Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Collective Bargaining

What’s Wrong with Connecticut?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 5, 2017: 

English: Aetna building in Hartford, Connectic...

Aetna building in Hartford, Connecticut

The state has a staggering deficit of more than $5 billion, home prices are about where they were a decade ago, unemployment is rising (not falling as it is elsewhere in the northeast), and big companies who have been there for decades are leaving.

What is going on?

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Union Influence Fades as Right-to-work Gains Momentum

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  

English: Economic regions of California, as de...

When Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the California Teachers Association, learned in June that the Supreme Court denied her petition to rehear her complaint over the union extracting dues from her paycheck without her consent, she declared:

My heart is broken for America’s children and families, as their teachers will continue to be forced to fund policies and highly political collective bargaining processes which place the desires of adults above the rights and needs of children.… I’m optimistic [that] we can continue … to restore First Amendment rights to teachers and other public sector workers. Our kids are worth the fight!

Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the public-interest law firm representing Friedrichs, agreed:

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Wisconsin Teachers Learning How to Live Free Again, Thanks to Act 10

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, September 19th, 2013:

Under Wisconsin’s Act 10, every union must be re-certified by its members each year – a freedom denied its members in the past. Once certified, a union was formerly permanent. With regard to teachers, it required dues to be deducted from their paychecks, it demanded negotiating rights on their behalf, it mandated where they could buy their health insurance, and so on.

But when the teachers themselves were asked if they wanted to stick with their union, they said

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A fact the media failed to report: Obama’s minimum wage demand repays his union supporters

A politician never does anything without a purpose or a payback of some kind. Obama is a politician. Therefore there’s a payback there somewhere. It took the Center for Union Facts to find out what it was:

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Introduces National Right-to-Work Act

On January 31st Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced his National Right-to-Work Act, S.204, subtitled “A bill to preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities.” His timing couldn’t be any better.

One year ago Indiana joined the growing list of right to work (RTW) states, followed in December by

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Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint in January

When South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced on Monday that she would appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senate Jim DeMint in the upcoming 113th Congress, she was full of praise for his voting record in the House and enthusiastic about his future in the Senate:

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing our next U.S. senator to be Congressman Tim Scott. I am strongly convinced that the entire state understands that this is the right U.S. senator for our state and our country.

Her announcement had nothing to do with him being the only black senator in the 113th Congress or the first black senator from the south since Reconstruction.

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Another take on the victory in Michigan

This is nearly unbelievable. An arbitrator in Detroit, Michigan, has just reinstated 13 Chrysler workers who were caught drinking in the job.

It all started back in 2010 when

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Teachers Strike Against Students

Fair Contract Now

Fair Contract Now (Photo credit: Photos by BLPerk)

Just in case you missed it, the teachers at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School have revealed their immaturity and pettiness, and, I might add, their agenda: they went on strike against their own students.

It seems that the teachers’ union has balked at signing a collective bargaining agreement with the school board for the past two years and the teachers are feeling put upon to continue to work (and get paid) without a contract. To protest this “outrage” they decided to leave the building when the kids wanted to serve Thanksgiving Day meals to local senior citizens. Kyle Olson found the details at WickedLocal.com:

As WickedLocal.com reported: “Despite not having their teachers to back them up, the eighth-graders at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School offered up their 23rd annual community Thanksgiving dinner Sunday, Nov. 18, in the school cafeteria for senior citizens in the Tri-towns.

“ORR Junior High Principal Kevin Brogioli debated whether he and the eighth-graders would be able to put on the community feast without the help of ORR teachers, who decided not to assist this year as a protest for being forced to work without a contract for two years.

“The snub caused some outrage and criticism from the community, who felt the students and the senior citizens were being unfairly penalized for the school district’s failure to offer the teachers union a workable contract.”

From my perspective, this illustrates how these teachers view their students: not as

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More Positives from Tuesday’s Election

Don Irvine with Award winner Michelle Malkin a...

