WaPo: The teachers unions may be horrible, but let’s not touch their money

posted at 12:01 pm on January 11, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

As we’ve discussed a few times in the past, today the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and it’s a case which could fundamentally transform the structure of union politicking in America. At the heart of it is the First Amendment question of whether or not the massively powerful teachers unions can force their members to pay dues which support the political agenda of the unions and the candidates they prop up even when they don’t agree with them. The editorial board of the Washington Post uses their pulpit on the day of these arguments to work the refs a bit and argue in favor of the unions.

In a rather shocking admission, the editors begin with a tip of the hat to the many problems inherent in these entirely political organizations.

The unions have helped persuade society to value the vital role teachers play. But they also have become an often-reactionary force, opposing reforms that are especially important to poor and minority children. Public education — and many teachers — have been ill served by seniority rules that force administrators to lay off promising teachers instead of ineffective tenured ones. Students suffer from workplace rules that make it nearly impossible to fire a certifiably bad teacher or experiment with new types of schooling. Taxpayers have to bear the costs of teacher pensions that may be excessive, sometimes at the expense of other community needs.

It’s a bit understated and leaves out a host of other sins, but let’s give credit where credit is due. They managed to at least acknowledge some of the many problems with the teachers unions across the country. But even after giving a nod to the issue which actually needs to be managed, the board goes on to say that this is no reason to stop them from seizing the pay of their teachers and using it as they please.

But as much as we agree about the harm that’s been done to public education and, in particular, to children at risk, we don’t think the answer is for the Supreme Court to give relief by overturning settled law. Unions have contributed positively in many places; their policies can be democratically influenced by their members; and their proper role should be decided politically, not in a Supreme Court decision that would inevitably be seen as favoring one party over the other, since unions have been the traditional allies of Democrats.

So let’s make sure we’re understanding the core of their argument here. They know – and acknowledge – that the teachers unions are, by definition, hugely powerful and overtly political organizations which favor one party (the Democrats) over the other, but the court shouldn’t step in here because it would make the decision appear to favor one party over the other?

The mind… it doth boggle.

As I said above, this is a free speech question at the heart of it all, but it really goes much further than that. If the teachers unions were any other sort of entity, such as a manufacturing firm, the government would have long since stepped in to to break them up under trust busting laws. They control the public school system entirely and any young person who wants to go into the field of teaching is under their thumb. It may be impossible for parents, local government or even law enforcement to fire even the worst offending teachers, but by God the unions can certainly do it if they are insufficiently pro-union before they achieve tenure.

Also, the argument which immediately crops up in cases such as this among union apologists is that “dues money can’t be used for politicking.” That’s such an obvious load of crappola that it’s not worth discussing, considering how much cash they flush into Democrat coffers for elections from the Presidency down to local school boards. And it’s yet another example of the tricks that can be played when you realize that money is fungible. It’s much the same as Planned Parenthood saying no government money goes to abortions. When you give them money which “can’t be used” for one thing, they simply spend it elsewhere for purposes they would have had to spend money on anyway and then shift those resources toward the desired goal.

This is a poor effort on the part of the WaPo editorial board. I don’t know if Ms. Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiffs will carry the day at SCOTUS, but they clearly should. If the Washington Post wants the unions to be more responsive to the will of their members without the government stepping in, allowing all the members to vote with their wallets without fear of losing their jobs might be a very good first step.

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Comments

The teachers union is loaded with greedy goon thugs that don’t give a ratz azz about teaching children.

Teachers Union goons launder money and stuff their pockets with cash while subverting the election process .

SpongePuppy on January 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM

So let’s make sure we’re understanding the core of their argument here. They know – and acknowledge – that the teachers unions are, by definition, hugely powerful and overtly political organizations which favor one party (the Democrats) over the other, but the court shouldn’t step in here because it would make the decision appear to favor one party over the other?

That’s incredibly weak sauce, but typical of the new editorial staff of this once-great newspaper, now reduced to just another Democratic Party rag.

