LOOK, CHILDREN. See the teachers. See the teachers be selfish. See them ignore the rules. See the teachers make a mockery of the democratic election they held to choose a new president of their union.
It is outrageous for board members of the Baltimore Teachers Union who remain loyal to ousted BTU President Irene B. Dandridge to attempt to undercut the authority of her elected successor. The BTU membership has spoken. It does not want Ms. Dandridge, whose tenure was tainted by disclosures in The Sun that she and other top BTU officials were paid far more than their members, received large interest-free salary advances from the deficit-ridden union and hired relatives as full-time employees. Marcia Brown is now BTU president. It's time for the board to recognize that reality.
Sixteen of the 20 board members were on the Dandridge election slate. They have voted to give their former president a severance package that has yet to be disclosed to the union membership. But they have not voted to pay Ms. Brown anything, even though she has been on the job a week. Board Vice President Ron Gregory says Ms. Brown will be paid substantially less than the $99,000 in salary and other compensation paid to Ms. Dandridge.
Ms. Brown has already said she thinks her pay should be more comparable to that of a classroom teacher. There is no reason for the board to delay setting her salary other than to rub it in that she should consider the board's majority her adversary. These teachers who are setting the worst possible example for young minds are also plotting to shift even more power to Dandridge cohort Lorretta Johnson, the re-elected longtime president of the BTU chapter for teachers' aides.
It is obvious that this BTU board will do anything to ensure continuation of the cronyism, nepotism and avarice that has infected the teachers' union. This has become an organization that is only concerned with the needs of a few, not the many. It is ludicrous to believe the selfishness now openly displayed by the Dandridge-Johnson crowd has had no impact on the sorry state of public education in this city.
Baltimore teachers shouldn't stand for it. They voted for change. Now they must demand it. Or sue to get rid of this board that would make the BTU presidential election a farce.
Pub Date: 5/25/96