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A Lesson in Semantics

October 28, 1990

We attended the candidates' forum for the Tustin Unified School District school board election and feel compelled to make a few comments to put the facts behind some of the rhetoric and to respond to some of the letters being written stating that this school board election should not be turned into a union versus non-union issue.

Jane Bauer objected to the use of the word union in referring to the Tustin Educators Assn. The TEA is part of the California Teachers Assn., which is registered in Sacramento as a union and which is part of the National Education Assn., one of the largest and wealthiest unions in the United States.

The National Education Assn. has $8.6 million budgeted for 1991 lobbying efforts with a stated goal to impose monopoly bargaining on all teachers. That, my friends, is a union.

Mrs. Bauer compared the TEA to her bar association, but associations don't go out on strike. Unions do.

This is a union versus non-union issue because of the six districts in California that have a pro-union majority on their school boards, one is bankrupt and five have been placed in trusteeship because they're on the verge of bankruptcy.

Is Tustin headed the same way? For 1989-90, the state gave us a total increase of 4.6%. Yet the Tustin Unified School District gave the teachers a 9.4% increase. The difference of 4.8% was taken away from our students for their programs, extra teachers to reduce class size, etc.

Peace is the buzzword being used by the incumbents. May we remind the voters of TUSD that we also had peace five years ago after the disruptive strike ended and the new contract was signed? Naturally there's peace, euphoria and high expectations whenever a new regime comes to power. (It's called a honeymoon .)

And with a signed contract, there should be a peaceful interval. But, like a hungry wolf, when the hunger pangs begin and the cry for more money goes up again, this temporary peace will cease and we'll find ourselves once more being held hostage by union threats and demands.

We must not give any special interests control of our local school board. We encourage the voters to vote for Maury Ross as the best qualified candidate and the only one without special interest influence behind him. Keep our school accountable and make the main priority our children.

ROB AND LESLIE EBERT, Tustin

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