BY DAN VALENTI
The United Educators of Pittsfield agree that their second work-to-rule action of the year isn’t about money. It’s about “respect.” Nonetheless, the UEP has presented a request for a substantial pay raise for part of its membership (school nurses). That’s about money, not respect, irrespective of whether or not you feel the raises are justified.
The union also has before the school committee a proposal regarding special education, which itself is a well-intentioned but brain-addled program whose costs drain school districts of resources the way Dracula could drain Lucy or Mina of blood. The definition of special ed has gotten so lax as to be preposterous, hurting only those who genuinely qualify.
“Respect,” as the noted sage Aretha Franklin once chiseled, is given as it is received. What kind of respect do teachers show administrators, staff, parents, taxpayers, and students when they resort to the blackmail tactic of “work to rule”? Thus, the supreme irony of the UEP employing a highly disrespectful action to say they are being disrespected. It’s like pondering a Max Escher painting.
What the union conveniently avoids bringing up is that teachers are salaried employees. However narrowly their contract seems to define their duties, the job of a teacher includes whatever it takes to ensure a well-rounded education for children. By any interpretation, “work to rule” cannot be considered anything other than a shameless bargaining chip employed only by union leaders (not rank and file) who do not know the meaning of good-faith bargaining.
Left out of the discussion, particularly when UEP head Scott Eldridge speaks, is the bedraggled taxpayers, who every year gets saddled for more and more of the cost of public education for less and less performance. It’s about results, baby, and the results aren’t there, else why do colleges and universities have to offer remedial reading, writing, and math to so many incoming freshmen?
An inclusive, secret ballot of the rank-and-file of the UEP would prove that the draconian work-to-rule stunt has little support except in the union heirarchy. THE PLANET urges the teachers to immediately stop the work-to-rule nonsense and get back to the bargaining table.
The Fat Get Fatter
While we’re on the subject of public spending, how do you feel, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, to learn that the state’s top development authority wants to pay and outside consultant from $13,000 to $19,000 to study whether top-level management at MassDevelopment should receive pay raises?
What is MassDevelopment, you ask? Why, it’s the result of a Frankenstein brain switch involving the Health and Educational Facilities Authority. As of last month, MassDevelopment, which must have some crucial function in state government such as providing make-work jobs for friends of politicians, employed 185 people.
The agency has 25 employees making $100,000 or more. Neat work if you can get it.
Not satisfied with this, the agency wants to hire an outside consultant to determine if these 25 bigs should get even larger salaries. Robert Culver MassDevelopment prez, pulls down $299,000 a year (plus about $100,000 in benefits). According to Thomas Grillo of the Boston Herald, Culver has declined comment. His PR flack, Janet Hookailo, wept that the top dogs have not had a pay boost since 2007. Boo hoo, they’ve got me crying.
Joseph Giglio, professor of corporate strategy at Northeastern University, asked how this action can be justified “to hard-working people who every day are sitting around the kitchen table struggling with issues about job security, mortgage payments, [and] increases in the price of food and energy”?
The answer is easy. These fat pigs think they are above the rules that the rest of us must play by.
THE PLANET offers a better solution. Why doesn’t Gov. Deval Patrick live up to his billing for once and initiate a disappearing act for the whole durn bunch at MassDevelopment. It’s not like anyone would notice the difference.
The Context of Korea
What Americans don’t know, and what mainstream media refuses to report, is the proper context for the actions of the North Korean government. The contact is brutality and heinous violence committed by:
* The Japanese in Korea during the occupation that ended in WWII,
* The South Korean government, military, and police during the Korean War,
* And American forces led by such bomb-happy pit bulls as Gen. Curtis LeMay and My Lai-type massacres of civilians by soldiers such as that which occurred at the mouth of a railroad tunnel in July 1950 in the village of Nogun.
These were not isolated incidents. They were the pattern of dealing with the North, unilaterally separated from the South by the 38th parallel at the hands the arbitrary and arguable war criminals Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel, who at the request of the War Department played god and divided the peninsula in two. They did this on Aug. 10, 1945, the day after the U.S. vaporized Nagasaki.
One shudders to learn how close the U.S. came to dropping nukes on Korea. As it was, U.S. air sorties dropped oceans of napalm on the tiny North in a random and barbaric assault on anything living thing that moved.
And we expect the North to listen to reason? We expect the North to be appeased by our demands in their internal policies, particularly its nuclear strategy.
We have seen the problem in North Korea. It is Ugly Americanism that for 60 years has not given up the ghost.
The Stooley Weighs in
Our resident Wise Guy, The Stooley, says the New England Patriots will handily take care of the Detroit Lions in the first of Thanksgiving’s triple header. He says the Patriots will pile up the score then coast, winning 38-17.
There is little chance that Bill Belichick will let his team come out flat the way they did against the Cleveland Browns three weeks ago. In the subsequent two games, the Patriots “O” has put up 30+ points and the young D made plays when it had to. Trap game? No way.
The Stooley also says the high-wire act catches up with the Jets, who will lose by 7, and that Dallas continues to win under its new coach. Cowboys by 3. We shall see.
TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR THE PLANET’S THANKSGIVING GREETINGS.