Michelle Malkin at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on March 1st, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew it! I just knew it! Someone astute (this time Michelle Malkin) would look at the carnage wrought on Tuesday and see some good things. She did, and there are:

  1. Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives
  2. Voters in Alabama, Montana (yea!) and Wyoming passed measures limiting Obamacare
  3. Ted Cruz, a bright star in the conservative universe, won a Senate seat in Texas against an establishment Republican opponent
  4. Odious House member Pete Stark (Freedom Index rating: 34) was finally booted out of office in California
  5. A charter school initiative succeeded in Washington state despite opposition from teachers’ unions
  6. A collective bargaining effort in Michigan failed, again despite opposition from labor unions
  7. No more race-based preferences in Oklahoma for college admissions, public contracting or government hiring.
  8. Montana (yea! again) turned off the spigot for unlimited benefits to illegal aliens
  9. Washington voters put limits on that state’s legislature’s ability to raise taxes
  10. Republicans, for the first time since Reconstruction, took control of the Arkansas state house
  11. Tax hikes were rejected in Arizona, South Dakota and Missouri
  12. Louisiana passed a pro-gun measure
  13. Kentucky voted to protect hunting and fishing rights
  14. Montana (yea! once again) voters passed a parental notification law for minor’s abortions
  15. North Carolina Republicans claimed the governor’s office, made congressional gains, and took control of the state’s general assembly
  16. Paul Ryan won reelection to the Senate from Wisconsin
  17. Conservatives won big victories in the Kansas state legislature
  18. Republicans won big in Tennessee
  19. The GOP took back control of Wisconsin’s state government
  20. There are now 30 Republican state governors

No doubt there are more victories flying under the radar, over which we can rejoice and in which we can take comfort. Thank you for these, Michelle!

Moody’s Downgrades Chicago Over Teachers’ Union Deal

The negative outlook reflects the school district’s budgeted depletion of reserves to fund ongoing operations in fiscal 2013, the moderate additional unbudgeted salary costs of labor contract negotiations, which have not yet been ratified by CTU, an estimated $1 billion budget deficit for fiscal 2014, and the sizable increase in pension contributions following a three-year relief period.

Logo of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Logo of the Chicago Teachers Union. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There it is in black and white: the Chicago teachers’ union deal can’t be paid for. Therefore we’re (Moody’s) downgrading Chicago’s credit rating (again):

Significant budget adjustments will be necessary, but the demonstrated power of collective bargaining suggests that future budget controls may be difficult for the district to implement. (my emphasis)

I love this. The teachers are supposed to teach, aren’t they, and the unions are supposed to represent them in their efforts to teach, right? Not. The unions are there to protect the unions and the salaries and benefits negotiated with the school board, even if they

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Wisconsin Judge Throws Out Anti-Union Law; Walker Appeals

Newsmax – Walker Vows to Appeal as Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Union Law

A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

English: Scott Walker on February 18, 2011

Scott Walker on February 18, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pro-union judge in a union-dominated state has ruled that the law passed by the state legislature restricting (not eliminating) collective bargaining rights is null and void.

And so the battle of taxpayers versus union members continues. It’s going to be a long war, but I think the unions’ days are numbered. There are more taxpayers than union members.

The judge ruled that sections of the law

single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions.

He also invoked the 14th Amendment by claiming that the law created separate classes of workers who would be treated differently and unequally.

Of course this is the heart of the matter. Do the union members who have managed to negotiate for themselves wages and benefits at the expense of the taxpayers have a higher standing and therefore a greater claim on the assets of those taxpayers than do the taxpayers themselves? Or do the taxpayers have higher standing over their employees, the union members?

Walker nailed it. He said the judge “wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor.”

Does the legislature, representing the taxpayer, have ultimate jurisdiction here? Or do the unions?

Phil Neuenfeldt, the president of Wisconsin’s State AFL-CIO, called Walker’s law an

attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector [as] an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab.

State Representative Robin Vos, soon to be the next speaker of the state Assembly, said

I’m confident it’s a single judge out of step with the mainstream…and we’ll continue to implement it.

This is likely to go to the Supreme Court. It’s the last hope of the fading union influence.

Two Camden Union Bosses Exposed!

