The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is helping lead the supposedly grassroots protest against the UNC Board of Governors over the hiring of Margaret Spellings as UNC President according to an email from a top SEIU official in Washington.
The December 9th email from Bryan Doyle called for a protest at the UNC BOG meeting to demand the firing of Spellings who isn’t taking office until March.
The email said:
“Margaret Spellings is the embodiment of the corporatization of higher education. Her record reflects a narrow higher education agenda that promotes the interest of private corporations over the public interest. She has advocated for a more corporate model of education and eliminated regulations focused on holding for-profit higher education institutions accountable. You can find a factsheet on Margaret Spellings on why she cannot lead the University of North Carolina system to a future that values students over politics and profits.
The email also named a group called Faculty Forward as part of the alleged “broad coalition” against Spellings. Faculty Forward is part of Reverend William Barber’s Moral Monday movement and an affiliate of SEIU.
So why is a powerful labor union from Washington concerned with what’s happening at UNC?
As with most things involving unions, it’s about union dues for the big labor bosses. Currently, UNC is considering an offer from private companies to lease the University run bookstore. A Daily Tar Heel newspaper article reports UNC would gain $4 million a year for student scholarships by privatizing the bookstore.
That would mean free tuition for 470 students.
In addition, by leasing the bookstore to a national chain, students would likely be able to resell their books at the end of the semester for a higher price than they currently get from the UNC bookstore.
But SEIU opposes the plan to give students more scholarships and better used book prices. Why? The North Carolina State Employees Association which is Local 2008 of SEIU has dues paying members who work at the UNC bookstore on the taxpayers payroll as government employees.
If the bookstore was moved into the private sector, these government employees would no longer be members of the State Employees Association or the Service Employees International Union.
The State Employees Association is organizing protests against bookstore privatization. Obviously, that’s what brought SEIU into the picture.
This video shows what happened at the recent demonstration where student dupes for SEIU confronted police and attempted to storm the Board of Governors’ meeting. Screaming “bullshit”, “racist bad cops” and “no justice no peace,”, the protestors tried to push the police out of the way.
Whether it’s coming from anarchists and communists in Greece, Hitler’s thugs in the 1920’s or student radicals, these tactics are all too common.
Margaret Spellings represents campus order and the taxpayers interest. It’s too bad a tiny minority of loud students, led through the nose by a Washington DC union, can get so much coverage from a media that is too biased to tell the public that the fight is really about student scholarships or union dues.
Let’s hope UNC administrators have the guts to just say no to the mob.