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Monday, Sept. 4, 2006 | In response to Dianne Parham’s letter: I am a 15-year member of MEA and am currently a member of the Executive Committee. I am also a member of the Negotiating Team and have been involved with the last three Memorandum of Understandings (MOU). In this letter, I speak for myself, not MEA.

It is ironic that on one hand Parham says she doesn’t mind paying her fair share and on the other she states that she is forced to pay MEA agency fees. Her fair share and the agency fees are the same thing. Up until our current MOU, which started 7/1/2005, members have paid for all of the costs involved with negotiating and enforcing our MOU, while others paid nothing because they could choose not to. Those who chose not to, of which Parham was one, still received all of the benefits and salary improvements and retirement improvements that the members received. Now they must contribute their fair share. The ‘free lunch’ is over.

Parham states further that she doesn’t want “to pay for her.” “Her” being Judie Italiano. “Her,” who has been both president and the general manager for 20 years. “Her,” who has worked 24/7/365 for MEA and the employees it represents. All represented MEA employees have made important gains because of the leadership and courage of “her.” I can’t help but think that anyone who says they don’t want “to pay for her,” is misinformed and ungrateful.

And, Ms. Parham, please explain to me how MEA rules through threats and harassment. Perhaps you are confusing MEA with Aguirre.

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