- Quick Facts
Anyone thinking clearly knows full well public unions are blatant liars when they request more money for schools under the pretense “It’s for the kids”.
Well it’s NOT for the kids and CSEA moves to the top of the list in proving it. If it was “all about the kids” we would not see articles like this one by Pete Peterson in The City Journal: No Volunteers, Please, We’re Unionized
Petaluma is one of those idyllic small cities (population 58,000) that dot Route 101 on the way north from the Golden Gate Bridge through the wine country. But Petaluma, struggling like most municipalities in California under the current fiscal crisis, has found delivering public services—from education to public safety—anything but pleasant.
The Petaluma City Schools district has trimmed millions from its budget over the last two years, as the deficit-ridden California state government has decreased its local support by 25 percent. The cuts have meant layoffs for district employees at all levels, from teachers to playground supervisors. In response, parents and concerned Petalumans have stepped forward to try to fill the non-teaching gaps, volunteering their time to maintain school services. The volunteers have worked in new roles identified by the school administration, but they’ve also stepped in to perform jobs eliminated by budget cuts. But those positions are unionized by the California School Employees’ Association (CSEA)—and that’s where the problems started.
When volunteers began to help answer phones in the office and support the school librarian at Petaluma Junior High School, CSEA Local 212 president Loretta Kruusmagi immediately objected.
Representing 350 clerical and janitorial staff in the Petaluma school district, Kruusmagi betrays not the least concern for the kids her union supposedly serves when she glowers: “As far as I’m concerned, they never should have started this thing. Noon-duty people [lunchtime and playground assistants]—those are instructional assistants. We had all those positions. We don’t have them anymore, but those are our positions. Our stand is you can’t have volunteers, they can’t do our work.”
Public Servants or Public Liars?
Peterson precisely sums up the situation with a couple of short, to the point, and appropriately sarcastic comments about the liars at SCEA.
Notice the possessiveness with which Kruusmagi regards these “public servants.” Nice to see that it’s “all about the kids” at the CSEA.
If you live in Petaluma, or any other city being raped by CSEA (or any other public union on “behalf of the kids”), it is your duty to stand up to the unions and tell the unions where to go.
After all, it’s you (via taxes) and your kids (via arrogant attitudes of unions acting on their behalf) who are suffering so public unions can pad their pockets with wages and benefits those in the private sector will never see, all while chanting “it’s for the kids”.
No matter where you live, please write your city representatives today and demand that at the next contract renewal, the city immediately outsource any and every position possible with a message that volunteers are welcome “for the sake of the kids”.
Unlike CSEA, Loretta Kruusmagi, and her ilk, you will be on solid ground. Do it now. Demand change. Nothing will happen until you do, and until you do your kids will suffer.
About the author: Mike “Mish” Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. His top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis offers insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.
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