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#52 Jun 07 2012 at 1:48 PM Rating: Good
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MoebiusLord wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:
Kavekk wrote:
MoebiusLord wrote:
Elinda wrote:
And yet I don't see any union boss names on that list of gazillionaires that forbes puts out every year. I don't see their names in the news receiving seven digit bonuses despite laying off workers.

Perhaps it's because they create nothing and do little, if anything, to contribute to the economy. They are a drain on resources..


Can you think of a single powerful country without a well developed civil service?

The U.S. before the explosion of the Federal government in the last 40 years.


The statistics don't support your claim. Granted, they only go back 50 years and there was likely a huge explosion in government employment during the 1930s and 1940s, but you did say 40 years.

Yours don't, but I didn't say since the explosion of Federal government employment in the last 40 years.


Keep digging.
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#53 Jun 07 2012 at 5:37 PM Rating: Default
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Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
We've had pay cuts, hour reductions, lay-offs and most recently (and rather unexpectedly) our health insurance was flat-funded. I am effectively making less money than I did 5 years ago. Longevity pay has been removed and we've received no merit raises or cost of living raises since 2008.

This experience is not unique to public unions. The only difference is that bleeding hearts aren't lamenting the plight of the private-sector desk jockey.
At least in Maine, the private sector pays better, measurably better. Regardless, if the public and private sector are both tightening their belts equally, what's the deal with dismantling public-employee unions. What makes them SO evil?

I'm sure gbaji can (and will, Bob help us) give you a more thorough answer, but as best as I understand it (without necessarily buying into all of it), Joe Taxpayer is frustrated that all of his retirement savings got wiped out in the various financial collapses, but he's still on the hook (or more accurately, his kids are) to pay for Jane Publicunion's pension.


Well... Since you asked! Smiley: grin

That's honestly only part of the problem. More like a symptom of the larger issue IMO, tip of the iceberg, use whatever clever phrase you like. And you actually did nail it with this part:

Quote:
Plus, when public unions are negotiating their CBA with local/state/federal governments, the gov't doesn't have as much incentive to limit benefits and cost increases since they're not really paying them with their money (but rather with Joe Taxpayer's taxes).



IMO, that's not a "plus" that's the whole problem (and the source of the pension issue among others). Basically, unions exist to negotiate with employers on behalf of the workers over any of a number of issues. Workplace safety, pay, benefits, overtime, whatever. Basically, anything which might be a conflict between the employer and the employees can be taken up by the union. The assumption being that a single worker can get pushed around by the boss, but if all the workers are working together, then that can't happen. The union representatives are the means by which the workers "stand together". That way they don't physically have to do so. Their reps do, with the weight of the threat that the whole workforce will take action (a strike) if those representatives are not listened to and their grievances given fair weight.

In the private market this works mostly (there are cases where it doesn't but we can ignore them for now). The power of the workers is weighed against the economic value of their labor in a pretty direct way. They can't demand more money than they're making for the employer for example. If the workers believe that not enough money is being spent, or it's not being spent correctly, they may choose to unionize in order to force the employer to comply. But remember that it only works *if* their belief is correct. If they really are being paid a fair wage, or their workplace really is safe (or as safe as reasonably possible), or wages really are distributed fairly, then the union will eventually fail because the only value the union serves is if there is a gap between what the workers current condition is and what it could be. And in the private market that is always going to be bound by cost.


Public sector unions don't work because there is no cost limit. Technically there is, but no one directly involved feels it (most of the time). Those who act as the "employer" are not directly economically bound by the costs. While they can be on the hook politically, in many cases they will gain more political value by working with the union rather than against them. The normal adversarial relationship is broken. So what happens is that the legislators and bureaucrats who negotiate with the unions have tons of reasons to give the unions what they want and very few to not do so. Unions spend tons of money on political campaigns and in support of legislation they like. So politicians who get on board with that see bright political futures. Those that don't tend to lose the next election as the unions make sure to replace them with someone who will "play ball".


It's a recipe for corruption. It's nearly impossible for it *not* to become corrupt. The very nature of the union itself will cause this in any sort of public situation. Doesn't matter whether those in the union intend for that to happen, it will. And what's worse is that over time, the union itself becomes an institution that is really separate from the workers. Because in public sector unions, the employer is the government, and that employer is negotiating with the union leadership, not the individual workers. And since the government can pass laws, it can basically legislate power to the unions. In the case of WI, they did this by setting up a state level union organization which would negotiate for all unions engaged public sector work. This was by law. You had no choice. If you worked as a public school teacher, your wages were not negotiated by you, or by your own union, but by the state organization. And that organization was far more interested in its own power than in the workers they were supposed to represent.

