RECALL to Save our Union, Our Jobs, and Our Contract Starts NOW

We have a few simple questions for you about SDEA, our union:

  • Are you confident in the direction of our union?
  • Were you more confident with SDEA a few years ago when we were organizing, fighting for contractual improvements, and staving off layoffs?
  • Do you feel that promises that were made about keeping our contract closed, fighting for both layoffs and no concessions, etc. were broken?
  • Are you concerned about the future of our union?
  • Are you willing to take a few simple actions to right our ship?

The unfortunate reality for San Diego’s educators is this: In the spring of 2012, the leadership of our union fundamentally violated our trust. Six currently seated SDEA Board members campaigned in March 2012 on a platform of “No Layoffs, No Concessions” and let us reelect them. Then in June 2012 they turned around and entered into concessions negotiations with our District, and traded deep concessions in exchange for layoffs – the very thing they campaigned on NOT doing.

Our union is a democracy. Six of our democratically elected leaders lied to us, and we deserve a do-over. We deserve to have the election we should have had in March, between candidates who will tell us the truth about where they stand on the key issues for our union: Do you believe teachers should concede even more to allow the District to continue to fund excessive Central Office padding? Do you believe we should wage a massive ground and media battle against layoffs like we used to, or allow the District to control the conversation like we did last year? When it comes to your paycheck and your healthcare, should we assume that the District administration is looking out for our best interests, or theirs?

These SDEA Board members campaigned on the promise of a strong contract, a strong layoff fight, and the strong union we’ve been building together for the past five years.

  • Bill Freeman (President)
  • Manuel Gomez (Treasurer)
  • Scott Mullin (Board Seat Two)
  • Eleanor Evans (Board Seat Six)
  • Erin Kole (Board Seat Eleven)
  • Melody Welch (Board Seat Twelve)

Instead, they delivered a virtually non-existent layoff fight in the spring, followed by the worst concessions seen by any San Diego teachers union in June (and we were one of the few that were supposed to have a “closed” contract). They turned a bargained 7% raise into a 10% pay cut if Prop. 30 fails.

We call upon all six of the above-mentioned SDEA Board members to resign immediately, so that we can move as quickly as possible toward having the honest election that our union should have had in the first place. In the meantime, we will campaign vigorously and democratically toward their recall. (Note: After a great deal of debate, we have decided not to initiate a recall of SDEA Board member Melody Welch, who has just had a new baby, and so will be out on maternity leave throughout the recall process. Nonetheless, we believe Melody should be held accountable for her campaign promises, and call upon her to resign her position so a fair and honest election can be held for her Board seat.)

This isn’t about who we like and who we don’t like. There are plenty of concessions-oriented SDEA Board members we don’t like, but we’re not recalling them because they didn’t lie when they ran for office. And this isn’t about reinstating past union leaders, who have committed to not run again should the recall prevail.

This is about honesty and democracy, two things our union hasn’t had under this current Board. And WE ARE THE ONES who can change that.

And in case anyone calls this a distraction from the work of our union, WE CAN DO BOTH. We strongly encourage all SDEA members to sign the recall petition, and as soon as you do, we strongly encourage you to sign up for SDEA’s YES on 30, NO on 32 campaign. Holding our elected leaders at the union and state level accountable for doing the right thing are BOTH important, and educators can also walk and chew gum at the same time.

We need to bring back democracy, honesty, and real power to SDEA.

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2 thoughts on “RECALL to Save our Union, Our Jobs, and Our Contract Starts NOW

  1. Pingback: NEW: The Shenanigans Begin: SDEA Leadership Works with SDUSD to Crush Recall « The Breakfast Club Action Group

  2. Pingback: NEW: Association for Union Democracy Publishes The Breakfast Club’s Story! « The Breakfast Club Action Group

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