Hacker News new | more | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Worst Union in America (2012) (city-journal.org)
34 points by jelliclesfarm 41 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments



“The union had persuaded March Fong Eu, the CTA-endorsed secretary of state, to alter the proposition’s heading on the ballot from PARENTAL CHOICE to EDUCATION VOUCHERS—a change in wording that cost Prop. 174 ten points in the polls.”

Those devious villians, forming a cabal to change the name of the proposition to accurately reflect what effect it was to have!


Unions protesting a prospective policy is the same signal as as a behemoth suing a small startup that encroaches their space: they know vouchers would wreck their monopoly more than anyone else, so they need to stop it before it begins.

If you are unsure if vouchers are a good policy, that unions protest so hard against them should put you at ease that they work.


Both headlines are factually accurate.


> Both headlines are factually accurate.

"Parental choice" is however uninformative (speaks of the perceived results and not the action about to be voted), highly subjective, and without any meaningful information.


‘Parental choice’ isn’t at all a ‘subjective’ result of such voucher programs. It’s both the intended and actual effect wherever such programs are offered.

Parents wind up sending children to different schools than they would have otherwise attended, in accordance with the parents’ choice.

Even the CTA opposition to the proposition implicitly conceded that, because they predicted doom for public schools after many children left for other schools. If after the proposition passes, children are going to new, different schools – parental choice will have undeniably been exercised.


Then the supporters of the proposition should have no issue with the change in title.

They are only insterested in an honest accounting on the merits of their beleifs, right?


And vice-versa: if both are accurate, the CTA opponents should have been fine with the submitted title. Because they, too, only care about an honest hearing, right?


Those absolute bastards!


This is written like a political hit piece, and while an interesting viewpoint, it's about as useful to foster a rich policy discussion as any other partisan media - meaning, not very.


The site is the magazine for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative thinktank. Not really surprising


Thank you. That site is a conservative FUD merchant. Btw, Malcom Gladwell is also a conservative insurgent.. watch The Jimmy Dore Show as they expose MG's evidence-free trashing of cannabis. All he has is loaded language and sketchy maybe's, but still gets a million bucks a year in speaking fees, despite being a Big Tobacco huckster and a fraud.[0] It's infuriating when people don't realize the propaganda they're being sold and they start arguing for it as completely clueless tools.

0: https://youtu.be/W26o6v61JR0


"Such pleas seem impudent coming from the highest-paid teachers in the nation, with an average annual salary of $68,000"

Those monsters.


The average rent (3-rooms) in LA is 3,596 so $43.000 per year, in SF is $5,143 so $61.716 per year, so yeah $68.000 is nothing to brag about -at least on the main cities-


They are, when there are teachers willing to do the same job for 40k and cant because the union doesnt allow them to get hired.


That fact that public schools are a shambles in this country is fucking insane given how much we purport to value education.

Also, it's fine to bitch about unions. They're not all perfect and there are certainly trade-offs. And (like anything) they can be perverted and misused. But overall they've done great things for the middle class in this country and we should all be very wary of powerful forces trying to hobble them.

Especially when it comes to teachers and education.


I've been in a Union and hated it, however I would advocate for their purpose with a whole heart.


“Troy Senik is a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom and an editor at Ricochet.com.”

“The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) is an Alexandria, Virginia based U.S. nonprofit conservative policy advocacy organization, founded on the principle of securing individual freedoms as embodied in the United States Constitution and state constitutions. It was founded in 1998 by former tobacco industry executives who sought to counter government restrictions on smoking, but is no longer associated with tobacco or smoking.” - Wikipedia

Oh no, it’s horrible. Teachers get paid well! This might attract great people to the job of educating the next generation! And they have banded together to represent their interests! This shall not stand.


Your comment is literally the first time in my life that I have seen the words "teachers get paid well" in what seems to me to be a serious fashion. Someone quoted below that the highest paid teachers are pulling something like 68k.. I'm east coast, and not smack dab in a major metro, but still--calling 70k "well-paid" seems pretty unrealistic.


This isn’t true in SoCal. Many teachers are making 100k per year. My wife was a teacher.


You missed the implied /s in "teachers get paid well". It's a parody, based on his quote from TFA.


:facepalm:. Yea that makes much, much more sense. My bad.


Hey, we all get pwned by Poe's Law, sometimes. Especially when it's about something that's important to us. So no blame.

And I apologize for going off-topic, but Poe's Law arguably underlies much of the recent drama about online censorship. Twitter, Mastodon, Patreon, etc. That is, many who feel strongly about various sorts of hate speech have zero tolerance for stuff that parodies and satirizes that hate speech. But of course, there are also lots of trolls out there, whose only goal is upsetting people and generating lulzy reactions. So confusion is understandable.

And that's how it is with Poe's Law. When you see and hear (for example) Lenny Bruce, Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor or Chris Rock, you know that it's parody and satire. But when you read stuff online, there's no context.

Anyway, it's sad.


I recall that a supreme court case about a year ago said that unions are no longer able to demand membership fees from members. I wonder how that is affecting these unions, if at all.


The ruling was that, for public sector unions, mandatory fees for non-members violate the First Amendment.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus_v._AFSCME


Thay sounds very resonable actually. If you are not a member, how on earth does a union have a mechanism to force you to pay a member due? What if I don't agree with how the union runs or the goals of the union?


> What if I don't agree with how the union runs or the goals of the union?

The argument is that you benefit from the union whether you are a member or not because you get the same benefits as union members because of the union's bargaining with the management, so you should pay.

I don't really agree with it, but that's the argument.


https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-wo...

Dated sept 19,2018

[..]California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that aims to give public employee unions legal cover from potentially expensive lawsuits demanding that they repay certain fees to workers that the Supreme Court in June determined were unconstitutional.

