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Bad Choice For A Foe

In Worcester, Massachusetts, the teachers' union is not happy. One teacher at the school is not a member, won't pay non-union dues (according to the union, you have a choice: join and pay dues, or not join and pay slightly less for that privilege), and insists on his right to keep his job. So they're trying to get him fired.

Bad choice. Because the gentleman in question is the guy who's been running Worcester's ROTC program for 14 years -- and prior to that, spent 20 years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

This will be an interesting showdown. I'm sure Major Godin learned a lot of things in the Corps, but I would wager that backing down wasn't one of them. The union might have the law on its side for now in having absolute veto power over who can and can not "teach" at the school (part of Godin's defense is that he is not paid by the school district, but by the federal government), but unions are not quite as popular among the general public as they have been in the past. There could be a bit of a backlash on behalf of the major.

Regardless, it should be an entertaining showdown.


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Comments (33)

It's Massachusetts! I did t... (Below threshold)
Don L:

It's Massachusetts! I did this same thing in CT where the law required you to pay for the cost of local negotiating etc. I didn't join the NEA and was left alone - even after being the union president.

I couldn't support the national politics of abortion, environmental worship and anti-family curriculum nonsense.

Those teacher unions in Mass need to be excoriated for hating one thing - "choice."

If this guy doesn't want to... (Below threshold)
James H:

If this guy doesn't want to join the union, he shouldn't get the benefits of union membership -- that means no union pension, no union healthcare plan and so forth ... and when it comes time to negotiate the contract, he should have no representation at the union/management table. See? Fair.

James, according to the art... (Below threshold)

James, according to the article, he isn't getting that anyway.

Godin, a 20-year Marine veteran until 1994, who flew F-4 Phantoms and was deployed five times, said he refuses to join the union because he receives all his benefits, including health insurance and half his salary, from the military. Unlike other teachers, he doesn't earn a stipend for after-school activities, such as the hours he spends coaching the high school's regional champion drill team. His salary is dictated by the U.S. Military, not labor negotiators, Godin said.

The union is saying that it controls who can and who can not teach. Godin says he gets no benefits whatsoever from the union, wants none, and doesn't want to pay them.

So yeah, fair.

It reminds me of a local talk show host on Social Security. He says he'll gladly sign away all his accrued benefits in exchange for being exempt from its taxes for the rest of his life. He'll kiss off everything he's paid in for about 40 years if he can just keep everything he makes from now until retirement. Doesn't that sound fair, too?

J.

Seems fair, James H. After... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Seems fair, James H. After all, why SHOULD he get union bennies if he's not a member of the union?

Oh, wait... he wouldn't get those anyway. He's not being paid by the state.

Godin, a 20-year Marine veteran until 1994, who flew F-4 Phantoms and was deployed five times, said he refuses to join the union because he receives all his benefits, including health insurance and half his salary, from the military. Unlike other teachers, he doesn't earn a stipend for after-school activities, such as the hours he spends coaching the high school's regional champion drill team. His salary is dictated by the U.S. Military, not labor negotiators, Godin said.
"Just give us $500, and we'll go away. Nice ROTC program you got here - shame if anything were to happen to it."

Sorry, JT - din't know you ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Sorry, JT - din't know you wuz gonna post that...

JLaw, Jay Tea:I wa... (Below threshold)
James H:

JLaw, Jay Tea:

I was speaking more generally of the union vs. non-union question. Seems to be it should be a non-issue. He doesn't wanna be in the union, he shouldn't have to be.

If this guy doesn'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
If this guy doesn't want to join the union, he shouldn't get the benefits of union membership

You mean like the vast majority of Americans who pay taxes to educate children, but end up getting an inferior product because the real purpose of the union is to maximize the wages, benefits, and job security of teachers while minimizing their accountability?

The guy should be commended for standing up for the right of teachers to do a good job and be rewarded for their performance, you know, like most Americans.

Fair enough, JLawson -- I d... (Below threshold)

Fair enough, JLawson -- I didn't know I was gonna post it, either. Love your postscript.

Especially since I meant to hold this article back until 11:00 a.m...

J.

The AFL-CIO should loan the... (Below threshold)
kevino:

The AFL-CIO should loan the teachers union a few thugs to meet him in the parking lot some night to explain the benefits of union membership - particularly the health benefits. (Going against the union is very unhealthy.) Given that he's a Marine, they might want to bring more than usual and they might want to bring baseball bats.

That's how unions solve the problem of individuals who dare to stand up to them.

according to the u... (Below threshold)
Senor Cardgage:
according to the union, you have a choice: join and pay dues, or not join and pay slightly less for that privilege

It's state law, the article says. I thought you gomers were all about strict adherence to the letter of the law. Dude's a flouter!

Time to institute a nationa... (Below threshold)
Stan:

Time to institute a national right to work law.

I thought you gome... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I thought you gomers were all about strict adherence to the letter of the law.

Another ignorant liberal, what a surprise.

James H:... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

James H:

I was speaking more generally of the union vs. non-union question. Seems to be it should be a non-issue. He doesn't wanna be in the union, he shouldn't have to be.

As long as he pays the union's "fee", it's not. However, since he's not paying the protection money..errm.. fee, the union has a little minor issue with the gentlemen.

It almost seems that the Te... (Below threshold)
Hank:

It almost seems that the Teachers Union is more concerned about the money than the great teaching Major Godin is providing.

I also note that: "Officials from the Education Association of Worcester did not return repeated calls, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association declined comment."

Funny that. They always have time to protest.

