May 27, 2013
In the face of the open attack on teachers by politicians and billionaires, you would think that the L.A. teachers’ union, UTLA, would have thrown its support behind the fifth-grade teacher who also happens to be a UTLA representative at her school, and not Antonio Sanchez, the candidate backed by those billionaires. But UTLA leaders issued a “dual endorsement” for both candidates, without giving any money to either one. And then, on election night, they showed their true preference – by appearing at the Sanchez headquarters!
UTLA leaders explained their support for Sanchez by saying that he was likely to run for higher office and “support teacher-friendly legislation.” That’s the same old, lame excuse union leaders use for supporting politicians. Today it’s the supposedly union-friendly Democratic Party, which controls both the California legislature and the Governor’s office, that’s leading the attack on teachers and other public workers!
In the face of the massive attack on teachers – and on public education in general – teachers definitely can’t rely on their present union leaders. Teachers can rely only on their own ability to organize their own forces, together with the active participation of the working-class communities that depend on public schools.