February 20, 1997
We write to you on behalf of the 25,000 members represented by our unions to express how angry we are with your Feb. 5 address to the National Press Club.
For one who was elected to advocate for members, your remarks are not only appalling, they ignore the fundamental strength of a union. The very foundation of our union is threatened by those who will capitalize on your remarks as an expression of weakness.
What is most profoundly disturbing is your acknowledgment that "traditional industrial style teacher unions have brought major improvements to public education," then to proceed to debauch these accomplishments with the insight "that it's time to create a new union," to "reinvent it." We are union and we are proud; we stand in solidarity to defend against those who are attempting to destroy us. There is no reason to accommodate the privateers, those who would destroy the essence of bilateral determinism achieved through collective bargaining. It is, at best, naive to believe that the people who are attempting to destroy our union for ideological and economic gain will be assuaged because of your pledge to get "the bad teachers out of the classroom."