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Another thug union puts self-preservation over children

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 23, 2009 05:31 PM

Last week, I showed you how the SEIU and other union thugs have routinely engaged in brass-knuckle tactics to intimidate volunteers who threaten their power.

Here’s another example to add to the Big Labor Bully file — straight outta Chicago:

We watched an interesting YouTube video the other day. It was brought to our attention by state Sen. James Meeks, the Chicago Democrat who is also pastor of Salem Baptist Church on the South Side. We think our readers should check out the video. It’ll open your eyes.

Meeks, who chairs the Illinois Senate Education Committee, has been in a war with the Chicago Teachers Union since he had some tough things to say about public education in a Tribune essay and in a speech at Rainbow Push.

The CTU responded with a vow not to give him another dime in campaign money until he apologized. Meeks promptly wrote a check for $4,000, giving back every dime the union had already given him.

No apology.

Good for him. Meeks, who has engaged in some rather unsavory racial demagoguery in the past, made headlines recently by likening the Chicago teachers’ union to a street gang and openly embracing private vouchers to help poor minority students escape from the city’s violence-plagued government school system. I hope it’s a sincere change of heart and that he is re-thinking the entire Democrat culture of dependency on government and public-sector unions.

Now, watch the video of the National Education Association’s retiring top lawyer, Bob Chanin, speaking at the NEA’s annual meeting in July, that Meeks recommended to the Tribune:

The Chicago Trib ed board notes:

Chanin closed his nearly 25-minute speech by explaining the influence of the NEA:

Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.

And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year, because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

Oh, it gets more interesting.

This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.

Too high a price to pay for educated children. Chanin got wild applause from thousands of NEA members at the San Diego Convention Centerfor his remarks.

We tried for several days to get NEA officials to explain those remarks. We wanted to ask if the rest of the union leadership believed that kids ranked behind collective bargaining on the teacher priority list. We’re still waiting to hear from them.

You can put the heat on the NEA yourself right here.

Remember: Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The cultural and political Left’s culture of corruption has nowhere left to hide.

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Posted in: Education,SEIU,Unions

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