This is why about half of all public sector employees quit their unions once they were given a chance to do so by the passage of Walker's bill last year. The unions were no longer really representing them. They were representing themselves and using the workers (and gullible people who equate unions to workers rights) for their own ends. That's also why this was such a huge deal. It shows a side of things that the unions and the politicians they work with don't want the public to see or really grasp. They want the public to go on believing that "union==workers", when in reality for some time unions have been as bad (or worse) for the workers as the employers unions were originally formed to protect them from.


That's why unions are a problem. They are *not* good for the workers. They are not good for the taxpayers. They're pretty much only good for themselves.
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#54 Jun 07 2012 at 7:05 PM Rating: Good
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13,137 posts
gbaji wrote:
Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
We've had pay cuts, hour reductions, lay-offs and most recently (and rather unexpectedly) our health insurance was flat-funded. I am effectively making less money than I did 5 years ago. Longevity pay has been removed and we've received no merit raises or cost of living raises since 2008.

This experience is not unique to public unions. The only difference is that bleeding hearts aren't lamenting the plight of the private-sector desk jockey.
At least in Maine, the private sector pays better, measurably better. Regardless, if the public and private sector are both tightening their belts equally, what's the deal with dismantling public-employee unions. What makes them SO evil?

I'm sure gbaji can (and will, Bob help us) give you a more thorough answer, but as best as I understand it (without necessarily buying into all of it), Joe Taxpayer is frustrated that all of his retirement savings got wiped out in the various financial collapses, but he's still on the hook (or more accurately, his kids are) to pay for Jane Publicunion's pension.


Well... Since you asked! Smiley: grin

That's honestly only part of the problem. More like a symptom of the larger issue IMO, tip of the iceberg, use whatever clever phrase you like. And you actually did nail it with this part:

Quote:
Plus, when public unions are negotiating their CBA with local/state/federal governments, the gov't doesn't have as much incentive to limit benefits and cost increases since they're not really paying them with their money (but rather with Joe Taxpayer's taxes).



IMO, that's not a "plus" that's the whole problem (and the source of the pension issue among others). Basically, unions exist to negotiate with employers on behalf of the workers over any of a number of issues. Workplace safety, pay, benefits, overtime, whatever. Basically, anything which might be a conflict between the employer and the employees can be taken up by the union. The assumption being that a single worker can get pushed around by the boss, but if all the workers are working together, then that can't happen. The union representatives are the means by which the workers "stand together". That way they don't physically have to do so. Their reps do, with the weight of the threat that the whole workforce will take action (a strike) if those representatives are not listened to and their grievances given fair weight.

In the private market this works mostly (there are cases where it doesn't but we can ignore them for now). The power of the workers is weighed against the economic value of their labor in a pretty direct way. They can't demand more money than they're making for the employer for example. If the workers believe that not enough money is being spent, or it's not being spent correctly, they may choose to unionize in order to force the employer to comply. But remember that it only works *if* their belief is correct. If they really are being paid a fair wage, or their workplace really is safe (or as safe as reasonably possible), or wages really are distributed fairly, then the union will eventually fail because the only value the union serves is if there is a gap between what the workers current condition is and what it could be. And in the private market that is always going to be bound by cost.


Public sector unions don't work because there is no cost limit. Technically there is, but no one directly involved feels it (most of the time). Those who act as the "employer" are not directly economically bound by the costs. While they can be on the hook politically, in many cases they will gain more political value by working with the union rather than against them. The normal adversarial relationship is broken. So what happens is that the legislators and bureaucrats who negotiate with the unions have tons of reasons to give the unions what they want and very few to not do so. Unions spend tons of money on political campaigns and in support of legislation they like. So politicians who get on board with that see bright political futures. Those that don't tend to lose the next election as the unions make sure to replace them with someone who will "play ball".


It's a recipe for corruption. It's nearly impossible for it *not* to become corrupt. The very nature of the union itself will cause this in any sort of public situation. Doesn't matter whether those in the union intend for that to happen, it will. And what's worse is that over time, the union itself becomes an institution that is really separate from the workers. Because in public sector unions, the employer is the government, and that employer is negotiating with the union leadership, not the individual workers. And since the government can pass laws, it can basically legislate power to the unions. In the case of WI, they did this by setting up a state level union organization which would negotiate for all unions engaged public sector work. This was by law. You had no choice. If you worked as a public school teacher, your wages were not negotiated by you, or by your own union, but by the state organization. And that organization was far more interested in its own power than in the workers they were supposed to represent.

