Where Can Non-Union South Kingstown Teachers and Students Turn?


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity makes an interesting point in a statement about the controversial election of teacher union representative Sarah Markey to the South Kingstown school committee:

As the United States Supreme Court opined in its historic Janus decision last summer, virtually every action that a government employee union conducts is inherently political, as it necessarily involves public policy or public money. On a local school committee that deals 100% on issues involving public education, and its funding by taxpayers, Ms. Markey faces a hopeless conflict of interest.

As an intellectual exercise to better understand the complications involved, here, consider this:  Where can a non-union teacher in South Kingstown turn?  Since Janus, government labor unions have been sending out threatening notices about the support they lose if they leave their unions, and now South Kingstown’s board of directors appears to be in the hands of the unions, as well.

More significant, however, is the question of where the students can turn when their interests are contrary to those of the union.

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  • Joe Smith

    South Kingstown’s board of directors appears to be in the hands of the unions,

    So, one member is clearly employed by a union – no doubt there. Let’s look at the other three supposedly in the union pocket. One is an executive for a firm that markets to *private* schools – geez, I guess she would benefit from less kids in public schools – hardly in line with the union position.

    One was already an incumbent so was the SK board in “union” hands a year ago?

    These four ran on a shared platform – I’m guessing your group that ascended to TC majority did something similar – would it be fair to say Tiverton municipal (and by extension school budget) is now in the hands of RICFP?

    Is the Tiverton TC interests aligned with Tiverton students always? If it’s a big deal about Markey (and I think the voters should not have elected her), then amend RIGL that already prohibit teachers from serving on school boards in the town that employs them (although that doesn’t apply to charter public schools) to include teacher’s unions.

    • Justin Katz

      Well, they did make her the VP. And the big difference with my circumstance is that the Center doesn’t conduct business with the Town of Tiverton.

      Most important, this post is only pointing out the problem of her election. I think the people of South Kingstown should get what they vote for. My objective is to suggest that they should be more careful what that is.