Editorial position on fair share is unrealistic

Au contraire, Leader-Herald, I find the editorial position on fair share or agency fees for union members to be unrealistic.

As a person who was involved in the infancy of the Gloversville Teacher’s Association and the collective bargaining system, I believe that the system works fine as is. To eliminate agency fee would be a great disservice to the dues-paying members. A sampling of benefits would include the expansion of personal days from two without reason and three with administration approval to 20 days with notification and any unused days allowed to accumulate or to be used in a sick bank for other members.

Increases in salary and other terms and conditions of employment were accomplished through efforts of union leadership during extensive and time consuming negotiations. During my 40 years of involvement I never once heard a single member state that they didn’t want the benefits we secured for them.

Did every member agree with some of GTA’s or New York State United Teacher’s other policies? No, but they recognized that an agency fee was a fair and just way to compensate the organization which benefitted their careers and lives. It’s about paying your fair share to an organization which collectively obtained for you benefits which you would be unable to get by yourself.

Seventh grade social studies teacher

1968-2008

Former GTA president

KERMIT ACKLEY

Scotia