NOTE: MACE does not like to discontinue a teacher’s membership in MACE but it happens every year or two for various reasons, but mainly for the teacher’s refusal to listen to the advice that MACE is offering. No teacher has an “inalienable” right to be a MACE Member. Membership has its privileges but one of the privileges is not to simply be bull-headed and refuse to listen. At that point, MACE and the teacher have to part ways. This does not happen often at all (probably ten times or less in 21 years). The following is a letter that I felt compelled to send to a MACE Member recently. The name is not the real name.
January 28, 2016
Mr. Buddy Lee Jackson (Made up name)
Dear Mr. Jackson:
MACE will not be deducting the membership fee from your checking account on the 8th of next month, effectively terminating your membership in MACE at midnight on February 7, 2016.
It is the intention of MACE to protect and empower classroom educators…one member at a time. When MACE feels that the goal of the organization and the goal of the member are not in sync with each other, then a discontinuance of membership is the best path for both parties. You have personally told me on a number of occasions that you do not care if you are terminated. You have continued to ignore my advice for about two or three years about your constant railing against your school administration on Facebook. You have written, among other things, the following on your Facebook page: “Teachers unions officials are our employees.” If you are referring to MACE, then you are categorically wrong. Neither I nor any associate of MACE is your employee. In fact, MACE is terminating your membership.
Through the years, you appeared to harbor resentment toward the leadership of MACE. The irony of this is that MACE has bailed you out of many problematic situations. A lack of gratitude and constant whining does not go over well with MACE.
You may continue your crusade to reform the entire school system with membership in another union. GAE and PAGE may even let you take over and run the show. MACE will not. The goal at MACE is to protect and empower MACE Members and to keep them gainfully employed, not to chase windmills. MACE is not the Metro Association of Students (MAS) nor the Metro Association of Parents (MAP). MACE is the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE). Those teachers who may entertain the fanciful notion that they are lonely martyrs in the educational desert would do well to join GAE or PAGE, go to their conventions, raise heck at these conventions, try to take over, and eventually become president of such an organization. I have watched this process up close. Guess what? It is the classroom educators who are forgotten as these self-perceived martyrs rub shoulders with the Governor and other politicians and profess how much they love the children.
Meantime, the beleaguered and bedraggled and disemboweled classroom educators suffer at the hands of conniving, angry, petty, and abusive administrators. This is where MACE comes in…for the MACE Members. MACE does a heckuva job protecting and empowering its Members, just as it has done in your case time and time again. But, MACE emphatically will not jump through any hoops at the temperamental beckon call of any teacher. MACE will not be dictated to. Teachers cannot demand a picket. MACE is highly independent, and the leaders of MACE, unlike the leaders at other organizations, do not sit around navel-gazing and wondering which MACE Member the leadership may have offended. MACE is powerful. MACE does not play, and, quite frankly, MACE is not even one iota afraid of any of its Members. MACE knows for a fact that it is the most-feared teachers union in the South, bar none. MACE knows that it is loyal to its Members. MACE has lots of patience, like in your case. But, it comes a time when the leadership at MACE just sees that your goals and the goals of MACE are not the same. Therefore, MACE will be terminating your membership forthwith on the date certain.
John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Chairman of the Board
P. S. You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.