“Free speech be damned, this might look partisan and help Republicans, IT MUST BE STOPPED!!!”

Good grief.

rockmom on January 11, 2016 at 12:06 PM

……Trump voters?

Tater Salad on January 11, 2016 at 12:06 PM

If the Washington Post wants the unions to be more responsive to the will of their members without the government stepping in, allowing all the members to vote with their wallets without fear of losing their jobs might be a very good first step.

What real value do the unions today provide beyond that to the union leadership and the Democrat politicians they purchase?

And isn’t that relationship between bought Democrat politicians who then negotiate with the unions over their contracts incestuous? It certainly is here in California.

Athos on January 11, 2016 at 12:08 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

One of my favorite charts

https://moz.com/rand/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/spending-test-scores.jpg

Mr. Arrogant on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Anything that will hurt the cancer of unions is something that need to be both applauded and supported. It’s also a necessity if this country ever wants to recover.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:14 PM

Paul Ryan: The teachers unions may be horrible, but let’s not fund school vouchers.

Magicjava on January 11, 2016 at 12:15 PM

Hey, teachers’ union, it’s only because it’s a public employee union. Maybe now you’ll get behind privatizing the schools.

Occams Stubble on January 11, 2016 at 12:17 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Your being two kind…

VegasRick on January 11, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Anything that will hurt the cancer of unions is something that need to be both applauded and supported. It’s also a necessity if this country ever wants to recover.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:14 PM

Public unions, you mean. Please always make this distinction. Private, freely organized and self-supported unions in a right-to-work state are the embodiment of the right of association. I expect Trump to severely curb – or, once he realized it’s as easy as voiding a single executive order, entirely abolish – PEUs, but he clearly wants private unions to be on his side.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Carter fed this monster with creating the Department of Education.

Only one candidate has talked about ridding us of this monster…Carly.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Republican presidential hopeful, said that one “metric of success” would be to make the U.S. Department of Education a “whole lot smaller.” She made the remarks at an education summit hosted by The Seventy Four, an education news website, and moderated by its founder Campbell Brown. Fiorina said she would like to see the department justify every single part of its funding every year:

What we need to do is have zero-based budgeting in the federal government. That’s a fancy word for saying every single department has to justify every single dollar every single year. We don’t know what the department of education does anymore. We don’t know what they’re doing. We don’t know what they’re spending money on.

The only candidate talking about zero based budgeting…

right2bright on January 11, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Unions of every stripe are a cancer. But there’s just something about teachers unions that make the stomach turn. It’s their naked aggression toward anything that might possibly effect their coffers with a blatant disregard for the kids they’re supposed to be teaching.

Teachers unions are particularly vile entities, but all unions make life worse for everyone not in union leadership….

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:21 PM

Paul Ryan: The teachers unions may be horrible, but let’s not fund school vouchers.

Magicjava on January 11, 2016 at 12:15 PM

Yep. The one issue that Republicans could use to find some footing in the inner city is ignored and even undermined by Republican leadership.

Atlantian on January 11, 2016 at 12:22 PM

Private, freely organized and self-supported unions in a right-to-work state are the embodiment of the right of association.

Like the Teamsters?

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Give each union executive and member the ACT test. Anyone who gets lower than the national average composite score is summarily fired and banned from ever teaching or joining a teachers’ union.

English 20.3
Math 20.9
Reading 21.3
Science 20.8
Composite 21.0

Nutstuyu on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

The only candidate talking about zero based budgeting…

right2bright on January 11, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Too bad she talked about many other things that she shouldn’t have been talking about, like starting a war with Russia or bringing more third-world trash in.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

The battle in Wisconsin with Scott Walker tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about public sector unions. They’re willing to destroy a state to save their power structure.

antipc on January 11, 2016 at 12:24 PM

This is a poor effort on the part of the WaPo editorial board.

Meh! It’s the WaPo.