This is why about half of all public sector employees quit their unions once they were given a chance to do so by the passage of Walker's bill last year. The unions were no longer really representing them. They were representing themselves and using the workers (and gullible people who equate unions to workers rights) for their own ends. That's also why this was such a huge deal. It shows a side of things that the unions and the politicians they work with don't want the public to see or really grasp. They want the public to go on believing that "union==workers", when in reality for some time unions have been as bad (or worse) for the workers as the employers unions were originally formed to protect them from.


That's why unions are a problem. They are *not* good for the workers. They are not good for the taxpayers. They're pretty much only good for themselves.


You know, it's interesting that you should mention this. My mother was a public worker also (same department, different section) and she didn't see a raise for at least six years. I mean, those big, bad unions sure abused the taxpayers when she was promised a raise and then ended up taking sixteen furlough days in fiscal year 2009-2011 biennium.

Your last paragraph is complete horseshit. The reason people are not signing back onto the unions is because they have no bargaining power. They can no longer represent the staff for bargaining because the state doesn't have to negotiate with them. But yeah, I guess if you wanted to pay dues to an organization that did largely nothing, I'm sure you would as well. The unions are the only reason that instead of completely losing out during all those years that my mothers health benefit costs stayed relatively stable.
#55 Jun 08 2012 at 7:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
I'm sure gbaji can (and will, Bob help us) give you a more thorough answer,
I hope you're pleased with yourself.
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#56 Jun 08 2012 at 7:33 AM Rating: Good
Skelly Poker Since 2008
*****
15,477 posts
gbaji wrote:
Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
We've had pay cuts, hour reductions, lay-offs and most recently (and rather unexpectedly) our health insurance was flat-funded. I am effectively making less money than I did 5 years ago. Longevity pay has been removed and we've received no merit raises or cost of living raises since 2008.

This experience is not unique to public unions. The only difference is that bleeding hearts aren't lamenting the plight of the private-sector desk jockey.
At least in Maine, the private sector pays better, measurably better. Regardless, if the public and private sector are both tightening their belts equally, what's the deal with dismantling public-employee unions. What makes them SO evil?

I'm sure gbaji can (and will, Bob help us) give you a more thorough answer, but as best as I understand it (without necessarily buying into all of it), Joe Taxpayer is frustrated that all of his retirement savings got wiped out in the various financial collapses, but he's still on the hook (or more accurately, his kids are) to pay for Jane Publicunion's pension.


Well... Since you asked! Smiley: grin

That's honestly only part of the problem. More like a symptom of the larger issue IMO, tip of the iceberg, use whatever clever phrase you like. And you actually did nail it with this part:

Quote:
Plus, when public unions are negotiating their CBA with local/state/federal governments, the gov't doesn't have as much incentive to limit benefits and cost increases since they're not really paying them with their money (but rather with Joe Taxpayer's taxes).



IMO, that's not a "plus" that's the whole problem (and the source of the pension issue among others). Basically, unions exist to negotiate with employers on behalf of the workers over any of a number of issues. Workplace safety, pay, benefits, overtime, whatever. Basically, anything which might be a conflict between the employer and the employees can be taken up by the union. The assumption being that a single worker can get pushed around by the boss, but if all the workers are working together, then that can't happen. The union representatives are the means by which the workers "stand together". That way they don't physically have to do so. Their reps do, with the weight of the threat that the whole workforce will take action (a strike) if those representatives are not listened to and their grievances given fair weight.

In the private market this works mostly (there are cases where it doesn't but we can ignore them for now). The power of the workers is weighed against the economic value of their labor in a pretty direct way. They can't demand more money than they're making for the employer for example. If the workers believe that not enough money is being spent, or it's not being spent correctly, they may choose to unionize in order to force the employer to comply. But remember that it only works *if* their belief is correct. If they really are being paid a fair wage, or their workplace really is safe (or as safe as reasonably possible), or wages really are distributed fairly, then the union will eventually fail because the only value the union serves is if there is a gap between what the workers current condition is and what it could be. And in the private market that is always going to be bound by cost.


