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Educators will sue

Flanked by teachers holding signs that read “I will not be silenced” and “NCAE will not be bullied” spokespeople for the North Carolina Association of Educators told press conference attendees today that the organization will bring a lawsuit shortly challenging the legality of the General Assembly’s hastily convened overnight secret session as well as the substance of the only bill considered therein — a measure to revoke the ability of NCAE members to have their dues deducted from their state paychecks.

NCAE President Sheri Strickland explained that her organization “will not be intimidated” by what she descrbed as an act that was clearly designed to single out and target NCAE members because of their organization’s advocacy in opposition to budget cuts for public education.

NCAE legal counsel Jack Nichols explained that the lawsuit would be brought under “a variety of constitutional claims” — both with respect to the sketchy and convoluted process employed by legislative leaders in convening the supposedly separate session as well as the fact that the bill itself amounts to an unconstitutional and retaliatory “bill of attainder” (i.e. a measure that targets just one entity).

When pressed by a reporter as to whether NCAE’s action was  partisan given that Democrats had held late night legislative sessions in the past while in control of the General Assembly, NCAE Government Relations Manager Brian Lewis noted with some irony that it was an attack on Democrats — a series of NCAE mailers targeting Democrats who had supported the GOP budget cuts to education — that had originally spurred the passage of the bill targeting his organization. He noted further that NCAE was and always has been ”bipartisan critic” of legislators who fail to act as good stewards of public education.

 Policy Watch will have more details on the NCAE lawsuit as soon as they become available.

40 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I believe it is illegal for a tax paid employee to be used to make the deductions from teachers paychecks for the NCAE, then forward the money to the NCAE. The NCAE only supports Democrats, abortion and other liberal causes. They need to do their politicing on their own watch not my tax dollar. They sue, we sue. A nonprofit such as schools should not be used to further any political agenda.

  2. shelley marshall

    January 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I KNOW it is illegal for the Republican house to single out one association in the state. And Frances please educate yourself…. NCAE is in this boat because they spoke up against democrats who supported the anti-education bills seen in the GA. The only dollars involved are teacher’s dollars- How you could even think that your taxes support the association of educators is sadly beyond ignorance it is almost criminally lazy to post on something you know so little about. As a native of NC I support public education exclusively and I will never agree to my tax dollars going to a private school. And associations are not unions and they are entirely voluntary. I as a disclosure spend $500 a year to support NCAE, because they stand up for public education and I stand up for public education. Also don’t you think the petty legislative body down in Raleigh would have already sued NCAE if they had a case?

  3. James

    January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Just because you “believe” something doesn’t make it true, Frances. You are wrong on the facts in your comment and you are wrong about the NCAE’s political activities.

    Are you really this uninformed, or is this part of your act?

  4. Ed

    January 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    First and foremost in response to Frances Jenkins there are a few things I would like to say and ask:
    1. Where do you get your factual information that NCAE only supports Democrats, abortion and
    other liberal causes? Please forward facts only and not statements made by people.
    2. Are you aware that your grammar is horrible? It is not ” the NCAE” it’s just NCAE.
    3. It is not illegal for any employee whether paid by tax dollars or not to have deductions taken out of
    THEIR paychecks. If that was the case then it would not be a common practice for any
    organization. For example if you pay union dues out of your check would you consider that
    illegal?
    4. Are you aware of what NCAE actually is? It doesn’t seem to me that you are. So allow me to take
    a moment to EDUCATE you:
    NCAE is an organization that was created to advocate and work to protect the rights of teachers.
    NCAE is the organization that fought over and over again when the General Assembly continues
    their attack on education and educators.
    This is not meant to be a personal attack on you and before you say anything, I am not a member,
    employee or educator. I am someone, however, that believes that the people who are responsible
    for the education of our state’s children should be treated with a little more respect. These teachers
    spend alot of their personal time working for the betterment of their students and OFTEN have to
    spend THEIR OWN MONEY in order to buy the much needed supplies for their class rooms.

    So before you make such imflammatory statements and presumptions please take a moment and
    ask yourself this: Is the statements and presumptions that I am making and putting out there based
    on actual facts and do I have the full accurate story?
    If not then perhaps you should do your homework and make sure.

    Thank you very much and God Bless!

  5. Tavia Highsmith

    January 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    It is not illegal when the employee authorizes it. Only NCAE members have these dues deducted. Non-members do not pay dues. It has been shown that this deduction costs the state nothing. Therefore, it does not cost you or any other taxpayer.

    One of the problems with this GA is that they are sorely uninformed and making decisions based on faulty reasoning.

    They did not stop other state employees from having dues deducted, only teachers. That sounds illegal to me, or at the very least, immoral, illogical and irresponsible.

  6. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Name a Republican the NCAE has supported.
    Teachers across the state have filed reports about bulling by the NCAE, those who do not join.
    The number of teachers joining the NCAE is down by 42% over the last 30 years, reason organization is no longer interested in students or the teaching profession, just politics.
    Obama supports charter schools. There is a good reason for that.

  7. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Shelly, check with your lawyer, you are not correct. Why so mean spirited. perhaps you know your thinking is flawed.

