This is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning.
Even though six Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing SB 166, it now goes to the state House for consideration.
Typically only about 10 percent of union dues are used in politics. These are voluntary contributions employees ask to be deducted from their pay for lobbying in their own interests. Like contributions to the United Way or other charities, it’s an issue of convenience for employees but poses no significant burden on employers.
Costa’s amendment would have required corporations that are organized in the Commonwealth to get shareholders consent before spending any more than $10,000 a year on politics.
It was a common sense measure meant to ensure that CEOs and board of directors are acting in the interests of their shareholders. However, Senate Republicans turned it down while ramping up restrictions on working people.
The measure would force unions to collect any dues or contributions on their own to fund get-out-the-vote efforts, lobbying or voter registration drives. Fortunately, it would still permit union deductions for non-political activities such as collective bargaining and grievances.
In one particular battle, a teacher allegedly yelled at the fiscally conservative state Senator for jogging during working hours, between 9 am and 5 pm. He also berated Eichleberger – a vocal critic of teachers’ pay scale – for the lawmaker’s own large salary.
A salary database on Open Pagov.org states the Altoona teacher makes just over $43,000. Eichelberger’s salary is $85,339, according to a state website.
For his part, Eichelberger wrote a letter to the district superintendent complaining that teachers were sending him derogatory emails during school hours.
The state Senator has turned this spat into public policy positions. Both he and Senate Republicans got a pat on the back from their corporate masters at the far right Commonwealth Foundation for the passage of the union regulation bill.
Once again, Republicans have targeted teachers, nurses and public safety workers, while championing corporations. No wonder union members rarely vote for the GOP.