I am horrified that any uni... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

I am horrified that any union can determine who can work. It's the employer, in this case, the school board, who has that right.

I'm a teacher (duh!), and I belong to my union because I'd pay Fair Share anyway, and for just a little more I get the liability coverage. I HATE the politics of NEA and the PSEA, and I refuse to contribute to their PACs, but I do support the local association.

BTW, our union does NOT provide the benefits; it negotiates and protects the terms of the contract.

Maybe the Union can recruit... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

Maybe the Union can recruit hard-nosed metrosexual Oilbama to "kick his ass".

How about this if you are f... (Below threshold)
John:

How about this if you are forced to join the union shouldn't you have some say in how the union sends your money. What if you aren't a democrat (I know but work with me here) and don't really want your money going to Barak Obama... no choice, is that fair?

Unions have NO place in the... (Below threshold)
just bob:

Unions have NO place in the public sector.

I shop at any place being p... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

I shop at any place being picketed by unions -- unless they have an honest-to-goodness beef that should be supported, that is -- because I utterly hate being told by someone else where I have to shop and spend my money. Phooey on that. I'll shop at where I please and do business with whom I please.

But wait...Obama offers Hop... (Below threshold)
jim m:

But wait...Obama offers Hope and Change!

When he takes over your industry you too will be forced to join a union and pay dues to support their thuggery and the dem party. Just like in obamacare where home care nurses are required to join a union in order to continue working.

Barry will ensure that his friends at the SEIU are well taken care of using your money. What's better than paying the salaries of the goons he government pays to beat you when you speak up a little too loudly?

Mandatory union membership. A federal law coming soon to your industry.

Barry can shove his union s... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry can shove his union socialism do nothings right up his oil drenched ass!

"Daddy, can your unions hel... (Below threshold)
914:

"Daddy, can your unions help plug the hole? Daddy?"

If he was a gay teacher giv... (Below threshold)
clyde:

If he was a gay teacher giving young boys lessons in tea bagging and fisting,Barney Frankn would pay the dues for him,and the union would be happy to have him in the school.

"I thought you gomers were ... (Below threshold)
max:

"I thought you gomers were all about strict adherence to the letter of the law." - Senor Cardgage

"Another ignorant liberal, what a surprise." - Mac Lorry

Yeah, what ever gave you the idea that conservatives give two shits about the law?

I would ask when did challe... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I would ask when did challenging a law that is unfair become illegal? Or is it just challenging a law that lib special interest groups benefit from is illegal?

The difference is that conservatives go to court or he legislature to challenge the law. Libs go to the street and riot or beat people up. Libs break the law in order to express their dissatisfaction. Maybe the appropriate way would be for the SEIU to send some of their 'representatives' to 'explain' the situation to the Major. That would be the lib reaction.

After all libs are famous for their law abiding reaction to things they don't like. They form 'activist' groups...like the KKK.

Yeah, what ever gave you... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Yeah, what ever gave you the idea that conservatives give two shits about the law?

The point, for those who missed it, is to challenge the legality of the law.

Now go back to your coloring books, liberals.

Yeah, what ever ga... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yeah, what ever gave you the idea that conservatives give two shits about the law? - Max

Whatever gave you the idea that conservatives won't fight bad laws and expose the corrupt system that passes them?

If liberals had better reading comprehension then they would see that no law is being broken. Godin makes a case that he's not violating any law and for the past 13 years the people in power accepted that.

Now with Obama is in the Whitehouse unions think they can flex their muscle, but they have miscalculated public tolerance of union goons pressing for more money and power.

Godspeed, Major Godin!... (Below threshold)

Godspeed, Major Godin!

What part of THIS IS IN MAS... (Below threshold)
epador:

What part of THIS IS IN MASSACHUSSETTS did you all miss here?

This guy is a dead duck and the general population has been dying for a way to get him off the schoolgrounds. Now they've found a way to get the union to do the dirty work (sound familiar?).

What part of THIS ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
What part of THIS IS IN MASSACHUSSETTS did you all miss here?

Guess that means the union goons don't have to worry about the guy packing heat when they give him a visit. Lucky them.

Time to get involved with t... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Time to get involved with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. They provide pro bono legal help for people (quite often teachers) who have union problems like this one.

http://www.nrtw.org/

I was a member of a union o... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

I was a member of a union once for a few weeks.
While at work I befriended a fellow who shared some of the interests I had, and we went coyote hunting together one weekend. A couple of days after that I was taken aside by one of the union members and told I should not associate with the guy because "he is a scab, and crossed a picket line". That next weekend we had a company party, and part of the festivities were baseball games between departments. Just as we were about to start our game (Laborers against Warehousemen) one of the good ol union guys from Laborers came over to say they would not play the game with us because we had a "scab" on our team. I told him to shove the game up his butt. Before the incident could escalate, the fellow in question pulled me to one side and told be it was OK, he would watch, that these were not people to mess with. So he and I both just watched the game. He also went on to explain these union guys had busted windows from cars, poured gasoline on them and threatened to light them off, and attacked a bus of strike busters with baseball bats.
Monday morning I went into the Union Steward's office told him to quit taking out my dues, that NO ONE told me who I could associate with, tore up my union card, threw it on his desk and told him to shove it up his ass.
That being said, union did have, and to an extent still do have their place. Interfering in personal life, and the political process is not among them. Neither is interefering in the education system.

"Daddy, can you make water ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Daddy, can you make water into wine? Than make the gulf spillage become vinegar so all your enemies become drunk with envy."

"Please Daddy please, mmm mmmm mmmm"




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