Thursday, October 24, 2013

Leaving The Plantation

I wish we in California had the same rights that workers do in Michigan.  The Michigan teachers union doesn't want teachers exercising their rights, though:
Michigan teachers are discovering that their union is determined to make it as hard as possible for them to take advantage of the state's new right-to-work law, which prohibits workers from being forced to pay dues to a union.

Nine teachers sued the Michigan Education Association in the last week alleging unfair labor practices.

Eight teachers sued the MEA on Monday. They are being represented by the conservative Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. Their complaint alleges the union is violating the intent of the right-to-work law by only giving them a very brief period — the month of August — to drop their membership...

Big Labor hates right-to-work laws because they typically mean fewer members and therefore less dues revenue. Union leaders complain that they cause what economists call a "free rider" problem, since workers still get the benefits of union contract negotiations. Nothing prevents unions from negotiating "members-only" contracts though. They'd just rather have the additional dues coming in.
In states like California, in which unions are entitled by law to workers' money whether the workers want union membership or not, labor unions can do whatever they want.  In a right-to-work state like Michigan, the labor union has to earn those dollars by providing a service that members and potential members see as useful.  Which sounds more reasonable to you?


allen (in Michigan) said...

The unions have to earn their dues? Uh, maybe at some future time but right now, and for some years to come, not so much.

A number of school districts have "negotiated" contracts in which RTW is effectively nullified. One of the loopholes in the law is that contracts negotiated before the law went into effect were exempt from its constraints.

Since in a pretty fair number of districts the sainted "local control" means union control those districts renegotiated their contracts to lock members in to mandatory dues for five years, the limit on contract length.

So five years from now teachers in those districts might be able to exercise some choice over their membership in the local but for five years they can go pound sand as far as the local's concerned.

Darren said...

That's an issue in at least one of the lawsuits.

maxutils said...

a month is not brief. And, once again, you fail to understand what makes unions work. There is a reason that predominately non-union teachers at private schools make less than union teachers at public schools.

allen (in Michigan) said...

A month is brief. And it's only a month because the union couldn't make it zero. The essence of unions is coercion and coercion becomes tougher when you victim has an escape route.

Of course there's a reason union teachers make more then non-union - non-union teachers don't have the power to coerce a settlement.

By the logic of unions if muggers had enough political influence they could get law passed legalizing their "trade".

Oh, and inasmuch as there's no honor among thieves one would expect, and history has shown is justified in the expectation, that union officials screw union members only slightly less then they screw the public in general. More if they can get away with it for long enough.