04.18.2014 1

The Teacher’s Union Strikes Back

teachers_union_strikes_backBy Tom Toth

The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) is engaging in extreme bullying tactics against a local teachers union trying to disassociate from the state union and the NEA, according to local news reports from Maryland’s monoblogue.

As previously reported on NetRightDaily.com, the Wicomico County Education Association (WCEA) is scheduled to hold a vote on April 28th and 29th on changes to the teachers association bylaws, removing the WCEA’s mandatory association with the state union.  Needless to say, the MSEA isn’t going let this vote happen without consequences.

In response to the impending vote, loyalists to the state union secretly entered the WCEA’s offices, changed the locks and security codes, altered office equipment, and fired the WCEA’s sole employee, all in violation of the law and the governing documents of the WCEA, according to WCEA leadership.

This response is akin to the bully tactics of a neighborhood gangster after a local business misses its latest “protection” payment—but instead of “protection” extortion, the state union is ensuring that it won’t lose county teachers’ annual dues in excess of $500,000. It appears the MSEA is making an example of Wicomico Country teachers, lest any other small county teachers decide they don’t need to pay half a million dollars or more to a politically-charged, scandal-ridden state union.

The disassociation vote is still scheduled to commence as planned. The president of the WCEA, Kelly Stephenson, announced the following on the organization’s website:

“On April 15, 2014, Gary Hammer et al., entered the WCEA offices, changed the locks and codes, removed or altered office equipment and purported to illegally fire the Association’s only employee. These actions were not taken in accordance with the governing documents of WCEA or in accordance with the law.

“The democratically elected leadership of WCEA would like everyone to know that we are continuing to exercise the duties of the office. We will not be bullied and these actions will not affect the business affairs of the Association. Member services, including member representation and contract negotiations with the Wicomico County Board of Education, will continue unchanged. Further, this attempt to subvert the democratic process will not succeed: on April 28th and 29th, the Association’s vote on Bylaws changes will proceed, and members will be able to decide for themselves whether to become self-governing.”

Americans for Limited Government president Nathan Mehrens noted that Wicomico County would be joining the union representing Michigan’s Rosscommon Area Public Schools in breaking away from the influence of the state and national unions

Mehrens commended the effort in the rural Maryland county located on the state’s eastern shore saying,: “As Wicomico County teachers continue to stand up against the shameful tactics of the Maryland State Education Association, we’re hopeful that these blatant intimidation tactics fail to stop local teachers from acting in their best interests.”

Click here for the full local report of the latest from Wicomico County, Maryland.

Tom Toth is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government.

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