The time is upon us. For many of you, this is your moment to decide if you take a stand, or if you let this moment pass.
I have asked teachers to call-in on Wednesday, February 29th to protest our districts continuous downward spiral, and while I have had quite a number of you express your support, I have had fewer who would state that they too will miss the suggested date. While I am glad to see many of you are considering taking a stand, I have to say that I am disappointed in how many of you are giving in to the fear.
I doubt there is little I can say or do at this point that would change very many minds. Some of you say you will call in on different days in a "staggered" sick-out. Others have chose their own personal dates to be out, while a former teacher calling him/herself "The Watchful Eye" has suggested we call-in on STAAR testing days (although I see the point behind this last suggestion, I do not agree as I can foresee the problems our kids will face with testing irregularities.) In many ways I applaud the fact that many of you are willing to do something. However, our strength will only come if we speak in one loud voice, instead of many small ones. I believe if we do not come together as one, we will be much easier to ignore.
It is unfortunate that we have to do this on our own, considering the number of us that shell out some of our hard-earned money to Alliance/AFT. However, Alliance has proven themselves to be ineffective in our recent struggles. Let us look at the effectiveness of our beloved union.
*On the date I came forward to suggest a sick-out, Alliance/AFT had the courage to step forward and "neither condone nor condemn" my actions. Although they sent me a nice e-mail saying they wish me well, they have helped the district stoke fear in their members by reminding members that "we don't know what the district will do to you if you participate." Wow- a union helping the district sow disunity. Thank you, Alliance!
*Alliance has been happy to claim credit for getting Mr. Drake reinstated, although his decision to come forward and share his story with the media play a substantial role in his victory over the bullying tactics of Edwin Flores. I am sure if a sick-out produces change, they will be quick to claim some credit as well.
*While Alliance has been "representing" us, we have had our days reduced from ten to eight, our wages frozen, our benefits reduced and our contribution to insurance increased. The board has extended our work day and bullied teachers.
*Alliance claims to be the voice of the teachers of DISD and, according to their webiste, "Your Official Voice for Change." Given all they have "accomplished" over the last three years I must ask, "Who's changes?"
Tonight I will send an e-mail to the members of the board, and I will produce its contents on this blog. If our "official voice of change" cannot produce results, perhaps an unofficial one can.