Columns

COVID-19 Has Exposed Teachers' Unions as the Shakedown Artists They Really Are

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Teachers’ Unions Are a Criminal Racket

Maybe that’s a little harsh. Actually, when you consider that I usually refer to the National Education Association as “the most evil labor organization on Earth” the “criminal racket” thing doesn’t seem so bad.

I’ve long been uneasy about heaping blanket praise on any given profession. I’ve met too many members of our species, and conferring blanket sainthood on any group is just not a bright idea. Nobody gets a pass from me. Or from my good friend and colleague Kira Davis.

If public-sector unions are a cancer eating away at America, the teachers’ unions are stage 4. Yet they’ve been elevated to demigod status as part of an enduring leftist false narrative. You know the story: public school teachers take time away from working on ending third-world hunger to help mold your precious baby’s mind so he or she can be successful. They do this, according to the myth, for little thanks and almost no pay while laboring under the burden of their massive halos.

My God, why don’t we appreciate these saints in our midst?!?!?!?

Probably because so many of them are awful people.

Let’s get something out of the way here: public sector teachers’ unions don’t give a tinker’s damn about your kids. Never have. Never will.

You may think I’m engaging in a double standard here. After all, if I don’t believe in blanket praise, shouldn’t I also avoid blanket condemnation? Yes, I probably should. I’m not talking about all teachers here, though, just the union flacks.

They’re evil.

The COVID-19 pandemic has really laid bare a lot of our frailties and flaws as a country. We are all aware that it has not been pretty. It has, however, done this nation a huge service, as it exposed public school teachers’ unions for the frauds they are.

It began playing out at the end of last summer. School kids had been home since March, not really learning much more than how mommy likes her breakfast mojitos. Mommy and Daddy were beginning to understand why other people weren’t so fond of their children. It was time for the kiddies to get back to class and annoy the people who were being compensated for the aggravation.

Well, the teachers were enjoying their mojitos too, and weren’t quite ready to give up day-drinking.

We got a good glimpse of how it was all going to play out when the union representing the teachers in the second-largest public school district in the country issued a list of demands and conditions for their return that read like they were planning on progressive political lobbying rather than teaching.

Oh, wait.

Variations on this theme have played out in large, union-dominated public school systems throughout the country through what should have been the first half of the 2020-2021 school year. The biggest union clown show of the bunch has been in — SURPRISE! — Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) took the United Teachers of Los Angeles’s progressive lobbying playbook and added a bunch of crappy street theater to it by marching in protests and claiming that they were all going to die if they went back into the classroom.

The CTU’s shtick has gotten so wearisome that even Chicago’s leftist school board is sick of it. As of this week, the moneybags union is still winning that tug-of-war.

While the teachers in Chicago were busy claiming that exposure to the kids meant LITERAL DEATH, one of their union leaders thought air travel and public partying in the Caribbean were perfectly safe.

But, you know, for the children, or some nonsense.

The CTU may not be interested in ever teaching again, but they are committed to the aforementioned bad theater. This past week, six of them got together to video some painfully awful interpretative dance to express their desire to not experience LITERAL DEATH at work.

No, really:

About that safety issue:

The CDC team reviewed data from studies in the United States and abroad and found the experience in schools different from nursing homes and high-density worksites where rapid spread has occurred.

“The preponderance of available evidence from the fall school semester has been reassuring,” wrote three CDC researchers in a viewpoint piece published online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “There has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

So much for libs and following the science.

What’s really going on is that the public-sector unions involved are following their unwritten mission statement and using every opportunity they get to shake people down for more money, and now they have friends in the highest of places again:

It’s always about more money with them. They’re very crafty storytellers, forever spinning yarns about how the pillars of public education will crumble immediately should their demands not be met.

Their demands usually are met, by the way. That rarely keeps them from angling for another shakedown soon after, though.

This God-awful pandemic has exposed the teachers’ unions. They’re evil and, again, they don’t give a damn about your kids. What we’ve learned in the last few months is that they know they’re so powerful they don’t care that the people who have been buying into the myth about them now know they are awful. They have unchecked power in states that are perennially run by Democrats. The California Teachers Association is far and away the wealthiest and most powerful political lobby in the most populous state in the country.

That’s money that could be spent on your children, and was originally extorted from the taxpayers with lies that it would be.

By evil people.

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.