Public sector unions don't work because there is no cost limit. Technically there is, but no one directly involved feels it (most of the time). Those who act as the "employer" are not directly economically bound by the costs. While they can be on the hook politically, in many cases they will gain more political value by working with the union rather than against them. The normal adversarial relationship is broken. So what happens is that the legislators and bureaucrats who negotiate with the unions have tons of reasons to give the unions what they want and very few to not do so. Unions spend tons of money on political campaigns and in support of legislation they like. So politicians who get on board with that see bright political futures. Those that don't tend to lose the next election as the unions make sure to replace them with someone who will "play ball".


It's a recipe for corruption. It's nearly impossible for it *not* to become corrupt. The very nature of the union itself will cause this in any sort of public situation. Doesn't matter whether those in the union intend for that to happen, it will. And what's worse is that over time, the union itself becomes an institution that is really separate from the workers. Because in public sector unions, the employer is the government, and that employer is negotiating with the union leadership, not the individual workers. And since the government can pass laws, it can basically legislate power to the unions. In the case of WI, they did this by setting up a state level union organization which would negotiate for all unions engaged public sector work. This was by law. You had no choice. If you worked as a public school teacher, your wages were not negotiated by you, or by your own union, but by the state organization. And that organization was far more interested in its own power than in the workers they were supposed to represent.

This is why about half of all public sector employees quit their unions once they were given a chance to do so by the passage of Walker's bill last year. The unions were no longer really representing them. They were representing themselves and using the workers (and gullible people who equate unions to workers rights) for their own ends. That's also why this was such a huge deal. It shows a side of things that the unions and the politicians they work with don't want the public to see or really grasp. They want the public to go on believing that "union==workers", when in reality for some time unions have been as bad (or worse) for the workers as the employers unions were originally formed to protect them from.


That's why unions are a problem. They are *not* good for the workers. They are not good for the taxpayers. They're pretty much only good for themselves.

The whole problem with your explanation about the vileness of public unions is that it's completely false. It just doesn't play out like that. The reality it that public union powers are limited by the voter - who is also the public worker - who is also the union rep. Conflict of interest - hell no. The voter will see his taxes go up if the union rep demands too much, the worker will see his pay go down if the union doesn't demand enough. A union rep gets no pay and rarely will they even get reimbursed for out of pocket costs for representing their industry.

The reality is there is no comprehensive study that will prove your theory. Across the board, compensation between public and private workers are pretty dam comparable. The over-all trend (when comparing like careers across LOTS of municipal/state/fed orgs) is public sector pays less, pensions better, and provides benefits about equally.

There's more discrepancy in pay between a male and female worker than there is between a public and private worker.
#57 Jun 08 2012 at 7:58 AM Rating: Good
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14,021 posts
Elinda wrote:
The reality it that public union powers are limited by the voter - who is also the public worker - who is also the union rep. Conflict of interest - hell no. The voter will see his taxes go up if the union rep demands too much, the worker will see his pay go down if the union doesn't demand enough.

Unless you don't raise taxes or cut pay, but just borrow the money from China.
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#58 Jun 08 2012 at 8:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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TILT
Does China purchase much in the way of state bonds? I only ever heard of them buying federal.

I really have no idea myself.
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#59 Jun 08 2012 at 12:35 PM Rating: Default
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31,367 posts
Paskil wrote:
gbaji wrote:
This is why about half of all public sector employees quit their unions once they were given a chance to do so by the passage of Walker's bill last year. The unions were no longer really representing them. They were representing themselves and using the workers (and gullible people who equate unions to workers rights) for their own ends. That's also why this was such a huge deal. It shows a side of things that the unions and the politicians they work with don't want the public to see or really grasp. They want the public to go on believing that "union==workers", when in reality for some time unions have been as bad (or worse) for the workers as the employers unions were originally formed to protect them from.


That's why unions are a problem. They are *not* good for the workers. They are not good for the taxpayers. They're pretty much only good for themselves.


You know, it's interesting that you should mention this. My mother was a public worker also (same department, different section) and she didn't see a raise for at least six years. I mean, those big, bad unions sure abused the taxpayers when she was promised a raise and then ended up taking sixteen furlough days in fiscal year 2009-2011 biennium.


Kinda proving my point there. During that period in which your mother did not get a raise, and had to take furlough days, you you suppose that the union stopped funding their political operation? Did they stop lobbying? Did they stop funding protests? Did they stop contributing to campaigns? My point is that these unions care more about their political power than the workers that they are supposed to represent. Once they've got the workers like your mom "trapped" in the system, they no longer have to do more than token fighting for them.

Quote:
Your last paragraph is complete horseshit. The reason people are not signing back onto the unions is because they have no bargaining power.


