Will it Happen Here?

We’ve been struggling with what to write about the events going on in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and New Jersey knowing we’ll just attacked by the usual union sops.  The question we face is when will this happen in Minnesota?  The conventional wisdom is that with the Republican legislature pushing reform and a governor who is in the tank with the unions, little will change in the next four years.

Unions began over one-hundred years ago in an attempt to protect workers and give them simple benefits (vacation time, safety, raises etc.).  Today unions are not about that.  They are about political power.  Teachers’ Unions in particular have become nothing more than a lobbying group for the Democratic Party, not a group trying to improve education, but trying to employ as many union members as possible.

Luckily, the public, who is paying the enormous union bill, is catching on that we can’t do business as usual here in Minnesota anymore.  If Tom Dooher were smart, he and Education Minnesota would and would have made some smart concessions over the years;

*remove automatic raises like steps and lanes

*get rid of tenure

*insist on regular evaluations and institute merit pay

*contribute to their pensions and health care

*increase the retirement age over time

If the unions had agreed to these simple things over the years, perhaps the public would be more sympathetic to their cause.  Their inflexible positions seem to be part of their downfall.  We would support all of the above changes but we don’t think that goes far enough.  Like Governor Scott Walker, we think the root of the cause is the collective bargaining process.  Unions claim that Walker is trying to redefine collective bargaining and the are right.  Walker is correct to do so.  It is this process that needs reforming.

Think about it like this; is it really fair when the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers sits down to negotiate a contract that has to be approved by School Board that they helped elect?  In 2009 all four union backed candidates got elected.  They were each given $500 of money from the RFT.  Then these same people approved a contract negotiation!  When a private sector union and their management sit down for contract talks, we doubt the workers gave money to their management….

The state government have given unions several assists in their negotiating to make it even more unfair.  By creating teacher tenure, they’ve taken the ability to hire and fire out of the hands of collective bargaining.  If school districts can’t let go of bad teachers or ineffective teachers, how then is it a fair process?  Also the January 15 negotiating deadline is another problem.  Why is it that if a contract agreement isn’t reached by January 15 of an even year, the school districts face a $25 fine per student, per day, and the unions are not punished at all?  Talk about unfair negotiating!

Of course in the private world, if management and employees negotiate a bad contract a company could go under, unless you are GM then you get a government bailout.  If a school district and the unions negotiate a bad deal, they can just dump the cost off on the taxpayers.  And, if we don’t want to pay the bill, we don’t care about the kids.  The negotiating process is the ROOT of the problem and THAT needs to be reformed and changed.  Will it happen in Minnesota?  We think it can, should, must, and will happen, Mark Dayton aside.

2 Responses to “Will it Happen Here?”

  1. numbersguy Says:

    This debate and change is just FINALLY starting through-out America. ALL Public employees and Unions will either change from within or they will be changed from the outside (taxpayer revolts). It appears that the Unions are not very willing to change themselves, so that only leaves the forced change from the outside.

    The Unions don’t understand that the collective bargaining PRIVILEGES (NOT RIGHTS) must be balanced with the employer/taxpayer/society. In my opinion, the current system is way out of balance and needs quick reforms or there could be a major revolt or collapse of America as we know and prior generations built.

    I believe that the next few years will tell if America will survive and grow, or continue a path of decline?!

  2. 281 Exposed Says:

    We would agree and here’s a question; if federal employees don’t have collective bargaining rights, why aren’t the unions protesting Obama?

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