What Elected Officials Have Negotiated For

Anchor Rising readers are already familiar with the explanation of the problem basic problem with public-sector unions in a democracy that Andrew Klavan offers in the following video, but it’s worth a watch nonetheless:

This article describing why Providence Mayor Angel Tavares had to give teachers termination notices, rather than layoff notices, provides excellent evidence of the results of the tilted system:

If they are laid off, teachers are placed on a recall list. Those teachers who do not wind up with full-time jobs by the beginning of the school year are placed in the group of “regulars in pool.” By agreement with the union, these substitute teachers have to be called in to fill temporary vacancies before any other category of teachers. ,,,
“Regulars in pool” are the most-expensive substitutes because they are paid at their full step. In addition, regulars in pool can also receive family health-care coverage, a longevity bonus and an advanced-degree bonus, depending on how many days they work. …
But here’s the real reason why regulars in pool are more expensive than the other substitute teachers, according to Clarkin:
“The district calls in the most expensive [subs] because they have to pay them anyway,” Clarkin said. “If you need a sub, they get brought in first.”

So teachers who are laid off tend to stick around in the system at full pay even if they don’t work. Typically, not enough teachers would be laid off to fill up the substitute list, but with school closings, that outcome is likely next year.
Any one of high salary, lavish benefits, or job security would be tolerable if school committees had negotiated with one of the others as a priority. But the push back against unions is occurring because they’ve managed to transform negotiations into a process of moderating the rate at which they get all three.

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13 years ago

Interesting video. The problem is that only 7% of the private sector is unionized. If you go the part of the video where the private sector is mentioned what does it tell us? That greedy owners do not want to share the profits with the workers. (NFL?) With unions rapidly disappearing in the private sector and greater and greater wage disparity the result what can private sector workers do? Form a new union? Change jobs and hope for the best? Accept your fate and become subject to slick advertising pointing out the reason you, the worker, do not have the earning power that a worker a generation before you did is your neighbor, the teacher, the firefighter, the police officer is making too much. Cutting them down to size will help you at your workplace. By the way don’t expect any raises for a while and don’t expect the same education for your kids. Also good luck getting the reduced number of police to respond quickly when you need them. And expect to pay more for homeowners insurance as your fulltime fire department goes volunteer. Good luck.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
13 years ago

Giving corrupt union handpicked politicians negotiating power is like letting your kids negotiating their allowances with each other and presenting you with the bill.

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