Letter: Tony Virgilio, Leesburg

Editor: For the past 75 years, Virginia has been a “Right to Work” State, a law that has kept our businesses competitive and prevented out of state union interests from interfering with Virginia’s economy. In 2020, Gov. Ralph Northam signed a Democrat Party bill amending Right to Work, allowing local governments to pass ordinances or resolutions recognizing public service unions as representative agents for collective bargaining.  

In December 2021, Loudoun County passed an ordinance allowing collective bargaining for the county’s public work force, some 3,000 employees. The Loudoun Education Association teachers union was not immediately included pending the resolution of several issues and final approval. 

While the public service unions are primarily focused on wages, benefits, working conditions and labor disputes for their members, teachers’ unions also demand “a seat at the table” when it comes to running public school systems. They want a say in what they will teach, when they will teach and how they will teach our children. Over the past two years, teachers’ unions shut down many school systems with COVID mask mandates, vaccine mandates and even absurd demands for zero student infections. Where administrators gave into their non-negotiable demands, students suffered the consequences. 

But that’s only the beginning of union interference in public school education. Teachers’ unions have strongly promoted the introduction and teaching of transexual ideologies, to the point of encouraging students to question their own gender and confronting students too young for a sex education class with pornographic information.  These unions also push the teaching of critical race theory, indoctrinating innocent children of all ages with extreme communist ideologies of oppressed versus oppressor, racist ideologies of superior versus inferior human beings, and outright lies that this Country from its founding until today is fundamentally racist and illegitimate.  Unions that impose these radical teachings on students are intentionally “imprinting” them for the rest of their lives. This approach was used by the Nazi Party and remains in use by communist regimes to indoctrinate children at an early formative age.  

Teachers’ unions in the United States openly profess their leftist ideologies and tactics. They have actively opposed parental involvement in their child’s education up to and including suing parents who inquired about class curricula and protecting teachers proselytizing the most radical ideologies. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign debate gaffe, that parents do not have a role in what schools teach their kids, is right off the homepage of union websites. He was making a campaign pledge to get union votes and campaign contributions, 97% of which go to leftist Democrats. Disenfranchising parents from their children’s education, allows the unions, radicalized teachers and leftist school boards to control the narrative and what our children learn.

In the popular TV series Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming”, is a warning of impending doom. For Loudoun County, a powerful, overreaching, leftist union aligned with an insensitive, even incompetent, school board would be a disaster for our public school system. 

Teachers most certainly deserve a decent pay scale, compensation and legal protection from a hostile work environment including discrimination, abuse, unfair dismissal, and sexual harassment, but they shouldn’t have to join a union to get them.

Tony Virgilio, Leesburg

8 thoughts on “Letter: Tony Virgilio, Leesburg

  • 2022-03-17 at 8:16 am
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    OK. Heard the rhetoric but let’s try to define the source of the problem at least at it relates to teachers. Why do teachers continue to pay monthly fees to the LEA? Do you really think they want to out of some leftist regime loyalty? Perhaps there is a benefit they could get from the school board if they wanted to actually help their employee base or understood the liability environment teaching creates? Why hasn’t ANY school board member offered to include in the teacher benefits dollar one legal support if they are sued? In my recollection the school board even reimbursed a private attorney who supported an LCPS staff member on a wrongful termination case so why not offer the legal support benefit? Sometimes problems are easier to solve when more time is spent identifying what it really is instead of restating old line partisan rhetoric. I am still waiting for the school board I was proud to serve on to represent all of Loudoun including the staff instead of whatever this is considered to be! 🙂

  • 2022-03-17 at 10:54 am
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    Well Tony that’s very good common sense and knowledge. Keep it up.

  • 2022-03-17 at 3:31 pm
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    I don’t share the doom-and-gloom conveyed by the letter writer. In fact, I think unions are beneficial to society. They help ensure humane working conditions. As a result, we have a better work product. Granted, some unions have been corrupt. But there’s bad in any organization. At bottom, I say the benefits of collective bargaining outweigh the drawbacks. Happy Women’s History Month Loudoun!

    • 2022-03-18 at 9:36 am
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      Can you provide three examples of working conditions that Loudoun’s public employees face that are not “humane?”

      • 2022-03-20 at 3:42 pm
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        Government employee unions are leeches on the backs of taxpayers.
        Even FDR recognized the corruptive influence of public employee unions.
        The Dems made a major error when they passed a legislation facilitating public unions. They are an anathema to good government. I guess the Dems are compelled to pay off the unions and have total disregard for taxpayers.

  • 2022-03-18 at 1:22 pm
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    Right to work just means Right to Fire. It’s only competitive to keep labor rates down for businesses but who makes up the difference? The Tax Payers who have to make up for the gap by subsidizing folks who can’t get a living wage.

    • 2022-03-19 at 5:18 pm
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      And the Right to Fire just means freedom and the basic right of freedom of association. Government meddling only causes problems. We’ve seen this with the minimum wage–people without skills just end up without jobs because their productivity is not enough to cover their wages. I have no problems with unions if no one is forced to join, and businesses have the freedom to hire anyone they want and negotiate with anyone they want. If the unions truly were helping people, you would not have to mandate membership. Living wage is not the same for everyone, and it is not the responsibility of the employer or taxpayer to provide it, any more than the government should be setting prices. You can’t get around the laws of economics. If you want more pay, you need to provide more value. Is everyone prepared to do that? No–but that is due to the monopoly education system that gives lousy results–exactly as you would expect because of those same laws of economics.

    • 2022-03-20 at 3:49 pm
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      Oh Homer, so clueless. Let’s count the ways:

      1. Orgs often defer hiring employees when either costs (from unionized contracts) are too high or the employee cannot be easily removed for incompetent performance. This is similar to higher interest costs paid by students for loans because banks know the govt will step in and prevent them from collecting from deadbeat students who majored in “fine arts” and have no useful skills

      2. Competent employees want to earn the fruits of their labor instead of giving power to some union hack. Ever wonder why a great teacher gets the same scale advancement that incompetent teachers get? It is not because parents or students want that. It is because unions and their teacher supporters back the “am I still breathing” evaluation standard. In the private sector, NO COMPETENT employee wants to be limited in compensation based on the incompetent ones. Why do you support such a lowest common denominator model? So not only do orgs hire fewer individuals than they might otherwise (see #1), but skilled employees lag behind their true value.

      3. The notion that the taxpayer is subsidizing LCPS teachers is the most laughable statement in the history of the world. They start out earning $72K/yr for working 180 days and advance to $120K/yr+ by the ripe ok age of 52 at which time they can retire and receive a $50K+/yr pension for life. If a pair of teachers age 23 cannot make it in Loudoun while earning AS MUCH AS THE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD, then maybe somebody should teach these teachers personal finance basics.

      4. I realize our public schools are horrible at teaching basic civics such as capitalism. It is why so many young clueless kids support socialism. When companies provide $12/hr jobs, that does NOT mean that taxpayers must subsidize them. Often, those jobs are taken by teenagers or as a second job especially by a second worker in a household. If forced to pay $15/hr or $25/hr or whatever imaginary compensation a Liberal wants to demand for all of society, those jobs would not exist. The employees simply don’t add enough value. It is only when we subsidize low-skilled labor, especially illegals, that they believe they have a right to live in their own home in an expensive location like Loudoun on a SINGLE INCOME. I kid you not but Democrat groups had numerous illegals demand subsidies to help their single earner household be able to take advantage of the $20k/yr spending per student in LCPS

      We realize you love to spend other people’s money. Go to some socialist utopia if you don’t understand capitalism and personal responsibility.

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