Monday, February 21, 2011
Thoughts on the Hassle in Wisconsin
I retired from a career as a public school teacher and thus may some say I am biased. I am perhaps more knowledgeable because of the time spent on duty, not biased.
Being a teacher brings with it more responsibilities than meets first perusal. You have to be there in lieu of guardianship and you are legally responsible for those students. You have temporary custody of them. Being a teacher is a complex job, much of which has nothing to do with the actual curriculum you are charged to teach.
Are teachers paid enough? May I ask if prices are too high? Is it the same question?
Frankly, I am embarrassed by the actions of many teachers in Wisconsin. They even want to be paid for demonstrating. Some are apparently collecting phony doctors notes excusing them to get a sick day when they were not sick. These doctors should lose their license and teachers who claim the phony sick leave should be fired. What are these 'teachers' teaching the students? That it is ok to commit fraud for a cause? That it is ok to demand that you join a union if you want to work? You have to join my gang or you can't work here.
The unions are fighting the end of this forced servitude. The unions will lose money when people have a choice on whether to join a union or not. How much are union dues? How much was lost in the new contract? What is the difference? Maybe the teachers can exercise their right to free choice on what organizations will collect dues from their paychecks and save money that way. It's all about freedom from being forced to give money to an organization. The unions are afraid to lose this money: they might lose their jobs. These teachers who are demonstrating are attempting to force union membership on everyone else. They already conceded that they would pay more of their own pensions and benefits.
I call for law and order. The teachers should go back to work or face immediate termination. The cowardly legislators who fled their responsibilities should return and face the budgetary problems. The governor does not want to lay off teachers but the union would prefer layoffs to this new agreement that cuts off mandatory union membership. I never liked mandatory union membership, having worked under it in California. All it generated was a few puffed up individuals going to conferences on money I was forced to contribute. And of course, the union I was forced to join made very public political choices that were against my own political beliefs. The teachers of Wisconsin would be better off without this expensive yoke around their necks. The unions cost too much money.
Part of my hassle about unions, is the lack of responsibility for any consideration of the long term results of any demands they make. If they can get some craven public servant to agree to outrageous demands that are unsustainable, they believe they are successful. Success in the short term that decimates long term practicality is not success: it is irresponsible. If the current union bosses set up huge pensions and cheap benefits for themselves with minimal personal donations, Bell California comes to mind. Clawbacks!
The public servant who agrees to an unsustainable pension plan should be sued for stupidity. I see these people gain public office, run up the public debt, agree to DOA pension plans, and let the unions run the government like their own cash cow. I do believe the situation in Wisconsin is a microcosm of the problems in our nation today.
I was looking over a federal grant application and noted that the 'affiliated unions' for the proposed project must be listed and guaranteed. All this in Arizona, a right to work state. Why must the Feds guarantee union control of all jobs using federal money? Who set that up? The federal money is derived from federal taxes paid from Arizona, so why does the federal government have the right to tell us how to spend the funding?
It's probably obvious by now that I do not support the anti-government demonstrators. They are anti-government and pro-union and I do not want a union takeover of any state government. Take a look at the states: union demands, pension problems, debt and insolvency. Does that sound like the automakers? Does that sound like we need to support Governor Walker of Wisconsin? Yes it does.