BTU Bans Buddy


The Broward Teachers Union is apparently not used to scrutiny:  The union is banning me from getting comments for


I’m shaking with fright.  I’m considering shutting down

Actually, no. 

There is a pattern here.

BTU President Pat Santeramo is like a Kindergarden kid who takes his ball and runs from the room when he doesn’t like the way the game is going.

Santeramo doesn’t like the School Board’s health insurance contact. Instead of debating the issue, he quits the insurance advisory committee in a huff.

Santeramo and his spokesman John Ristow doesn’t like the direction of my posts.  So they will refuse to talk to me.

In his e-mail below, Ristow cites my post about Santeramo not voting on the health insurance contract. 

But I suspect that the BTU is also annoyed by my post on the union bosses’ six-figure salaries

Or maybe the post on how the union is part of the problem at the School Board because they endorsed and donated money to  the members’ campaigns.

I will still write about the BTU if I believe something will interest the readers. 

The union is too big and has too much impact on our tax bills to not keep an eye on it.

Below is Ristow’s e-mail. 

The post was about Santeramo missing the vote.  Ristow complains that I left out the information that Santeramo quit the committee before the vote.

Whether he chose to resign the committee first is immaterial.  He is paid to represent the union and vote.  He didn’t. Instead, he  ducked the vote.

Ristow also complains that I didn’t write about BTU idea to change the committee.  This idea does absolutely nothing for the employees faced with insurance increases today.

The BTU is negotiating — Behind closed doors where their members can’t see or hear what’s going on. Union negotiations are exempt from the Sunshine Law. — to change the composition of the insurance committee in the future.

 Here is Ristow’s e-mail:

Please do not contact me or anyone working for the BTU for comment concerning any of your future blog entries. Your blog entry today shows your only intent is to write negative comments about BTU President Pat Santeramo. It is obvious that he would not attend the meetings of an insurance committee, from which he resigned out of protest. Still despite your knowing this, you chose to write an entire entry about his missing meetings of a committee to which he doesn’t even belong. You also purposely left out of your article his efforts to change the composition of the committee so employees would receive a fair hearing and representation. In the future, you can include in your article that the BTU offered no comment. We do not wish to participate in your blog entries.
Thank you for your consideration,



14 Responses to “BTU Bans Buddy”

  1. Charley Varrick says:

    Sorry Buddy but today no one is that interested in the BTU. What we all want to know is what is happening with your good friend Scott Rothstein.

  2. BTU Hypocrits! says:

    Buddy — stay on them. You can tell they are scared and circling the wagons now. And, Ristow’s suggestion do not EVER call us was because of that one issue is so obviously contrived — they ahve to hate the scrutiny you have put them under finally.

    Wasn’t this the same Ristow screaming to the high heavens about their voices not being heard when they were trying to bury the SB members with thousands of emails. They loved the blogs then.

    “Dont call us for comments” is absolutely ridiculous and shows there needs to be a change in BTU.
    Did they think that public cries for reform in our educational system would not include BTU? Did they really think they were immune from scrutiny and analysis?

    Have to feel bad for the honest teachers just trying to educate and make a living. However, they have the power to rise up and demand a change as well.

  3. Wrong says:

    I disagree with Charlie Varrick. Those of us working for the school system is always interested in the BTU and how they are wasting members’ dues. Keep it up, Buddy. There are other blogs in town that are in the BTU’s pocket. Not you.

  4. Blue Man Scoop says:



  5. Resident says:

    I guess BTU forgot about the 1st Amendment (or thinks it doesn’t apply to them). Really Buddy, do you think this e-mail will stop you from contacting anyone you want to? Lets see how they try to stop you from calling.

  6. John C says:

    I thought Buddy’s post was a little over the top. I don’t know if Santeramo does a good job or not but his salary isn’t really out of line for an organization of its size. And refering to the union president over and over a a “union boss” makes Santeramo out to be an Teamster style thug from the 50’s.


    Consider it a blessing Buddy! As momma says, It will all come out in the wash anyway!

  8. kwitcherbelyaken says:

    It’s simply a matter that the Santeramo gang can dish it out but can’t take it.

    Buddy has the strength of character to call the shots as he sees it. Santeramo overpaid? In the scheme of things, probably not, unless you consider Rubinstein’s argument that the Santeramo gang cheats the younger teachers out of a decent living wage while giving most of the raise money to the seniors just counting days to retirement.

    Perhaps the gang should have their salaries cut to the same shameful level that they force their juniors to live on.

