The Audacity of the Union
If you’ve paid even moderate attention to union squabbles in this state, you’ve got to drop your jaw at some of the pro-binding arbitration ads that the National Education Association is putting out. Look at the clippings at the top of the picture highlighting all of the lawyers fees and other bad effects of recent negotiation disputes; all of them originate with the unions. They file the lawsuits. Their intransigence leads to work-to-rule.
I’m also reminded of a comment that local Tiverton unionist and guidance counselor Lynn Nicholas made when the union was pushing for retroactive pay, last year. The audio is available at the end of this post, but the relevant portion is as follows:
Has anybody… tried to figure in what it’s going to cost for lawyers fees once we get back into arbitration? Have you begun to think about that?
Two observations: First, lawyers are still needed in arbitration and the steps leading up to it, and negotiations that ultimately land on an arbitrators desk for a binding decision will surely be hard-fought. Second, the cost of lawyers that the union intended to impose on school districts has been a repeated threat during negotiations; are we to believe that the unions are going to give up this weapon — indeed, promote its relinquishment as a salable benefit — for an arbitration regime that won’t unduly benefit them?
Let the word go out: No legislator who votes for binding arbitration should be considered worthy of being reelected, no matter what else he or she might do while in office, because not only would that have been a vote to benefit the unions at the expense of the residents, but it would also affirm deceit as a central tool in Rhode Island’s political system.