One of the five candidates for a vacant school board position in the Issaquah School District was a former union president who was the spokeswoman during the three week strike against the Issaquah school district. Her members also voted to defy a court order that teachers return to work.
At issue was the union's desire to divert funds from services to employee wages:
“The Issaquah administration proposes an average raise of 5.5 percent in each of the three years . . . But Margo Campbell, Issaquah Education Association spokeswoman, says all but 1 percent of the offer is a state raise that every teacher in Washington will get. The union wants the district to use local levy dollars to raise that 1 percent to 3.25 percent.” Seattle Times August 30, 2002.
The agreement resulting from the strike awarded levy-funded pay raises, cash bonuses for returning to work, and cash bonuses for the most senior members of the teaching staff. The district had to cut other parts of its budget to pay for the contract.
Incidentally, in Issaquah today the levy-funded wage enhancement is 10.25%, an additional 4.5% more for professional responsibilities, extra bonuses of up to $2,000 for the highest paid employees, and other levy-funded perks.
Is it in the public interest for an advocate for employee’s self-interest to serve on the governing board of public agencies?
How about those candidates recruited, trained and funded by employee unions?
The Freedom Foundation is engaged in making citizens more effective activists and encouraging them to run for public office. Many school board seats are up for election this year, and if you think now is a good time to step up to serve in the biggest, most expensive part of government which is responsible for preparing the next generation to live a life of liberty and self-sufficiency, let us know.