Some public employees are more equal than others

Jan. 1, 2013

By Chris Reed7-commandments

Happy New Year’s, everybody. I am sure that 2013 is the year that California turns the corner. OK, maybe not. But I am confident there will be 12 months this year, the Mayan crisis having passed.

The balance of power in California is so tilted in favor of public employee unions that I’ve often compared it hyperbolically to another one-party state, the one based in Pyongyang. But a story in the San Jose Mercury-News brings to mind another allegory for California: George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” an amazingly durable fable about how power corrupts, the failed promise of collectivism and the disaster that was Stalinism for the socialist cause.

When the animals in Orwell’s novella take over Mr. Jones’ farm, they adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, in which the most important of the seven is the guarantee that all animals are equal. By novel’s end, the pigs have taken over, and the Seven Commandments have been boiled down to one: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In California, the Legislature kills legislation that would allow school districts to quickly fire teachers who are actual sexual predators. But what about public employees who watch depravity but don’t actually do things like feeding semen to schoolkids? If they’re not teachers, typically they’re out of luck and soon out of a job. This is from Monday’s Merc-News:

“The head of San Mateo County’s probation department retired Monday under the cloud of an investigation by federal authorities into whether he had child pornography, officials said.

“A family member of Stuart J. Forrest filed paperwork with the county’s public worker retirement system that made his departure effective immediately, county spokesman Marshall Wilson said.

“He had been on paid administrative leave from his $140,000 a year salary position since Dec. 21, when news broke of the investigation. …. Forrest began working for the probation department in November 1977 and was named its chief in April 2009. …

“If Forrest is charged and convicted of a crime, it could mean forfeiting rights to a county pension. Under a broadening of state law to take effect in January, public workers convicted of a job-related felony will lose their retirement benefits, according to Government Code section 7522.70.”

Yes, I get the point that all public employees in California are subject to loss of pension for a job-related felony, including teachers. But the story of Mark Berndt and how the Los Angeles Unified School District had to pay him $40,000 to get rid of him remains sickening.

You don’t see most white-collar unions putting up obstacles to removal of perverts from their jobs, much less succeeding with this tactic.

Yet in California Teachers Association-occupied Sacramento, that’s exactly what happened. The Seven Commandments of Unionism no longer hold sway. Instead, all public employees are equal, but some public employees are more equal than others.


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  1. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 1 January, 2013, 11:46

    I’m sure there are editorial writers somewhere, that you do not know, who do despicable things. The teacher was a despicable, mentally sick person. It doesn’t mean that you should indict the whole teaching profession as being morally corupt! My own religious upbringing was Catholic–that doesn’t mean I am proud of some of the despicable things that have occured under the leadership of the Church. You need to put stop your irrational hatrid of the public sector. It contains people who are just as upstanding and honorable as you, except for the ones who aren’t.

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  2. relongabaugh
    relongabaugh 1 January, 2013, 12:13

    This article did not indict all teachers. It said that the union defended a teacher suspected (with heavy evidence, by the way) of child sexual abuse.

    The article was solely about what the union did for this alleged pervert teacher. It didn’t even take the rank-and-file teacher to task for not riding their union’s leadership for defending this guy. We are left to assume that the rank-and-file will vote these jerks out on the next election cycle. Let’s see if our faith in the rank-and-file is well placed.

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  3. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 1 January, 2013, 15:05

    Well, he indicted all public employees, as usual. I don’t know the details of that particular case, but I’m sure whatever the union did, was to protect the legal rights of the defendant, who is innocent until proven guilty. The rank and file has very little clout when it comes to elections–the money is the leading factor. You just have to hope that the ones putting up the money have the same values as you.

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  4. Hondo
    Hondo 2 January, 2013, 07:47

    See Saw:
    Today’s public unions take the side of the pedophile employee every time. Name me one time the public union has taken the side of the molested or assaulted student.
    When I was in school, there was no unions and our teachers would set fire to any pedophile in their ranks.
    Today’s public unions are human monsters.

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 2 January, 2013, 19:44

    @Hondo: I am not involved in those dealings, I don’t know that they tookthe teacher’s side concerning his guilt or innocense. I would imaginge they were just looking after the legal rights of the accused as any defense lawyer would do. There were no unions when I was in school either–I lived in a Red State. If you take a look at the salary structures in the public entities and the schools, in CA, you will see that the upper management ranks make several times more than the rank and file. Where do you think the rank and file would be on those scales now, if the unions did not exist. I think I know.

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