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Anti Teachers’ Union Activity in the State of WA: Chris Eide, Northwest Professional Educators and Teachers United

Have you seen this in your inbox yet?

Dear School Board Director,

RE: NONUNION PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR ASSOCIATION

Because you are a leader in your community’s education system, we wanted to inform you about Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE) and our work supporting your mission to provide students with the best possible education.

NWPE is a state partner of the Association of American Educators (AAE), the fastest-growing nonpartisan, nonunion professional educator
organization in the country. We believe that unleashing the innovation, independence and flexibility of educators is critical for student success.

NWPE provides educators (both nonunion and union) in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon with a number of great benefits:

A $2 million personal liability policy that protects teachers from frivolous lawsuits
Legal counsel on employment matters
Grant and scholarship opportunities
Practical classroom resources
Professional development resources
Newsletters and updates on education policy
A voice on education issues
Affordable dues ($16.50 a month) for membership in an organization that’s focused on to advancing educators as academic professionals who place students as their highest priority.

One of NWPE’s most attractive membership benefits is what we don’t do. NWPE dues are not used to advance political parties, candidates, or issues unrelated to education.

NWPE is not a union and does not engage in collective bargaining. In fact, our bylaws prohibit such activity. We do, however, support teachers’ collective bargaining rights including the right to form “local only” teacher associations. “Local only” teacher associations provide teachers with a place at the bargaining table where they can focus on local concerns without the control, cost, agendas, and tactics of state and national labor unions. NWPE can provide “local only” teacher associations with the nonbargaining support they need for effective service and peace of mind should they require legal counsel or assistance. Sprague and St. John are just two examples of districts where teachers have successfully exercised their option to form “local only” teacher associations.

Please visit our website atwww.nwpe.orgfor more information. I welcome your inquiries into how we can assist your efforts to make education the best it can be and to advance educators as academic professionals.

Sincerely,
Cindy Omlin
Executive Director

That could be attractive to folks who would like to forgo unions and strip teachers of their right to collective bargaining. A few members of Parents Across America Seattle/Tacoma/Tri-Cities followed the money on this organization and this is what they found.

The Walton Foundation, as in Wal-Mart, gave AAE $200,000 in 2010. Also note on this list of grants that the Walton Foundation gave $8,650,000 to the KIPP charter franchise which hires non-union teachers particularly Teach for America  (Temps for African Americans), Inc. recruits, $3,940,000 to the California Charter Schools Association, $12,500,000 to the Charter Fund, Inc., and all to “shape public policy”. That’s right, this is the 1% determining how our children should be taught.

By the way, Wal-Mart is non unionized. See Wal-Mart Crushed Union by Closing Store.

Also the right-wing Jaquelin Hume Foundation gave $860,000 to the union busting cause.

As a PAA member pointed out, Ms. Omlin never mentions anything in her letter about democratically held elections of officers.

Also just in time for the onslaught of corporate driven pressure on our state legislators in the coming session to allow charter schools in our state, Chris Eide, a former Teacher for America, Inc. recruit who worked in charter schools throughout his career before coming to Seattle where he taught within the Seattle Public School system for a year, decided recently to opt out of teaching  to focus on his new group, Teachers United. His new organization has predictably been featured on the League of Education Voters website. The first words out of his mouth are “seniority” and “last in, first out” which is the argument used to justify breaking up unions, specifically teachers’ unions.

At this point it’s hard to tell where Chris is getting the funding for his new cause but…the League of Education Voters recently received $150,000 from the Gates Foundation “to launch a regional teacher advocacy group supportive of the Excellent Schools Now Coalition”, yet another faux roots group.

These two newly minted organizations in our state will be something to follow and be very wary of.

Dora Taylor

Post Script:

Sue just provided me with additional information regarding Mr. Eide. He has in fact received money from the Gates Foundation for his teachers union alternative.

Post Script 2: 5/4/2014

With Chris Eide back on the scene, I thought I’d take a look at the activities of Teachers United and Eide specifically.

It looks like Eide, et al have been busy writing grant proposals because in 2011, his organization received $291,390 and in 2013 Teachers United received $650,723 from the Gates Foundation.

Now if you don’t know already, Bill Gates is big on charter schools, Common Core Standards, which he funded to get the opportunity to experiment on our students, collecting data about our children many times without the parents knowledge or consent and evaluating teachers based on student test scores. Gates is also not too crazy about teachers unions because charter schools shun the idea of organized professionals being treated and paid as such. It affects the charter school’s bottom line and most charter schools are in it for the money. He therefore funds organizations and sometimes creates faux roots organization to further his vision of what public education should be.

So far his ideas have not panned out but when you have billions of dollars it really doesn’t matter…as long as its not his kids being experimented on. You won’t find mention of Common Core Standards and teachers being evaluated based on student test scores on the Lakeside website where his children attend school.

So Eide, after working as a full-time teacher one year in Seattle decided to leave the profession and become an “activist”, using Gates money of course. Before arriving in Seattle he began his career as a Teach for America, Inc recruit and taught in a New Orleans charter school for a year. Then he and his wife, a charter school operator, moved to Seattle where his wife was hired by our former Broad Foundation superintendent to be a District Director but I’ll save that story for another day.

After leaving his job as a teacher in the Seattle Public School system, he tried to attend a union meeting but was asked to leave because he was no longer a member of the union. So he returned to the union as a substitute teacher infiltrating the teachers’ union and even worming his way into being a delegate at the National Education Association (NEA) convention.

Meanwhile, one of his compatriots, Kristin Bailey-Fogarty, a founder of Teachers United, is now on the Seattle Education Association slate with SEA President Jonathan Knapp. They are running against the RESPECT slate.

Don’t you think it’s odd that an anti-union individual would not only join the union but then choose to run for office in that union?

Hmmm.

Just what are they thinking? And more importantly, what was Knapp thinking bringing Fogarty onto the slate?

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “Anti Teachers’ Union Activity in the State of WA: Chris Eide, Northwest Professional Educators and Teachers United

  1. Frederika
    November 26, 2011

    Yes, thank you, Dora. We are seeing this all across the country. Groups coming out, standing up, speaking out for “teacher rights” when their funding sources actually promote activities and beliefs that take away or diminish workers’ (a.k.a. teachers’) rights. At face value, they may sound reasonable or thoughtful or supportive, but at their roots, they wish to subvert the decades of struggle and solidarity that have built organizations like the NEA and the AFT. There’s a reason that teachers organized. Those motivations and forces have not gone away. They are stronger and more powerful and dangerous than ever. Our members in Delaware have little idea how beleaguered everyone else is. It is a time for all hands on deck.

  2. Kate Martin
    November 22, 2011

    Wow, the tangled web gets even more tangled. It’s so insidious. Yuk!

    It’s very defeating to see the continuous ramping up of the non-profiteers and their stealth agendas.

    Thanks for covering this.

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