Michele Conroy: Germond misinforms

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Germond misinforms

To the editor:

Patrick Germond (Sept. 25) has misinformed the voters.

I am a teacher, and I proudly belong to the Moffat County Education Association (MCEA), a group of school district employees (teachers and support staff). MCEA is my union. More that 80 percent of district employees belong to MCEA. Membership is voluntary. No one is forced to belong. In a few sister locals across Colorado, nonmembers pay a membership fee if they do not sign an opt-out form. But no one is forced to belong to our association.

We have joined with firefighters, police officers, and health care workers across our state to oppose Amendment 47, along with Amendments 49 and 54, for a very simple reason: They will silence our voices as public employees on our salaries and benefits, retirement, school funding, class size, CSAP, and all the things that we educators care about.

I am proud that MCEA and our state affiliate, the Colorado Education Association, have successfully stood up for public school employees for many decades in Colorado. People who are not pro-public education and do not agree with our positions on education want to interfere with our contract negotiations with the school board. They want to make it harder for us to join, work together, and advocate for our interests and those of our students by taking away my personal choice to pay my union dues through my paycheck.

The people who are behind these ballot issues want to silence public school employees' voices. It's that simple. These people and these issues attack my choice and my voice. I plan to vote NO on 47, 49 and 54, and I urge Moffat County citizens to join me in rejecting these amendments.

Michele Conroy

Steamboat Springs, teaches in Craig

Comments

free4all 5 years, 10 months ago

Be not deceived: Amendment 49 does nothing to silence the voices of teachers, firefighters, and other government employees. Our hard-working public servants will keep all their rights to support the organizations and political causes of their choice. The modern conveniences of electronic banking make it easy to arrange payments for dues and contributions.

Don't take my word for it - how about the Rocky Mtn News (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/sep/18/yes-on-49/):

"We never realized that several measures on Colorado's busy ballot would make it, in the words of a TV advertisement, tougher for 'firefighters, police officers, teachers and nurses' to do their jobs. Or that these ballot items would somehow 'silence' public servants.

"In fact, such claims are nonsense at least in regard to Amendment 49, one of three targeted by the union-backed group Protect Colorado's Future. Passing Amendment 49, Ethical Standards for Public Payroll Systems, would have no impact on the ability of safety, law enforcement, health care or education workers to serve the public."

Amendment 49 just gets government out of the role of collecting funds for private political groups that turn around and lobby them, a vicious unethical circle that the Denver Post calls a "blatant conflict of interest" (http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_10584367). Both the Post and Rocky Mountain News have endorsed Amendment 49, calling it a "good government" measure . Amendment 49 is also endorsed by the Grand Junction Sentinel, Pueblo Chieftain, Colorado Springs Gazette, Longmont Times-Call, and Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Former U.S. Senator Hank Brown endorses Amendment 49, saying "It's just plain wrong for our government to be a bagman for special interests." Former Gov. Bill Owens says "Amendment 49 brings basic fairness to all levels of government in Colorado." He's right. It isn't fair that some groups get government collection services (including some unions, professional organizations, and political groups), and others don't. Amendment 49 fixes the issue fairly by creating one simple, ethical standard for Colorado. The list of organizations supporting Amendment 49 - from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce to the Colorado Farm Bureau and many in between - is long and formidable. (http://www.ethicalstandardsnow.org/amendment-49-endorsements/)

On the other side, the committee collecting millions of dollars from out-of-state to oppose Amendment 49 and the others has been called out for its deception several times, including the latest absurd scare tactics that the campaign is funded by "multi-national corporations" (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/oct/01/amendments-49-54-dont-address-multinational/)

Good government, fairness, and sound judgment should win out over fear and deception.

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taxslave 5 years, 10 months ago

I hope all of us read that little blue book we got in the mail and debate what we read.

Spin on tv, radio or newspaper could be just that, a bunch of hooey.....we need to read between the line.

Hey, the Right To Choose/Union Bill - No More Secret Ballots

I think they make these bills long and tedious on purpose.

Read people, read!

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 10 months ago

taxslave I ask you again where does it say in amendment 47 anything about "No more Secret Ballots" I guess you can continue to ignore the question because you can't answer me with any kind of truth. The ballot question on it in the Blue Book is less than two pages long.

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 10 months ago

this is the same post as the other one but I thought that it needed posted both places

Ok I have sat back and wondered how I could explain the whole idea of "Right to Work" (for less):.Now lets suppose in your neighborhood your neighbors decide that they might want an association of some kind. They will then hold an election and if the majority says yes then an assoiciation is formed. Now lets just say one of the families on your block chooses not to belong to the association so they don't join. As Colorado laws state now, they don't have to join. They still have to pay into the association because you held a second vote and by a 75% margin closed the neighborhood. Now "Right to Work" (for less) comes along and now your neighbor opts to not pay anylonger. You and the rest of the block have to kick in extra moneys to cover their part of the dues that they are no longer paying. Now suppose that they get into a squable with someone and end up in court. Your association still has to represent them in court and they still pay nothing. That is what Brother Allen was trying to say in his letter about slackers. Another analagy is this suppose your neighbor decides that he doesn't want to pay his water bill so you and your fellow neighbors have to kick in extra money to pay it just because he doesn't want to.

Right to Work is wrong and there are already laws on the books that guarantee a persons rights to join or not join a union. Why do we need more Amendments to the Consitiution anyway.

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