Competitive Enterprise Institute: The “Gift Clause” Would Force Camden Police Union Bosses To Do Police Work

[Camden] Mayor Dana Redd is unable to even order two police union bosses, whose salaries are paid for by taxpayers, to fulfill their duties to serve the Camden community…

Camden police union bosses John Williamson and Kevin Wilkes have decried the mayor’s call for them to work as police officers as “retaliation”…

The two officers claim that their union contract requires taxpayers to pay them for conducting union activities, rather than provide police services.

Camden Police, New Jersey

Camden Police, New Jersey (Photo credit: scoutnurse)

This is how two union bosses think: despite Camden, New Jersey’s financial woes (caused in large part by over-generous pensions negotiated by the unions) which have forced the city to merge its police operations into the county’s Metro Police Division in order to save money, they consider their jobs as union bosses more important than what they are actually being paid for: police work.

Here’s the outrage:

City residents have paid two police union presidents their full combined salary of $180,000 in 2011 for the equivalent of 13 years to do work for the union while avoiding the performance of any and all law enforcement work. Not only that, but the primary activities performed on union release time include collective bargaining and representing members at grievance and lobbying, which pit the union against the city.

In addition, public employees on union release time accumulate pension and healthcare benefits without contributing a penny to pay for them. According to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits formula, Williamson alone is eligible for a lifetime pension amounting to slightly over $16,000 per year for life, just for doing union duties.

But there appears to be a way out. The New Jersey state constitution prohibits making “gifts” to these people: “No county, city, borough, town, township or village shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit, to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation.”

As Kovacs suggests:

It is time to stop giving away taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to public servants who refuse to perform work we all pay them to do. Enforcing the Gift Clause would be a good start.

Recalcitrant Unions Force Cities to Suspend Labor Agreements

Seal of the City of North Las VegasLast Friday the City Council of North Las Vegas, Nevada’s fourth largest city just north and east of Las Vegas, voted unanimously to suspend part of its union agreement in order to balance its budget. With property tax and general tax revenues down by more than 30 percent in just the last three years, North Las Vegas was facing a shortfall of $30 million in its $500 million budget.

Under state law it must submit a balanced budget by June 1. Negotiations with three public employee unions, the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association (POA), the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association (PSA), and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), began in January but the unions refused to make the concessions necessary to keep the city solvent. So the council went ahead and suspended the terms of the agreement without the unions’ approvals. The vote by the council ended cost of

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Wisconsin Governor Walker to Win in a Walk, Polls Show

"On the Issues with Mike Gousha at Marque...

On Wednesday the Marquette Law School poll showed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with a comfortable lead over his rival, former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, in next week’s recall election, 52 percent to 45 percent. This was an improvement from their poll taken two weeks earlier when Walker held a six-point lead over Barrett. It was also confirmed by a poll taken on May 23 by We Ask America that showed Governor Walker leading Barrett 54 percent to 42 percent. More telling perhaps was the Intrade site which measures voter sentiment and showed Walker on Thursday with a 94.5 percent chance of winning the recall election.

The recall election process began in November last year when United Wisconsin, a coalition of unions and the state’s Democratic Party, decided to go after Walker because of his success in passing Act 10. That law limited unions’ collective bargaining powers and required that union members pay a little more for their health insurance and retirement benefits. Specifically, Act 10 required members to contribute 12.6 percent of their health care premiums (with the taxpayers picking up the balance of 87.4 percent) and 5.8 percent of their pension costs (with taxpayers picking up the remaining 94.2 percent).

Even after these increases, a study by the American Enterprise Institute showed that state government employees in Wisconsin are still enjoying a significant

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Wisconsin Recall Election to be Shaped by Job Numbers

Scott Walker on February 18, 2011

With little more than a month to go until Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces his recall vote, unions and their supporters are pulling out all the stops to replace him with one of their own.

