Category Archives: Right-to-Work

Chicago Teachers Strike proving why Public Sector Unions should be Banned

Late breaking news out of Chicago last night was that Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) negotiations broke down yet again and the teachers will be going on strike today. The last contract ended on June 30, 2012 and negotiations have been going on for months but neither side would give in to the other’s final concessions. Why would almost 30,000 teachers strike, leaving around 400,000 kids ‘on the street’? Before delving into the reasons, you should know some background about Chicago:

With those factors in mind, it’s a wonder there is any money left to pay for increases in educational expenses. But it doesn’t stop there. What exactly are the main reasons for the CTU strike?

Extended school day and year:

Chicago Public Schools have the shortest school day in the country (6.25 hours according to the latest CTU contract). Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s former Chief of Staff) wants to increase the day by 90 minutes. As a concession, CPS said they’d only increase it by 10%. Studies have shown that a longer school day actually helps students to learn more. The teachers are willing to work the longer school day but want a 30% increase in pay for doing so – 24% in the first year, 5% the next year.

Increase in pay:

Chicago teachers are, on average, the highest paid teachers in the country. According to the CTU, the average pay for a Chicago teacher is $71,000 (for working 170 days per year – they get 10 paid vacation days). Given that they have the shortest school day and the highest pay already, demanding a 30% increase in pay over the next 2 years is egregious. Especially since Chicago Public Schools fall in the bottom of the country when it comes to test scores.

Chicago Public Schools have some of the worst student outcomes in Illinois and the country. The demands made by the teachers’ unions all these years that more spending and smaller classrooms (CTU contract also limits class size) will increase the test scores and learning of students is apparently bogus.

Teacher evaluations:

The CPS wants to install new methods of evaluating teachers so that they can retain only the best teachers. It is built into the CTU contract that the union has a say in the evaluations. How many employees tell their employer how they want to be evaluated? Given the failing record of the Chicago Teachers Union, maybe it should be the parents who evaluate the teachers. The union should have zero say in evaluations. The Chicago Public School Board should create the standards that weed out the worst teachers so that students actually have a fighting chance at a good education.

Air conditioning:

One of the complaints of the CTU is teachers being forced to teach in 98 degree classrooms on some days. While it definitely would be better to have air conditioning for all involved, the majority of schools in this country do not (at least not on the East Coast). They have never had A/C in Chicago Public Schools so this is all of the sudden a reason to strike? Given that the teachers themselves are sucking up most of the funds going towards education, it’s hard to rally around them asking for millions more to pay for air conditioning.

Supplies and copying:

Apparently books are not in on time for the first day of school. Why? What are the reasons for this delay? Arguably this is an issue that needs to be resolved. This again is no reason to strike. Copying also seems to be an issue. Given that teachers do make many copies throughout the years, this is another resolvable issue that is no cause for a strike. If funding is the issue, maybe teachers can spend a little more on their health insurance and use the savings to pay for the desperately needed copies.

It should also be noted that Chicago teachers pay only 3% of their health insurance premiums. That seems to be another point of contention. The CPS is possibly trying to raise that amount by 7% so the teachers would be paying 10% for their health insurance premiums (note: the majority of taxpayers footing the bill for these teachers are paying 25% or more for their own health insurance).

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Some Truth about Unions on Labor Day

Every year unions take great pains to remind people why unions were (once) so great. They attempt to make people believe that unions are still necessary and great now. Unfortunately for union bosses, there is more truth out there now. They can hide from it but they can only run for so long. The fact is that unions do nothing but hurt the economy, taxpayers, consumers and the overall country now, including union members.

Less that 7% of private sector workers are unionized. Why? Workers are protected by a slew of federal, state and local laws. Businesses have realized that offering better pay and benefits will attract better workers, so they offer them. Workers don’t need to be unionized to negotiate their own salaries.

What has changed about unions? Since John F. Kennedy decided to allow public sector unions to organize in 1962(for purely political reasons), we have seen the unionization of millions of federal, state and local workers. Around 37% of all public sector employees are union members. What does this mean for governments and taxpayers? It means higher taxes, bigger government, a less productive workforce and an unsustainable liability of pensions and health care payments far into the future.

