— By Emily Neidhart, Garfield AR and CTA State Council Candidate
One of the reasons that the founders of the Breakfast Club are keeping up our work (even though sometimes we get really tired) is that by pushing our union to be stronger… our union is stronger. Here’s the most recent example.
Two weeks ago, we launched a Dump “Data” Dobbs petition in response to CFO Stan “Data” Dobbs’ interview with the Voice of San Diego — the one where he claimed the average teacher makes $92,000 before benefits, and that teachers will have to give up our fully paid family benefits to keep the District afloat. In our petition, we called on Dobbs to publicly apologize, and for the District to find a more suitable CFO.
However, SDEA’s official position was that Superintendent Bill Kowba’s public apology, and Dobbs’ private apology to SDEA President Bill Freeman, was good enough.
We disagreed! Dobbs himself owes every single one of us an apology, and he needs to set the record straight. So at last week’s Rep. Council, I made a motion to have SDEA support our ongoing petition, with Shane Parmely seconding. There were a few “friendly amendments” to the motion (most notably SDEA Vice President Lindsay Burningham’s amendment that we not call on the District to actually remove Dobbs). I accepted the amendments so that the motion would gain as much support as possible, and as a result, our motion passed the Rep. Council unanimously.
That means that our grassroots petition to hold Dobbs himself accountable to all of us is now officially endorsed by SDEA. By getting organized and pushing our union to adopt a stronger position towards a CFO who directly attacked us in the media, we are making our union stronger.
The conversation about our motion was pretty interesting. Burningham told us that Dobbs told SDEA that Carless misquoted him. I’m sure he said that. There’s just one problem. Carless recorded the interview (read the KPBS interview where he tells us there is a transcription HERE). Parmely pointed this out during the debate about the motion, casting even more doubt on Dobbs’ credibility, and making it even more important that SDEA hold him accountable to our membership.
I am currently working with SDEA staff to get our petition ready to publicize on the union Facebook, website, and newsletter. So if you haven’t signed yet, keep an eye out for their emails, and encourage your friends to sign as well.
Let’s keep up the good work!