Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ms.Weingarten Is Not a Socialist

I was just reading that Al Shanker, Sandy Feldman and Randi Weingarten were all card-carrying members of Social Democrats USA, which identifies itself as a member of Socialist International. But I take strong exception to the voices of ICE-TJC who'd infer that made her a socialist.

First of all, socialists are known to strongly defend workers' rights. If Ms. Weingarten were a socialist, why would she endorse a contract that denied teachers the right to grieve letters in their files? Why would she support a clause that allowed them to be suspended without pay based on unsubstantiated allegations? It just doesn't make sense.

And if Ms. Weingarten were a socialist, would she support giving teachers longer work days and punishment days in August? Would she want us to do "small-group tutoring" plus hall patrol, in perpetuity, in addition to the tasks we'd already performed? Would she support our prescription deductibles going up by as much as 1500%? Sorry, I don't see it.

Would a socialist have supported a contract in 2005 that eliminated key seniority rights of teachers? Do you really think a socialist would have given away 40 years of hard-won gains for a compensation increase that didn't even keep up with cost of living? Would a socialist have supported and enabled mayoral control?

Absolutely not. A socialist wouldn't have done any of those things. A socialist would stand up and demand an end to mayoral control, particularly in view of its ineffectiveness (not to mention its effect on classroom instruction). Do you envision Ms. Weingarten demanding an end to mayoral control? Of course not. So please, please, stop unfairly tarring Ms. Weingarten.

Ms. Weingarten is not some old-time union boss, who just runs around insisting on better working conditions for her members. She's no socialist, and don't even think about calling her a militant socialist.

That's just beyond the pale.
blog comments powered by Disqus