Repair the System to Repair the Budget
It’s curious — at a time when lefties and unions are more than happy to accept far reaching justifications for weaving their wish lists into an ostensible stimulus package at the federal level — to hear them arguing for a close delineation of “budget repair” in the state:
Union leaders are accusing the Carcieri administration of executing a targeted assault on labor unions and of trying to “destroy the labor movement in Rhode Island” by seeking to limit the scope of collective bargaining in this state.
Such fragile things are these unions, apparently, that the imposition of limits could be fatal to them. Of course, they’re merely throwing any argument that they think might stick at the governor’s proposal:
But union leaders say there’s another key flaw in the proposed prohibition [against teacher strikes and work-to-rule]: It doesn’t belong in the state budget-repair bill because it won’t save local school districts any money, they say.
Sure it will: By removing a cudgel that the unions use to threaten, and to harm, the communities from which they wish to extract more money, the change would empower school committees to negotiate more responsible contract terms. RI unions have constructed a series of pretty little traps around all of their talking points to create the illusion that the only restrictions and cuts that are legally, morally, or safely feasible are those that they propose, but the icy sheen of recession reveals just how shallow their arguments really are.