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Wisconsin Gov. Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard Against Unions

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Eh? You're kidding? In good old capitalist USA, teachers are required to join Unions? Even here, where Unions have played a very key role in our history, and just coming off the back-end of a decade of left-wing party rule, there are laws preventing employers requiring/preventing people from joining Unions.

    When I was in high-school, a decade or so ago now, the teachers were going through big sets of protests. Every time they'd be out on strike, there were always some teachers still around, still teaching. They'd either worked out that it was in their best interest not to join the Union, else they hadn't joined for political reasons.

    There are currently only two real laws giving preference to Unions here. Union representative in any organisation (any, not just teachers) have the right to be introduced to any new employees; and currently (although the past two decades this has changed with every government, so it's only a matter of time) non-union members cannot be offered the same deals that union members are offered - people can't ride on the backs of collective bargaining.
     
  2. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    It's all well and good for people to talk about "holding the teacher's accountable for the students' progress" but there are a few other factors at play here -- I'll name a few:

    1: The parents. If the parents are anarchists who resent having to send their kids to school, or they had bad experiences as students themselves and pass on their lousy attitudes to their kids, or are too busy to be involved at all in the lives of their kids, then the kids won't learn. No Hollywood Hero teacher is going to be able to offset the crap their parents are teaching them.

    2: The society in general. It's easy enough to say "keep your class in line and make sure they're learning" but then when society takes away all of the tools that teachers can use, undermining every effort made by those teachers, then there's gonna be no learning occuring. I understand the need for some baseline rules like "no beating the living bejeezus out of kids" but when you have rules that say you can't ever fail a kid or give him any negative feedback at all*, then you turn around and wonder why the kid isn't learning?

    3: THE KID HIMSELF! Again, despite the whole Hollywood dream machine about the Caring Teacher who reaches out to the Troubled Adolescent when No One Else Would, some kids just have no interest in learning. Teachers use every possible tool to reach these kids, but at the end of the day the kid still makes his own decisions. Blaming the teachers for these kids is BS. We don't do it to the parents who do their damndest and the kid still goes sideways, why the urge to dump all the ills of the world on teachers?

    I've been teaching for quite a while. I've seen lots of teachers. Some are the burned out douches that were mentioned earlier -- about 5% of the teaching population. The rest (the vast majority) are doing a thankless job, undercut and backstabbed at every turn by douchebags who have never set foot in a classroom and have no fornicating idea what the hell they are talking about. To those who like to urinate on teachers for the poor performance of kids today in schools, suit up and enter the classroom and see if you can do any better under the current conditions. Otherwise, stick to specific cases of drastic malfeasance and don't slander the general teaching population until you actually know what you are talking about.

    Pardon the rant level post, but it pisses me off no end.

    *This isn't somethign I pulled from my butt, there are regulations at some school boards that all comments regarding a student's work are to be positive and not negative. How the <SNIP> does one learn if no one points out his misteaks**?

    ** get it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    That's NOT something I really care about. But if some people feel they wish to join a union, that is their right. Nothing like seeing our freedoms go out the window to satisfy the big nanny government.

    I'd never heard that before. I know on the police force here, they do NOT have to join the union if they don't want to, but most do anyway. My dad didn't like the policman's union, but he joined it because of his peers. Police are into the whole solidarity thing, which, by their very nature, plays right to the unions anyway.

    This is a large part of the reason why I turned down becoming a teacher. These worthless parents and policitians are not going to hold me hostage because of bad parenting, and pandering politics. Forget that. Those cheap bastards can find someone else to work their asses off, trying to teach their kids who don't want to learn anything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    As I stated previously, no, they aren't. Joining a union does offer some benefits, and so the vast majority of teachers do join, but I've never heard it being a requirement to being offered employment. In fact, my wife got certified as a teacher, and got hired to teach before joining a union. (And yes, you can join the Maryland teacher's union as soon as you are certified, even if you aren't a teacher yet.)

    Chandos beat me to it, but to add a little bit, states have limits on how many students can be in a classroom. I'm sure it's variable from one state to another, but in Maryland it's 29. As soon as you get to 30, you need another teacher. So in Maryland, if you have 145 4th grade students, you need five 4th grade teachers, with 29 in each class. As soon as you get to 146 students, you now need six 4th grade teachers, and they'll all have either 24 or 25 students per class.

    So if a lot of parents sent their kids to a particular school, that school would have to hire teachers to teach them.

    There's also the issue of school size. There's only so many classrooms in each school, so how would you propose a voucher system would work - by lottery or some such method? If a school can hold a maximum of 500 students and 700 students want to go, who gets in and who doesn't?
     
  5. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thanks LKD... ;)

    You mean like business owners forced by the nanny government to deal with unions even if they don't want to? THAT nanny government? :)
     
  6. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    The government should only protect rights. If businesses choose not to deal with a union, they don't. Most shops have union AND non-union members so your point is moot, since they do both. Why do you think workers go out on strike? It's because businesses don't choose to settle.
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I'll try to explain the "forced to join the union" statements. There are currently 22 "Right to work" states and 28 "Closed shop" states.

    In a "Closed Shop" state the unions have the ability to negotiate with the employers a requirement that all employees of the employer be required to be in the union. That is a very basic description as there are a lot of rules involved. For more details look up the Taft-Hartley Act.

    The "Right to Work" states have their own specific laws which ban the "closed shop". In those states the employee has the option to either join the union or not join the union.

    Obviously, the unions prefer the former as they feel in the latter the employee can reap the benefits of the union without having to pay union dues. It is also harder to form a union in the latter because if everyone isn't forced to join it weakens the unions ability to negotiate.

    Virginia and Texas are "Right to work" state and that is why Aldeth and Chandos's experiences are that no one is forced to join. In the more liberal states they tend to be "closed shop" states so if you want to teach in California (poor BTA) they are all unionized.

    It is the same here in Massachusetts. I remember being a lad and having some friends who worked in the local supermarket. They were part time high school help, but they had to pay union dues. They weren't happy about it as they were never going to work there long enough to get any of the benefits.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Well, I'm obviously on the side that gives the most people the most freedom, so I do not agree that anyone should be forced to join a union, unless it is the law of the land. In that instance, while I don't agree with the "no choice" option, the majority has the final say in a democratic society. There are many things I don't agree with, but if the voters in a particular place agree upon it, then there is not much more to say, except in constitutional matters. In that case, the Constitution wins, unless the voters decide to go through the process of changing it.
     
  9. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I see where you're coming from now Chandos. I think it's a misunderstanding of the laws (at least in California).

    That is not true in all cases; as I pointed out above, due to the Educational Employment Relations Act in California, the government HAS NO CHOICE but to deal with a union if the workers want to unionize.

    So, yes I agree with you that if people want to unionize there should be no law preventing them. Conversely there should be no law requiring business or government to deal with unions if they do not want to. It was my (seemingly mistaken) understanding that what the laws on the books do is force employers to deal with unions if the employees want to unionize. It is the case for the California government, but perhaps it's not the case everywhere else.
     
  10. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    BTA - After Snook's post, I see your point as well. I don't think anyone should be forced to join a union if he/she doesn't desire it- that's just wrong.
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    When I was a wee lad (well, not that wee), growing up in NY, I worked part time at a local supermarket stocking shelves. Not content to dress me a in polyester blue jacket that didn't really fit and itched, they also mandated that I join the union (not really my employer's fault, it was forced).

    I paid union dues and I believe that my wage was higher than minimum wage as a result of being in the union. However, when I factored in what the union dues costs, lo and behold, my wage was actually LESS than minimum wage. I was not a happy camper about that but did not have a choice.

    As an aside, I can still remember one time when my dad came in to do some shopping and asked me as I was stocking the top shelf of an aisle (standing on a cart so my head actually protruded over the shelf) if I wanted anything -- I replied "yeah, I'd like some ice cream, but don't buy any of that Waldbaum's [the name of the supermarket] crap, it's terrible." I'm sure my voice projected over at least half the store. My dad and I still laugh about that to this day, almost 30 years later.
     
  12. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Here in Alberta, in order to be employed by a public school board, a teacher must be a member of the Alberta Teacher's Association. Now, that's a professional association, boys and girls, it is NOT a union!*

    *And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck . . . you get the photo.
     
