November 6 2012

You Deserve a Break Today Says the CTA

Vicki E. Alger

Teachers union watchdog Mike Antonucci has an apt take on the California Teachers Association (CTA) policy of paying its teachers to play politics for them.

CTA will expound at the drop of a hat on the virtues of experienced, unionized teachers, but it didn’t waste time dropping kids into the hands of mostly non-union substitute teachers for a month before Election Day.

At issue are two ballot propositions near and dear to the CTA. As EdSource explains:

CTA may be the most powerful force in Sacramento, but the double challenge of Props 30 and 32 clearly has teachers worried. The former, a $6 billion tax increase, would, if defeated, lead to more teacher layoffs, furlough days, and larger classes. The latter would ban public employee unions from collecting dues for political purposes …

One initiative would strike at teachers’ wallets, the other at their influence. But at a pep rally with Gov. Jerry Brown in San Francisco over the weekend, teachers said there’s a lot more at stake in the upcoming election than their own interests.

Rank and file teachers have suffered enough, says the CTA. With pay cuts and growing demands from the federal government surrounding testing, teachers are demoralized.

So instead of having just them go out and campaign, it’s “paying some presidents of local unions and other activists to take a leave from their classrooms to work full-time on the campaign.”

Mind you, these philanthropists…I mean presidents…are paid in part with dues from those same hard-working teachers’ salaries. They’re also paid by school districts supported by taxpayers—even when they’re not working in the classroom. How much are local CTA presidents paid? According to the San Diego Union Tribune:

The San Dieguito district will pay $124,150 this year for the salary and benefits of the association president, who works full time on union matters, Superintendent Ken Noah said. The district also pays about $25,000 a year to hire a substitute to take his place in the classroom.

Not a bad gig if you can get it—and apparently you can in California, unless you’re a taxpayer, that is.

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