This last election cycle, the UEA (Utah Education Association) did an effective job of getting it’s candidates elected by running a huge campaign on ethics. In some cases, they smeared a candidate as unethical (in other cases, it was deserved) and placed their candidate as the pristine ethical choice. Apparently, that was all just lip service to the cause of ethics as the UEA espouses no such thing.
The UEA and it’s cohorts opposed a bill that would have eliminated a clear conflict of interest involving tax money.
The UEA killed HB 381 (titled “Public Education Law Revisions – Association Leave”). HB381 would have stopped the practice of taxpayers paying union leaders for their time working on union responsibilities. The conflict of interest arises as those receiving the district (taxpayer) pay are also working to lobby the legislature and taxpayers to increase budgets etc. It is like an auto company union paying the union to negotiate their contract with the company. It is absurd. If these folks want to work for the union, whether that be full or part time, let the union pay for their services. Taxpayers have no business doing so.
Good grief, even the SL Tribune has taken the same stance on this:
In Davis, Granite and Salt Lake districts, local UEA presidents, who are usually former teachers granted leave to work for the association, are paid between $24,000 and $28,000 a year in salary and benefits from district funds…
…It has evolved to mean, in practice, that some districts continue to fork out hefty amounts to pay people who are no longer working strictly for the district. In fact, in union parlance, these UEA officials are being paid by the employer, the opponent in contract negotiations. It’s like having one foot on the ground and the other on a moving train.
Here is a list of the Representatives who killed the bill in committee (most of which are affiliated with the education lobby):
Laura Black – Sandy
Rebecca P. Edwards – NSL, South Bountiful
Kory M. Holdaway – Taylorsville
Carol Spackman Moss – SLC
Marie H. Poulson – SLC
Kraig Powell – Heber City
Mark A. Wheatley – Murray
One final note of interest. As I recall, Representative Edwards ran on the theme of “representation for real”. I guess that only applies to UEA members.