The Laker/Lutz News recently published a great profile on USEP President Kenny Blankenship, and you should check it out if you haven’t already! In the article Kenny explains his union roots, why protecting individual planning time for teachers is a union priority, and how the legislature has repeatedly failed to deliver on promises to support public education. The profile also details some of Kenny’s vision for USEP:
As its new leader, Blankenship is encouraging Pasco County Schools employees to become more involved in union activities. He also wants to build stronger relationships between the district’s instructional staff and non-instructional employees.
“We want to work to strengthen our organization and the unity between the two units, because we’re not just a teachers’ union,” Blankenship said. “We’re wall-to-wall. We’re bus drivers, instructional assistants, secretaries, food service workers, the maintenance crews, custodians.”
Many people view unions as organizations that protect the weakest link, but that isn’t true, Blankenship said. However, the union does make sure the employees it represents are given due process.
“A lot of people don’t get that,” he said. “The union is there to protect your contractual rights, and to ensure that you get a fair shake.”
And while that’s important, it’s far from everything that a union has to offer for employees, Blankenship added.
The union lobbies to represent employees on important education issues. It negotiates wages and working conditions. It provides support for members needing help with classroom management, curriculum issues and working conditions, Blankenship said.
The union advocates “for the best working conditions possible, because our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions,” Blankenship said.
You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.