Sunday, April 28, 2013

Where I Stand on the "Lunch Ladies" Issue

In middle school (at Swain) and at Emmaus High School, I was always that dorky kid who was friends with the lunch ladies. They're some of the nicest, most caring people you'd ever meet. They have hard jobs, get a lot of disrespect from bratty kids, but somehow always serve your meal with a smile on their face.

Logical that a longtime fat kid like yours truly would get along well with them.

When I first was elected to the school board, our "foodcrafters" (the PC term) decided to unionize under the PSEA (the Pennsylvania teachers union or as I call it, "Satan"). My understanding is the vote to unionize was very close and was only won because a handful of would-be voters were ill and unable to come in.

I had heard privately from a few individuals since then that they were not all that happy with forced-dues deduction by the union and they did not feel they were receiving fair service from the union for the money they were giving up from their paycheck.

I'm not thrilled that they unionized but, for the moment, public employee unions are legal as is forced dues deduction.

Pennsylvania needs to alleviate the latter part by becoming a Right to Work state. No matter how much Patrick Slattery and the other East Penn Area DemoHacks try to demagogue the issue, Right to Work does not mean anything other than giving each employee the choice to join the union and pay dues or not. That's it. It isn't union busting, it's freedom of choice!

Fast forward to 2013.

The glorious Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the legislature (in their infinite wisdom) required school boards to bid out their food service contracts to "save money".

Patrick Slattery and his "Citizens for Strong Communities" are trying to make this a Union vs. Taxpayers issue...as they have done in every campaign in the last 5 years or so.

It isn't. Cost is one issue I will take into consideration by voting time, but it isn't the only issue...even though those attending in support of the Union clapped when Byron Crudup declared I "had to go".

Political rancor will take a back seat for me on this. Though I am always concerned about cost, I know what a service our "lunch ladies" render for the children in our community. That service cannot be measured in dollars and cents. The biggest service they give is something in very short supply these days: kindness.

I have not decided how I'll vote in the end, but right now, you now know my thinking and where I am.

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