Teachers union harasses ROTC instructor

GodinHere’s a guy who hasn’t missed a day of work in 14 years as an ROTC instructor. Half of his salary and all of his benefits are paid by the military. Yet he may be fired for refusing to join the Teachers Union. (story here from the Boston Herald)

A retired U.S. Marine who runs a high school ROTC program in Worcester says he faces the boot for refusing to pay local union dues, leaving the 58-year-old father of two crying foul and school administrators bewildered.

“It just seems crazy that they’re gonna fire me over $500,” said Maj. Stephen L. Godin, senior naval science instructor at the Naval Junior ROTC Unit of North High School. “Everyone’s talking about finding good teachers – I haven’t missed a day in 14 years.”

Indeed, North High School Principal Matthew Morse praised Godin yesterday as an “excellent” instructor who has turned his program into a top junior ROTC academy.

Godin, a 20-year Marine veteran until 1994, who flew F-4 Phantoms and was deployed five times, said he refuses to join the union because he receives all his benefits, including health insurance and half his salary, from the military. Unlike other teachers, he doesn’t earn a stipend for after-school activities, such as the hours he spends coaching the high school’s regional champion drill team. His salary is dictated by the U.S. Military, not labor negotiators, Godin said.

While Massachusetts requires certain public employees to join a union or pay an “agency fee” (union dues), Godin has never been compelled to do so in his 14 years of service. Here’s the kicker:

Worcester schools superintendent Melinda J. Boone said she has asked the district school attorney to investigate a way to keep Godin on board, but added, “this is really a union matter.”

A “union matter” indeed. What is needed here is a governor like Chris Christie (R-NJ) who is not beholden to teachers unions. (more here) Someone who has the political will and the balls to decapitate the public union menace. Our education system long ago stopped being for the students. It’s clearly time to change it.

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