The Utah Education Association began a campaign Friday to generate teacher support for defeat of the three tax initiatives that will be before voters in the November election.
Over four days, teachers will receive messages outlining possible adverse effects of the initiatives on education.The first of the messages was distributed in Jordan District Thursday and elicited a negative response from a few teachers.
The message was in the form of a "pink slip," the UEA's attempt to alert teachers that some jobs would be lost if the initiatives pass. Some teachers responded that that tactic was in poor taste and smacked of blackmail.
The papers were put in teachers' boxes in some schools prematurely in expectation that they would not be taken out and discussed until after the regular school day, said Jackie Christensen, Jordan Education Association president. Some teachers removed the notices while the school day was still in session.
The association is allowed to visit schools and discuss teacher issues, but not on contract time, she said. Meetings are planned at the school level to continue the campaign to encourage teachers to work against the initiatives.
Some polls have shown relatively strong support for the initiatives among teachers.
"This being America, you can't take a position on anything without some opposition," said Steve Hale, spokesman for the teacher's group.
The message on the "pink slips" being distributed to teachers is: "Caution: A pink slip can be harmful to your future." Although a written text then explains that the message to each teacher is NOT a genuine dismissal notice, some teachers were offended by the form of the notes.