  8. James

    January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Do your own damned homework Frances. Just because you’re ignorant doesn’t mean you also have to be lazy.

  9. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    James take some pills. The bookkeeper in each county totals each month how much money is due to the NCAE. The money is then moved to the NCAE account. That time for those activities is from a tax paid employee. Get off you but and call each administrative unit and see if this is correct. You cannot see the forest for the trees.

  10. Ed

    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Frances where are you getting your information? I would be really interested to know.

  11. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Call the administrative unit in your county and ask. I am correct on this one. For the retired folks, it comes out of the retired system. Check it out and see if I am correct.

  12. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    The money should be debited out of each member’s account. Tax paid employees should not be doing this kind of activity. There could be a lawsuit coming on the misuse of taxpayers money to fund the NCAE. The river flows both ways.

  13. Geoffrey

    January 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    It amazes me just how dumb people are. NCAE does not support abortions. Frances are you stupid??? You must be uneducated yourself. NCAE has said nothing about abortion. I was taught growing up to keep my mouth shut if I did not know what I was talking about. NCAE is not a union. That is another miscomsuption

  14. Geofffrey

    January 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Another thing….it is MY paycheck that I WORK for!!! The wonderful “powers to be” in Raleigh are now trying to tell me how to spend MY money that I work for!!!??? If I want every bit of my check withdrawn for various things that is MY business. My CHECK IS THE MONEY THAT I EARN! What flipping little bit we do get paid for that matter! SICK OF STUPID!!!!

  15. Geofffrey

    January 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    oh and yeah…Frances Jenkens…jump of a bridge!

  16. Geofffrey

    January 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    off not of….

  17. Jimmy

    January 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Geoffrey, no one is telling you how to spend your money. If you want to write a check to NCAE each month you can. I think this is a protection for teachers and a good move. The article is a little disingenuous when they label the vote to overturn Perdue’s veto as a “secret overnight meeting.” It was bipartisan. Remember, this is a right to work state.

  18. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    The good thing about a lawsuit by the NCAE against the General Assembly is less money will be spent on Democrats.

  19. JR

    January 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    It is just amazing that when some people grab onto misinformation – they do not let it go. That is why it was so easy for some of our previous presidents to pull the wool over the eyes of so many poverty striken gullible people for so long, They kept voting for them over and over even though they did nothing to help them better their lives. In my opinion if one group is singled out as the GA did – then it is fundamentally wrong as well as illegal. As educators we strive to introduce our students to ‘critical thinking’ so that they are able to make informed, researched, and well thought out opinions/decisions. Frances is a shining example of a person that do not have critical thinking skills. It’s sad!

  20. DB

    January 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Frances, if you want to get into an argument about government (taxpayer) paid workers being used to pay the withholdings/dues to the NCAE then you better look beyond that one deduction. Those “County bookkeepers” you refer to pay all the deductions withheld from employee’s checks. So, let’s see – Blue Cross Blue Shield, dental, vision, flex plan deductions, etc. are all private entities that your “taxpayer paid” employee is “working to cut a check” for instead of just government deductions required like social security, medicare, and federal income tax. Your “facts” are correct on the payment of the dues to NCAE – it’s your argument that is severely flawed.

  21. KJ

    January 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    The whole thing comes down to the focus on just one association/union. The democrats were going to go along with this decision a few months ago if the wording stated that “all state employees” could not have dues deducted from their paychecks. The republicans would not accept this. They would only state that “just teachers” could not have dues taken out of checks. If teachers can not have dues taken out of checks, then why can all the other state employees still have their dues taken out of their checks. I was at a meeting last month with some NC legislatures who agreed that it should be all or nothing. I would like Frances to comment on why she thinks that the other state employees are still allowed to have their dues taken out of their checks. It was a blatant attackAnd so the republicans only attacked the one union that actually does the job. Why should their be 1 rule for teachers and a different rule for other state employees? They are all paid out of tax dollars. It is not fair for just 1 group to be attacked. That is what the whole debate is all about. It is fine with me if I can’t get my dues deducted out of my check, as long as this is the rule for ALL state employees. The new law only attacked teachers!

  22. BB

    January 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Frances, I’d be really interested in seeing the sources of your claims. For example, where has NCAE ever published their support for abortion? Please provide a list of ALL the political candidates NCAE has ever endorsed. Please show me a printed source of information of all the other ‘liberal’ causes NCAE supports besides education? You see, what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence just as easily.

    If the General Assembly were really interested in saving tax payer money, they would stop attempting to pass legislation that’s unconstitutional. If I’m not mistaken this is the second bit of legislation this body has passed that will be headed to the courts.

  23. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    No deduction should be made for any organizations. It should not be just the NCAE. This is not the role of government.

  24. Proud NCAE member

    January 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    NCAE has supported Republicans WHEN THEY SUPPORT EDUCATION. If you get a hold of past endorsement info, it is there, but Republicans who truly vote in the best interests of education are few and far between.

    Membership is down because teachers haven’t had so much as a cost of living raise in years and a lot of people are cash-strapped.

