A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

A First in the History of Collective Bargaining

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 07•15

The Los Angeles Unified School District reached a tentative contract agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles. The union’s demands were often stated in public: “We are fighting for smaller class sizes, fully staffed schools, clean and safe schools, improved learning conditions, improved working conditions, and fair compensation. These issues are too important to give up on.”

But an analysis of the agreement by the Los Angeles Daily News reveals the district “is not contractually obligated to hire a single teacher to help ease crowded classrooms.”

The union did negotiate 5 percent in back pay, and a 10.36 percent increase to the salary schedule next year.

The union claims $13 million has been guaranteed to hire new teachers. When asked about the guarantee’s absence from the contract, UTLA spokeswoman Suzanne Spurgeon said, “There was no need to include it in the written agreement.”

I doubt those words have ever before been spoken by a union representative.

As is typical in the state of California, the district negotiated the contract without knowing if it has the money to pay for it. LAUSD is running a deficit and has already sent out hundreds of layoff notices to teachers. District officials are banking on the state to deliver additional revenues.


Slow News Day – Education Edition

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 06•15


Teacher Turnover Turned Over

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 04•15

Click here to read.


WEAC Tries to Revive Merger

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 04•15

In February 2014, the Wisconsin Education Association Council and AFT Wisconsin were all set to vote on a merger that would create a new organization – Wisconsin Together. The vote was abruptly postponed over concerns about unresolved differences between the dues structures of WEAC and AFT Wisconsin. Members were assured that a joint committee would address the problem and “a merger vote then could take place in early 2015.”

Early 2015 has come and gone, with no merger vote in sight, prompting delegates to the WEAC representative assembly to pass a new business item to revive the process:

The WEAC will revive merger discussions with AFT-W and bring a merger proposal back to the 2016 Representative Assembly. The proposal shall include governing documents for a joint organizational structure that includes existing locals and members of AFT-W and WEAC.

The Wisconsin merged member organization will be affiliated with both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

This shows WEAC still wants merger, but it also delays a vote for at least another year. And at last check, the domain name was still available for purchase – in case you are in a speculative mood.


The Law of Averages

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 01•15

While the AFL-CIO conducts class warfare, Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute shows why it is firing blanks.



Written By: Mike Antonucci - Apr• 29•15

Tomorrow there will a vote among teachers at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia to determine whether they wish to be represented by the AFT-affiliated Association of Charter School Employees. The school is run by Aspira, Inc.

The union accuses Aspira of holding mandatory anti-union meetings in advance of the vote, conducted by Randy McCarthy and Andrew Gallin of National Consultants Associated Ltd.

I don’t profess to know what’s going on at Olney, but I know a planted hit piece when I see one, and this one – in the Philadelphia Daily News – magically appears on the eve of the vote.

The highlight of the story concerns the “unseemly ties” of Randy McCarthy.

You know where it’s going when it begins, “Randy McCarthy has not been charged with a crime, but it is not hard to find references to his family’s alleged ties to organized crime.”

McCarthy’s father, Jack, was a convicted labor racketeer with ties to the mob. He died in 1990. His brother, Glenn, went to prison in 2002 for labor conspiracy.

“The record speaks for itself,” Ted Kirsch, president of the AFT of Pennsylvania, told the Daily News, referring to McCarthy’s father and brother. “They were racketeers. They were convicted. What do they have to do with public school kids?”

Well, if Jack McCarthy has anything to do with public school kids, you better call Rick Grimes, because ol’ Jack shouldn’t be walking around anymore.

What’s ironic about this tale is that both McCarthys were jailed for running corrupt unions for the benefit of the mob. AFT Pennsylvania should have been worried if Aspira hired McCarthy after the union was voted in.



Written By: Mike Antonucci - Apr• 28•15

Headline from today’s Sacramento Bee: “After years of layoffs, California schools on a teacher hiring binge

Headline we didn’t see the past few years: “After years of binge hiring, California schools laying off teachers”