Monday, July 21, 2014

Agency Fees Are In

The "impartial" arbitrator--why isn't this person an "arbiter"?--has spoken, and here are the chargeable fees for my union contribution:
local union and CTA:  71.9%
NEA:  36%

Note that that means that over 28% of my state and local union dues are not related to anything that the "impartial" arbitrator can justify making me pay for, and 64% of the national union dues are for non-chargeable activities (read, Democratic/progressive/liberal politics). 

Always remember--liberals love compulsion.  It's who they are, it's what they do.  They enjoy making me pay for a union I don't want to support.  So I get back the non-chargeable fees after jumping through their hoops, but I don't want to associate with them at all.  Force, compulsion, and groupthink--that's what you get with unions.


maxutils said...

So seriously, Darren, go work for a private school, and enjoy your 20k plus pay cut. At least you won't have to jump through hoops.

maxutils said...

I believe the difference between arbitrator an arbiter is that the arbiter opines about what is a just resolution, while the abitrator attempts to make it so.

Darren said...

I refuse to accept your false dichotomy. You libs like Franklin Roosevelt so much but you sure don't agree with his positions on public sector unions.

Forty-five years ago, when teachers unions started taking off, the three things teachers complained about the most--their reasons for unionizing--were pay, benefits, and working conditions. What are the three complaints today? In 45 years unions haven't solved the problems they were created to solve, and they never will--because then they wouldn't have a reason to exist. They're parasites. Doesn't mean they *can't* be good or do some good things, but that's generally not how unions operate in the US. You can feel free to pay one but I'd prefer not to, thankyouverymuch.

maxutils said...

And, you can feel free not to address my initial point ... but it isn't a false dichotomy, because it's an absolute truth that you receive better benefits and pay, 2 of the big 3, as a result of your being hired by a union based public system as opposed to a negotiate your own salary private one ... It really upsets me that you can't recognize why that's the case, and that you can withhold your dues, take the benefits, and then bitch-slap the system that gave them to you. It's ALSO true, as you've said, that in a non-union system, you would be able to earn more than an English teacher ...basic supply and demand. But that's not the relevant question. The relevant question is, could you make more than you currently do? Maybe ... but the private school market doesn't bear that out, and those are funded by parents who actually CARE about their kid's education.

And, really, can we stop referring to me as a lib? Because I'm not, and I don't love FDR, or his policies, beyond the fact that he had the guts to try a new economic theory which didn't work ... very much like Ronald Reagan did. What he did was establish an unsustainable Ponzi scheme, just as Obama is doing now with the ACA. It really frustrates me that you have a tendency to draw a line on issues, and declare one side "righty good" and the other "lefty bad". Most issues are not clearly defined, and I actually take the time to try to figure out how economics will work itself out through the policy. And, just like all other economists, I can be wrong. Hell, if the ACA actually works, I'll cheer it an eat my words. It won't especially in light of today's court decision, but it would be a nice unicorn to catch.

Darren said...

It *is* a false dichotomy, just not here in California where unions hold inordinate sway. There's a whole country out there where public school teachers don't have to pay unions and the world hasn't ended yet.

As for being a liberal, if you sound like a duck....

Rhymes With Right said...

I'll toss out one other point that maxutils might want to mull over. If the unions were prohibited from engaging in the sort of political activity that allows an arbiter to determine that over a quarter of state and local dues are not related to actual stated purpose of the union -- representation of teachers -- and nearly two-thirds of national dues have no relationship to that stated purpose of the union, then many of those who have chosen to liberate themselves from coerced membership would voluntarily join.

maxutils said...

Rhymes with Right ... that;s why you vote within your union. Nothing to disagree with there.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh max, it's pretty obvious that a panhandler with a gun's going to find people generally more generous then a panhandler without a gun but that hardly justifies identical behavior on the part of unions.

Like I've mentioned before unions have nothing to offer but coercion. Coercion of the membership and coercion of the employer. Unions produce nothing of value and exist only to use violence, or the threat of violence, on behalf of its membership. Nice if you're a member, and worth coming up with artful rationalizations to create a semblance of justification, but not so nice for the rest of society since we're the ones, ultimately, getting our arms twisted.

