In Culver City, Calif., a local union wants to force unionization of — get this — parent volunteers at the local public schools. At several schools in the city, parents have banded together to form non-profit booster clubs to fundraise for and hire part-time teacher’s helpers, who also mostly come from the ranks of the parents themselves.So why would a Chesapeake Bay guy like me care about the idiocies taking place in a small school district in a no account town completely surrounded by Los Angeles?
The local union — the Culver City Association of Classified Employees — is not OK with that kind of initiative. The union wants the parents to continue to fundraise, but to send the funds directly to the school district so the district can then hire union employees to fill the part-time positions. As the union’s scheme makes clear, the school district presently doesn’t have the money to hire anyone to fill the roles parents have voluntarily filled. The parent volunteers aren’t stealing existing jobs from union employees.
The union has taken its request to the labor-friendly Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a “quasi-judicial administrative agency that is charged with upholding and administering collective bargaining statutes that cover employees working in California schools.”
If the union has its way, parents will have to raise even more funds to cover the additional costs of union dues, administrative overhead and higher union wages — but they’ll have no say over hiring, control, supervision or decision-making. What’s to incentivize the fundraising in that scenario? As likely as not, parents will just stop putting forth the effort to raise funds in the first place — and students will lose the benefit of the added help in the classroom.
I grew up in and around Culver City, and spent 12 of my first 13 years of school there (counting kindergarten). And even more to the point, my father was one of the original teachers union organizers there. I believe the union back then was the AFT (American Federation of Teachers, as opposed to the rival union CCTA (California Classroom Teachers Association?). I remember the unionization being a big deal in our household, and all Dads teacher friends were involved. We all use to sit around and sing Joe Hill together; seriously!
Anyway, that's sort of old nostalgia. I haven't followed it to understand the new union name (is it a new union, or an old one under a new name), or what they are fighting for. W
If I recall correctly, my Dad has stated that he thinks the public employee unions have gone too far, in lots of ways. But since Mom checks this blog once in a while, maybe we can get a real opinion here.