    The paperwork for dues is done by the local organization’s treasurer. Then it is given to the district. There are a number of other things that get deducted after paperwork being done by a third party – such as AFLAC or life insurance.

    You have any other ignorant pieces of information you need debunked?

  25. DB

    January 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Frances, if you feel so strongly that your taxpayer money is being spent on the “bookkeeper” paying the withholdings of all state workers, including teachers, then all deductions should have been banned by your legislators, not just NCAE. I suggest you contact your legislators and let your voice be heard. Maybe they can meet secretly and do away with them also. They won’t because they are all about being re-elected and they know they would be run out of Raleigh during the next election. I will not be voting for any of my legislators in the next election because they are so anti-public education. I suggest you find a legislator to vote for who will save that few dollars spent on the “bookkeeper’s” time paying withholdings from state employee’s checks. Maybe the savings will pay for some textbooks and other school supplies we don’t have because of the huge budget cuts they keep making in public education.

  26. Another Frances

    January 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Are there not more pressing issues for the General ASSembly to consider than whether or not teachers opt for their NCAE dues to be deducted from their meager checks? If you are going to take away that, then stop all payroll deductions for all state employees, including insurance, 401k, etc. I thought the legislators were elected to deal with important issues in our state, such as improving the state’s economy and trying to bring new jobs to our state. I mean, REALLY??? Why did they have to do this at a pajama party? Couldn’t the issue have been discussed (if it needed discussing) during the business day? Who are these people, and what have they done with the legislators who ran for office and promised to do better? GAAAAAAAAA!!!

  27. Frances Jenkins

    January 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Not one teacher has posted about what is good for the children, it is all about them.

  28. DB

    January 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Frances I am proud to be a teacher and if it was “all about me” I wouldn’t be a teacher. Teacher’s don’t teach for the money – most have more than one job just to make ends meet. The reason I am a teacher is to have the chance to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of students every day. I invite you or any legislator to come and do my job for a week. I continually have to do more with much less. Meet higher and higher expectations with less and less resources but I do it because I love my students and I get to make a difference in their lives. Legislators need to look in the mirror and examine what their priorities are before they start meeting late at night because they don’t have the guts to face the public. Their job is to pass legislation that benefits this State – not being a bully to any entity just because they are fighting for the members they represent. The public repeatedly asks “What do teacher’s make?” I will tell you what I make is a difference in my student’s life. I hope you could say the same for whatever profession you may have.

  29. JR

    January 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    It is MY paycheck. It is MY choice. Am I still in the United States?

  30. Frances Jenkins

    January 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

    In the 2008 election, the NCAE spent $287,000.00 on campaigns. Not one dollar was spent in support of a Republican candidate. There must be a separtion wall of government and politics.

  31. gregflynn

    January 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    A list of 2008 NCAE Endorsed Candidates shows that NCAE did not endorse in every race, and did indeed endorse several Republican candidates for the General Assembly.

  32. James

    January 6, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Hahahahahaha @ Frances

    There must be a separtion (sic) wall of government and politics.

    You’ve written some silly things in the past, Ms. Jenkins, but this one takes the cake. Good job!

  33. frances

    January 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Greg,you are playing with the situation. No money was spent on a Republican candidate in 2008.
    James, you are just low down mean. I forgot, you love the poor, the children and Jesus.

  34. gregflynn

    January 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    In 2008 the NCAE PAC gave money to Dale Folwell, Robert Grady, the Republican House Majority Committee, and the Committee to Elect Republican Women to name a few spotted at first glance.

  35. gregflynn

    January 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Here’s more:
    Fletcher Hartsell
    Jerry Tillman
    Larry Brown
    Kenny Furr
    Laura Wiley
    Karen Ray
    Larry Hale
    Shirley Blackburn Randleman
    Harry Brown
    Bonner Stiller
    Mitchell Setzer
    Sidney M Sandy
    Jean Preston
    Pat B Hurley
    Linda P Johnson
    Richard Stevens

  36. [...] Greg Flynn notes in the comments in a post below, there are tons of examples in which NCAE has bestowed contributions on [...]

  37. JD

    January 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Unfortunately, over 16,600 teaching positions have been lost in the last four years because of budget cuts of the General Assembly. Why aren’t you more concerned about this issue, Frances, instead of spouting off nonsense (I.e., erroneous information on use of taxpayer dollars).

  38. James

    January 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    My apologies Frances. I wasn’t commenting on your spelling at all … I make typos all the time … I was commenting on your delusion that there is a difference between government and politics.

    You are right to wish it were otherwise, but we have a two-party monopoly that is enshrined in our laws and practices. I’ve often called for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit any official acknowledgement of or funding related to any political party. This amendment would forbid the use of government space, dollars, practices, processes or any other taxpayer supported resource in any way related to partisanship.

    So far, I’m the only person I know who supports such an amendment.

    Would you join me?

  39. david esmay

    January 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I’d like to thank everyone who posted, I’m tired of arguing with an insane person.

  40. Frances Jenkins

    January 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    How much money did Real Facts NC spent in the election of 2010 on Democrats running for the General Assembly?