    Blue Man Scoop has it right! Stop paying union dues and get a decent raise for once.

  9. InTheKnow says:

    What really burns me up is the fact that rather than stick to it and work harder to protect his membership, Fat Pat made like the cranky little school boy and ran away from the nasty old insurance committee.

    Take your ball and go home because you didn’t like the decision of the umpire. Yet the weasel has the audacity to call the School Board corrupt.

    Hey BTU members! Forget about the next School Board election and start concentrating on the next union election. Tar and feather the Santeramo gang and then ride them out on a rail.

  10. Marty Rubinstein says:

    This whole thing is amazing and I’m posting because I see my name being invoked.

    Yes, I have my arguments with Pat and they are valid. What I fail to understand is why he quit the insurance committee at such a critical moment in time.

    I spent three years on the committee. Pat and I would play a “good cop, bad cop” routine and with the help of Benefits Director Ron Weintraub, we’d gang up on the companies and hammer both VISTA and HUMANA into dropping double digit increases into mid-single digit. Worked every time.

    At least I have an excuse. I’m no longer there to protect the employees. Pat has none. Perhaps now that there is the appearance of monkey business, to put it mildly, Pat (or somebody) should take up the banner and get a court order to halt the rate increases and maybe even have the contract itself invalidated. But then, I’m not the 800 pound gorilla these days.

  11. Hammerhead says:


    For what it’s worth…you’ll always be an 800 pound gorilla to me. An ugly, smelly, nasty, dumb gorilla.

    But that’s just me.

  12. Front and Center says:

    Yes, it is just you.

  13. Mr. Jay says:

    You keep at them Buddy! Pat and the boys are running scared that someone and that is who has the inside scoop on them.

    Let’s face it they pushed Darla Carter and Marty Rubinstein who refused to take their crap and replaced them with their mouthpieces Dinnen and Gottlieb.

    They are running scared, Maybe finally you or someone will also expose how Pat and the boys are double dipping in the pension fund etc.

    Us teachers need to give ourselves are raise and tell BTUseless to GO TO HELL we teachers have had enough!

    Keep up the good work Buddy! We love you, but remember if more of us speak out and they find out who were paybacks are hell!!!

  14. nottinamazesme says:

    Mr. Jay says:
    “Keep up the good work Buddy! We love you, but remember if more of us speak out and they find out who were paybacks are hell!!!”

    Truer words have never been said. Buddy, you deserve a trophy…man, you’re the greatest! Keep up the good work!

    The minute either the BTU or the School Board finds out which teachers are spilling the beans, that’s it! Bye, bye. So long. Farewell. They will find a way to fire them and blacklist them in Broward. For their next job, they won’t get the recommendations needed, so who knows if they’ll ever teach again. I’ve seen it all too often. I know of a principal who would not comment on any prospective employer’s recommendation phone queries so that an imminent open position wouldn’t have to be filled. Filling the position meant taking time to interview new teachers, and that takes a lot of effort! It also meant the teacher wanting another position wouldn’t get it. Out of retaliation for even thinking on leaving their turf without permission, the teacher will be imprisioned at the school until the principal decides otherwise. You can be sure, that teacher will now get all the unruly kids put into one class…prepared especially with him or her in mind, or they’ll get their daily work hours cut as an imposed fine for trying to go to another school.

    Broward County has its very unique way on doing business and handling affairs. Very few people are aware of that, and the School Board, in particular, has its ins and outs that only someone who’s been around for a while near the front line of duty knows about. Everything is hush-hush, but stab-stab.

    I feel for these poor teachers. I really do. I just hope the new Ethics Team can do something positive and profitable for the teachers here.

    The problems don’t all lie with the BTUseless itself. It lies in the fact that most of the teachers are women who are easily intimidated by bullies. They don’t know what to do or where to go and they’d rather “join ’em than beat ’em” to stay afloat. That’s the real problem here!!! The men in that profession are truly no better. I’m in no way demeaning the profession, don’t get me wrong. I’m just commenting on what I’ve seen throughout long years: as a whole, they may talk the talk, but they won’t walk the walk. And that’s a real shame…

    Teachers are the backbone of our society. No one deserves more prestige or honor. Without teachers there would be no other professions. They need to raise their morale, start thinking out of the box, grow some heavy-duty *&^^% and get together as a fraternity and do something about their working conditions, and stop acting like grown-up kids. I see too many that think and act like the children they tend to all day. Then go out and get some honest-to-goodness representation, and not that good for nothing BTU.