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THWACK!…Miami Teachers Union’s…KAPOW!…Gonna Need a Defibrillator…ZLORP! – HotAir


United Teachers of Dade (UTD) (Sounds like birth control or something, doesn’t it?), representing some 30 odd thousand Miami area school employees and the largest teachers’ union in Florida, is having a bit of a survival crisis. Now, a good portion of it is self-induced, as FL is a right-to-work state, which means employees cannot be compelled to join a union nor pay union dues as a condition of employment. It says something about the union that a fair number of school employees have chosen not to do so.

The other side of the coin as far as the union being at death’s door has been their leadership’s pugnacious, aggressive, and frankly downright revolting attitude towards anything the governor of the state has tried to accomplish while in office concerning the schools.

They declared war on Ron DeSantis almost from the very beginning.

What really began to stick in Floridians’ craw was what United Teachers of Dade did in efforts to foil reopening the schools during COVID. They fought ferociously to keep their members home and the schools shuttered, using every means fair and foul to achieve their end. The architect of that guerilla campaign is still head of the union and, coincidentally, was also Charlie Crist’s running mate against DeSantis in 2022. Her name is Karla Hernandez-Mats. As I wrote at the time, she’s a real peach…pit.

…In a night and day contrast, his running mate Karla Hernandez, president of United Teachers of Dade (the largest teachers union in the southeastern United States), doesn’t seem to have as deft or natural a touch when it comes to real vice union politics. She appears to have been chosen purely as a craven bid to bring teachers on board the Crist train and is a combative train wreck in her own right.

For instance, when DeSantis – and parents – were fighting to get Florida schools completely reopened in the face of fierce opposition from the federal government and teachers’ unions, Karla Hernandez thought this terrific stunt would help the teachers’ “stay home” cause.

Now, there were warning signs in the air before the election – five south FL school boards had flipped to Republican, including Miami-Dade’s. COVID backlash, anyone? Learn to read a room, anyone?

But the pair blasted ahead into the fall, complete with UTD anti-parent rhetoric.

Crist and Hernandez-Mats had their asterisks handed to them by my gov in a complete rout, up to and including flipping the union’s rabidly blue bastion. He smoked the girl’s shorts in her own hometown.

For some Democrats, losing South Florida’s Miami-Dade County was unthinkable.

…But in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the GOP shattered the Democrats’ Miami-Dade firewall, raising questions about their ability to compete in future statewide elections — including the 2024 presidential race — as Republicans expand their coalition in a way that could echo beyond Florida.

[CUE: sad trombone]

Welp. The mandate created by the 20 point thumping they received only fueled more reactive, non-sensical vitriol from the UTD head on everything from school voucher programs to parental rights to unions themselves.

Even dissatisfied teachers, who had tried to work within the union framework for a change but were completely stymied, began an effort to organize an alternative to UTD. When conservative organizations came to the nascent efforts’ aid, they were immediately and publicly reamed by uber liberal SoFL media.

For example, framing it as shameful “attacks” on the poor, vulnerable teachers’ union who altruistically serves to greater good, the CBS affiliate in Miami wove a compelling tale of about UTD under siege from the combined might of an extremist conservative cabal. These dark and shadowy “far-right” operatives are so well funded they could even afford mailers (!) and a video (!) encouraging Dade school district employees not to play nice with the union.

For the past several months, public school teachers across South Florida have been receiving mail pieces attacking their union and urging them to stop paying their union dues to the United Teachers of Dade.

Those flyers were then followed by a video released online earlier this month, in which a handful of teachers say they are disappointed with the union, known more commonly as UTD, and announcing the formation of a new group that will try and have UTD abolished.

The mail pieces and video come from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank that is financed by wealthy conservative donors who have raised tens of millions of dollars over the years for what they say is a non-partisan effort to educate workers about their rights, but that critics charge is a well-orchestrated national campaign to weaken and destroy labor unions representing government employees.

Because, as everyone knows, unions have never used either mailers or persuasive videos before. This constitutes a clear violation of the Marquess of Queensbury Rules.

But the legislature, bolstered by their massive mandate, had already gone to work and all the sympathetic press in the world couldn’t help the UTD climb out of the trench it was still busy digging.

…In Florida, the Republican Legislature passed Senate Bill 256 earlier this year, which blocked local governments from deducting union dues from an employee’s paycheck – even if the employee wanted the dues collected. Employees now have to mail in their union dues or create another mechanism to pay them.

It also raised the number of dues paying members that the union must have to remain in existence from 50 percent of the workforce to 60 percent.

In addition to the teacher’s unions, the bill applies to the nurses union, as well as other government employees including transit workers.

The only unions exempted from the law were the unions representing police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters – all unions that endorsed Ron DeSantis in the last election.

And therein lies the problem. For all Hernandez-Mats’ fist shaking, firebreathing, and “saying GAY,” bad news broke before Christmas – her member numbers aren’t cuttin’ the statute mustard.

Girlfriend needs to learn to read a room.

United Teachers of Dade, Florida’s largest teachers union, failed to meet the requirements of a new state law that requires at least 60% of union members pay dues — setting in motion a decertification process that could leave about 30,000 Miami-Dade public school educators without representation.

…In the statement, UTD condemned the new requirements, saying “we have not achieved the new 60% membership density mandated by the onerous anti-worker law.”

YOICKS *snort*

The union is going to have to jump through some serious hoops to remain alive, less mind yank out the tubes and get off the gurney. And because they’re in such miserable shape, they don’t get to resuscitate and done – they’ll have to keep proving they’re breathing.

Oh, God – it’s a thing of beauty.

…If PERC [the state’s Public Employees Relations Committee] determines the union is eligible to qualify for a certification election — after it has proved at least 30% of its members want representation — the union will hold a vote seeking recertification and top at least 50% support to earn it.

Come next year, though, it will still have to prove it has met the 60% threshold to remain certified — potentially fueling a never-ending cycle.

And man, oh, MAN!

Is the Miami Herald Editorial Board ever pissed off at you-know-who

Trashing labor unions, in particular teachers unions, has become a talking point for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on the presidential trail. He told California Gov. Gavin Newsom during their Fox News debate that Democrats are “owned lock, stock and barrel, by the teachers union.”

What does that look on the ground, when laws DeSantis signed singling out some types of public-sector unions start to take effect?

The results may be upwards of 30,000 school employees being left without representation to bargain for better pay and working conditions.

…Masked as a measure to hold unions accountable, SB 256 was a version of the same kind of political payback Disney received when it opposed the “Don’t say gay” law.

…This is exactly the type of pain the new state law appears to seek to inflict. In Florida, opposition to the party in power comes with a high cost.

DeSantis and the legislature just about have the villains surrendering that gigantic union pie.


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