Some people, for reasons union supporters are inherently incapable of understanding, are uncomfortable with the fruits of coercion. The tacit denigration of ability may be one part of that discomfort as may discomfort knowing that the source of their income has little, to nothing, to do with their skills and is based mostly on the union's ability to twist arms on their behalf. Whatever the reasons may be that unease is real and to a union supporter a real problem.

The coercive power of unions is maintained and legitimized by a false narrative which is always vulnerable to identification as such. Members, whose credibility is increased by membership, are the most damaging offenders against that narrative since apostates have experience that makes their criticism more compelling. They're on the inside looking out, and the beneficiaries of the union. If they can find fault with the union then perhaps the criticism of unions ought to be given more weight.

In any case, the public's rendering its verdict and the artfulness of the rationalizations in support of unions aren't finding anywhere near the audience that they once did. Even in the public sector where the unions have the power to influence who they'll be sitting across the table from during contract negotiations unions have lately seen a series of serious defeats.

maxutils said...

allen, struck by "tacit denigration of ability". I'm with you there. In terms of salary, at least, people with demonstrable differences in ability don't need unions... why actors and sports leagues have them? No idea. But if your skills are not demonstrable and measurable, you are better off grouping together. Teachers are, unfortunately, one of those groups. You can walk in to a class room and nearly immediately get a gut feeling about who's good, and who isn't, but you can't measure performance as the result of sny sort of algorithm, because there are WAY too many outside factors. A great teacher at a 'bad' school may well have poorer test results than a bad teacher at a 'good' school. This does presume, in the case of public unions, that the job needs to be done in the first place.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Just because you don't need a union, as the folks at the higher end of the sports/entertainment pool don't, doesn't mean you won't find advantage in having access to the union. Besides, the majority of the the union membership isn't as talented as the hot shots, and this is crucial, are rather more interchangeable as a result.

To the union talent is immaterial since it has little to do with the source of the union's utility. That's coercion. Really, what else does a union have to offer but the ability to twist arms? Nothing.

With regard to teaching though there's a hand-in-glove relationship between teacher's unions and the public education system.

Since unions don't care about talent viewing it, at best, as bothersome and at worst a contrast to the the level of competence the union tries to portray as adequate unions are locked out of professions wherin competence is determinative. There's no lawyer, doctor or engineer unions. Programmers and other IT professionals aren't unionized despite repeated attempts over the years to do so. Pilots, by contrast are because they're interchangeable. Their competence is determinative because lousy pilots crash planes.

Where the results of barely-acceptable competence aren't so dramatic the union has zero incentive to encourage greater competence. A lousy performer's paying just as much in the way of dues as a hot shot so why bother encouraging the hot shot?

But to get back to public education system teaching competence, due to the nature of public education, is unimportant. As I've pointed out before, school board elections only occasionally hinge on the educational quality of the district and if the board's not elected on the basis of educational quality what's that do to the way education quality, and the ultimate source of education quality, teachers, are viewed?

Take the specific example of special education. It required the passage of state law to mandate that teachers have training appropriate to the demands of special education classrooms before being stuck in them. Previous to the passage of such laws principals stuck whatever teacher they had available into special education classrooms regardless of their qualifications or training.

It's that inherent indifference of the public education to teaching skill that creates such a comfortable fit for unions who also have no more regard for talent then the situation requires.

That's why your, and everyone else's, complaints about the inherent difficulty of measuring teaching skill is nonsense. In an environment in which the skill's treated as unimportant why would there be much, if any, effort put forth to measure the skill?

Who cares? The paychecks clear and the funding to make sure arrives regardless of whether the teachers are good, bad or indifferent. In that atmosphere it *is* problematical to measure teaching skill.

maxutils said...


first ... if I ever make it out to MI to see my beloved Red Wings play, I hope I can buy you dinner and discuss with you.

I know we disagree about unions. But ... you have a faulty premise. There are two types of teachers that people want fired: those who suck, and those who are demanding ... in whatever way.

It's unfortunate that the union needs to protect the incompetent ones -- but I want you to understand this clearly: every single teacher at every single i've taught at knows who the bad ones are, and we try to steer people away from them. That's unfortunate. But ... the good, demanding teachers are actually more at risk. I almost lost my first teaching job because I wouldn't pass students who acknowledged not reading our books and didn't turn in writing ... I maintained standards, and almost got effed for it. That's why tenure is important. Get rid of it probably don't lose much, but you definitely lose the good ones -- they'll be fired for not giving so and so an A for being on time most of the time.