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  13. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    We've got the Teacher's Council here, which all teachers are required to register to. It serves a number of purposes.
    (1) Acts as an avenue to enforce professional standards (such as Ethic rulings);
    (2) Sets the entry standard into teaching, making sure that all teachers are adequately qualified (much the same as the Lawyer Bar exam, I guess);
    (3) Monitors the standard of teacher training programmes;
    (4) Deals with teacher disciplinary matters.
    It replaced the old Teacher Registration Board, which served similar (but slightly more limited functions). The TRB was a government body, but the Teacher's Council is no different than the NZ Chartered Accountants Institute, or the Law Society.

    Is that the sort of purpose that your e Alberta Teacher's Association serves?

    On top of this, there is a separate Union (which differs depending on whether you are in a secondary or primary school, or ECE).
     
  14. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    It's not the employers that require it. It's the unions. It's called right-to-work vs non-right-to-work. Without a right-to-work law on the books, unions can write clauses into their contracts that say all empoyees must either join the union or start paying dues anyway without joining the union. If the state is a 'right-to-work' state, though, they're not allowed to. Here's a map of right-to-work states.

    Wow, sounds nice. 'Round here, unions are trying to get a type of law passed called 'card-check', which basically says that votes to unionize a workplace aren't anonymous any more. You have to show a card, or sign your name, or something. Basically, it means people know who voted how, and since an employer could be sued for firing people for wanting to unionize, it's generally assumed to be a measure to allow unions to 'pressure' workers who don't want to unionize. And yes, unions in US history have been known to pull sh*t like that.

    That depends on how you 'hold them accountable'. For example, the law in DC called for administrators to periodically step in on a teacher's class and observe. They then rate the teacher off their performance, and the pay is based off of that. I don't think it's the best system, what whith subjective measures left up to human beings, but it doesn't rely on actual student performance. What I'd like to see better is to use a standardized test, one the teachers don't get to see (so they can't teach to the test), and average the students' scores across the class. Then, average the class scores across the school. Then, pay the teachers according to how they performed relative to the school-wide average (with a standard-deviation range for 'average'). That way, one decent teacher isn't brought down by being at a crappy school in a crappy neighborhood. Just spitballing, but it's my idea.

    I've never been a teacher, but I've been a student, and most of the teachers I've seen were bad. Not horrible, evil, hateful beings of wrath (though I have seen a couple of those), but just not good. They were 'read the material from the book' types. They assigned homework because it was there, not with any consideration of how bright or dim the students were.

    That sounds more akin to the Bar Association or the like. They're not unions, they don't negotiate contracts, and they usually don't lobby very much. They're closer to a private regulatory agency, but one formed of the profession on a (AFAIK) democratic basis, so it's a sort of voluntary self-regulation thing.
     
  15. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Yes. That's what they try to do. However, unlike the professional associations of Doctors, they have yet to achieve the Holy Grail of self regulation.
     
  16. Slith

    Slith Look at me! I have Blue Hands! Veteran

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    How is it not wrong that teachers in Wisconsin are required to join a group that may or may not adhere to their political beliefs?

    Teacher A is a Republican. They want to teach in Milwaukee. In order to teach in Milwaukee, they must join Teacher Union B. Teacher Union B donates millions to Democratic Candidate for Senate C. Ergo, the dues that Teacher A is forced to pay go to Democratic candidate C. They are a Republican. How is that anything other than immoral and reprehensible? When the idea that taxes paid by republican group D go to Democratic Candidate C through Teacher A's salary is considered, it becomes ever worse. In order to live in Wisconsin, you must support Democratic Candidate C.

    How is this not nepotism of the worst kind? Someone is forced to adhere to a political system that they don't want to. They can vote, but they're paying the election committee costs of the opposite party.

    Unions are great and necessary, but public unions with the ability to lobby are plain wrong and shouldn't be allowed.
     
  17. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Ok, allow me to elaborate. Teacher's unions have an effective monopoly on the poor who can't afford private (which includes religious) schools. And the unions protest to prevent charter schools from popping up, so they aren't an option, either.

    66% of Wisconsin 8th graders can only read at a 'basic' level or lower (which means mostly to completely illiterate). That statistic has apparently not changed much in the last decade, while annual cost per teacher has more than doubled in the same time.

    Not only do they appear to be doing an arguable job at best (literacy isn't the only education criteria, nor is 8th grade the end of schooling, but it's a big factor and a later grade), but it seems throwing more money at the problem doesn't help any.
     
