Saturday, March 08, 2008

Forces of evil to attack teachers' unions on Tuesday.

Tuesday marks the beginning of Rick Berman's Center For Union Facts' $1 million dollar ad assault on teachers. Paid ads on FOX (go figure) and CNN start on Tuesday. AFT seems to be doing a good job by getting the word out, and telling us what's going on; yet I don't pay dues to AFT; I pay dues to NEA. I haven't gotten anything from them. What's up, Reg?

Here's the complete text below:

Heads up: A national campaign against teachers unions will kick off next week.

Next Tuesday (March 11), the Center for Union Facts (CUF) will launch what the organization describes as "an unprecedented, $1 million advertising assault on teachers unions."

CUF is airing commercials on CNN and Fox News, and buying full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today. The attack ads will promote its campaign Web site, We suspect these ads, which focus on union actions in 20 school districts across the country, also will include distortions about tenure, claims that unions oppose worthwhile school reforms, and outright lies about what we do. The charges will be vicious and outrageous, and the ads may result in news coverage, particularly from anti-union media outlets.

We are currently developing our own attack plan and will have additional information to you shortly. However, each of you is capable of answering these charges by asserting the real facts and talking about your union's successes. In doing so, it may help to know a little about CUF, which has been monitored by Sourcewatch ( "The Center for Union Facts is a secretive front group for individuals and industries opposed to union activities. It is part of lobbyist Rick Berman's family of front groups including the Employment Policies Institute."

Berman has lobbied on behalf of pesticide, alcohol and tobacco companies, and against the Americans with Disabilities Act, checkpoints to catch drunk drivers, minimum wage increases, and card-check. A 2006 USA Today article reported that his lobbying firm brings in $10 million per year for his work on ultra-conservative, anti-union clients. Berman has even waged a campaign against Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

American Rights at Work ( has additional information about Berman and CUF. We hope this helps you respond. If you need further assistance, please contact John See in the AFT's public affairs department,


"Ms. Cornelius" said...

What amazes me is the number of workers and teachers who have fallen for this crap.

I don't like everything my union does, but I stay in because how else can I try to change its positions?

But all people need to do is study the history of the US and see how workers were treated before there were unions. Better still, take a step back and look at how conditions have worsened since unions have been gutted in the last thirty years.

Joe Hammond said...


NEA and Reg were not asleep at the wheel.

As you have noticed, Reg and NEA did not communicate directly with members on this issue. In accordance with longstanding tradition/history, NEA deferred to the states and local affiliates -- who know best how to reach our members and who know best what the needs and concerns of our members are -- to communicate with members on this issue.

However, NEA did support state affiliates in this matter. On March 10th, NEA distributed to state affiliate communications and public relations directors four documents on Berman and his Center for Union Facts, including background info and talking points that affiliates could use in responding to members and the press. This info was distributed to state affiliates the same day that leaks of the ads were reported in the news, and at least one day BEFORE any of Berman's actual attack ads had even hit the air waves.

If you're unhappy with your union's response to Berman and CUF, you should look first to your local and state affiliate.

y'r pal, Joe

Joe Hammond said...

Holy Cow, Dr.!

I just realized this post is from March, not April. You've been gone for a month; what gives???!!!


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