This is the same paper that had an article about “Jackie” the pathological liar who claimed to have been raped at a UVA frat party. Despite the fact that the WaPo acknowledges “Jackie’s” claims were all fraudulent they refuse to use her last name because, WAIT FOR IT, WaPo policy is to not use the last name of rape victims.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2016 at 12:25 PM

Can’t wait for the Cheef Justus to tip the 5-4 vote to the unions.

vnvet on January 11, 2016 at 12:25 PM

“But it’s about the hostages children!”

Marcola on January 11, 2016 at 12:25 PM

Ironically, maybe slightly OT, I often hold the opinion of union members like I do of Mooslums. Sure, individual union members are nice people faithfully contributing to society. Sure, individual Mooslums are nice, peaceful people contributing to society.

But, both unions and Islam as movements need to go the way of the dodo.

Nutstuyu on January 11, 2016 at 12:25 PM

Like the Teamsters?

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Yes, even the Teamsters. Once their “muscle” join the Occupy Penitentiary movement, they are just a free association of people.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Public unions, you mean. Please always make this distinction. Private, freely organized and self-supported unions in a right-to-work state are the embodiment of the right of association. I expect Trump to severely curb – or, once he realized it’s as easy as voiding a single executive order, entirely abolish – PEUs, but he clearly wants private unions to be on his side.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:19 PM

I used to support private unions, but not anymore, unless they receive drastic reform. While there is a definite difference between public/private, the Teamsters, Auto Workers, pilots etc have turned me off to private unions.

Basically, I’d support Guild-style “unions” where a bunch of independent self-employed individuals band together to agree to charge similar levels for service.

But any group that has the power to hold another hostage is anti-freedom. If you don’t like what the boss pays, go find another one and if a owner doesn’t have the right to run his business as he see’s fit, including firing any trouble-makers, then it’s no longer his business.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

A little off track but I don’t see why the unions are so upset. If they do such good for their members, why do they need the state to collect dues on their behalf? They should just bill their members directly the way any other organization does.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Unions have contributed positively in many places; their policies can be democratically influenced by their members;

Flat lie!
They have not contributed positively in the educational arena EVER!

I am in a school district in CA. There is no “democratic” way to influence the union or its members. And any so called opportunity to do so requires one to pay extra money beyond what they confiscate from one.

It is extortion.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM

It’s time for a Constitutional convention to resolve the issues the government and the courts wont.

supersport667 on January 11, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Private, freely organized and self-supported unions in a right-to-work state are the embodiment of the right of association.

Like the Teamsters?
Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

And like neighborhood protection rackets… sure, I choose to “freely associate” with the goons who keep my store from burning to the ground, and keep my kneecaps intact.

Marcola on January 11, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Yes, even the Teamsters. Once their “muscle” join the Occupy Penitentiary movement, they are just a free association of people.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:26 PM

However, what the private unions practice is far more than just “free association.” They are extortionists. As for right to work states, half of the states are not that, so in those states unionism is even more egregious.

There are no real reasons for unions to exist anymore. Between Federal, State and local laws, workers are more than protected from all types of workplace exploitation.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:40 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

I’m pretty sure that’s Libfree.

bigmacdaddy on January 11, 2016 at 12:41 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

I’m pretty sure that’s Libfree.

bigmacdaddy on January 11, 2016 at 12:41 PM

He says he is black college “perfessor,” maybe she’s one of his former students.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:44 PM

I used to support private unions, but not anymore, unless they receive drastic reform. While there is a definite difference between public/private, the Teamsters, Auto Workers, pilots etc have turned me off to private unions.

Basically, I’d support Guild-style “unions” where a bunch of independent self-employed individuals band together to agree to charge similar levels for service.

But any group that has the power to hold another hostage is anti-freedom. If you don’t like what the boss pays, go find another one and if a owner doesn’t have the right to run his business as he see’s fit, including firing any trouble-makers, then it’s no longer his business.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

There is no such thing as a private union in a union-shop state. When the government is not only effectively enforcing membership but also collecting dues via tax form, it’s a public union, however the members want to call it.

