Monday, September 19, 2011

Open Letter to Ohio Education Association Staff

Professional Staff Union Members,

I'm writing to express concern over the recent lockdown and deletion of content from the official PSU Blog. I find it troubling that more than two years' worth of entries written by your members - Ohio Education Association employees - are now hidden from the public or gone entirely.

Have you been pressured by OEA bosses into removing content critical of their leadership? As PSU has said, the OEA executive team is "rife with hypocrisy," which casts doubt on their dedication to making workers' voices heard. I've also noticed that Larry Wicks and other union leaders tend to slander their opponents when trying to make a point, so I can understand why you may want to do as OEA bosses say.

Was content on the PSU Blog not reflective of PSU's beliefs? The PSU Blog is linked prominently on the PSU website, so it's inconceivable how posts from 2009-2010 would only now be deemed inappropriate for public consumption. At any rate, the abrupt disappearance of so many entries is inconsistent with OEA's alleged support for collaboration and open discussion. I hope PSU has not "abandoned its Core Values," as one OEA member accused OEA of during last summer's PSU strike.

Are PSU members no longer proud to fight for their pay and benefits? I suppose some would consider it unseemly to publish complaints about compensation, since average pay for OEA employees was more than $95,000 in 2010. But, if it's good for the Ohio Education Association to fight taxpayers for more money, it's good for their employees to make similar demands of union leadership. Especially since OEA has, in the words of a PSU member, "failed to bargain in good faith."

In closing, allow me to reassure the Ohio Education Association employees whose voices have been muted by the removal of PSU Blog content. I planned ahead for this sudden disappearance of content, and am doing everything I can to guarantee the writings of OEA employees are read by voters across Ohio.


Jason A. Hart

Cross-posted at that hero.

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