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I'll explain why: Because there are a lot of people who don't give a damn about politics, but care about the benefits that being a union member provides - better pay, better benefits, better working conditions. You may want to look beyond the Democrat/Republican angle on the unions. As far as "lobbying" goes the day that corporations stop lobbying and stop making senior managers contribute and support the Republican party, is the day that unions and democrats may do the same. And don't tell me they don't because I was married to a woman who was "required" to donate to the Republican party, through a corporate fund [PAC], even though she was neither a Republican nor a Democrat at the time.
     
  19. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Slith

    As I think was already pointed out that group helps them get the pay they do and defends them if they feel they are being wrongfully terminated.

    Also I'm pretty sure there is a state law here in Wisconsin that says if you don't want your union dues to be used for an election (say if you don't feel your union will endorse the candidate you want) then you can request exactly that and the union is obligated to do so.


    Moreover to exist in the first place unions have to have received a majority vote from the workers they represent-that is all it takes to undo a union as well.

    Thus unions can be more democratic in nature than you were led to believe at first glance.


    NOG

    I don't know where you heard that from but I would like to see the source.

    Here is the source for my ACT comment-which leads me to believe that someone somewhere is doing their job by the time high schoolers graduate.

    http://www.act.org/news/data/09/states.html


    Edit

    Just found something.

    http://www.techimo.com/forum/debate...hool-8th-graders-can-t-read-proficiently.html

    But I also noticed one of the comments below it by "Gomer"

    "Per the study cited in that report... when it comes to reading proficiency, Wisconsin is at least as good as, if not better than 38 other states. Per the metric in the study, that 66% that was at "basic" or "less than basic" (44% and 22% respectively) was better than the majority of the United States."





    Oh,

    And just to put this out there.

    Since I was busy protesting or discussing things on line or doing a bunch of things that don't relate to watching TV I was missing out on the number of ads (more propaganda) floating around.

    I've seen ads by

    (For Walker's proposal)

    Americans for Prosperity
    Club for Growth
    Economic Freedom Alliance (I'm guessing that is Club for Growth Jr.)
    The Republican Governor's Association.

    (Against Walker's Proposal)

    AFL-CIO
    Some Pac with a 5 or 7 word label.

    And the pro-Walker ads have been running something like 4 times more frequently-I guess it helps to have a Billionaire or 2 on your side.



    Walker gave his budget address the other night. I don't know if it is tradition or not but the public, as a whole, was not allowed into the gallery-but ringers may have been.


    Also police have been keeping people from entering the capital building despite a judge's ruling that doing so was illegal.

    And the republicans are looking for a way to stick it to the missing senators even more-recently by trying to fine them.



    Oh, and someone was making phone calls under the notion they were from the League of Women Voters and support my lying governor's proposal-but that itself is a lie.


    We may not be Egypt in terms of the military being called out or people fighting on the street-we don't live in a dictatorship.

    But we do have a lying governor with hidden agendas and someone(s) with deep pockets backing him up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree with Chandos, but I'd like to add a little more.

    While there is some level of historical evidence that the candidate that raises the most money wins, we should not be so quick to say that it's all about the dollars. The candidate that wins elections also has a larger number of supporters, and the fact that he raised more money may simply be due to having more people like him. Remember - ultimately, it's the number of votes you get.

    There is also a bit of a misconception that belonging to a union makes you more likely to vote democrat. It is true that unions tend to support democrats, but they do a rather poor job of convincing their members to do so. In many ways, unions are a huge swing group. 538 has an article with just such a graphical distribution (towards the bottom of the article) of how union membership affects voting patterns, and as you'll see, it's not terribly predictive.

    If you don't feel like reading the whole article, the premise is this: just because you belong to a particular demographic, it is dangerous to cite just one point in predicting voting behavior. That's because no one is just a union member, but they belong to various other demographic groups as well. From the article:

    In fact, there is only one significant demographic that you cna look at by itself and predict voting behavior: African-American. Nearly 90% of African Americans vote democrat, and nearly 95% of African Americans who voted in 2008 voted for Obama. As the graphs contained in the article show, even if all other demogrpahics indicated that you would tend to vote Republican - say, for instance, that a voter was 72, wealthy, extremely religious and a veteran who lived in the rural South — he was nevertheless at least 80 percent likely to vote for Mr. Obama if the voter was also black.
     
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