As for criminals, they should be imprisoned, whether they belong to a union or not. The problem with law enforcement stems from the fact that the cops themselves are unionized and feel sympathetic towards the “protestors”.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:46 PM

I’m….honestly not sure what you’re responding to in my comment…

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:49 PM

However, what the private unions practice is far more than just “free association.” They are extortionists. As for right to work states, half of the states are not that, so in those states unionism is even more egregious.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:40 PM

Any kind of monetary membership coercion that comes from the government effectively makes the union public.

Any kind of forceful membership coercion that comes from the union itself is a crime that prosecutors and cops, not politicians, should be dealing with.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:49 PM

He says he is black college “perfessor,” maybe she’s one of his former students.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:44 PM

So many lies to try to keep straight….

bigmacdaddy on January 11, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Nutstuyu on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

I be happy to see a yearly test on the subjects they teach and tossing those that fail.

wifarmboy on January 11, 2016 at 12:51 PM

I’m….honestly not sure what you’re responding to in my comment…

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Let me rephrase. I believe that your dislike for private unions is misled by the fact that some of the most notorious private unions have become either branches of government (UAW) or criminal gangs (Teamsters). This country didn’t see any free association of workers since Chicago turf wars in the 60-ies.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Yes, even the Teamsters. Once their “muscle” join the Occupy Penitentiary movement, they are just a free association of people.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Just a free association of thugs that extort money and services at the point of a gun.

Yeah, ok, they’re legit…

\

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Remember when the press roasted VP Quayle over the infamous ‘PotatoE’ correction during a spelling B? What my liberal friends never acknowledge when I remind them, is:
The cue cards with the ‘supposed’ correct spellings Quayle was using was given and written by a TEACHER!

Glubber on January 11, 2016 at 12:56 PM

The unions have helped persuade society to value the vital role teachers play.

Swing and a miss!

No, the unions have not done this. If anything, they’ve persuaded society that teachers care about their jobs, getting paid more, and that’s about it.

I have several friends and relatives in the teaching profession, and I know that they do care about their students and want to do a good job, and are often willing to go far beyond what the job requires to help their students.

But that attitude is the bane of unions. Unions are all about doing the minimum required, and nothing more, unless more money is brought to the table. So they get no help from their union in trying to help the students, and I detect an undercurrent of hatred and spite directed toward them by the teacher’s union.

That is why every time I hear my teaching friends and relatives talk about their jobs, it is one frustration after another, fighting the powers that be (put there by politicians the union helped elect), in order to try to do the right thing for the students. The conversation then generally turns to how to minimize the number of years remaining until they can retire and leave the stress and frustrations behind.

So the dedicated and caring teachers are the frustrated ones who are leaving the profession. The others are the ones left who will be teaching the leaders of the future. The future is looking dim.

s1im on January 11, 2016 at 12:57 PM

Any kind of forceful membership coercion that comes from the union itself is a crime that prosecutors and cops, not politicians, should be dealing with.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:49 PM

LMAO!!!!

I admire your idealism, but the word naive is too small to describe what you’ve written here, my friend….

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Any kind of forceful membership coercion that comes from the union itself is a crime…

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:49 PM

That is what unions do, whether surreptitiously or in the open. They have to force membership, otherwise they can’t get a majority, which they need to strike effectively. Extortion is their racket.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

That is what unions do, whether surreptitiously or in the open. They have to force membership, otherwise they can’t get a majority, which they need to strike effectively. Extortion is their racket.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

why don’t we also outlaw investment banks because of the crimes some of them committed? Or maybe guns, because someone used them for a crime? Lawbreakers should be prosecuted and imprisoned; in fact, without the political cover Democrats provide them, it won’t even be that hard.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Like the Teamsters?

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

No, he said “private, freely organized and self-supported”. That does not include the Teamsters.

Ah, he answered.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Basically, I’d support Guild-style “unions” where a bunch of independent self-employed individuals band together to agree to charge similar levels for service.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

That would be called “price-fixing” and is illegal.

But any group that has the power to hold another hostage is anti-freedom.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

That’s not a function of the union, itself, though. It’s a function of the law giving them exemplary power in that employer-employee relationship.

Unions have contributed positively in many places

They have not contributed positively in the educational arena EVER!

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM

And you’re disagreeing with him…. how? (Hint: “many” does not equal “everywhere”.)

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

Unions have contributed positively in many places

Do multiple Democrat war chests count as “many places”?

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 1:11 PM

That is what unions do, whether surreptitiously or in the open.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Not because they are unions, but because the law protects them as somehow special. THAT is the problem, not unions themselves. (As currently constituted, unions have that built into their organizations, though.)

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 1:12 PM

Let me rephrase. I believe that your dislike for private unions is misled by the fact that some of the most notorious private unions have become either branches of government (UAW) or criminal gangs (Teamsters). This country didn’t see any free association of workers since Chicago turf wars in the 60-ies.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Ah, gotcha. I agree, which is why my support of private unions is contingent on major, some would say, fundamental, reforms.

Rule #1: Members of said guild/union can not work for the same employer. That goes back to my point about any group that has the power to hold another hostage

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 1:16 PM

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

I’m guessing you or your kin belong to a union?

Anyone can see that the vast majority of unions, public or private, are corrupt anachronisms that do immeasurable harm to the American way of life.

The Teamsters are not a public union, they are private in the sense that the government doesn’t make their rules. However, the teamsters, as well as many other unions hold an incredible amount of power over our politicians. That’s wrong.

Also, forcing membership and the involuntary taking of dues to further the union’s, not the workers’, agendas is also wrong.

Sorry but unions are part of the problem….

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:18 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Your being two kind…

Points!

Jazz Shaw on January 11, 2016 at 1:18 PM

their proper role should be decided politically, not in a Supreme Court decision that would inevitably be seen as favoring one party over the other, since unions have been the traditional allies of Democrats.

But, please, ban Koch money.

blammm on January 11, 2016 at 1:19 PM

Basically, I’d support Guild-style “unions” where a bunch of independent self-employed individuals band together to agree to charge similar levels for service.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

That would be called “price-fixing” and is illegal.

And how is that any different from Electricians/Plumbers/Bricklayers etc requiring union wages on projects. (yes I realize that’s a law issue as well)

That’s not a function of the union, itself, though. It’s a function of the law giving them exemplary power in that employer-employee relationship.

Agreed, fundamental reforms would be necessary, namely Goverment OUT of the equation.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 1:19 PM

Not because they are unions, but because the law protects them as somehow special. THAT is the problem, not unions themselves. (As currently constituted, unions have that built into their organizations, though.)

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 1:12 PM

I disagree. They’re gangs. They have enough power to force private individuals and businesses to bend to their will through extortion.

They also have the power to influence government.

They got this power specifically because they unionized. The protection from the law didn’t exist until after the unions did.

It is precisely because they ARE unions that they do the things they do.

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I disagree. They’re gangs. They have enough power to force private individuals and businesses to bend to their will through extortion.

They also have the power to influence government.

They got this power specifically because they unionized. The protection from the law didn’t exist until after the unions did.

It is precisely because they ARE unions that they do the things they do.

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:22 PM

They’re legalized Mafia…can you say JIMMY HOFFA!?

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 1:26 PM

“Sure they’re thieves: But, they’re OUR thieves, so: no big.”

orangemtl on January 11, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Should NOT have bought that Autocorrect cranial implant.

samharker on January 11, 2016 at 1:29 PM

They’re legalized Mafia…can you say JIMMY HOFFA!?

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 1:26 PM

They actually ARE the mafia. Once you let in the mafia, they take over.

Now they’re indistinguishable and have been for a very long time.

Jimmy Hoffa is a prime example as is every other union leader.

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:33 PM

And you’re disagreeing with him…. how? (Hint: “many” does not equal “everywhere”.)

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

Thank you for attempting to clarify something, but I can’t seem to get what it is you are saying?

Are you defending the need for unions?

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 1:34 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

She should NOT have bought that Aurocorrect cranial implant.

samharker on January 11, 2016 at 1:36 PM

“…we don’t think the answer is for the Supreme Court to give relief by overturning settled law.”

But it is the answer when you want to overturn centuries of settled law on the definition of marriage.

…and their proper role should be decided politically, not in a Supreme Court decision that would inevitably be seen as favoring one party Republicans over the other Democrats, since unions have been the traditional allies of Democrats.

That’s what they really mean. WaPo’s position clearly favors Democrats, but I guess that’s just a coincidence.

RadClown on January 11, 2016 at 1:58 PM

I’m guessing you or your kin belong to a union?

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:18 PM

WTH is up with this sort of blaming?

The Teamsters … are private in the sense that the government doesn’t make their rules.

Wrong. They hold the power they do because gov’t has intervened in the employer-employee relationship. They have – in law – given unions the ability to unilaterally shut down a company (striking – without threat of being fired), to not let anyone (in covered jobs) opt out, etc. That broken relationship is why unions have the power they do. And it’s why they are corrupt.

However, the teamsters, as well as many other unions hold an incredible amount of power over our politicians. That’s wrong.

That’s solely because the gov’t gave them that power – to take their members’ money.

They have enough power to force private individuals and businesses to bend to their will through extortion.

Hank_Scorpio on January 11, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Only because the gov’t gave them that power. Without the power to strike (with no employment consequences, and forcing a strike even if individuals don’t want to) how do unions coerce an employer?

The protection from the law didn’t exist until after the unions did.

No. It is correct that some unions used unlawful tactics to try and coerce employers before legal protections came into force. (Guilds also used those tactics long before the industrial age.) But those unions could be dealt with using the law as it was. It was when they received legal protection that they became the behemoths they are today. If you remove that protection they lose almost all their ability to coerce anyone.

And how is that any different from Electricians/Plumbers/Bricklayers etc requiring union wages on projects.

Rogue on January 11, 2016 at 1:19 PM

Concur!

I can’t seem to get what it is you are saying?

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 1:34 PM

You jumped all over the statement that they have done good on many areas, and you replied they haven’t done any good in this area. I’m defending the need for you to not use logical fallacies in your arguments.
You could have said “Please show me the ‘many’ areas in which unions have helped, because education certainly isn’t one of them.”

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 2:12 PM

It is correct that some unions used unlawful tactics to try and coerce employers before legal protections came into force.

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 2:12 PM

By that, I mean legal protections for the union’s ability to coerce employers.

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 2:19 PM

You could have said “Please show me the ‘many’ areas in which unions have helped, because education certainly isn’t one of them.”

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Well, it is, in fact, arguable whether unions have helped in any area. But that is not what my point was. I addressed education as that was the thrust of the article and the case in front of the court.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 2:33 PM

From the article;

The mind… it doth boggle.

.
I feel that way a lot, lately, on an increasingly large number of subjects.

meerbock on January 11, 2016 at 3:07 PM

Have to get politics out of the Supreme Court first.

MT on January 11, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Let’s call unions what they really are: large labor companies. Unions are corporate entities that provide labor for businesses. Why not start treating them as such in the marketplace?

jya lai on January 11, 2016 at 6:01 PM

s1im on January 11, 2016 at 12:57 PM

You can’t please everyone. Education is in the middle of the ongoing tug of war between left and right. Teach evolution, and you pi$$ off someone. Teach about the Bible and you pi$$ off someone. Discipline a student and you pi$$ off someone. Can’t control the classroom and you pi$$ off someone. Have high standards and you pi$$ off someone. Hand out As and Bs like candy at Halloweeen, and you pi$$ off someone.

Also, like I’ve been saying for ages-most of these kids by the time they’re teens have no interest in school. They have professional sports, art, rap and drug dealing careers to pursue. They have their own plans. They’re innately brilliant snowflakes and they will succeed because…well, because they’re them!

And if they aren’t so motivated, they’ll get “a job”, live in a trailer and get high, drunk and laid whenever they can…and chances are high that mum and dad (or very likely the “guardian”) will enable this lifestyle.

