The Unethical UEA (HB381)

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.


2 thoughts on “The Unethical UEA (HB381)

  1. And several of the committee members are Republican. I guess they’re in the “let’s make nice to them and they’ll be nice to us” mode rather than caring about what’s right. It’s not surprising that they’re having trouble with this, considering the general malaise of ethics-challengedness that exists on The Hill.

  2. As I recall, about half or more of the members who voted against this are Republicans.

    I don’t think they’re doing it to “get along”, however. The UEA has pushed a lot of influence their way and several are liberal to the core. One is even rumored to have been a Democrat until a few months before running as s Republican (I will not mention who until I can confirm that as fact, which will be difficult to do).

    As I noted, the UEA ran an effective campaign based on ethics. This shows, unsurprisingly, that they really wanted “business as usual” but for it to favor them. It appears those they got in there with this ‘double speak’ have delivered.

    I don’t expect much to change. Utah is fairly apathetic and unquestioning of its leaders. The problem extends to within the Republican party which espouses conservative principles in its platform and candidates pay lip-service to those principles only on an election year. The rest of the time many (not all) vote according to their true beliefs and intentions (“by their fruits ye shall know them”).

    The responsibility for this really lies with voters and party members who continue to be content to go for cute pamphlets and sound-bytes over results and accountability. Style over substance.

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