Sunday, February 6, 2011

Modern School: AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?

Modern School: AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?

AJ Duffy: Union Fighter or Just Another Hack?


Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons
A.J. Duffy, the outgoing boss of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), is one of three candidates for Vice President of the California Teachers Association (CTA). He is being portrayed as an outsider and true fighter. Compared with his opponents he would certainly seem to be. Yet in 2009, Duffy, along the rest of theprogressive slate that had won leadership of UTLA, voted to chicken out of a one-day strike in support of the 3,500 teachers being threatened with layoffs.


Superintendent Ramon Cortines went to court to stop the strike and won a restraining order against UTLA. Superior Court Judge James Chalfont cited student safety as his justification, a rationale that would justify blocking all teacher strikes under all circumstances. It was also a cynical, idiotic rationale when compared with the much longer term impact on student safety that would result from the sudden dismissal of 3,500 teachers. The judge also ruled that the work stoppage was a