Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unions:What Are They God For

Yesterday I went past a Dodge Park on my way to my sons baseball game. They had the union there with their buses and printed signs that said, "Don't you care about your kids","Support education" and the like. It was the government unions trying to pull the heart strings of the tax payers. The teachers want more money so they can give some to the kids and take a lot for themselves. That is how we have been doing things in the past and just look at how atrocious our school systems are. And when you see road work how many people are doing work knowing they can't get fired? Back in the day the unions made sure the workers had a safe and healthy environment. They made sure workers were treated fairly and got a fair wage.
But who needs them now that the government does that for the unions? What is the unions job now? Is it only to get big money for it's members? Is it to got the greedy businesses and stock holders? Is it to make the tax payers pay up or they will strike and with hold an education from the children if they don't get what they want? Are the unions there so the bad teachers stay and do more harm then good to our children's education? Unions had and still have a place in America. But they have gotten out of control with their power. It's time we let the unions strike like they did for the Detroit News and Free Press back in the mid 90's. That is what the unions need right now. A little fear and respect for their jobs. They need to see what it is like to be us the people that pay their income demands without so much as a quota on grades or performance. The union needs to change the way they do things and the way we the people that are paying for them look at them. The unions need to give up the bottom 10% of union members. That will strengthen the unions and the way we the people view the unions. I'm not against unions. I'm for unions the way they were not what they have become. Unions have become the most greedy entity on main street. And the more I see what the unions have become the smaller I would like to see them. They have become thugs and bullies to we the people and they we must stand up against these kinds of unions or the unions will full like they are in Greece and other countries. Right now our unions are trying to unionize the illegal immigrants in this country. It's time to right size the unions and this is the year we need to do it. We need to counter protest the unions. We need to push them like they pushed us. We need to ask them what they want and what they will do if they don't get it.

About 500 teachers and parents rallied Monday, giving the state Legislature a failing grade for cutting the education budget and forcing school districts to increase class sizes, slash supply spending and privatize services.

Carrying signs that said “Invest in education” and “Stop the attacks,” they lined Utica Road during rush hour and chanted “enough is enough” before gathering at Dodge Park.

“We’ve had enough of the state budget not being adequate to fully fund public schools,” said Liza Parkinson, incoming president of the Utica Education Association.

Lansing lawmakers need to restructure the tax system, roll back tax cuts of the 1990s, begin collecting taxes on services, such as golf, or do more to go after tax revenue from Internet sales, according to teachers and their supporters.

“One alternative is to repeal the tax breaks that led to the hole we’re in,” said David Stafford, a lobbyist for the Michigan Education Association. “They haven’t delivered the growth that was promised. They haven’t worked and they cost the school aid fund $1.25 billion to $1.5 billion a year.”

From teacher pay freezes in Utica to privatized custodial services in the Lakeview School District, school employees said they are making concessions and sharing the economic pain.

“School districts needing to save money sell these jobs and employees to the lowest bidder and the privateers aren’t U.S. companies,” said Macomb County Commission David Flynn, chairman of the education committee.

In more than 40 simultaneous rallies held across Michigan, thousands of school employees called for an end to what see as Band-Aid fixes and a cuts-only mentality.

Michael LaBuhn, president of MEA Local 1, said the repeated cuts to education are risking the future of our students and the future of Michigan.

“It’s a myth that we have done nothing,” he added. “In Armada we went to a $200/$400 deductible (for health care). And, it’s a myth that the schools are broke. They have savings accounts and they aren’t using them.”

Utica teacher concessions — giving up scheduled raises — will save that district $6.5 million next year, according to Curt Lange, a union official.

“This year we’re contributing to health care. We took a zero percent raise and a freeze on steps and it’s for the preservation of programs,” Lange said. “Lansing needs to come up with a realistic way to fund schools. They have to accept the fact it’s their responsibility.”

Earlier this month in Lansing, legislators passed a retirement incentive that could save schools $680 million in the next fiscal year by boosting benefits for 28,000 school employees with 30 years of service. Also, after Oct. 1, all school employees would begin paying an extra 3 percent of their wages into a retiree health care fund.

Flynn and the teachers see the cost-saving plan differently.

“The Legislature wants to steal more with a tax on retirement and give you no guarantee of health benefits when you do retire,” he told the crowd. “What’s your response to that?” prompting another shout of “enough is enough.”

The rallies across Michigan were tantamount to a more-taxes-more-spending battle cry to the Education Action Group, which has a website called MEAexposed.com. Kyle Olson, vice president of the group, called the gatherings “little more than a delusional union trying to protect its benefit system that has long been outdated” in a release.

For the teachers, one day of rallies isn’t enough to demand stable, adequate funding for public education. They will join together again June 24, when more than 10,000 people are expected to gather on the lawn of the state Capitol to make sure their message is heard.

State Rep. Fred Miller got the message Monday at Dodge Park.

“No one can envision a prosperous Michigan without quality education,” he said. “Tough choices have to be made and it’s incumbent on policymakers to put education first.”


  1. I'm a Macomb County teacher (uber-Conservative), and stayed far away from this protest. I'm a strong tea party supporter, and I cringe to see this video. I hate being forced to give money to a union that in return takes the money and supports pea-brained liberal reps and senators that seek to ruin us as a country.

