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BOMBSHELL: Employees have “No confidence” in Ohio teachers’ union boss

There’s something union front We Are Ohio doesn’t want you to know about their largest donor, the Ohio Education Association: OEA has such a history of internal strife, it’s obvious OEA bosses are awful negotiators. This is a tiny problem for people who siphon millions from teachers on the strength of their negotiation skills, don’t you think?

Signs placed by OEA staff during a 2010 strike encouraged their Executive Director to kill himself

I’ve covered in depth the unlovely things OEA staff have said about union bosses, but they pale compared to this:

PROFESSIONAL STAFF VOTES “NO CONFIDENCE” IN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The 110 member Professional Staff Union (PSU) has voted overwhelmingly “…to declare a lack of confidence in the Executive Director of the Ohio Education Association to lead the professional staff or to implement the program of the Ohio Education Association effectively.

Emphasis in the May 31, 2010 original (view as PDF), which I printed from an official OEA staff blog before it vanished from public view weeks after I began sharing quotes. Coincidence!

The resolution states that the Executive Director, “…in little more than a year on the job, has presided over the greatest and most rapid deterioration in the relationship between the OEA and its professional staff since a month long strike in 1997” as well as “…the greatest and most rapid deterioration of professional staff morale.”

Serious stuff, ultimately leading to a strike against OEA. This Executive Director got the boot, right?

Wrong! Larry Wicks pulled down $208,469 in 2009, $210,858 last year, and this spring led the OEA push to take an extra $54 from every member to kill Senate Bill 5. This suggests Larry must have improved on at least one failing cited in his employees’ No Confidence resolution:

has chosen to waste OEA dues dollars and other resources to fight OEA’s own employees instead of OEA’s REAL adversaries;

When union staff talk about “OEA’s REAL adversaries,” they mean any taxpayer or teacher who thinks the public should have a little say in how public schools work!

Another theme comes up frequently in the resolution against Executive Director Wicks: money. Specifically, OEA staff (dozens of whom are paid six figures) are salty about changes to OEA’s expense reimbursement policies. Very salty.

To date, PSU members have been forced to file more than 300 grievances. Despite the efforts of two Federal Mediators to re-solve these disputes during the facilitation step in the grievance procedure, OEA management has refused to settle any of the grievances. Instead, OEA management has hired one or two new employees just to process the grievances.

Federal Mediators. To resolve a dispute between the dispute resolution professionals and their dispute-resolving bosses. It’s great that OEA is creating grievance processing jobs (a growth industry!)… but why should Ohio teachers, children, and taxpayers be at the mercy of professional arguers who can’t even handle internal arguments?

The real problem with the Ohio Education Association isn’t their dishonest far-left rhetoric or even their miserable management skills. The problem is that taxpayers foot the bill for selfish bureaucrats who take advantage of Ohio teachers – and harm Ohio children by hamstringing our education system.

Ohioans should show how much confidence we have in government union bosses by voting for reforms that bring some balance to our broken status quo. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

For more Ohio coverage, follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

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