Tag Archives: unions

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).

Contiue Reading here:  http://www.examiner.com/article/chicago-teachers-strike-proving-why-public-sector-unions-should-be-banned?cid=db_articles

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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.

Continue Reading here:  http://www.examiner.com/article/some-truth-about-unions-on-labor-day?cid=db_articles


Occupy Movement and Unions – This is what Hypocrisy Looks Like

The ‘Occupy’ movement has become widespread across the country with at least one message that is clear and most people agree on – ‘end the corruption in politics’.  They have a slew of other messages that vary but we’ll stick to this one talking point.  The Occupiers maintain that corporations buy politicians and therefore control the government.  They want all money out of politics.  This is completely understandable and most people would agree on this point except for one little thing:  They have partnered with unions who contribute millions of dollars to politicking every single year.  Have they forgotten that Trumka visits the White House often?  Talk about corruption!

Unions spend a fortune on elections and lobbying on issues each and every year.  According to OpenSecrets.org, several Unions are considered ‘Heavy Hitters’ when it comes to lobbying Congress:

Union Lobbying

 
 
From AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka  – 
 
From the New York Times

Union leaders, who were initially cautious in embracing the Occupy movement, have in recent weeks showered the protesters with help — tents, air mattresses, propane heaters and tons of food. The protesters, for their part, have joined in union marches and picket lines across the nation. About 100 protesters from Occupy Wall Street are expected to join a Teamsters picket line at the Sotheby’s auction house in Manhattan on Wednesday night to back the union in a bitter contract fight.

So not only has the Occupy movement embraced the multi-million dollar a year politicking unions but the unions have even found a way to make ‘useful idiots’ out of the Occupiers.  What is also ironic is that many Union Presidents are IN the 1% (which falls right under $344,000).  The Occupy movement is holding hands with the very people that help corrupt and buy the political system and also happen to be 1%ers – those who appear to be the most revolting to Occupiers.   This is what hypocrisy looks like.

 
 
 

The Left’s egregious abuse of 9/11 heroes for perceived political gain

As if Trumka’s diatribe yesterday wasn’t bad enough, the Left has decided to jump on the psychotic bandwagon of using unions to somehow smear the Right as haters of our 9/11 First Responders.  Never in my life have I seen such disgrace of a devastating American tragedy as I have with the Left on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.  The Left has sunk lower than I thought they could with their attempt at tying anti-union sentiments to anti-first responder sentiments.  It is the most egregious, despicable, heinous, vile, ANTI-American, divisive, derisive and disgusting behavior I have seen from the left since becoming involved in politics. 

I thought the Left blaming the Right for Gabby Giffords’ shooting was horrid but they have sunk to what has to be the lowest depths of the bowels of hate in years.  Here are just a few tweets from last night.  Notice who is tweeting this crap – Boehlert works for Soros’ Media Matters, Matt is a Union hack and RWWatchMa also works for Soros – hmmmm… are you seeing the pattern?

  

 

Apparently in Ohio at a 9/11 Memorial the Unions just couldn’t put aside their hate and politics.  They just had to protest Governor Kasich while pushing Obama’s ‘jobs plan’.  It is again one of the most vile examples of what is wrong with unions.   After 9/11 this country was unified as Americans.  It didn’t matter if you were union or not, black or white, male or female, Democrat or Republican.  Americans lost thousands of fellow Americans to Islamic Extremist Terrorists simply because we are Americans.  This country suffered a devastating loss that we will never forget.  Our First Responders were running up the stairs of the World Trade Center buildings to save lives.  They died fighting to save their fellow Americans.  They will always be heroes.

What the First Responders did had absolutely nothing to do with the union but had everything to do with their heroic actions on that day.  9/11 was a tragedy for all Americans and all Americans will always remember the people who lost their lives on that day.  For the left to politicize this tragedy and somehow use it to pit Democrats against Republicans is one of the most despicable political ploys they have tried yet.

The Left and unions are only hurting their ‘union cause’ further with this behavior.   The majority of Americans – whether Democrat or Republican, union or not – will find this politicization of 9/11 to be contemptible.  What the Left and unions are doing is taking away the heroism of the First Responders by turning it into a union issue – as if these heroes wouldn’t have done the same thing without a union representative.   They are abusing the actions and memories of our fallen heroes for some perceived, twisted political gain.  Once again, the unions turn Americans against them.  Unions create hate they do NOT create heroes.