The days may be numbered for Tulsa’s Union Public School system. In the wake of recent anti-union sentiment that is sweeping through the upper midwest, Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma are hoping to take dead aim at any entity identifying itself as a union.
A State House Committee has started work on legislation that could dismantle Union High School by this summer. In a narrow vote earlier this week, the House General Government Committee voted to repeal the Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act in an effort to weaken and disband unions in Oklahoma. Although the legislation is aimed at labor unions, some representatives are hopeful that Union High School will also be affected. The author of the bill, Republican Representative Mel Stetson of Bartlesville, commented on Thursday that the timing of this legislation has nothing to do with the political turmoil caused by similar lawmaking in Wisconsin.
“Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about dismantling unions since late last year, when Union High School beat the Bruins for the 10th year in a row,” said Stetson. “It’s time we stood up to the Unions of the world.”
Despite strong opposition from family members and some Union alumni, Stetson pressed on with his bill and it passed the committee by a 9-7 vote.
Speaking to the issue, another committee member claimed, “We’re not sure that Mel understands the true intent of the legislation he has proposed, but, hell, if this breaks up labor unions and Union Public Schools, then we’re all for it. It’s a win-win for the State of Oklahoma.”
Breaking up the Union Public School system could indeed be a big win for several schools in the state. Union has won three state championships in a row in class 6A football and has dominated the football landscape in Oklahoma for over a decade. Several of those casting votes in favor of breaking up the powerhouse represent districts that haven’t made a legitimate run at the state title in years. One Republican Representative on the committee remarked, “If the passage of HB 1593 doesn’t automatically break up Tulsa Union High School, then I will do everything in my power to find another way to get that job done. Other school districts around the state deserve a shot at that championship.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on over at Union,” says Coach Burt Hulett, an Oklahoma history teacher at Broken Arrow Senior High School. “They got their Community Based Health Care and their Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center. It’s pretty much a communist bootcamp over there.”
Hulett also “guaranteed” that game ticket prices would skyrocket if the bill passed.
Union High School was founded in 1919 by 4 rural communities, with alleged funding from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a group also known as the “wobblies,” an allusion to their uncanny ability to be repeatedly beaten about the skull and yet remain prone. Its leftist leanings have persisted through present day, influencing every nuance of the school’s curriculum, critics say.
The school’s motto: “Working to form a more perfect Union” is a glaring indictment of its relationship to organizations who would stop at almost nothing to protect its workers from abuse. Over 93% of Union High School’s current faculty and staff claim membership with radical teacher’s unions such as the NEA, a group that openly admits to the socialist tenet of providing “a great public school for every student.”
“I’ve got a group of students working on picket signs right now,” says Shirley Watson, alleged director of the pep club cell at Union High School. “These politicians are messin’ with the wrong Union.”
Although it is uncertain whether HB1593 will effectively disband Union, school officials are watching the proceedings with great interest. A spokesperson for the Union Public School System was quoted as saying, “I am not sure what to make of all of this. I hope no one mentions that our mascot is a Redskin.”