No. They're realized that they have more bargaining power *without* a union than with one. Stop assuming that union means better for workers. It doesn't always. It certainly doesn't always mean better for any individual worker.

Quote:
They can no longer represent the staff for bargaining because the state doesn't have to negotiate with them.


Unions are still free to negotiate with the direct organizations they work for. And existing contracts did not disappear. All the changes did was give a teachers union the freedom to negotiate directly with the district they work for rather than being stuck having some state level folks negotiate a one-size-fits-all contract.

Quote:
But yeah, I guess if you wanted to pay dues to an organization that did largely nothing, I'm sure you would as well. The unions are the only reason that instead of completely losing out during all those years that my mothers health benefit costs stayed relatively stable.


So basically, if the unions don't have some laws on the books to give them power, they really don't have any? That sounds like a great reason to eliminate them, doesn't it? I mean, they're kinda the ultimate middleman here.

Edited, Jun 8th 2012 11:36am by gbaji
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#60 Jun 08 2012 at 7:00 PM Rating: Good
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13,137 posts
gbaji wrote:
Paskil wrote:
gbaji wrote:
This is why about half of all public sector employees quit their unions once they were given a chance to do so by the passage of Walker's bill last year. The unions were no longer really representing them. They were representing themselves and using the workers (and gullible people who equate unions to workers rights) for their own ends. That's also why this was such a huge deal. It shows a side of things that the unions and the politicians they work with don't want the public to see or really grasp. They want the public to go on believing that "union==workers", when in reality for some time unions have been as bad (or worse) for the workers as the employers unions were originally formed to protect them from.


That's why unions are a problem. They are *not* good for the workers. They are not good for the taxpayers. They're pretty much only good for themselves.


You know, it's interesting that you should mention this. My mother was a public worker also (same department, different section) and she didn't see a raise for at least six years. I mean, those big, bad unions sure abused the taxpayers when she was promised a raise and then ended up taking sixteen furlough days in fiscal year 2009-2011 biennium.


Kinda proving my point there. During that period in which your mother did not get a raise, and had to take furlough days, you you suppose that the union stopped funding their political operation? Did they stop lobbying? Did they stop funding protests? Did they stop contributing to campaigns? My point is that these unions care more about their political power than the workers that they are supposed to represent. Once they've got the workers like your mom "trapped" in the system, they no longer have to do more than token fighting for them.

Quote:
Your last paragraph is complete horseshit. The reason people are not signing back onto the unions is because they have no bargaining power.


No. They're realized that they have more bargaining power *without* a union than with one. Stop assuming that union means better for workers. It doesn't always. It certainly doesn't always mean better for any individual worker.

Quote:
They can no longer represent the staff for bargaining because the state doesn't have to negotiate with them.


Unions are still free to negotiate with the direct organizations they work for. And existing contracts did not disappear. All the changes did was give a teachers union the freedom to negotiate directly with the district they work for rather than being stuck having some state level folks negotiate a one-size-fits-all contract.

Quote:
But yeah, I guess if you wanted to pay dues to an organization that did largely nothing, I'm sure you would as well. The unions are the only reason that instead of completely losing out during all those years that my mothers health benefit costs stayed relatively stable.


So basically, if the unions don't have some laws on the books to give them power, they really don't have any? That sounds like a great reason to eliminate them, doesn't it? I mean, they're kinda the ultimate middleman here.

Edited, Jun 8th 2012 11:36am by gbaji


Hi. I see you quoted my post but it appears that you failed to read it and blindly smashed your face into your keyboard. Instead of getting a raise, my mother actually took a paycut. This was forced and they were not given an option. The union was however able to negotiate to keep their fringe benefits largely untouched. If Walker had his way, they would probably banish pensions completely (or raid the sh*t out of them to give his buddies tax cuts). I mean, you are aware that he borrowed money to give tax cuts after taking office which suddenly, somehow turned the unions into a problem that required reckoning? How did those business tax cuts work out by the way? He presided over twelve months of job loss.

As to your second head smashing bit, I have no bargaining power. You know why? Because raises are now linked to CPI (which won't happen). Don't read too much into those two hundred or so merit raises over the last three months. Ninety of those were DOJ workers and state crime lab employees that would have fled into higher paying jobs.

Point three, you're wrong. The only thing unions are able to bargain on now is raises and they are not able to be larger than inflation for CPI. Nothing else, nada, zip. Anything larger has to be approved by referendum. Do you really think that someone that just had their health costs jacked up so that they are essentially losing an additional few thousand a year are going to shell out the union fee? Don't bring his argument up either. The cost of dues was much less than the significant increase I saw for my pension/health benefits and I don't have kids or a spouse, imagine it levied on them now.

