I do not like being in the public eye, but after being attacked yet again by Mr. Naeyaert's letter to the editor 'Union wins but Capac kids lose in school election,' (TCT 5-13) I feel compelled to give the public a voice of reason instead of negative rhetoric.
Unions have taken a beating lately in the national media and Mr. Naeyaert is obviously using that negative press to try and win public opinion through empathy. However, as a union member I cannot allow the misunderstandings of Capac School District's contract negotiations to continue.
Since when did backing a candidate or two become something so outrageous. It is normal politics to have certain sides trying to get their candidates into office. Case in point, more than 1,000 people voted in the Capac School Board election. The community decided it was time to change two of the existing seats. However, four candidates received over 200 votes each. Though the union sent out cards for two candidates, so did the two incumbents. I feel sorry for Norm McDunnah and Barry Geliske for winning. Mr. Naeyaert has successfully attached a stigma to these two gentlemen implying that the only reason they won was because of the union! Is it too difficult to accept that these two men won on their own merits? These two fine gentlemen ran to help make a change. They went to school board meetings and listened to community members. These men are outstanding community members and deserved a chance to run against two board members who have served for many years. I have never heard them say, "Just get me elected and I will do whatever you want." That would be ridiculous. These are strong men who deserve more respect. Observation of these new members would show that their greatest attribute is open communication, something our school board and union sorely need. That is what the union wants.
Mr. Naeyaert has repeatedly portrayed the Capac Tri Union and its members as money hungry monsters. When the majority of your work force has master's degrees, they need to be compensated fairly. The key word is FAIRLY. Something that is not currently being offered to us.
I might not live in the school district but I have a huge impact here. I am working on educating our future leaders. I support the community by spending a lot of my money on business in Capac. I spend more money in this community than where I currently live. So, yes, I do not live here and I did not vote, but do not tell me I have no stake here.
If after this election we get that "FAT CONTRACT" that Mr. Naeyaert alludes to it would be amazing. A FAT CONTRACT for teachers is a contradiction in terms. Since I have worked here I do not believe we have even received a cost of living wage increase. I am glad that I have a job and I work hard to keep that job. I expect to be treated fairly and to be compensated fairly. I do not expect to be paid like a doctor or lawyer. I expect to be paid and treated like my job title dictates. I want what is fair compared to the rest of the county. If this school district goes down financially, then many would go down with it. So why in the heck are we even going in the direction again?
Michael J. Hitchcock, Business teacher, Capac High School
May 20, 2009