union rep

Hull came down the hall and asked me in hushed tones ,” How do you join the union ? ” In those days a teacher had to join the union to be an official member and not many wanted to join and pay union dues . The union represented teachers in collective bargaining if they were member or not .  I happened to be union representative for one year .

I told him how to join the union . Then I asked him what happened.

” I’ve got a conference with the principal after school today . I grabbed a kid .”

I took Hull aside and told him that I would go with him to the conference if he wanted . Yeah , he did . He told me that ” This asshole kid kept pounding on the door , several times throughout the period , so finally I opened the door and grabbed him and pushed him away .”

I stopped him there and gave him some union rep advice : Don’t use the incendiary language . He didn’t grab the kid ; he took hold of the student and directed him elsewhere . I told him to keep his mouth shut as much as possible . The principal would have to put any accusations in writing and Hull could then respond in writing .

” Try to keep your mouth shut , ” I advised him .” Just answer the questions matter-of-factly .”

” Okay,” he said .

When the conference started the principal asked Hull if he was aware that a student had accused him ……………”

” That little asshole ! ” Hull jumped in  ,” I had to grab the little jerk and………………..”

He was dead in the water in the first two minutes . Dr. Marshall , the principal , was a fair-minded man . He kept a poker face as he continued with Hull , but I know that his eyes were rolling back in their sockets behind his principal mask. Mine were doing the same thing .

At some point Marshall dismissed Hull . After the teacher walked out of the office Marshall looked over at me and asked ,” What do we do with that ? ”

What I did with it was contact UTLA headquarters and get some suggestions . With  official backup from the union I worked out a deal with Marshall that Hull could remain teaching if he entered an anger management program of six Saturdays . Dr. Marshall was bending over backwards to go for this deal . He had to sell the agreement to his supervisors .

” I’m not crazy !” Hull said when I laid out the plan to him . ” I won’t do it . ”

I tried to talk him out of his refusal but he wasn’t going for it . It had taken me quite a lot of cajoling  to get the agreement for him but he’d rather lose his job than sign up for anger management classes because he thought they would make him look ” crazy”. I had to slink back into the principal’s office and tell him that the deal we had hammered out over the last week was out .

” Maybe it’s better that the guy’s out of education ,” Marshall said .

” Yeah ,” I agreed .

2 Comments

Filed under humor

2 responses to “union rep

  1. Not everyone is cut out for that kind of frustration.

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