The information below was quoted from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy website . We suggest that you go to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy website to listen to the tape or read the transcript of this analysis. The Michigan Education Association is similar to the Illinois Education Association in Illinois. As your school districts are negotiating their teachers' contracts take note if the same tactics are used in your district. Clearly you can see that the Huntley school board members, BEST members and school employees have used some of these tactics against Larry Snow.
MEA Advocates Deceptive High Pressure Tactics Against School Board Members
An MEA training audio tape for union negotiators offers a particularly disturbing inside look at the MEA, and clearly reveals that it has adopted the militant "industrial union" model for its organization, rather than a "craft union" or professional association model.
The transcript of the tape explains how union negotiators should use pressure tactics to force school board members to concede to their demands. Among the tactics advocated are:
* Investigate the background of each school board member, including religious affiliation, marital status, age, education, employment, family, politics, "what do his peers think of him?," "what is his relationship with his employer or employees?," and "does holding a public office help him advance in his job or produce business connections?" This should be investigated, the MEA states, so the negotiator will "know what sensitive chords and nerves to hit during negotiation to get the results you seek."
*After gathering information, the MEA recommends that the local union "consider bringing in a heavy from the outside. You know, perhaps your Uniserv director. When the job is done and the bad guy, you know, has to leave town, won’t it be nice when the local association won’t have to bear the brunt of resentment?"
*The MEA tape recommends that the negotiator "use time as an ally. You know, if your negotiating team can get to bargaining sessions well rested, whereas the board’s team is harried and fatigued, keep negotiations going until 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock in the morning. Wear down the board physically and psychologically."
*"Remember that large districts rely heavily upon the superintendent to absorb the flack. They use the superintendent as a shield. If he is discredited, the rest of the board suddenly feels naked and they are often eager to take an escape route which the association has waited for the appropriate moment to offer."
*"Do your best to split the board on crucial issues through contacts with individual board members or misrepresentation of the issues to the public through press releases. Attempt to carefully attack the credibility of the board negotiating team so that most of the board team’s executive sessions with their board will be spent answering board members’ questions about association charges and not with planning on up-coming negotiation sessions."