Fear and Repercussions

Have you had colleagues tell you that they support the SDEA Board recall but they’re “afraid of the repercussions” if they sign the recall petitions?

Here are some points to help them find the courage to stand up for themselves!

  • We have safety in numbers! We will not be submitting the recall petitions unless we are pretty darn certain that we’ve hit the 25% threshold. That means that you won’t be a lone target. You’ll be one of hundreds (or in the case of the Board officers, thousands) of SDEA members who signed the petition. This is how union activists always protect ourselves from retaliation: We grow our number to make the “target” so big that it stops being a target at all, because they can’t target everyone. (And good news on this front… We already have 25% of the signatures for one Board member, and others are incredibly close.)
  • Are you worried that our union leadership will retaliate against you for signing?  Some members are worried about signing the petition because they are afraid that SDEA won’t “protect” them if they need it in the future. If you really believe that, this is all the more reason to sign. How can anyone stand paying $100 a month to a union that they believe won’t represent them? By the way, those dues mean that the union is legally obligated to represent us, like it or not. If they don’t, then they are subject to a “Duty of Fair” representation charge, which is a serious charge.
  • Are you worried that the District will retaliate against you if you sign? Some members are worried that the union will turn over the names of the petitions signer to the District, so that the District can “come after” us.  Again, we have safety in numbers, but that misses the much bigger point:  If SDEA members don’t want to sign, because in our hearts we believe that our own union leadership will call our employer and have them attack us, then our union leadership needs a drastic and immediate change.  After seeing the emails from Bill Kowba and Larry Schoenke, it would not surprise us in the least if the current SDEA leadership handed over a list of its “enemies” to our employer.  And this, above any other possible reason we could give you, is the reason why everyone should and must sign the recall petitions.  And just as retaliation by union leadership is illegal, so is retaliation by the District for union activism. Not only does it violate our contract, which it does, but it violates labor law.
  • Already the Breakfast Club is preparing to file charges against both SDEA and the District for the violations they have already committed against our legal rights. We take these violations very seriously, and we are determined to force our employer and our union to respect our rights to a democratic process.

In the end it comes down to this: We all get to live with the union that we create. So let’s make sure we do our part to help create a union we can live with.

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