Monday, January 11, 2016

SCOTUS and Union Dues

Personally I think every state should be a right to work state and union dues / membership should be optional, so I am hoping SCOTUS agrees.  Thoughts?

MinnPost Center of AE and Powerline
CAE View on Public Unions
Powerline Blow to Unions?
Fox News Forced Dues
MJ Major Blow

I like this quote from the CAE piece. 
"The Friedrichs case is not an assault on public unions, though if Friedrichs wins, public unions like Education Minnesota will have to stop taking their members for granted if they want to keep collecting fees and dues. An organization that can compel its members to fund its mission is bound to grow arrogant.

The Friedrichs case is, however, a heartfelt objection to the prejudicial idea that giving up one’s First Amendment rights in exchange for a job is somehow fair. It is also an opportunity for the court to get this one right."


Laurie said...

It seems to me that if one doesn't want to be in a union they should apply for non-union jobs and if one wants to be in a union they should apply for union jobs. One could always find a different job as an alternative to paying union dues. Between right to work or right to join a union I would rule in favor of right to join a union.

jerrye92002 said...

Sorry, Laurie, but "union shops" do not give you the choice, and that is the issue. If you WANT to join a union you certainly should be allowed to get together with your fellow workers and start one. That's how unions got started and it was at least arguably a GOOD thing, way back when. But if you don't want to join a union but DO want to work, you should have that right. That's why the National Right To Work organization is so strongly involved in this case, because it is a RIGHT. If unions add value, people should be willing to pay for it. If not, people shouldn't be forced to pay into it.

Anonymous said...

"If not, people shouldn't be forced to pay into it."

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but part of the issue is that those who don't want to pay for it still have to be provided the benefits of it. Seems odd that Conservatives would want people to get something for nothing.


John said...

Please remember that most true Conservatives would have no Unions and Collective Bargaining. They would prefer that employees be hired, paid, retained, promoted, etc based on their own skills, performance, behavior, etc.

We don't let employers work together to set prices or wages, however we let employees do so. Never made much sense to me.

John said...

"want people to get something for nothing."

Interesting thought though. I assume many older Teachers are making significantly more than their younger peers though some likely add little to no additional value. (ie both Teach one classroom of kids with similar demographics)

I guess that they are getting something for nothing in the current system.

jerrye92002 said...

About that "something for nothing." My experience has been that the only "something" unions provide is a loss of wages. I've got dozens of examples: The strike that stayed out for two months and settled for the same 5 cents/hour they could have had on day one. The strike against the hiring of seasonal workers that resulted in the whole plant being moved to Mexico. The strike against improved work rules that would have offered more pay but fewer jobs, that meant the whole operation moved to Georgia and everybody lost the "job they had and wanted to keep." And of course there is the 50% or so of mandatory union dues that go to raw politics, which 50% of union members disagree with. It isn't just the right to free association or the right to work or the right of free speech for individuals, or the right of contract for your own labor. It's about being told you must pay for speech with which you disagree. If the unions overwhelmingly supported Republicans as they now do Democrats, these rules would have been scrapped years ago.

John said...

I think the Public Employee unions do a great job for the mediocre and poor senior employees who likely receive far more compensation and job security than they would in the open market.

The problem I have is that the extra cost incurred by them translates into one or more of the following:
- fewer Teachers with the kids.
- the most expensive Teachers in less challenging schools / classrooms. the least expensive Teachers in the most challenging classrooms.
- young highly effective Teachers are under paid.
- tax payers are paying too much.

John said...

A comment I just left at MP along the same lines.

"My view is that the poor and average senior Teachers won.

And the unlucky kids, younger excellent teachers and/or the tax payers lost. The current system of tenure, steps, lanes, etc unfortunately drives expenses in the wrong places and poor staffing placement which leads to one or more of the following:
- fewer Teachers in the district with the kids for the same amount of funding.
- the most expensive Teachers in less challenging schools / classrooms. the least expensive Teachers in the most challenging classrooms.
- young highly effective Teachers are under paid.
- tax payers are paying too much.

When one sets compensation and job security/choice based on time served / degrees instead of actual productivity and effectiveness, one knows there will be excessive waste. The reality is that more degrees / experience will not ensure a Teacher is great. And some new Teachers with a BS may be great due to a natural skill.

It is like having to pay an auto mechanic twice as much to fix your car just because he is more experienced and educated than a younger alternative. Even though the younger mechanic has a better reputation for success... It would make no sense and as consumers we would never choose to do it." G2A

jerrye92002 said...

The only growth in unionism is in public employee unions, which by common sense should not exist at all. Modern unions are counterproductive to a sound economy and to workers' well-being.

John said...

It sure indicates to me that American Unions are bad for the customer, since the American Consumers don't tend to support them with their purchasing decisions.

If the Unions did support the offering of better products or services for the same money (ie higher value), the American consumers would buy from their companies. Unfortunately that apparently is not the case, thus Unions in the Private sector shrink.

Yet this simple logic sure is hard for Union in the Public sector supporters to understand.

jerrye92002 said...

You point out why corporate unions have declined so drastically, and why government unions keep growing, because better products and services at lower cost mean absolutely zero to government. That is why government unions should not exist. Government itself is sufficient to extort the taxpayer and squander the result; they do not need help, especially when the unions can, through forced-dues financing political favors, command BOTH sides of the negotiation. Check your local school board, for example. How many members get elected WITHOUT the union endorsement?

John said...

I only know of one. Patsy Green apparently stepped on the Unions toes too hard, so they didn't endorse her last time. Thankfully being an incumbent and be half ways balanced pulled her through.

Otherwise you are absolutely correct.