Wisconsin, Union, rights?

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kiryan
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Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:23 pm

I think its about to start talking about the union busting whats going on in Wisconsin. The left claims rights rights rights, the right claims budget. I don't want to get into the debate on the dishonesty of calling it a budget issue when its clearly aimed at taking union power. I'll concede that argument. I would rather like to look at the issue of "rights".

I will use the word union to mean speicifcally public unions. PL to refer to proposed law.

Lets look at the elements of the PL things

1) Right to form a union

Apparently it is not a right for public unions to organize. It can be granted, but its not a federally mandated right (private unions have the right to organize under federal law). Best argument I've heard about this is... unions are representing their interests against the interests of tax payers. In a similar fashion you can't award punitive damages against government... because you're punishing all tax payers.

Also, I do not believe federal workers can organize (although I'm not sure what that means in terms of the TSA because I thought they were recently given the right to organize and negotiate in specific areas including salary)


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 4043.story

Currently, only 12 states deny public workers the right to collective bargaining, and more workers are unionized in government than in the private sector.
...
In most states, including California, state legislation is what permits government workers to bargain collectively for pay raises. It takes a simple change in the law to remove much of labor unions' clout. (Private-sector workers and federal employees are governed by federal law, and states cannot deny them the right to collective bargaining.)


2) What do unions have a right to negotiate for

--Well apparently nothing (see above)... unless the legislature specifically grants them the right...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpa ... _unio.html

Public employees, he asserts, "do not have a fundamental right, either moral or legal, to bargain collectively -- for the very good reason that they work, ostensibly at least, for the people, not for profit-making private corporations." Because it's up to the individual states to grant or deny those rights to their public employees


--Cited early in defense was unions ability to negotiate the color of the teacher's lounge as well as the termination and complaint process. Being able to negotiate the color of the walls is just ... retarded. Who wouldn't want a say in the termination and complaint process, but look at how this plays out in NY (teachers sit in the job bank for 9+ months drawing full salarly?) universal complaints that its impossible to fire a tenured teacher?

http://www.twincities.com/wisconsin/ci_ ... ck_check=1
Walker wants to remove all collective-bargaining rights, except for salary, for roughly 175,000 public employees starting July 1. Any requests for a salary increase higher than the consumer price index would have to be approved by referendum.

His administration also notified unions that current contracts would be canceled effective March 13, a necessary step before his proposed changes could take effect.


3) what power do unions have

--PL prevents unions from forcing members to pay dues

--PL requires an annual vote on whether to be represented by the union

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpa ... _unio.html

Lane is particularly enamored of the governor's proposal to require all public sector unions to have an annual vote of their members on whether they want union representation at all.

--These are obviously the real reason for the protests. First of all, a yearly vote to remain unionized scares the crap out of them... as it should... because it only takes 1 year to produce long term results (note Obamacare).

--Second, if you make paying dues voluntary... the union political machine shuts down. less money to buy politicians, less money to bus in protestors, less money to cover the costs of strikes. Additionally, union bosses have to find a new job or take a huge pay cut (I believe they make 150k+, some in NY I believe make 300k+)... lastly, those expensive lawyers they pay to draw negotiations out for months and years are much more difficult to afford.


=======

#1, I think they should be free to organize... thats free association as far as I'm concerned.

#2, I think they should have a right to negotiate for anything they want. I don't like the state having the right to limit their raises based on CPI... I mean it works so well with medicare and the "doc fix" or the Alternate Mean Tax. are they stupid? Maybe give it a higher standard, like being approved by the legislature or the governor, but I don't think it needs to go to a public vote. I mean why do we elect officials and have administration if we have to vote on everything.

That being said, I do think that the state should be able to negotiate with individual teachers directly and reach agreements with them directly. Unions should not be able to lockout teachers from working or negotiating for themselves. I realize this has the practical effect of making union negotation pointless since you won't be able to galvanize the workforce except under ... extreme unfair circumstances... Sounds good to me.

#3, I think its an outrage that in some cases/states you MUST join the union, in others you don't have to join, but you MUST pay "dues" (your fair share of the costs of negotating that benefit and other benefits you derive from the Union's activities on behalf of positions they represent). How is taking away the unions ability to FORCE you to pay dues, taking away your rights? You can still donate.

Annual vote on continuing to be represented by a union... Sounds a bit unfair, forming a union is pretty difficult from what I understand and they do everything they can to prevent the union from forming and the laws are tight... so to require a yearly vote to continue its existence... seems incredibly one sided. If they are going to vote every year on whether to reject union representation... I assume they should have the right every year to vote on whether to accept union representation. That would at least be somewhat "fair".
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby Corth » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:42 pm

One thing I will say about this issue... from a purely political perspective it's a lose/lose for the Dems. Popular sentiment is strongly anti-union currently. The Dems receive a lot of financial support and votes from the unions, so they are going to be pressured to defend them. Thus, Obama today jumped into the ring squarely in support of the unions. This will not go over well with the general public. But if the Dems refuse to defend their union buddies then you have to imagine that the unions will feel betrayed and pull back some of that support. So they are kind of caught between a rock and a hard place.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:43 pm

Corth wrote:One thing I will say about this issue... from a purely political perspective it's a lose/lose for the Dems. Popular sentiment is strongly anti-union currently. The Dems receive a lot of financial support and votes from the unions, so they are going to be pressured to defend them. Thus, Obama today jumped into the ring squarely in support of the unions. This will not go over well with the general public. But if the Dems refuse to defend their union buddies then you have to imagine that the unions will feel betrayed and pull back some of that support. So they are kind of caught between a rock and a hard place.

It's always lose/lose to back and support abusers.
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:55 pm

Thats the prevailing perspective... but what alternative do the unions have but to support Obama?

If anything these protests should energize them now that they have a stark reminder of what is at stake at the ballot box. Unfortunately, they already vote in high numbers so you're only gain is in door to door and direct contributions.

also, theres enough time between the implementation of these things and election day 2012 to get some real sob stories out there... if the economy is doing any better by the time 2012 rolls around, it could be a real boon to their chances. Republicans took out their anger on us poor teachers and while everyone else is doing better, we're struggling.
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:35 am

I don't understand why no one is asking the question about who is standing up for the children? Teacher's unions represent the teachers - they fight so that teachers can do less work, get paid more, and so that lower performing teachers can hold on to their jobs teaching your kids.

Who the hell is representing the children? Why weren't teachers being held to a higher standard to start with? Why does it take the Republicans to FIGHT for our kids?
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:36 pm

There apparently were at least a couple of protests by children in front of their schools in WI with signs that read "who's thinking about me?" and "I want to be in school". I figure most of these kids are being pushed into it by their parents, but where is the media coverage?

Also I guess on Saturday there was a rally of conservatives supporting the governor. One sign was particularly hillarious "sorry we're late, we had to work all week"
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:58 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110221/ap_ ... n_politics

Standing to lose the most clout is the powerful Wisconsin Education Association Council, which represents 98,000 teachers, counselors and other current and retired school workers. Mandatory dues for its members can be $1,000 or more per year.
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:00 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... TopStories

"In Indiana, a House committee on Monday approved legislation to change state law so that private-sector workers no longer would be required to pay dues or belong to a union that bargains on their behalf. Unions say this would erode union membership, and eventually their finances and political clout, if workers decided not to join or pay dues. Supporters say the change would make the state more competitive and attract employers."

--The funny thing in all of this is how this is a problem for people to have a choice. The laws don't make unions illegal, don't make it illegal to pay dues to a union, it simply takes away the ability of the unions to FORCE people to join and pay.

--Why is it a problem to give them the CHOICE to be in a union.. the CHOICE whether or not to pay dues? If they support the unions and their causes... I imagine they'll have more money than ever.


"The 1.6 million-member AFSCME last year tapped emergency accounts and took out loans as it poured more than $90 million into Democratic campaign efforts in the mid-term elections.