George Meany (former President of the AFL-CIO) and FDR were accurate when they agreed that public sector employees could not collectively bargain with elected officials. What has happened as a result? Unions pay big money to elect politicians (majority of money goes to Democrats) and then those politicians in turn pay back the unions by pushing for bigger government, higher salaries and bigger pensions. The tax payer ends up paying the price while have zero say in the collective bargaining negotiations. In Massachusetts an unskilled toll collector on the Massachusetts Turnpike made almost $100,000 in on year. His base salary is $60,000 not including his cushy benefits package . This is egregious and shows exactly how unions and Democrats work with each other in a symbiotic relationship that leeches off the tax payers.

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The outrageous salaries and payouts to public sector employees in Masschusetts


The Boston Herald posted a rather large list of the various payrolls, pensions and buyouts of public sector employees throughout Massachusetts.  This information is available to the public because it is the taxpayers who are footing the bill.   Public sector union contracts are also available to taxpayers for the very same reason.  Before reading this you may want to either mix a drink or take a blood pressure pill because if you are a hard-working taxpayer in Massachusetts you are going to be outraged by some of the egregious salaries, pensions and buybacks that Democrats have given to the unions.

Years ago Massachusetts was promised that once the Massachusetts Turnpike was paid for the tolls would be taken down.  Of course they weren’t and tolls have steadily risen.   Politicians and bureaucrats will blame it on one thing after another but one thing they never seem to take a good hard look at are salaries.  One Turnpike toll collector (yes a toll collector – the person who sits in the booth and takes your money and ticket and may have to give you change) made almost $100,000 with overtime in 2008.  You read that right.  A toll collector collected almost $100,000 in payment with your taxpayer dollars.  That is just the salary.  The amount does not include benefits or pension.  You’ll be paying that insane amount as well.

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Union Leaders – Nevermind the Law

Nothing new here.  Union leaders have always ignored the law and committed crimes whenever they feel like it.  Funny the first speaker talks about the right to ‘Freedom of Association’ except he is FOR FORCED UNIONISM which takes that ‘right’ AWAY.  The hypocrisy and criminal element in the unions is despicable.  Progressives are their ‘allies’?  Guess what America – progressives are not PRO-Constitution which is why the Unions love them because neither are they.

New Hampshire Legislators don’t understand ‘Live Free or Die’


Today the New Hampshire State Legislature had the opportunity to turn the  state into a Right-to-Work state. Rather than choosing freedom for workers ala  ‘Live Free or Die’, they chose to keep New Hampshire workers in forced unionism  shackles.  The legislation will not end unions but will give workers the  choice whether or not to join a union.  Federal law only allows  workers to ‘opt out’ of actual union membership but they are still forced to pay  an agency fee even if they can negotiate for themselves.  New  Hampshire’s ‘Live Free or Die’ motto should be changed to ‘Live Free with Union  Chains’ now that the Senate decided to table the bill which essentially means ‘killing the  bill’.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics only 11.1% of workers in New  Hampshire are members of a union.   Why did the New Hampshire  Legislature pander to only 11.1% of the workforce?  Clearly the other 89.9%  represent a far bigger portion of NH than the small special interest  minority.  And that’s where the truth probably lies.  It’s already a  well-known fact that Democrats are bought and paid for by unions. In the New Hampshire  Legislature it’s also a well-known fact that some Republicans  are also union puppets.

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Governor Lynch vetoes workers’ right and NH economic growth

Governor Lynch vetoed the Right-to-Work bill that was passed by a majority in both the New Hampshire House and Senate.   The bill would actually give workers the choice of joining a union or not and no longer allow unions to forcibly extract ‘agency fees’ from those who choose not to be a part of the union (workers can currently ‘opt out’ of the union but they still have to pay a ‘fee’).   The bill gives workers more rights than they currently have under the forced unionism of New Hampshire.  The majority of people in this country are not unionized.  While unions may have served a purpose decades ago, their purpose has ceased to exist other than to rake taxpayers over the coals via public sector unionization (not to mention higher costs to consumers in the private sector).  It has been proven that Right-to-Work states fare much better economically than Forced Union states, especially during hard economic times.   Why Governor Lynch would veto a bill that would help all of New Hampshire is mind boggling.  Is he that indebted to the unions?
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