Well, the brouhaha surrounding Major Stephen Godin (USMC-Retired), the ROTC instructor in Worcester, Massachusetts, continues. As you might recall, the good major was informed that if he wishes to continue teaching, he either had to join the teacher’s union or pay a $500.00 annual shakedown to the union.
The major then did a very foolish thing: he applied common sense to the situation. (Must have been his military training that led him so far astray.) Since he receives all his benefits and half his pay from the federal government, and his pay rate is set by the federal government, he saw absolutely no benefit to him in joining the union. So he told them — politely — to go pound sand.
In response, the union is working to get him fired.
There have been two notable developments in recent days. First up, the Massachusetts Republicans in the legislature (who really, really ought to be put on the Endangered Species list — they hold only 20 of 200 seats) saw an opportunity to score some political points and pushed a bill that would exempt Major Godin from having to join a union. The Democrats, however, remembered that they’re basically owned by Big Labor, and killed the move.
The union in question, however, either didn’t get the message to “stand firm” or is stalling. Their president said that they never got Major Godin’s refusal to join (he apparently sent it to a retired e-mail address), and were shocked — shocked! — about the whole controversy. They’re going to give this matter their undivided attention now, though.
The major’s case is simple. He doesn’t see any benefits in joining the union, and would cheerfully sign away any that they might claim are extended to him. He wants nothing to do with them and just doesn’t want to give them any of his money.
The union’s position seems to be based on their belief that they “own” the school system, and anyone who wants to work in that system better pay up. It’s more than a little reminiscent of a classical “protection” scheme — only, in this case, they’ve gotten the government to back their “right” to demand the “licensing” fees.
Common sense ought to prevail here, and the Major should be left alone to do what he has done with such distinction for the last 14 years.
But this is Massachusetts. Common sense is an even more rare find than an elected Republican in the Bay State.