The law, which takes effect immediately, says unions and public agencies cannot be held liable for fees that unions collected before the Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME on June 27 of this year.

That 5-4 court decision ended a 41-year precedent that allowed public sector unions to collect so-called fair share fees from workers who did not choose to join a labor organization but were still represented by a union. The fees often ranged 70 percent to 99 percent of full dues. [..]


You get the same benefits? As in non-union members would get a union rep to fight for them if they were fired?


The biggest benefit is that non-union members get the same employment terms as union members. So they essentially get a free ride on the cost of negotiation.


Oh, yes. My union fought to reinstate somebody in my department after he hit a female co-worker in the face. The assailant was a long-time who predated the establishment of the Agency,Shop and therefore never paid dues.


What don't you agree about?


Benefit is in the eye of the beholder. Non-members may not actually be benefiting if the results are not really what they want.


Like anything else, you can run a union poorly. Sometimes they don't actually achieve anything in their barganing. No one is going to be enthused about paying for a non-existant benefit.


If they could demand a fee, anyone could claim to be negotiating on behalf of you, and demand a fee as obviously you need them


See Wikipedia:

>In 24 U.S. states, employees who are working in a unionized shop may be required to contribute towards the cost of representation (such as at disciplinary hearings) if their fellow employees have negotiated a union security clause in their contract with management. Dues are generally 1-2% of pay. However, union members and other workers covered by collective agreements get, on average, a 5-10% wage markup over their nonunionized (or uncovered) counterparts.

>Some states, especially in the south-central and south-eastern regions of the U.S., have outlawed union security clauses; this can cause controversy, as it allows some net beneficiaries of the union contract to avoid paying their portion of the costs of contract negotiation.

>Regardless of state, the Supreme Court has held that the Act prevents a person's union dues from being used without consent to fund political causes that may be opposed to the individual's personal politics. Instead, in states where union security clauses are permitted, such dissenters may elect to pay only the proportion of dues which go directly toward representation of workers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_bargaining#United_S...


The workforce democratically organizes the union and collectively bargains. In a union shop, you aren’t an at-will employee... you have a contract. They administer benefits and negotiate on your behalf whether you join or not. The unions are also obliged to defend you, even if you are a shitbird who chooses to not join.

With Janus, the union that I was recently a member of lost about 1,500/55,000 members. Not a huge impact so far.


I’m very curious why unions are “obliged” to defend non-members. Is it a state/federal law?


It’s usually a collective bargaining term or law, depending on jurisdiction.


Why would they do that unless they have something to gain from inflated union membership numbers? Perhaps the dues aren’t important but the numbers are..?

Do teachers unions have affiliations with teachers pension funds?

There must be some mutual back scratching going on...surely?


They have a contract that requires that they do so.

One of the things about unions is that there's really no grand conspiracy... they are quite open about what they want, and getting it generally involves a contract between two parties.


>"the CTA—now the single most powerful special interest in California"

Show me whatever numbers you're using to bolster that assertion and then show me the same metrics for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA).


CCPOA has approximately 40,000 members. CTA has 325,000 members.


The opening diatribe against “strikes” certainly sets a plutocratic tone for this hit piece.


USA slid from #6 place in 1990 to #27 in 2016 for education and healthcare.


There is probably some correlation to demographic shifts in that slide...


https://youtu.be/xzYgiOC9cj4 : Milton Friedman - The Real World Effects Of Unions (1980)


City Journal -> Manhattan Institute for Policy Research -> conservative trusts and think tanks

This is an anti-union, libertarianism propaganda piece, at best... please don't fall for it.


I wonder how it is now 7 years later. Probably worse

Edit: yup still at it https://twitter.com/WeAreCTA


City Journal is part of the Manhattan Institute, and uses content generated from conservative sources like National Review. Its hard to take a publication like this seriously when their political bent is already anti union. There may some substance and truth behind the content, but the title of the article is definitely subjective rather than objective. By definition every union is their eyes is bad.


It is still a point of view. Should we not read anti union opinions from someone who has conservative views?

That’s like saying we can’t take the teachers union claims about teachers demands because they support teachers rights?


When a union organizer yaks about the evils of corporate <insert topic>, a critical reader discounts the rhetoric because of the source. If you want to form an opinion about the Verizon CEO, don’t use the CWA as your primary source.

Similarly, these folks have an agenda that drives everything they write. Read it, but do so with a critical eye and remember that the authors employment is tied to the positions/opinion that he is expressing.

The answers to the problems we have with education are nuanced and numerous. The convservative portfolio of solutions is narrow, and never, ever changes.


Do you think that conservatives have a real and legitimate membership just like progressives have a real and legitimate membership in political discussion groups?

Imagine if conservatives dismiss all progressive points of view...and vice versa..won’t we all be talking to each other in our little echo chambers?


I do. But, I think that there is a conservative message that is heavily pushed from a relatively small number of moneyed folks. That makes reading “conservative” media or message boards type discussions difficult.

In person, totally different. I’ve worked on organization boards where we deal with diverse opinion and it is very different.


They do dismiss it. They are in an echo chamber.


They being both left and right.


Thanks for pointing their bias out. Our society, liberals and conservatives alike, seems to have forgotten that information authored by a disreputable or biased source is, by nature and on average, less truthful than from a credible source.


Right. But shouldn’t a reader be able to filter facts and opinions?

A lot of data in that piece can be spinned both ways. It depends on the audience. The audience for the unions are the teachers. The audience for publications like these are those who aren’t already pro-unions.

Everyone’s preaching to the their respective choirs. But some of us can be neither theist nor atheist..but kinda agnostic, no?




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: