Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why I Sometimes Have Problems With Unions

In principle, I support unions. However, the further the union gets from the worker (i.e., the state and national unions) the less "American" they act and the more I dislike them. And when people join unions, sometimes you get this herd mentality wherein people will do things that they would never do on their own--like knowingly and willingly break the law:
Only a fool would think that the sick out that closed down Madison schools for five days in February was anything but an illegal, union-coordinated, illegal strike.

But there are a lot of fools in Madison, aren’t there?

Now there is proof that the sickout was a premeditated, union-authorized job action -- a phone tree of teachers calling other teachers to close down the schools. This kind of activity is prohibited by the union’s own contract and illegal in WI Statute Chapter 111.84(2)(e):

It is unfair practice for an employee individually or in concert with others: To engage in, induce or encourage any employees to engage in a strike, or a concerted refusal to work or perform their usual duties as employees.

Yep, phone message shows a concerted effort. Either strike legitimately or don't, but what those teachers did was just plain wrong--and I said so here.

And what is the CTA planning for California?
Earlier today, I posted about the California Teachers Association’s plan to occupy the State Capitol on May 9-13 as part of the union’s protests to increase tax revenue for the state’s schools and teachers. I now have further information, including the news that CTA has budgeted $1 million for the protests.

The union has set up a web site of material for activists at CAstateofemergency.com. The documents include the handout I posted earlier, plus a 10-page list of “potential activities” the CTA State Council dreamed up. The State Council consists of more than 700 elected union representatives from all across the state. I’ve also posted this document on the EIA web site.

The “potential activities” include:

Go see the list. I question whether most teachers--or most any decent person, for that matter--would individually approve of many of those items. Get them in a group, under cover of anonymity, and light up their passions, though, and you get goons.

Update, 4/14/11: The disinfectant of transparency and daylight has forced CTA to "unpropose" some of its more unsavory acts of protest.

Update, 4/15/11: Some Michigan union "activists" have an "adult conversation" about a Republican governor.


3rseduc / handsinthesoil said...

CTA should spend that million to SAVE jobs instead of protesting to save jobs.

Ellen K said...

I read the list. God help them if the unions shut off fire alarms or co-opt earthquake drills and one actually occurs. I don't think unions should be using the safety of children or staff to further their economic agenda. I am sure this will play out nicely in San Francisco where such actions are applauded, but I wonder what the reaction will be in the Central Valley and San Diego where the student population is largely fed and babysat by public education services. This could get really ugly.