Overall, unions put around $400 million into the 2008 campaign to help elect Mr. Obama and other Democrats."

-- 90 million in the mid terms. 400 million in 2008. and Democrats want to talk about how "outside" money influences elections?
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby Kifle » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:29 pm

kiryan wrote:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703800204576158851079665840.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

"In Indiana, a House committee on Monday approved legislation to change state law so that private-sector workers no longer would be required to pay dues or belong to a union that bargains on their behalf. Unions say this would erode union membership, and eventually their finances and political clout, if workers decided not to join or pay dues. Supporters say the change would make the state more competitive and attract employers."

--The funny thing in all of this is how this is a problem for people to have a choice. The laws don't make unions illegal, don't make it illegal to pay dues to a union, it simply takes away the ability of the unions to FORCE people to join and pay.

--Why is it a problem to give them the CHOICE to be in a union.. the CHOICE whether or not to pay dues? If they support the unions and their causes... I imagine they'll have more money than ever.


"The 1.6 million-member AFSCME last year tapped emergency accounts and took out loans as it poured more than $90 million into Democratic campaign efforts in the mid-term elections.

Overall, unions put around $400 million into the 2008 campaign to help elect Mr. Obama and other Democrats."

-- 90 million in the mid terms. 400 million in 2008. and Democrats want to talk about how "outside" money influences elections?


I think this is the best way to go about unions, honestly. If they don't want to join, don't make them. Hell, I'd go teach if I didn't have to be in a union forcefully.
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:35 pm

I had a revelation this weekend that maybe already known to you all...

This bill takes away unions ability to negotiate benefits, forces public workers to contribute more to their healthcare and pension. So basically.. this is a pay cut and its a pay cut that they aren't going to be able to renegotiate next time the contract is up because increases higher than inflation must be approved by voters.

Now lets look at the provision to eliminate the union's ability to force people to join a union... and to force them to pay union dues ($1,000 a year).

They are giving the public workers a de facto pay cut... but at the same time they're giving them the ability to reclaim $1,000 a year they currently are legally required to pay in union dues. While it may not completely offset the reduction in income... If they are to pay 6% of their premium for healthcare, assuming $1500 a month, thats $1000 a year.. pretty much the exact size of the union dues.

So, basically the anti union / dues provisions of this law turn a pay cut for workers into a pay cut for unions (assuming most public workers will choose not to take the pay cut out of their paycheck).
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:31 pm

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/ ... l-district

Union curbs rescue a Wisconsin school district

...

Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

== just like walker said it would.. now lets see how and make sure it wasn't done in a way that screws teachers

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they'll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

Wouldn't Kaukauna's money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective bargaining powers?

== ok the budget was balanced on the back of teachers. that does seem awful lopsided. on the other hand, they still not paying what the private sector does so its hard to cry too much for them.

"The monetary part of it is not the entire issue," says Arnoldussen, a political independent who won a spot on the board in a nonpartisan election.

In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

== and this is why we have to do this kind of crap. The unions got greedy the unions want to dictate everything about their contracts from the color of the teachers lounge to the coffee available and even more stupid shit like you have to contract with our healthcare insurance company for our healthcare... Good thing they weren't politicians or that would be a conflict of interest!

Then there are work rules. "In the collective bargaining agreement, high school teachers only had to teach five periods a day, out of seven," says Arnoldussen. "Now, they're going to teach six." In addition, the collective bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37 1/2 hours a week. Now, it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes -- from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

== again, poor teachers they worked 37.5 hours a week, 184 days a year and to top it off, they only taught 71% of the day (by class period, lets not forget lunch is not a class period, theres usually a mid morning snack break of 10-15 minutes). Probably with supervision duties on the play ground and lunch room they might be working 85% of the day (but I bet you that 37.5 hours a week includes lunch lol).