Writing for the pro-union newsletter The Progressive, its political editor Ruth Conniff decried every major piece of “Act 10”—the highly contested Budget Repair Bill that Walker finally got passed by the Wisconsin legislature last March—saying that “If you want a preview of the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan plan for America, take a look at Wisconsin:

  • Huge tax breaks for corporations….
  • Deep cuts to health care, education, unemployment insurance….
  • Rolling back…protections and…regulations….
  • Waging war on labor unions, taking away public employee’s collective bargaining rights….

So where does this blueprint leave us?

Wisconsin is now dead last in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for job loss.

Between January 2011 and January 2012, while 44 states and the nation as a whole were adding jobs, Wisconsin was one of only six states to lose jobs—and Wisconsin’s job loss was the worst among that handful of losers.

In its latest jobs report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Wisconsin shed 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012. Wisconsin was the only state with a statistically significant percentage change in employment to report a net loss, the report stated.

The obvious point she was hoping to prove was that it was because of Act 10 that all these jobs were being lost, while hoping that few would actually take the time to look closely at what the BLS actually said.

First, Conniff is violating a rule of logic—“post hoc, ergo propter hoc”—which means, “After this, then because of this.” In other words, Conniff assumed that

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Oklahoma’s Constitutional Amendment Would Pit Taxpayers Against Unions

Oklahoma State Capitol

When Oklahoma State Senator David Holt discovered that Oklahoma was ranked the “most anti-taxpayer state in the southern United States” by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), he decided to propose amending the state’s constitution to stop the unions’ gravy train of collective bargaining contracts without taxpayer approval. His amendment says nothing about unions or collective bargaining. All he did was explain, in his press release, that if the amendment were passed, the constitution would allow local taxpayers to approve all spending of their tax dollars by local authorities for any purpose. He stated:

Oklahoma’s Constitution already makes it very difficult to raise taxes, and that’s a good thing. But every new tax starts with a new expense, and the Oklahoma Constitution, remarkably, does not give taxpayers or their local elected representatives the absolute power to spend tax dollars.

There are dozens of examples in recent years of local taxpayers being forced to take on new financial obligations, not only without the consent of either the taxpayers or their representatives, but actually over their objections.

And though he never mentions unions or dues extracted from union members’ paychecks to be spent for political purposes or benefits or pensions or job security—they are his target. Because of collective bargaining agreements, unions have routinely overridden

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Think Teachers are Underpaid? Think Again.

Teacher at Chalkboard

Despite the public perception that public school teachers in general are underpaid, Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of “Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers,” says “the reality is that it’s just not true. There’s no way to look at the data and conclude that they are underpaid. They are certainly paid more than they can get if they work in the private sector…” In fact, Richwine found that “public-school teachers receive

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Walker Rules Save Wisconsin School Districts Millions

Milwaukee Teachers and Supports Walk to the Go...

In late September the Wisconsin Education Association Trust (WEA Trust) announced that it had successfully outbid another insurance carrier to provide health insurance coverage for some 11,000 state employees in west-central Wisconsin. WEA Trust President Mark Moody happily concluded, “It really affirms, independently and objectively, that our rates are competitive.”

The WEA Trust, created in 1970 by Wisconsin’s largest teachers’ union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or WEAC, had become the epicenter for criticism that its collective bargaining rules kept local school districts from requesting bids from competing health insurance companies even though there was the potential for substantial savings in doing so. When the new rules became law on June 29, many districts took advantage of the freedom to request bids, and discovered that in many cases they were

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AFL-CIO Backs Off Support for Obama, Democrats; Forms New Super PAC

Cropped photo of Richard Trumka, Secretary-Tre...

Image via Wikipedia

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made it clear that his union is backing off from supporting President Obama and the Democrats in the 2012 elections and is instead going to funnel union funds into attempts to influence state outcomes.

He said,

We’re going to use a lot of our money to build structures that work for working people. You’re going to see us give less money to build structures for others, and more of our money will be used to build our own structure….

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States’ Pension Woes Worsening

Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Image via Wikipedia

The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states’ contributions to pay for those promises is widening.

According to Pew, the shortfall is at least $1.26 trillion (with a t), but could approach $5 trillion depending upon rate of return assumptions. Because of the precipitous decline in revenues in 2009, states were able to pay only

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann