The efficiencies of working with a labor union

Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man found some excellent examples of why a Union might not be the best way to go -- or in the best interests of the employees (and Union members):

The financial reality of union wheeling and dealing
Remember all the fuss about Wisconsin's attempts to rein in out-of-control public sector unions? Well, guess what's coming out in the wash?
In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.
There's more at the link.

Oh, yeah . . . as long as the union can dictate and demand a closed shop and exclusive access for their own figurehead companies, they'll screw the ratepayers and taxpayers six ways from Sunday. Take that power away from them, and suddenly it's a whole new (and much cheaper) ball game! Go read the rest of the article. That's not the only benefit coming down the pike. In all, they'll save the Kaukauna school district one and a half million bucks in the coming financial year.

Racine County is finding similar benefits:
Last June, the county took Racine inmates out of their jail cells and put them behind lawn movers. They were cutting the grass in areas that the county executive says were neglected, due to budget cuts. Local unions filed a grievance saying work like that should be done by union members.

A judge agreed, but now with the new collective bargaining rules in effect, that's the kind of thing the unions can no longer negotiate. That means the county is putting the inmates back to work and adding to their to-do list.

Racine County Executive James Ladwig said,"We're gonna have them do landscaping at county buildings, have them pick up trash on the roads. So we can use some of the county personnel to do difficult tasks, such as putting in a parking lot at the park."
Again, more at the link. I love it! Let the inmates do the menial, unskilled labor, and use the more expensive union labor to do more difficult, more demanding work that justifies their higher salaries.

I'm not a union-basher: I've been a member of a public sector union myself, and found it to be of great benefit and real value during a difficult time at work. However, the attitudes, selfishness and loutish behavior of the Wisconsin public sector unions appears to have been beyond the pale. Congratulations to Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature for sticking to their guns and ramming through this legislation. May other states follow their example!

Unions certainly have their place and time but the majority of Unions I read or hear about these days have all the power and money concentrated at the top with little or nothing being done for the workers. The husband of a local family just applied and got a Union job -- one of the reasons was for health care. The Union is taking $1,200/month out of his paycheck for him and his wife. I do not know but I am wondering if they have to go through a single Union sanctioned insurer -- that would explain the stiff price...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on July 2, 2011 9:17 PM.

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