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With the national spotlight on reform in the public sector, the role teachers play is ever more important. With over 3,000,000 members, teachers make up the largest section of the public sector.
Many union negotiated contracts protect their teachers with the LIFO (Last In, First Out) policy that protects teachers who have been in the system longest when layoffs hit, like the recent layoffs in the Milwaukee Public School District (http://bit.ly/jlSdqO).
When you do a Google search for “collective bargaining,” you’re sure to find a number of articles about public sector employees, but the overwhelming majority of articles that pop up will be about the recent contract negotiations between professional sports leagues and their respective players unions. Both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have recently come to terms on new collective bargaining agreements.
Public sector unions and private sector unions have a number of differences, but sometimes you’ll find they share similar disturbing trends. One that sticks out is the lack of foresight when investing in younger employees. Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) included new rules and regulations on draft rules that essentially cripple the market for young athletes looking to play baseball.
By Kyle Olson
By and large, politicians are not willing to tackle the unsustainable costs they’ve created. Consider Illinois public employee pensions.
Public employee pensions have been a state expense. Therefore, a big chunk of legacy costs don’t need to be shown on school district books. But new legislation proposed by Senate Democrats seeks to change that. They want local school districts to bear that burden.
By Charles C. Johnson
“Boys and girls go to college to get more knowledge,” goes the old rhyme, but can they afford it? In our “knowledge-based” economy, it’s getting harder and harder to get knowledgeable, as higher education is priced higher and higher.
By Kyle Olson
When Detroit Public Schools were assigned an emergency financial manager by the state, we thought he would have the power to turn things around, more or less, with a snap of his fingers.
Turns out that’s not the case, due in large part to a thick document known as a teachers contract, or collective bargaining agreement. In Detroit (and most other school districts across the nation) these documents contain seemingly mundane provisions that cost taxpayers and school districts millions of dollars.
PHILADELPHIA – Every pay period, the Philadelphia school district puts $155 per union member into a special fund that helps educators pay their personal legal bills, which includes everything from routine legal advice to estate planning.
That single perk, nestled deep within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ union contract, cost taxpayers $2.6 million during the 2010-11 school year. It also contributed to the district’s financial woes, which led to 2,200 teachers being laid off last year.
LOS ANGELES - Union-funded hacks like those at the Economic Policy Institute tell us public employees have it rough. Their pay is so low they resort to eating dog food at night. Their pensions are terrible and no one – and we mean no one – should be subjected to such poor health care coverage.
It baffles the mind, then, to look at the honest numbers. Because when one does, it shows that the people at EPI are little more than union shills spewing cooked up numbers to satisfy the paymaster.
The Chicago Teachers Union made headlines a few months ago when it was revealed that the union was demanding a 30 percent raise in its new contract proposal.
Such an enormous raise – regardless of the supposed justification – would be unthinkable in a district with a $665 million budget deficit and a 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
Reason #54,678 why teachers unions are the enemy of students and taxpayers: They sue school districts over “unfair working conditions,” then agree to a hefty raise as a settlement.
That’s exactly what happened at Redford Union, a financially struggling school district in the metro Detroit area. The district has been fighting Big Labor so long that collective bargaining battles have become as common as varsity football games.
The Redford Observer reports that the union recently took the district to court “claiming unfair working conditions pertaining to health insurance costs.” That’s because the district had imposed health insurance cost-sharing on employees (something that’s becoming common in districts across the nation) and somehow the union considered that “unfair.”
The late Dr. Milton Friedman’s contributions to economics and political philosophy are monumental, as the entire free-market movement has paused to remember this week. Yesterday, July 31, marked the centennial of his birth. It also is worth appreciating a very small but significant bit of advice that he offered his allies when it came to advocating educational reform.
Quite simply, Dr. Friedman urged his supporters to drop the term “public schools” and, instead, say, “government schools.” As he told Reason magazine in December 2005: “I try to avoid calling government schools public schools because I think that’s a very misleading term.”
Fitch became the second credit rating agency in as many months to downgrade Chicago Public Schools’ outlook from “stable” to “negative.”
Fitch, in its assessment, put the blame squarely on the Chicago Teachers Union.
“The Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU) has filed a number of suits against the board and has voted to authorize a strike over what it considers unsatisfactory terms of a proposed new multi-year contract.
Is it ever enough? That’s what citizens should be asking in Newark, where the teachers are claiming they are subject to “indentured servitude” for being forced to consider an “inhumane” collective bargaining agreement that many consider very union friendly.
The average Newark teacher’s pay is $57,926, according to teachersalaryinfo.com. That constitutes “indentured servitude”?