Teachers' salaries will stay "relatively the same," Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is around $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year -- summers

== so yea, teachers are still well paid and certainly not hurting. now can we get some praise for Gov Walker's common sense reforms?
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:02 pm

My god what the hell is in these union contracts... apparently in this Wisconsin county, a provision forbidding prisoners from doing work that the union wanted to be paid to do.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58488.html

In Racine County, just south of Milwaukee, the county jail is outsourcing landscaping, painting, and snow-shoveling jobs that used to be done by unionized workers to its inmates, the Journal Times of Racine reported. Provisions won by unions in collective bargaining had prohibited inmates from performing that kind of work in the past.

== why should this be in a union contract. WHY WHY WHY. who the hell do they think they are to tell the county what to do with its inmates, who can work?

http://knox.villagesoup.com/discussions ... sin/419150

Well, slave labor is probably the only thing better than sending the jobs to China.

== well I wouldn't go that far for the obvious reasons of slave labor, the incentive to have more prisoners to do more work etc etc etc... but I am in general supportive of prison work programs that result in reduction of
While giving prisoners more work and activity options is generally positive, using free inmate labor to replace public sector workers is a disturbing trend.

== yes generally a good idea. Georgia tried it recently and the prisoners walked off the job (picking crops) saying it was too hard. This is probably part of the reason they are in jail.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

== lose the ability to claim "work as union-only". This is the fundamental problem with unions. They organize as a monopoly on labor and then even take it so far as to demand you not do xyz work without using union workers. This is absolutely insane. Let me tell you about truck driving thats not quite related but is also ridiculous.

My dad has driven truck, a heavily unionized industry. In one of my dad's last the union contract dictated that the most senior members got first choice of anything, specifically, first choice of truck runs. Each run paid a different amount based on the load, the distance etc etc etc (drivers also had an hourly rate so this was like bonus pay)... obviously some loads were more lucrative than others depending on traffic, type of facility delivering too etc...

So at the beginning of the day, the senior members would take all the best paying loads, and fill up their day. Now on occasion a new job would come through in the middle of the day that was better than what a senior members were doing (last minute jobs obviously command a price premium). The union contract literally said that the senior members had the right to turn around in the middle of a job to take the new job. They could be 2 hours out into a 3 hour job, but they had the right to turn around unload and take the new job (the company obviously eating the waste of time and efficiency).

Super stupid right, don't worry it doesn't actually work that way. There's another provision that allows someone to file a "grievance" against a load. The practical result, they got paid as if they did the load instead of the load they actually did and didn't have to turn around... company eats the overhead of course since they also paid the guy who actually did the load.

Now is this the kind of shit you think unions should have the right to do? The right to certain work? The right to a load even if practically speaking it makes no sense? The teachers union in some school in Wisconsin had the right to dictate the color of the teachers lounge and the type of coffee served... California just passed a bill waiting for the governor to sign that allows the unions to appoint 50% of some board that determines something that affects unions... realize that when you are guaranteed 50% of the seats, you only need 1 friendly person to win a majority in every decision. These are the things that should be on the table in union contracts?

Does walker's bill... to limit what unions could negotiate on seem that stupid and unnecessary now?

---

please don't take this as an endorsement that prisoners should be doing work. I have strongly conflicted feelings on the matter. my problem is that the union could tell the county, that grass can only be mowed by a $10,15,20 an hour union worker instead of anyone else specifically including prisoners even if it would've been a good "rehabilitation" effort for the prisoner.
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby kiryan » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:33 pm

Here's another slightly less outrageous one.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/28419956/detail.html

analysis of state records show in the last four years Massachusetts has spent $43,968,295.99 on clothing. The majority of those purchases are tied to longstanding union contracts, while many others are not
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Re: Wisconsin, Union, rights?

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:50 pm

kiryan wrote:Here's another slightly less outrageous one.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/28419956/detail.html

analysis of state records show in the last four years Massachusetts has spent $43,968,295.99 on clothing. The majority of those purchases are tied to longstanding union contracts, while many others are not

Cintas must be making a mint.
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