Response: Rhee Org. Claims Support For Collective Bargaining
StudentsFirst has sent along this collection of quotes and newspaper articles for you to chew through, each of the purporting to show that Rhee and StudentsFirst support collective barginging and have done so several times in the past.
It's worth noting that SF's first comment on the this topic this week got at the substance of some of the Rhee comments below -- that focusing on collective bargaining and union issues is a distraction, not a central part of the Rhee agenda for making schools better. Actions speak louder than words, I can imagine the labor side of this argument saying. Most of the items collected below are rhetorical, rather than campaign donations or introduction of legislation. Most of those listed in the previous post focus on actions.
Read on, make of it what you will. Compare this list to the previous one. I'm just passing notes between AFT and SF at this point.
FACT: Michelle Rhee And StudentsFirst Support The Right Of Teachers To Join Unions And Bargain Collectively Over Issues Like Wages and Benefits
Des Moines Register Op-ed by Kathie Obradovich: Michelle Rhee Says “Wrong To Paint Unions As The Problem”. According to Obradovich’s Op-ed, “Rhee, who calls herself a liberal Democrat, offered a more centrist tone than her reputation would lead one to expect. She said some of her GOP colleagues are wrong to paint unions as the problem”. [Des Moines Register, 3/12/12]
Michelle Rhee Opposed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Push To Strip Public Employee Unions of Collective Bargaining Rights. According to an article in New York Magazine, “When, in the midst of Wisconsin’s standoff, I ask Rhee whether she was supportive of the draconian anti-union bill, she says no. She believes that teachers should be able to collectively bargain salaries and benefits, though not issues surrounding in-class performance.” [New York Magazine, 3/20/11]
Michelle Rhee Op-ed Headline: Why StudentsFirst Supports Teachers' Right to Collective Bargaining [Huffington Post, 3/29/11]
Michelle Rhee: StudentsFirst Is “Agreeing With Unions… The Problem Is Not Collective Bargaining”. According to an Op-ed by Michelle Rhee in the Huffington Post, “Disagreement and debate can be a good thing and do not have to result in policies favoring adult interests over children's. StudentsFirst absolutely supports the right of teachers to collectively bargain on many issues, such as base compensation and professional development. Some have asked if we say we are putting students first, why are we agreeing with unions on this point? Here is why. Collective bargaining for wages and benefits is not the reason American schools fail. Even in "right to work" states that do not have collective bargaining, we still see many of the problems that hurt our schools: bureaucratic inertia, red tape limits on parent choice, seniority-based layoffs, and fiscal irresponsibility. Overseas, many countries see teachers unions drive high standards and expectations for all teachers. The problem is not collective bargaining.” [Huffington Post, 3/29/11]
Michelle Rhee And StudentsFirst “Absolutely Support Workers And Workers Rights To Organize”. According to Michelle Rhee, “We absolutely support workers and workers rights to organize. We also support the concept of collective bargaining. We think that workers should always have the right to have a say in their salaries, benefits, etc. And without the protection of unions in our history, in our nation’s history we’ve seen that oftentimes workers were taken advantage of. So we think that those are really important concepts to remember.” [StudentsFirst YouTube video, 8/5/11]