Before some Ohio Education Association (OEA) staffer pulled the plug, the official Professional Staff Union (PSU) blog featured a number of emails from OEA bosses. As OEA employees represented by PSU fought for their contract demands, the bosses of Ohio’s largest government union reassured concerned members.
Here’s one of OEA Vice President Bill Leibensperger’s September 2009 emails, which figured prominently in the now-defunct PSU Blog’s “Hall of Shame”:
As your representatives, we value the contributions of our professional employees as well. I don’t take the rhetoric and posturing to heart.
By “rhetoric and posturing,” Leibensperger is referring to the complaints and criticisms of OEA employees against OEA. Interesting, since OEA uses the same “rhetoric and posturing” when fighting elected officials for taxpayer dollars! From another Leibensperger email (view source as PDF):
You know the negotiations process and understand posturing and rhetoric.
This seems awfully close to an admission that OEA’s entire business model is founded on cynical theatrics. Here’s yet another email from OEA’s vice president:
It is unfortunate that some of our professional staff use only one technique with these kinds of issues, and that is to gin up the emotions and play fast and loose with the facts. It seems especially cruel these days.
Hello there, Kettle; haaave ya met Pot? I wonder what the OEA Vice President Leibensperger from late 2009 would have to say about the OEA Vice President Leibensperger from March 2011:
“This is a real war. I am not overstating it,” said William Leibensperger, vice president of Ohio Education Association, during an informational meeting for OEA members at the United Auto Workers Hall in Bath Township.
“These amendments really shine the light on what this bill is all about, which is silencing the voice of people who collectively bargain on behalf of their members and, in our case, on behalf of the children we work with,” OEA Vice President Bill Leibensperger said.
Or this one:
Another teacher said the bill leaves them with no protections.
Leibensperger agreed. “SB5 is all about removing any and all protections. You’re vulnerable,” he said.
Take it from Leibensperger himself: when the union bosses behind We Are Ohio engage in rhetoric and posturing to gin up emotions, we shouldn’t take it to heart.
Need more proof We Are Ohio doesn’t deserve your trust? There’s plenty of it. On November 8, Vote Yes on Issue 2!
Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.