Public Unions watch

see also the New Tone (yeah right) page

by Human Events

by Human Events

by Human Events

03/21/2011 11:00 PM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s principled stand can teach Washington Republicans an important lesson in bravery…

Save Education, Privatize Government Schools
March 22, 2011
There is an injustice going on in America. Millions of children in government schools are suffering under mediocre teachers and sub-standard facilities. More

Are We Getting Our Money’s Worth in Higher Education?
Aaron Gee
One of the hallmarks of bad government is spending that is out of proportion to what is actually bought. More

‘Uncivil disobedience’
March 21, 2011
A shocking list of thuggish acts by union goons that has gone unreported in the major media. More

Wisconsin after the Union Takeover – Josiah Cantrall

Lessons From the Battle of Madison – J.R. Dunn

    The Aroma of Illegality

    by Roger Kimball

    There is a stench of sanctimony and law-breaking emanating from Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., that originates with the Obama administration.

    Saturday Afternoon at the Recall Petition ‘Drive Through’ in Wisconsin

    by Phil Boehmke

    A first-hand account of citizen activism at an abandoned gas station that served as headquarters for a petition drive to recall one of the fleebagger senators.

    Wisconsin unions rush to get deals in place

    By Scott Bauer 11:38 am

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) – School boards and local governments across Wisconsin are rushing to reach agreements with unions before a new law takes effect that will remove their ability to collectively bargain over nearly all issues other than minimal salary increases. Secretary of State Doug La Follette s … Read More

    Lessons From the Battle of Madison
    J.R. Dunn
    Long, drawn-out crises can be frustrating in more ways than one. More

    Challenging the Teachers Unions – Jerry Shenk

    Blue Corruption puts Wisconsin in Red – Terry Heinrichs

    Confiscate Americans’ Wealth to Pay Government Workers? – Steve McCann

    Why I do not have Solidarity with the Public Unions – Marc Hitson

    Cut Wages and Benefits for Public Employees – J. Robert Smith

    Let’s hear it for the ‘working class’ teachers of Illinois!
    March 14, 2011
    The old saw, “If you want to get rich, don’t become a teacher” appears to no longer be true. More

    Pelosi and Dems cash-in on Wisconsin
    March 14, 2011
    Never let a fundraising opportunity go to waste. More

    Wisconsin’s useful idiots
    March 14, 2011
    We can tell quite a lot about a person (or an angry mob) from their friends. More

    Conservatives Push Back Against ‘Infectuous’ Wisconsin Public Unions

    by Jack Dunphy

    There is no carnival so vulgar that it cannot be made more so by the presence of Jesse Jackson, who told ABC News that he found the spirit of the assembled protesters in Madison “infectuous.”

    Union leaders say Obama broke campaign pledge

    Political Hay

    Democrat Thuggery in Its Worst Form

    Andrew Cline | 3.11.11 @ 6:10AM

    The left in Wisconsin tries to undo an election.

    Political Hay

    What the Unions Fear

    Peter Hannaford | 3.9.11 @ 6:06AM

    The return of paycheck protection, as it once was called.

    A Further Perspective

    The Truth About Wisconsin

    William Kovacs & F. Vincent Vernuccio | 3.8.11 @ 6:08AM

    Even with restricted collective bargaining public employees here would enjoy civil service protections far beyond anything seen in the private sector.

    The Obama Watch

    Terrorists With Union Cards?

    Ken Blackwell | 3.8.11 @ 6:07AM

    Maybe that will allow this administration to call the murder of U.S. airmen in Frankfurt terrorist acts.

    A Further Perspective

    Make Way for Mini-Labor

    Ron Ross | 3.4.11 @ 6:07AM

    And mini-Democrats too — if indeed the Democrat-Labor alliance is in a death spiral.

    Another Perspective

    Helpful Solutions for Cleaning Up Madison

    Ross Kaminsky | 3.4.11 @ 6:08AM

    All while saving Wisconsin many millions.

    The Public Policy

    They’re All Detroit Democrats Now

    Peter Ferrara | 3.2.11 @ 6:08AM

    As they resist budget restraint and Wisconsin’s reforms, their ideal becomes a crumbling city where government accounts for 40 percent of available jobs.

    If You’re a Liberal, It’s OK to be a Jerk

    By Bobby Eberle February 28, 2011 7:13 am

    The protests continue at Wisconsin’s state capitol as union organizers and liberal activists demonstrate that tolerance, decency, good manners, and civility are traits that only apply when they are convenient. If a conservative has an opposing view, the person is not being tolerant. If a liberal has … Read More

    Fake Sick Notes and Dems in Hiding… The Latest from Wisconsin

    By Bobby Eberle February 21, 2011 7:13 am

    Need a note from your doctor so you can continue protesting the Wisconsin budget bill? No problem. Now there are “doctors” on the street corners of the state capitol passing out “sick notes” to whomever needs them. Meanwhile, 14 Democrat legislators continue to remain in hiding, having fled the stat … Read More


    Populism, Progressives and Public Unions

    The difference, of course, is that in Egypt the protesters were marching to get rid of a public-sector kleptocracy, while in Wisconsin they are marching to preserve one.


    Marc Thiessen

    “It’s time to admit that public education operates like a planned economy, a bureaucratic system in which everybody’s role is spelled out in advance and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It’s no surprise that our school system doesn’t improve; it more resembles the communist economy than our own market economy.”



    Albert Shanker


    “When school children start paying union dues, that ‘s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”


    This pattern of teacher employee abuse is not unique. This next example out of Allentown, Pennsylvania is a public union outrage beyond the pale.  

    “In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

    Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

    Balzano said Saturday he isn’t targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city’s decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said “there’s to be no volunteers.” No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path”.

    Warner Todd Huston sums up the economic reality that many “so called” civil servants still refuse to face. “It must be quite a shock to government employees all across the country that are actually losing their cushy jobs, those positions that they imagined were theirs forever. With the reality of the massive overspending by Democrats spurred by union leaders the consequences of which are finally coming home to roost, these union members that for so many decades felt entitled to their jobs are losing them”.


    Public employee unions are a threat to the very foundation of the Republic. The Hill reports that Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) fired up a group of union members in Boston with a speech urging them to work down in the trenches to fend off limits to workers’ rights like those proposed in Wisconsin. “Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.” He is a disgrace and his words border on subversion.

    You can support trade unions if you are so inclined, but a public union that is taxpayer funded is an abomination. Progressives need to search their souls. The alliance that should bond all populists together is the fight against the global   corporatist economy that has caused the outsourcing of living wage employment overseas. Expanding government is not the answer in reversing this betrayal. True populism must be rooted in sound economic principles, based in a wealth creation private sector.

    Substantially scaling back public employee jobs is a necessary step because the private sector taxpayer is broke to a large degree because of government policies. A civil service employee is, by nature, a secondary citizen. The taxes they pay come from the earnings of those who are the producers of prosperity. The La Follette tradition opposes the centralization of economic control. Woefully, governments lavish excessive pay and benefits on the public sector at the cost of the real main street economy.  

    SARTRE – February 27, 2011



    Wisconsin cops & firemen break their oaths.

    Posted by Moe Lane

    Saturday, March 12th at 8:00PM EST

    It would seem that loyalty to their union masters take precedence over loyalty to the people of Wisconsin.  From a contemptible letter written to M&I Bank threatening a boycott:

    The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.

    In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company.

    Now, this would not be a contemptible letter if it were signed by members of private sector unions.  Private sector unions work in trades, and they have the right to make informed business choices (and even uninformed ones).  But public sector union members are supposedly public servants – and they are expected to avoid even the hint of impropriety in their labor disputes.  This is a barely-veiled threat from the cops and the firemen that organizations subject to the anti-labor reform boycott cannot expect a prompt and effective response from them in case of emergency.  Simply put, there are different standards of behavior for emergency responders.  Stricter ones, because being a repository of the public trust carries with it an expectation of behavior that is appropriate for that trust.  This letter harms that trust.

    Stop.  Let me explicitly say that I do not believe any pious excuses along the lines of “That’s not what they meant!”  This is precisely the kind of let’s-imply-without-saying, sneak behavior that we’ve all come to expect from union ‘negotiators.’  Let me also explicitly say that the cops and firemen have nobody but themselves to blame for making anybody trust them less as a result of this letter: if they don’t want people to have legitimate concerns about public ’servants’ taking partisan sides, then public ’servants’ shouldn’t take partisan sides.  There is no margin for ambiguity or nuance, here: there should be no margin, either.  That there is anyway merely confirms why the notorious small-government conservative FDR was entirely correct in opposing public sector unions in the first place.

    If I lived in Wisconsin, I would be pounding the table right now and demanding that every signatory to that letter hand in their badges.  Since I don’t, it’s incumbent on Wisconsin citizens to make an answer to this.

    Moe Lane (crosspost)

    Why There Should Be NO Public-Service Unions

    1689 Sunday, March 13th at 6:54AM EDT (link)

    Moe Lane is exactly right. They have no refuge to say they’re limiting their threat to boycotting “goods and services.” They’re announcing they’re against you if you don’t join them politically. So everyone also knows that if the cops & firemen detest your position, they ain’t going to be too interested to show up when the private-union thugs break in, burn the place, & steal things (or when ordinary crimes & fires happen too).

    The Wisconsin cops’ actions are identical to those of the federal air traffic controllers union, PATCO, which declared a strike in 1981. But they violated federal law which banned strikes by government unions. Reagan declared the PATCO strike a “peril to national safety” and fired them all. Whether they have a general strike, or threaten a do-you-get-my-meaning boycott, it amounts to the same thing — putting the public safety in jeopardy.

    This stunning letter should be front page on all the networks. It’s demonstrates with remarkable clarity the reason why the public should never, never allow any group of public servants to unionize. Their duties are to the public as a whole, without regard to politics. The temptations to withhold services & thuggish behavior are too great.


    February 23, 2011

    Politics in the US from a Mom’s Perspective

    School Unions Rant

    Gov. Chris Christie said this morning, “We’re not trying to break the unions, the unions are trying to break the middle class.” The Heritage Foundation

    Seriously, if a state is BROKE what are the people supposed to do? There is no more money! You can’t honor a contract or meet an obligation when there is no more money.

    On top of all of that we are Taxed Enough Already!!! Imagine what will happen, and it’s only a matter of time, when taxes continue to rise & the states stay broke. You will be LUCKY if you can keep your job!!!

    Negotiations and *Special* Treatment are then Null and Void. The states are bankrupt. These Unions have no business making demands on anyone when there is NO MORE cash!!! It’s completely ridiculous!!!

    The rest of the country is getting laid off, cut back, put on forced furloughs, and these union people are running around acting like two year olds throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their afternoon snack.

    On top of ALL of that…Barack Obama has the Unions in his BACK pocket. Although…it’s going to be interesting to see how much they will be able to line his pockets with now that he is going to run again for President. Do they think we are not watching? Any reasonable Union member who actually “gets it” is going to be… PISSED!!!

    I don’t feel sorry for any of them. Parents get ready because when your child’s school winds up FAILING you better be prepared to TEACH your kids because after all THEY are YOUR responsibility.

    The End.

    PS So what do these small-minded children do? They ask doctors to LIE for them.

    Posted by Divapalooza 

    The Public Policy

    Beyond Collective Bargaining

    By on 2.25.11 @ 6:07AM

    One would think that Alabama, a state in which teachers unions don’t have the power to force school districts into collective bargaining, would be a bastion of school reform. But within the past year or so, the National Education Association’s Cotton State affiliate has shown there’s more to wielding influence than sitting at negotiating tables.

    In November 2009, then-Gov. Bob Riley and school reformers, looking to push for school choice (and to get a share of the $4.3 billion in federal money provided by President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top school reform effort) attempted to advance school choice by ending the Cotton State’s status as one of the few states that don’t allow public charter schools. At the time, Riley declared: “This gives us an opportunity to do something that 40 states say has made a tremendous difference in the quality of education.”

    Three months later, Riley’s effort went to seed as the NEA affiliate and local school districts convinced committees in both houses of the legislature to kill the charter school bill. By mid-year, the union all but assured that charter schools would never be a part of any governor’s plans in the near future by backing both winners of the state’s Democratic and Republican primaries, including Robert Bentley, the eventual winner.

    This should give pause to both school reformers and those looking to clip the wings of other public sector unions by rooting for efforts by governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and legislatures in Ohio and other states to abolish collective bargaining requirements. Ending forced labor negotiations can weaken the influence of teachers unions. But through the sheer force of campaign war chests, armies of rank-and-file teachers, and strong alliances with other defenders of traditional public education, the NEA and its sister union, the American Federation of Teachers, still retain more than enough influence to thwart efforts to end the compensation deals that has made teaching even more lucrative than other professions in the public sector.

    School reformers and foes of public sector unions will need to take on all aspects of union influence in order to achieve their respective goals — including taking on the other ways the NEA and the AFT, along with their allies, influence education policy and even control school spending.

    The battles over collective bargaining come as state governments struggle to close $260 billion in budget shortfalls in this fiscal year and 2011-2012, and wrestle with the long-term costs of traditional teacher compensation — including at least $1 trillion in teachers’ pension deficits and another $400 billion or so in unfunded retired teacher healthcare costs. The recognition that traditional teacher compensation is ineffective at rewarding high-quality teachers and spurring student achievement has also given impetus to restricting collective bargaining (and the pay raises that teachers unions tend to win at the negotiating table).

    At the same time, the nation’s school reform movement has succeeded in fully exposing the low quality of America’s public schools. For taxpayers and legislators, the steady evidence of academic failure — including yesterday’s news that 44 percent of fourth-graders in the nation’s 14-largest cities (and 29 percent of all American students) scored Below Basic on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress — and efforts by teachers union locals to protect poor-performing teachers (including the push by the AFT’s Beltway local to reinstate 75 teachers tossed out last year by D.C. Public Schools) are proof enough that the defenders of traditional public education can no longer be trusted with schools or children.

    There is plenty that is appealing to many school reformers and to those generally opposed to organized labor about abolishing collective bargaining. For states and districts, it would weaken the clout of the NEA and AFT in structuring work rules, compensation deals, and layoff policies that have made it difficult for them to move toward private sector-style performance management and to ditch degree- and seniority-based pay scales, which have long ago been proven ineffective in improving student achievement. More importantly, it would also allow for school reformers, especially those in big-city districts, to move more aggressively on reform. This is because NEA and AFT locals tend to use their campaign cash essentially to pick the winners in school board elections, thus ending up on both sides of the negotiating table.

    But the clout of the NEA and AFT doesn’t rest on collective bargaining and school board races alone. Despite their weakened status, the two unions remain the biggest players in federal and state elections; they ladled out $59 million in campaign donations during the 2009-2010 election cycle and $277 million over the past 11 years, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Although last year’s spending spree was largely a bust, the unions managed to throw their weight around for high impact, including spending $1 million on an ad blitz that helped defeat D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty in his bid for re-election.

    This spending, along with the rank-and-file members they deploy, also allow the NEA and AFT (along with smaller unions) to wield tremendous clout in state legislatures even in the few states in which they cannot technically conduct collective bargaining or where union influence is at first glance rather weak — and  structure state laws and policies that restrict what school districts can actually do. In South Carolina, the otherwise-floundering NEA affiliate there, along with other unions and professional associations, have successfully opposed school reform efforts and have continued to make it one of the easiest states for teachers to gain near-lifetime employment through tenure. Virginia’s NEA local also wields significant influence, including helping to weaken the effort by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s last year to ease the rules restricting the expansion of charter schools.

    As I noted in a 2008 study I  co-wrote for the National Council on Teacher Quality, the NEA and AFT long ago mastered the art of using their war chests and lobbying heft to enact state laws governing many of the key aspects of teachers’ contracts. Near-lifetime employment in the form of tenure, for example, is covered in the contracts of just a third of the nation’s 100 largest districts. Rules for dismissing teachers are often not even covered in contracts. If anything, lobbying and campaigning actually works better for their cause than collective bargaining because they no longer have to slog through negotiations with hundreds of districts. Through their influence on legislators, they can simply have state laws crafted that are more to their liking.

    Meanwhile the NEA and AFT  share common cause with allies who are just as opposed to the school reform movement. Suburban school districts have spent the past two decades opposing expansion of charter schools, and have been among the loudest foes of standards-and-accountability moves such as the No Child Left Behind Act. The two unions have also spent millions of member dues on subsidizing like-minded groups. The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, which lobbies on behalf of the nation’s university colleges of education, has benefitted from more than $1.5 million in NEA funding between 2005-2006 and 2009-2010, according to the union’s disclosures to the U.S. Department of Labor. Another beneficiary, the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (whose studies always manage to support NEA positions), has received $1.3 million in union largesse.

    What school reformers and foes of public sector unions must do is attack the very pools of money that help sustain NEA and AFT coffers. Most of the $622 million in dues collected by the two unions is forcibly collected; ending automatic deductions, as Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker seeks to do, would go a long way in reducing the financial clout. So would restricting the use of school funding for subsidizing teachers union activity; in New York State, for example, the AFT affiliate there is allowed to provide teacher training in school districts through its Education & Learning Trust.

    So long as the NEA and AFT have the dollars and the bodies to push for their cause, they will remain a key (if increasingly less-relevant) influence in education policy. School reformers and those seeking to end the drag of public sector unions on taxpayers altogether need to focus more on mounting the kind of lobbying and campaigning that will end this influence (and overhaul the teaching profession) in the long run. That’s if the bipartisan coalition of centrist Democrats and conservatives that have long fought for reform can hold.

    Letter to the Editor RiShawn Biddle the editor of Dropout Nation , is co-author of A Byte at the Apple: Rethinking Education Data for the Post-NCLB Era. He can be followed at

    Results matter, even in the public sector. A substitute replacement for pampered teachers is needed. View the videos Waiting for Superman and THE LOTTERY for the real story. The conclusion in, Teachers Unions are morally illegitimate, is to the point. 

    “That moral claim is being turned on its head as more Americans come to understand that teachers unions and the public bureaucracy are the main obstacles to reform. Movies such as “Waiting for ‘Superman’” and “The Lottery” are exposing this to the larger American public, leaving the monopolists to the hapless recourse of suggesting that reformers are merely the tools of hedge fund philanthropists”.

    With a dismal record of performance and a pattern of taxpayer extortion, the progressive sisterhood reaches out to their brothers of sleaze, who use the tactics of street hoods collecting juice for a loan shark enterprise. No wonder that when courageous politicians challenge the status quo, crazed public union fantastic’s go into full damage control mode. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one such hero and has experience with public unions. 

    “Christie said in a Wednesday speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington that he is “reforming an education system that costs too much and does too little for our society today and our children’s future.”

    The state’s unions “think I’m attacking them,” Christie said. But he said he’s not targeting their rank-and-file members. “I’m attacking the leadership of the unions because they’re greedy, they’re selfish.” 


    The Washington Examiner makes a valid point. “The Left has misread the postbailout populist sentiment all along, assuming public anger was directed at the rich. But American anger, I suspect, is directed not at some people who have money or success, but at those who profit through cronyism and their connections to power”.The fundamental distinction between a progressive and a conservative populist is their view on government. As the current dispute spreads to Indiana and Ohio, the public employment unions are altogether oblivious to the meaning of “using government on behalf of the common people“. The patron saint of progressive liberalism warned of the danger in, “The process of Collective Bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees.

    “In 1959, the state of Wisconsin enacted the first state statute permitting municipal employees the right to form, join, and be represented by labor organizations. Three years later, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10988, which granted federal employees the right to join and form unions and to bargain collectively. The order established a framework for collective bargaining and encouraged the expansion of collective bargaining rights to state and local government employees.

    The Supreme Court held in Smith v. Arkansas State Highway Employees, Local 1315 (1979), (3) however, that nothing in the U.S. Constitution requires public employers to either recognize or collectively bargain with public employee unions”.

    Jim O’Sullivan writes in the National Journal. “Wisconsin has done more than polarize and excite the true believers in both parties; it has served to galvanize already amped conservative populists who have increasingly discussed a “new class” of workers being forged among public employees enjoying union-rigged perks, and liberal populists who see in Madison a conservative conspiracy to end decades of hard-won rights for the working man”.

    What escapes the marginal intellectual integrity of so many public employees is that government never creates wealth. All taxation is theft. Mandating government schools, paid for with public funds, teaching subversive doctrines and socialist redistribution, is a primary cause of producing the walking zombies that populate this country. The most deprived and underclass in society would be better served with a copy of the McGuffey Readers.



    Cited in the essay, Public Employee Unions Guarantee National Bankruptcy

    The divide in the Disunited States of America opened wider with the concerted effort of progressives and teacher union’s latest escape from reality. When people lament that there is little civility left in this country, they mostly refuse to face facts. There is a pitch battle for the hearts and minds of citizens. So far the public education lobby has been winning the war. Their victory is self-evident with the sorry state of literacy much less rational ability that passes for the collective consciousness of the public. The prime directive and accomplishment of the government school system is the development of a society of fools and idiots. Here, here to the union of public thugs and sophists, who work diligently to destroy the American Nation.

    “The link between La Follette-Johnson and Taft-Goldwater can be discerned when thinking of the transitional figures in the late ’30s/early ’40s when internationalists and the mainstream press were confusing people by adopting the then-popular “liberal” and “progressive” labels. Consider the fact that new “conservatives” attorney Amos Pinchot, publisher Frank Gannett, publisher Robert McCormick, businessman Robert Wood, socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth, aviator Charles Lindbergh, and Congressman Hamilton Fish all came out of the Bull Moose-La Follette-Borah tradition of liberal Jeffersonianism within the party”.

    Fighting Bob was an inspiration battling the railroads and opposing American involvement in World War I. This iconic agrarian populist was a proponent of using government on behalf of the common people. Mr. Taylor continues with a comparison between La Follette and Robert Taft.

    “Robert La Follette and Robert Taft shared hostility toward statism, plutocracy, and imperialism. Although La Follette did not earn his fame as an exponent of literal interpretation of the Constitution, during his years in the Senate he was a strict constructionist who repeatedly challenged actions on constitutional grounds”.

    Just short of a century has passed from the heyday of this Wisconsin hero, but he would be turning in his grave by the conduct of the Bolshevik’s who rally in Madison to defy the public interest. The best lesson taught about teacher unions is that any absence of teaching in government schools is a good day for the children who deserve a quality education.


    The Wisconsin firmament has a fine tradition of populism. Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette, Sr. is a heroic figure in state and national politics. His advocacy for some admirers would claim he was a progressive, but those who understand the distinction, know he was really a populist. Jeff Taylor writes in First Principles.

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