As previously stated, yes they were a middleman. That's the whole @#%^ing point innit? When you have around thirty thousand people employed by several ever changing umbrella government branches, it helps to have an organization on your side that understands the system and is at least generally looking out for your welfare.
#61 Jun 11 2012 at 3:44 PM Rating: Default
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31,367 posts
Paskil wrote:

Hi. I see you quoted my post but it appears that you failed to read it and blindly smashed your face into your keyboard. Instead of getting a raise, my mother actually took a paycut. This was forced and they were not given an option.


Uh huh. And all that happened *before* Walker took office, right? And maybe even in another state (you didn't say where your mother worked). Why protect and fund an organization which isn't protecting you? Think about it. My argument is that the unions claim to care about the workers, but in practice care more about their own political power. And that power comes more from using union dues to fund political campaigns and causes than it does providing good pay and pensions for the suckersworkers.

Quote:
The union was however able to negotiate to keep their fringe benefits largely untouched.


Lol! Yay for them, right?

Quote:
If Walker had his way, they would probably banish pensions completely (or raid the sh*t out of them to give his buddies tax cuts). I mean, you are aware that he borrowed money to give tax cuts after taking office which suddenly, somehow turned the unions into a problem that required reckoning? How did those business tax cuts work out by the way? He presided over twelve months of job loss.


Nice job repeating talking points. I'm struggling to understand what this has to do with public sector unions and collective bargaining though.

Quote:
As to your second head smashing bit, I have no bargaining power. You know why?


Are you in a union? If so, then *you* have no bargaining power because the union took it from you.

If you work in the public sector (union or not), the government compensation system is already structured like that of a union. You knew that going in. And you're always free to quit and find employment elsewhere if it's just too crappy for you. That's your bargaining power btw.

Where you lose bargaining power as an individual is when you become tied down to a pension which requires you to remain working within the union, and when you've been working in an environment that has atrophied your real world skills to the point where you can no longer get a job in the non-union workforce that pays what you can get right now. That's how you get trapped btw.

Quote:
Because raises are now linked to CPI (which won't happen). Don't read too much into those two hundred or so merit raises over the last three months. Ninety of those were DOJ workers and state crime lab employees that would have fled into higher paying jobs.


And? There's a point here somewhere besides you lamenting how little unions do for their workers, while still remaining so active in politics (which I thought was my point). You haven't said if you work for a union though, so I'm not sure what exactly you're complaining about.

Quote:
Point three, you're wrong. The only thing unions are able to bargain on now is raises and they are not able to be larger than inflation for CPI. Nothing else, nada, zip. Anything larger has to be approved by referendum. Do you really think that someone that just had their health costs jacked up so that they are essentially losing an additional few thousand a year are going to shell out the union fee? Don't bring his argument up either. The cost of dues was much less than the significant increase I saw for my pension/health benefits and I don't have kids or a spouse, imagine it levied on them now.


So you agree that unions don't really do much for their workers. Great! That's what I've been saying all along. I'll ask again: While this process of steadily declining benefits gained for the workers of unions has been going on, have the unions also reduced the amount of money they spent on political lobbying? Don't you see how the unions don't really care about the workers, but about their own political power?


I just find it funny as hell that I say that the unions don't really help their workers much, but mostly just use them as a revenue source for their political activities, and you attempt to refute that by talking about how little the unions help their workers. Um... That' was my point.

Quote:
As previously stated, yes they were a middleman. That's the whole @#%^ing point innit? When you have around thirty thousand people employed by several ever changing umbrella government branches, it helps to have an organization on your side that understands the system and is at least generally looking out for your welfare.


Does it really help though? I'm asking you to challenge that assumption. Can you do that? I mean, somehow magically, millions of workers in the US are employed where unions do not exist, and yet they somehow manage to make good livings doing it. They are generally happier, more productive, and feel like they both contribute to their fields and receive fair compensation for those contributions. At some point, shouldn't the fact that despite these unions existing for multiple decades, their workers appear to constantly be unhappy with everything maybe clue you in that the unions aren't really making their jobs better? They aren't really "helping". Especially in the public sector unions, where it appears that they really do nothing to help at all, but act as a means for politicians to launder public money back into their own re-election coffers.


Seriously. Drop the assumption that unions are good for workers and actually step back and look at what's going on. They aren't good for workers. They use workers for their own ends.
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