE: The Detroit News chimed on this very same subject, taking a more balanced approach but highlighting the very same statement from Cook- read the Detroit News version at Shootings energize debate about expanding CCW laws in Michigan.

Here in Michigan we don’t just dicuss things- we get them done. Let’s not talk and discuss anymore- here in Michigan we need your help. The Governor might be tempted to veto the legislation that our legislature passed that will let law-abiding and trained patriotic Americans carry concealed weapons in schools and thereby deter acts such as the latest school shooting. Call our Governor’s office at (517) 373-3400 or fax at (517) 335-6863 and do more than just talk about making a difference- help make a difference by encouraging him to pass the bill.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Support Local Teachers Unions, Question State Teachers Unions, Oppose National Teachers Unions

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All around the state of Michigan, when teachers aren’t talking about their NCAA brackets, the conversation is the coming teacher’s strike. These conversations are getting tougher and tougher on me, because I have a unique position among government employees- whereas most teachers support ‘their union’, I make a distinction- I defend and support my local union and its actions, but disagree with the actions of my state union, and attack the actions of my national union. You see, there are important differences between local, state, and national teachers unions- differences in who is in them, what they do, and what they are fighting for- and those differences are important enough that my position on each level is clearly different (as should yours, if I make the argument successfully).

My local union is composed of the teachers in my district. These people are my colleagues; I know them, they know me, and more importantly, we both know what the reality of the situation is. We know what funds the district at the local level- whether we have a rural town, a big city, a shopping mall, an important factory, etc- and we know where that money is going- what buildings have to maintained, transportation costs, new stadiums, fancy administration buildings, teacher salaries, etc. At the local level, my union serves a vital and important service- collectively organizing and bargaining on behalf of all the teachers for salaries, benefits, and working conditions in the district with the local administration and school board. They bargain tough and fair, we bargain tough and fair, and society is the winner. We represent the community and are part of the community, and so we don’t try to take advantage of the community and they don’t try to take advantage of us (or if that does happen, it gets real ugly and everyone is a loser).

My state union (MEA) is composed of people who derive their salaries and pay and benefits on the backs of the teachers who are working hard to teach children. These people work in the state capitol mostly, although there are mysterious field offices too scattered about the state, employing people who do something or other. They have intermittent contact with the districts that they serve, meeting with teachers every now and then or walking through a building, but they do not know the districts or the teachers, and so don’t know where the money is coming from or where the money is going. Oh, they know they want more money- they hammer away at funds and balances trying to move numbers around, but the numbers mean nothing to them since they don’t actually represent anything. And they really don’t know why they want more money- they know more money is good because more money means more union dues and so they get a higher salary and more benefits- but they don’t actually know where the more money they fight for actually goes- whether it is to repay a furlough day, to reinstate a step increase, to create a longevity bonus, to cover some sort of health benefit, to pay disability pay for a sick colleague, or anything else. They just know it is more money, and so they fight for it. The state union has little incentive to maintain the communities that they do not know, and the state government has little incentive to maintain the union that they do not know, and so the two fight ugly and dirty and society is less so because of this.

My national union (the NEA) is composed of people who derive their salaries and benefits from dues paid by teachers in the classroom working hard, and they resemble in many ways the state union, except that they are even further removed from teachers and the communities they serve and so care less about them. The nation union blows money sponsoring experts who talk about sexualizing children at earlier ages, recommends books to teachers like Rules for Radicals, and spends its time going to fancy dinners to lobby the national government to transfer more of societies wealth to ‘education’, even though the national union is now so far removed from ‘education’ that it knows not what it speaks about. Conferences sponsored by the NEA are far disconnected from the reality of the situation that teachers experience and focus on topics and subjects that are of only marginal importance to them. Since the national union serves only one purpose- redirect wealth from the national government- and this purpose is rather corrupt, it pretends it is something more, and its pretentiousness shows. Society suffers with the existence of the NEA, and this is yet more reason why the NEA, the Department of Education, and national funding for education all need to be done away with- they are all too disconnected to the local community.

Our lunch room conversations inevitably dissolve into me trying to dance the delicate dance of defending the actions of my local union while calling into question the actions of my state union and harshly criticizing the actions of my national union, and that dance is a tough dance that I shouldn’t have to perform. My local should be the focus- teachers should be the focus, and everything else should support and assist them. But like most government workers, the MEA and NEA is now part of the entitled class, which feels that others exist to serve them, rather than the other way around. Changes need to be made.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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