Saturday, January 17, 2009
I've been getting a lot of mail from Randi Weingarten lately. Much of it started with the presidential campaign, when Randi urged me to vote for Hillary. She even spelled my name in all caps, as in Dear MR. A. TALK, to show me how special I am to her. Soon after she asked me to support Barack Obama. Today, I received another highly personalized message from Randi, urging me to fax my representatives to show my support for the stimulus package.
I certainly will do so. After all, the stimulus package will be a boon to education and teachers, containing as it does...wait, I have a copy here somewhere...I know it helps teachers somehow. I beg your indulgence as I peruse the document...let's see...it helps bankers, and retailers, and Wall Street brokers, and.... Oops, my bad. It doesn't help teachers at all.
I guess I am just an optimist. I keep waiting for that letter from Randi that will urge me to walk a picket line on behalf of ATRs, fax the mayor demanding the abolition of rubber rooms, or informing me that the UFT intends to sue the state and city for utterly failing to implement the CFE funds to reduce class size.
Last time I checked, the UFT was taking more than a thousand dollars a year from me for union dues. That works out to more than 80 million annually in the UFT's coffers. Excuse me for asking, but at what point will some--ANY--of that money be put towards supporting the members instead of Arne Duncan? Will a dime be spent toward opposing the mayoral control of schools that has been such a disaster for teachers, parents, and students alike?
Has our union totally lost its purpose? It is supposed to work for us. Call me harsh if you like, but I don't want even one more letter from Randi asking me to help the victims of Katrina until I get a letter telling me how the UFT is going to help the teachers who are victims of an out of control educational oligarchy.
So, here's my letter to Randi:
Dear MS. RANDI WEINGARTEN:
Do your job!
Love, MR. TALK