DEFEAT: Teachers Make It Permanent
We started in defeat when we started fighting to Respect and Restore Teachers' Salaries.
But defeat, really, is a challenge in disguise -- meant to be overcome. .
In trying to persevere, it has been a long and difficult road. I will not lie.
But, this is by far the most difficult moment.
On a personal level, I am not inclined to quit nor do I. But, as I have said many times, this is not a fight of one, but a fight that belongs to us.
Because I did not receive the financial support necessary, I cannot afford to keep fighting.
If you read the Hearing Officer's Recommendations below, you will read that I open myself up to personal liability and could be ordered to pay for the opposing party's legal fees if I lose when I fight for us.
Why should I - alone - subject myself to that risk which could represent THOUSANDS of DOLLARS when most teachers are not even willing to donate $1?
Some of you may say that $13,000+/- was raised. But, that is not anywhere near enough. When I set the goal at $100,000, I was criticized for doing so and expecting to raise too much. But, the truth is that we are talking about financing litigation - not a filed trip to Fairchild Gardens.
In addition to the lack of funding, I have spent hundreds of hours this past year working toward this end - whether it was attending school board meetings or posting blogs - all with the hope to lift morale and rally the troops! But, where are they?
I still believe in my heart and know in my mind that this legal matter is a viable claim which could be defeated - not us - if it would be appealed outside of PERC. I see a myriad of factual and legal errors when I read the Hearing Officer's Recommendations.
Frustrated. I keep doing the math. As if by doing it, it would make the donations magically (a word with new meaning since the steps "magically" disappeared) appear.
If only. I think. If I had all this money, I could - no doubt - take this to the end!
There are 20,000 teachers in MDCPS.
If each gave $100 just once we would have $2 million!
We would be able to take this to the highest appellate court if we needed to!
And what is a one-time $100 donation in light of the THOUSANDS - and possibly MILLIONS over a lifetime - each teacher stood to gain?
A drop in the bucket.
But, the teachers have given up.
No, teachers - many - most of them - did not give up.
They did not even try.
Friday, September 30, 2016, I received the the Hearing Officer's Recommendations on the Alvarez v. UTD case which was before the Public Employees Relations Commission. Fifteen (15) days are afforded to appeal it, but this is unlikely if not impossible at this juncture. Although this ruling is not final, it is likely to be adopted in its entirety by the Commission. Read it here.