    I agree Chris that the unions still serve an important purpose, but they've overstepped. I often shake my head at their lack of understanding of how what they always demand is unsustainable.

    So, there are conservative teachers out there. We are teaching the Constitution, the brilliance of the Founding Fathers, and the importance of taking responsibility for your own actions.

  2. The easy solution is to privatize it all. Let the teachers become entrepreneurs and open schools to compete with one another for parents' money.

    The good teachers would be rolling in dough and the bums would be looking for work...

  3. Unions are a socialist ideology. From top to bottom. There's nothing more to say.

  4. Privatizing would hurt the unions and the teachers.

  5. Chris, I'm not sure why Unions are God, but i'm okay with it.

    I can give you three good reasons for unions and how they benefit both their workers and non-union workers.

    1. Threat of unionization has led auto transplants to pay better and increase benefits to keep the threat of a union low. toyota and honda workers benefit by increased salary, better benefits and better work rules. The japanese manufactures acknowledge this

    2. Enforcement of Safety rules. Companies have and will continue to avoid following safety rules as long the enforcement by regulators is lax. they will also place a cost benefit analysis on what rules they choose to ignore and what ones they will follow. Unions push the company to follow OSHA and other guidlines. They also force safety innovation that has benefitted by union and non-union workers.

    3. Unions have and do push for certain quality enhancements that fall under the same cost/benefit trap that safety does. 99 percent of all Ford/UAW employees intended to build perfect parts. In many of the current plants the quality depts are headed by UAW workers, not Ford. (on a personal note i have asked for and received signed variances by the company because they were telling me to violate the posted specs.)

    The loss of unions within certain segments of society would be catastrophic. Whle i wouldn't suggest teaching would be one, jobs in an industrial nature with a repetive nature. Once you factor in that many jobs within certain industries offer little chance to earn a persepctive raise based on individual performance.

    As for th unionization of jobs primarily done by illegals such as crop farming, fruit picking there is one benefit that is being overlooked. If you force the comapnies to pay a better wage and better workingconditions you do eliminate the desire to hire illegals, whose main attraction is their low cost and the ability to lower working conditions. illegals don't complain about loss of pay, unsafe jobs etc. due to the fact that they would be in trouble. Get rid of the market conditions that make hiring illegals attractive and you make the companies hire legal immigrants and citizens.

  6. Mark, yes, unions are socialist in nature as is the concept of government, things like neighbors helping neighbors etc.

    You'd be wise to read Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau in order to undertsand the nature of socialism and what uit really is.

  7. Neighbors Helping Neighbors Is A Wee Bit Different To Me Than Government Helping My Neighbors Which Usually Means Im Helping Neighbor Though Third Party Namely Government And Taxes!

    Assisting Needy I Beleive Is Our Duty. Redistrubution Of Wealth Is Not On My Plate Cause If I Earn It Id Really Like To Spend It, Just Seems Like One Of Those Fair Thingys!

    Not To Say It Will Happen But What Happens If We As A Nation Go Bankrupt? No Entitlements NOW We Gotta A Problem. How Do We Explain To Entitlement Mentality Citizens Who Have Known NO Other System Due To Our Politicans Agendas The Well Is Dry. Now We Got A Problem. Wonder What The Answer Will Be To These Citizens Ooops Sorry. Dont Think Thats Going To Calm Down What Might Happen Next! Just A Thought.

    Once Again Socialist Countrys Come And Go But Cannot Think Of One With Better Private Sector Or Economic System Than We Have Once Government Gets Out Of Its Way.

  8. Al, you helping your neighbor is socialist. Not by governmental means but in philosophical means. You are choosing to follow the social contract, the unspoken one where groups of people follow laws and rules to the betterment of all to a degree. Thats a supremely socialistic concept. It eliminates the natural state of man which is to act in his best interest regardless of laws.

    Like the Boston Tea Party which we discussed in another thread you really have to know the information to make a logical choice, not follow anecdotal theoris.

  9. Joe Heres My Therory Socialism Bad, Communism Bad, Marxism Bad!

    Philosophy Is Not My Strong Suit But I Stand By My Logic.

    Whats Therory If We Go Bankrupt And Entitlements Go Poof? Whats Your Logic When You Try To Explain To Entitlement Mentality Citizens That Politicans Created Entitlements Are Poof? Are These Anecdotal Theoris Or Could They Become Fact?

  10. Al, lol...you stand by your "logic" but your not strong in philosophy. Of course the fact that logic is a philosophical aspect is lost on you. but here's the end game, you having little if no philosophical understanding also have little to no logical understanding.

  11. Joe What Do You Tell Entitlement Mentality Citizens That Have Been Basicly Political Pawns That "Entitlements" Are Gone? Could Happen Br- Joe That Greece Thingy! What Do You Think There Response Would Be?

    What Is Not Lost To Me Is Your Doing A Waltz When The Band Is Playing A Polka. Like Bruce Answering Questions Like The One Above Are Not Your Strong Suit But Smoke and Mirrors Is! That Certainly Seems Logical To Me.

    Joe Being The Philosopher What Would Your Answer Be?


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.