Don’t worry Chelmsford, we haven’t forgotten about you!
Things continue to get interesting north of Boston where last week the outgoing Treasurer of the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers making excuses for every single one of the issues brought forward by the membership — who has serious questions about what in the hell the union is doing with THEIR MONEY.
(FYI: This is the EXACT type of situation in a post-Janus Supreme Court decision world that makes union members decertify or leave their unions and start their own associations to handle collective bargaining — but we’ll handle that in another blog post.)
Get out your popcorn — it’s time to get to work!
Here’s the emotional letter Erica Arrington sent out last week: letter to the CFT-1
Well, guess what Madame Treasurer! Members aren’t buying it. And they’re not letting this go either.
So not only do we now have receipts, we now have a handy chart for you to help follow along at home:
Rumors are also swirling about whether Jennifer Salmon, Erica Arrington and one other executive board member are even members of the union anymore — members believe they have quit completely and are now paying agency fee.
Three of the five who allegedly voted themselves a raise, now not even paying union dues? That would certainly raise some eyebrows — but we can’t confirm that information because unions don’t have to disclose it by law. Your membership thinks they have a right to know whether this is true. EduMom agrees.
Honestly, we think the hope was that this would all eventually go away quietly with a behind the scenes deal and a leadership change. We also hear that AFT union rep Eric Blanchet of “Chelmsford Superintendent Assault” fame has now been replaced by new rep Andy Powell. Has Andy been sent in to try to quiet things down? Or ramp things up?
And the real question? Why the CFT and the statewide AFT aren’t listening to their own membership. When I asked why this group of union members feel they aren’t being heard, this is what they had to say:
“Anyone that sends an email and asks a question suddenly has their lives investigated and name smeared. We just want the truth out there and for this group to acknowledge that what they have done is wrong and for the sake of nothing. They only caused pain and have ruined some good people’s names and jobs in the meantime.”
So AFT, step in an provide an independent investigation of the situation. Your members WANT TRANSPARENCY. Host a meeting. Listen to their concerns. Show them the money. It belongs TO THEM, remember?
Otherwise, I think might be time to give Marian Ryan and Maura Healey a call, don’t you?
And seriously, after all of the incessant lecturing EduMom has endured about how the democracy in unions and in our schools being JUST AS IMPORTANT IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT than all of my concerns about WHETHER CHILDREN ARE LIKE, LEARNING, isn’t it time to see some transparency and democracy in action here?