Most of our institutions in this country are no longer worth a damn. We even have ministers advancing Socialist agendas from the pulpit. Scout leaders can be openly gay. Girls can serve in the infantry.

Stick a fork in it already-we’re done.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 11, 2016 at 6:05 PM

“Unions OUR my cup of tea”?

I hope that woman in the picture isn’t a teacher.

What’s you’re point?

VistaBrook on January 11, 2016 at 6:35 PM

So let’s make sure we’re understanding the core of their argument here. They know – and acknowledge – that the teachers unions are, by definition, hugely powerful and overtly political organizations which favor one party (the Democrats) over the other, but the court shouldn’t step in here because it would make the decision appear to favor one party over the other?

From a report at PowerLine

Vernuccio characterized the morning this way: “The questions from the justices show that the premise of the case may be upheld: that collective bargaining in the public sector is inherently political.”

Vernuccio also told me that when the justices asked for examples of collective bargaining issues that are not political, the opposition came up with just one. One lawyer suggested mileage reimbursements, but even that was shot down.

Unions have contributed positively in many places; their policies can be democratically influenced by their members;

Flat lie!
They have not contributed positively in the educational arena EVER!

I am in a school district in CA. There is no “democratic” way to influence the union or its members. And any so called opportunity to do so requires one to pay extra money beyond what they confiscate from one.

It is extortion.

Neitherleftorright on January 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM

AesopFan on January 12, 2016 at 12:53 AM

A little off track but I don’t see why the unions are so upset. If they do such good for their members, why do they need the state to collect dues on their behalf? They should just bill their members directly the way any other organization does.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Indeed.

If the teachers unions were any other sort of entity, such as a manufacturing firm, the government would have long since stepped in to to break them up under trust busting laws.

Indeeder.

The battle in Wisconsin with Scott Walker tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about public sector unions. They’re willing to destroy a state to save their power structure.

antipc on January 11, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Indeedest.

AesopFan on January 12, 2016 at 12:55 AM

Give each union executive and member the ACT test. Anyone who gets lower than the national average composite score is summarily fired and banned from ever teaching or joining a teachers’ union.

Nutstuyu on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

All of the children may not be above average, but certainly all of the teachers should be.

So the dedicated and caring teachers are the frustrated ones who are leaving the profession. The others are the ones left who will be teaching the leaders of the future. The future is looking dim.

s1im on January 11, 2016 at 12:57 PM

I’ve seen similar comments made about “private” unions (as many commenters point out, once a union gets government regulation on its side, it is no longer private, but benefits just like a public union does).

AesopFan on January 12, 2016 at 12:57 AM

One of my favorite charts

https://moz.com/rand/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/spending-test-scores.jpg

Mr. Arrogant on January 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Most of the money is going into something other than teaching and instruction per se.
Administration’s ratio to students is way way way too high; much is spent on fluff like diversity and Title IX compliance (beyond the legit bounds of the original law, such as they were), and so forth; immense amounts settling or fighting lawsuits for incredibly frivolous SJW charges.

It would be nice to see that graph with the actual spending breakdown (not just total money thrown at the schools).

AesopFan on January 12, 2016 at 1:00 AM

They know – and acknowledge – that the teachers unions are, by definition, hugely powerful and overtly political organizations which favor one party (the Democrats) over the other, but the court shouldn’t step in here because it would make the decision appear to favor one party over the other?

Yes, all sorts of judges are capable of all sorts of nonsense like this.

It’s one of the reasons I want the oligarchs reigned in.

Bundles of tax money regularly goes from DoE to schools, and what’s not given to liberal indoctrination, goes to teacher to union to Democrats. And Obama’s “stimulus” paid the salaries of various unionized civic jobs, and a good majority of the funding targets were groups that would filter money back to the Democrat coffers.

Axeman on January 12, 2016 at 12:17 PM

I think judges sense that liberals will push whatever narrative they want, and any kind of defunding of the Democrat party will be played as realpolitik…because, well, you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

Axeman on January 12, 2016 at 12:19 PM