CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Teacher’s pet: AFT endorses Malloy for re-election

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Governor Dannel P. Malloy answers a question of a concerned teacher during one of his education reform town hall meetings for the public at Central High School in Bridgeport, Conn. on Wednesday April 25, 2012.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy answers a question of a concerned teacher during one of his education reform town hall meetings for the public at Central High School in Bridgeport, Conn. on Wednesday April 25, 2012.

The swirling speculation that third party candidate Jonathan Pelto could poach teachers away from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the November election might be a bit premature.

The 29,000 members of the American Federation of Teachers in Connecticut endorsed a slate of incumbents Thursday night that includes Malloy, who some progressives view as ripe for a challenge from the political left.

The union’s endorsement fell on the same day that Pelto, a key detractor of Malloy’s education agenda and Common Core, announced he was shifting from the exploratory phase of a run for governor to a full-fledged candidacy.

“We have chosen to support candidates who will act to prevent a ‘Wisconsin moment’ here in Connecticut,” Stephen McKeever, a former Middletown High School science teacher AFT Connecticut’s first vice-president, said in a statement. “We need leaders committed to preserving the rights of all workers to collectively bargain and not gutting union members’ benefits to score political points.”

McKeever was referring to comments made by Tom Foley, the GOP’s endorsed candidate for governor, in June 2013 to the Hartford Courant regarding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Elected in 2010, Walker crafted a law stripping public-sector employee unions of most of their collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. The controversial law requires state employees to pay more toward their health care and pensions, which Walker has said is justified to help rein in expenses. General wage increases are capped at the rate of inflation, unless otherwise stipulated by a public referendum.

In 2012, Walker survived a recall election in Wisconsin, elevating him to folk hero status in GOP circles.

“I keep talking about when is the Wisconsin moment going to come to Connecticut,” Foley told the Courant.

Categories: General
Neil Vigdor

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4 Responses

  1. Arthur says:

    Mr. Vigdor,

    As other comments here indicate many (most??) teachers have long ago left Malloy so that even before the announcement of the Pelto candidacy they were saying that they would/could not vote for Malloy. Only those within the profession know the depth of damage that has been done to it and to the teachers and students in this state.

    Malloy’s continued attack on the profession of teachers has been much more than verbal as he has taken us from a state that had one of (if not the) most rigorous standards for certification to one that no longer considers a masters degree to be necessary and prefers and rewards TFAs in urban areas.

    You cannot be working to demean an entire profession (what many in it would consider a “calling”) and expect a vote. Listen also to what parents are saying about the impact of the adoption of the Common Core and the focus on testing. The educational policies of Malloy have hit an enormous amount of people, including our most vulnerable–right in the stomach.

  2. fed up teacher says:

    There endorsement is as meaninglessness as they are. I’m voting for Pelto. If the Malloy Gestapo manage to keep him off the ballot, I’ll vote for Foley.

  3. Mary G. says:

    Really? It may be that Malloy will not embrace a Wisconsin solution for Connecticut, but he and many Democrats (Rosa DeLauro, for one) and most Republicans have happily chipped away at CT’s public sector unions–weakening and diminishing them in various ways. It will hardly matter what Malloy thinks about the AFT or the CEA once Teach For America’s temporary interns (and missionaries) begin to staff more and more schools, especially in Connecticut’s cities. Not only does TFA deprive communities of a middle class job base–it creates an insidious culture of turnover and churn that is distressing and harmful to students. Maybe Melodie Peters and other union bosses don’t care because they still rake in dues from TFAers, but the long-term effect will be devastating. Malloy should not be concealing his hypocrisy–his support for TFA; charter schools; teacher evals and the evisceration of teacher tenure–behind some boiler-plate nonsense regarding support for teachers.

  4. Linda says:

    Neil,

    You are out of touch if you think the union leadership endorsement means anything to the rank and file. Their endorsement is meaningless if it doesn’t bring in the votes and it won’t. We will NOT vote for Malloy. We do not blindly follow the decision made by a small group of union hacks. AFT and CEA should endorse policies that benefit children not political liars who use children and teachers for personal gain. Malloy is done and my colleagues and their families will not support a liar, a traitor and opportunistic parasite.