Yes on 32

Yes on 32

Yes on 32

Unions in California are making a concerted effort to push a “No on 32” vote. They say that this proposition will weaken unions, take away the worker’s voice, and put us at the mercy of for-profit corporations. Unfortunately most of that is obfuscation. I wrote a post on this a few weeks ago. Prop 32 makes it so unions have to get permission from each union member before they can take dues for political uses from their paycheck. This provision actually gives the worker more power.

Currently there are a large number of “union” employees who do not agree with the political agenda of the union. For instance, in 2008 the CTA donated over $1 million to try to defeat Prop 8, our traditional marriage amendment. I give over $1000 in dues to the union every year, but I support traditional marriage. I was not sent a questionnaire asking about my stance on traditional marriage. But my money was used against me in that political battle. That is just one example of the Union taking a stance in opposition to my values.

If union organizations have to ask their members if it is okay to deduct the portion of the dues for political purposes from their paycheck this provides a fairly big incentive to those union organizations to listen and pay more attention to what the rank-and-file union member wants. Essentially we are simply making unions less compulsory, more voluntary. Yes on 32 will help to ensure that unions are representing exactly those workers who wish to be represented by that union.
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Wisconsin Residents say YES to Scott Walker

Wisconsin Welcome Sign

Wisconsin Welcome Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am excited about the outcome of the recall election in Wisconsin. I assume that many of you watched in disgust as the liberal state senators tried to stop the state senate from moving toward right to work policies and away from entrenched unionism. Tonight’s win for Walker shows that Wisconsin voters have firmly said that they are happy with these reforms and the changes they are bringing in their lives.

In my other posts on the negative aspects of compulsory unionism (see below) I talked about how voluntary associations will produce better results for workers. It seems as though voters in Wisconsin want government to curtail the power of the compulsory unions. These unions who are basically not accountable to anyone.

My Earlier Posts:  Power Grab     Voluntary Association    Collective Bargaining Needs Balance

I recommend that California voters consider voting yes on the Stop Special Interest Money Now bill (which unions are calling the Corporate Power Grab Initiative). Maybe we can move the ball toward a higher degree of freedom for individual workers in California. Lower costs and less of liberal union meddling in our state politics sounds refreshing. Please consider the numbers on the political contribution watchdog site that I linked to in this post. Again, I would like to open some discussion about the pros and cons about this bill as I invited in my earlier post. What evidence is there that supports the CTA’s assertions about the bill? Does the bill cover the necessary bases and not just create more trouble?

Power Grab or Stop Special Interest Money?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the ...

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the act on July 5, 1935. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (right) looks on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year Mark Mix gave a talk at the Pro Family Legislators conference on compulsory unionism which I have found very informative. I’ve blogged about it before.

In 1935 the Wagner Act forced all workers in America to be in unions whether they liked it or not. Mr. Mix talked about Samuel Gompers who was an early union organizer who advocated for volunteerism as opposed to compulsory union membership. “No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion. If we seek to force, we but tear apart that which united, is invincible.” His reasoning was that unions would be more cohesive and stronger if they were voluntary groups. Unfortunately, Other union leaders did not agree. In 1935, at any rate, the Wagner Act made compulsory unionism the law of the land. This was and is in opposition to our 1st amendment freedom of association. In other words, if we have the freedom to choose with whom we will associate, don’t we have the converse right to choose with whom we will not associate?

Unions quickly gained an enormous amount of power. For instance, the Mineworkers Union basically shut down the war effort soon after by refusing to mine coal until their demands were met. Congress amended the Wagner Act with the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. Among other things the act made it so states could enact ‘right to work’ laws. Since that time 22 states have opted for ‘right to work’ legislation. ‘Right to Work’ basically means no one can be compelled to join a union nor be compelled not to join a union. In other words, the only unions in ‘right to work’ states would be voluntary unions. Just like Gompers ennvisioned. Today our most prosperous states are those right to work states. The industries in heavily unionized states have crumbled or are crumbling under the overburden of union demands.

I for one am in favor of voluntary unionism. I am a member of a voluntary teacher association. I am also a member of the compulsory teachers union CTA.

There is legislation afoot that would allow teachers the choice of whether they want their union dues to be automatically deducted from their check as they are currently. I think this legislation has merit. Unions are calling it “The Corporate Power Grab Initiative“. The other side is calling it the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act“. They have very different stories to tell about what the act does and does not do. One point of disagreement is on who gives more to politicians. CTA claims that corporations out give unions 15 to 1. But I was recently told by a CTA officer that CTA is the most powerful voice in Sacramento… Here is a site that tracks giving to politicians.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act may be the right act for giving freedom back to workers in California and eliminating the overbearing liberal voice of union officials in our state legislature. I invite you to read the text of the act for yourself and enter the discussion by making a comment here. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this proposed law.

Voluntary Associations

Photo, 1 May 1912 – Bain Coll. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)”]Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. [large crow...On a recent WallBuilders Live! episode we got to hear from Mark Mix on the topic of public sector unions. In 1935 union membership became compulsory although there was some softening of this policy in the 40s with Right to Work states. Even at that time it was thought that public sector unions were unnecessary. Fast forward to today, public sector unions comprise one of the largest segments of union workers.

Voluntary associations are much more powerful than any compulsory forced associations. Unions usually break this rule and are therefore not good for companies, government, or workers in general. We might be able to take advantage of this fact by connecting within our union on a voluntary basis to work for union reform, therefore, building a stronger organization within the compulsory union structure.

This reminds me of Seth Godin’s book Tribes. A tribe is a group of people with a mission, a leader, and a way to communicate. A small but motivated and cohesive tribe can get a lot done.

One opportunity to form a tribe is happening right now. Several of us in our district are starting to meet to work our way through the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents. This is a DVD course looking at the Constitution from a historical lens. I have found refreshing perspective and encouragement in this program.

Collective Bargaining needs Balance

Map of USA with Ohio highlighted

Image via Wikipedia

The Ohio state teachers union wants the California teachers union to support them. There is a move in Ohio like the one in Wisconsin to reduce collective-bargaining rights. We’ve been asked to make phone calls to support the Ohio teachers union. I myself was disgusted by the childish behavior of the Wisconsin unions and liberal politicians in regard to these collective-bargaining votes back in the spring.

There comes a time in getting on a budget that requires sacrifice. When a family is trying to clean up their financial mess, they have to choose some areas to cut back their lifestyle. When a government is trying to clean up their financial mess, they have to choose some spending areas to cut back on. Those Wisconsin protesters did not seem to understand this and basically raised a big stink and cost their state time and money instead.

Collective bargaining has a place in balancing the needs of individual workers with the needs of the organization. Unfortunately some of the contractual obligations organizations have become entrapped by are no longer viable. Refusing to back off on these is ruins what Steven Covey called the production capacity of an organization. Basically killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

In recent years and in the coming months and years more of us in education are going to be called on to make some sacrifice because of the poor financial state of our nation and/or state. When that time comes for me, I don’t plan to whine, protest, or complain. I will do what must be done. I don’t plan to call anyone in Ohio to encourage them to do otherwise. I suspect there are many other teachers who did not agree with the unruly protests last spring in Wisconsin. I would be interested in your take on it.