Union leaders don't speak for most teachers

Enough is enough! Friends, neighbors and community members constantly ask me why the teachers’ union leadership would actively oppose a bond measure that would help address state budget cuts to our local schools.

Measure S, which will be presented to voters on the April 5 municipal election ballot, provides local funding to maintain quality education in our Glendale and Crescenta Valley schools. The funds generated here will stay local and be reinvested in our schools, which will help our children stay competitive in an ever-evolving global economy.

While it continues to be a priority for the school board to strengthen the relationship with our union leadership, the tactics they have recently employed make it more difficult. For the past several years, the union leadership has undertaken strategies designed to intimidate by spreading misinformation to its membership and to the community.

Throughout all of this the Glendale Unified school board has kept in mind that we have some of the best teachers in the state. However, the current political posturing over Measure S by the union leadership has brought many in the community to the point of asking why the union leadership won’t support this measure.

Given the endorsement of the PTA, why would the union leadership fight against the very PTA members and other parents who support them every day in the classrooms with time, hard work and devotion? Shouldn’t we all be working together to give our children the tools and learning environment needed to prepare them for a successful future?

Keeping our facilities well maintained is not only for our students, but also for our community. Yet, as the Glendale News-Press editorial, “Teachers union on the wrong side,” stated on Jan. 29, the union leadership has chosen to place their “short-sighted and selfish” agenda ahead of the students and the community.

We have an opportunity to help fund our children’s future without completely relying on a bankrupt Sacramento. Opposition to Measure S shows yet another example of the union leadership’s questionable judgment.

I read Dan Kimber’s Feb. 10 column “Education Matters: Union should account for all teachers' voices” that union leadership doesn’t speak for the majority of teachers; I applaud his insight. Having spent time in our schools and in the community, I agree with Kimber wholeheartedly.

As a community, we have the opportunity to move our district forward with a unified voice. Once again, I reach out to the union leadership to join with us in doing what’s right for our children’s future.

Greg Krikorian


Editor’s note: Kirkorian is president of the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education.

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