Unless you live under a rock, Unions are under attack!

I prefer to disagree. We are a union place, and in our place there is always someone willing to unload a trucker any time they have a delivery. You think we are ignorant of the fact others work for a living. Sure I did it in lunch hour, and sure I did unloads after hours, never asked for another penny, I can only speak for my place but we have respect for anyone who has to work, and give above and beyond to help anyone, if we get compensated or not. Sure I remember my college job where an electrician had to replace a light bulb, but I think those days are gone, as they should be.

Feel free to copy that little parable, waterboy.
I’m glad that you got a smile out of the truths depicted in those 4 lines.

I belong to the American Federation of Musicians and at one time was treasurer for the chapter of the American Federation of Teachers at my university. Safe working conditions are very important. In one band I played with, we played a job and there was no backrail as required by the union. One trombonist fell backwards off the stage and suffered a perforated bowel. Unions do insist on safety standards.
My collar is rather blue when it comes to unions. What bothers me is that state universities in my state do not allow collective bargaining. However, we had a chapter of the AFT to bring to light administrative practices we thought were unfair. I have been an advocate for colleagues in tenure appeal hearings. Even after helping these colleagues get a fair hearing and win their cases, none of them would join the union. Had we not defended these people, they would have been out of a job. Eventually, the old timers in the union retired and our local went on inactive status. It has been rather disheartening to be looked down upon by colleagues who think joining a union is beneath their dignity, but then call on us when they have a problem.

OK we have a thin thread of hope, Walker might negotiate, or the budget is stalled long enough for recalls to affect the vote. I like(not) the new 189 mil for economic development, while cutting 90 mil to cities and counties, and giving them the tools to deal with the cuts. The only tool is to eliminate collective bargaining, thus we will drastically reduce shared revenue state has historically sent back to cities and counties. His mandate is you cannot raise taxes, He even cut out funding for recycling. OK in conclusion, we are cutting your funds by x mil, more cuts for Madison because they pissed him off most. I was not aware union busting was on his bid for election, but it will definitely be a factor in his recall, Nov. 11.

There is no question that unions have their downsides. But as long as the world is full of massive employers (corporations, state), on balance we are better off with unions than without then no matter what anyone’s personal experience says. (We do have two reports here based on personal experience that are at odds. That just means, quite simply, that you can’t generalize solely from personal experience).

I can tell you that I am in a right to work state and a state employee as a faculty member at a state university. Given what is, for all intents and purposes, the inability for any of the employees of the University to get together collectively (faculty or otherwise) we are walked all over - daily - while everyone smiles and pats us on the back and pretends to love on us. I actually have reached a point where I’m just fed up and don’t really give a hoot anymore. Sometimes when people appear to be “lazy” or “uncooperative” or “uncaring” it really just that they’re pissed off and tired of being pushed around.

I hope this adds some insight.

"There were a lot of losers in WI Gov. Scott Walker?s budget proposal unveiled Tuesday ? namely, public schools, which would lose $1.5 billion in aid; and cities, which will take an 8.8 percent hit.

But one hugely-big winner was the recently-formed Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which would pocket $196 million of state money under Walker?s proposed budget.

A little less than half of that ($96 million) could be seen as coming straight out of the hands of state municipalities and counties, which will lose $60 million and $36 million in aid, respectively, under Walker?s proposal.

If WEDC really does create a ton of jobs, as some predict, including Competitive Wisconsin Inc., then maybe that reassigned cash will pay off.

But what if WEDC doesn?t come through? IWEDC is a newly-formed entity with no track record of success, and a lack of fiscal accountability, according to the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, a public advocacy association.

At a time where every dollar counts for Wisconsin, $196 million could easily be put to use a number of other places ? say, in our public schools for instance, where there are clear issues. And WEDC is a totally unproven entity."


It was not my intent to imply all union employees are lazy and arrogant; I simply stated my personal experience with union shops. What else can we base are opinions on if not personal experience ? I have no doubt there are union shops that push hard and turn out the work quickly and efficiently. But it would be foolish of me to ignore the repeated bad experiences I’ve had over the course of 28+ years, and instead take the word of others who don’t share my opinion. I have nothing against the concept of unionization. I simply have seen what it has created in the many union shops I’ve dealt with and how far it has strayed from the original intent. Many of the posters here are willing to admit these problems exist, yet downplay them by implying they’re minor or trivial. No one trying to survive as a business owner, large or small, would consider these problems to be trivial. Quite the contrary; they can be the difference between profit and an out-of-business sign on the door.

 I also agree that any worker, most likely all workers, become fed up and feel unappreciated at their job and become complacent. It's human nature. What I don't agree with is that this situation gives the employee the right to drag his feet, do shoddy work, or give a half-assed effort on the job, yet still expect to be paid the same as the guy next to him busting his ass. When we get hired, we agree to do the job asked, and give our best effort. We all have bad days, problems at home, etc., that can result in a less-than-stellar effort at work now and then, but if it's a consistently bad attitude and poor showing, then it's time to move on. There are two sides to the union debate. Put yourself in the mindset of a business owner dealing with unions, and it's easy to see how difficult it can be to just survive.

     I guess I'm simply saying that if you're union, congratulations, I hope you like your job and get compensated well. But remember that union membership doesn't guarantee a job for life, nor does it insulate the worker from non-union competition. It would be nice if it did, but that's unrealistic.


About 36 percent of government workers, or 7.6 million people, are members of unions, compared with about 7 percent of private-sector workers, or 7.1 million people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It appears the majority of working people are NOT members of unions. There are vast numbers of silent majority that are sick and tired of hearing about union workers whining about concessions that don’t even approach the levels that the private sector has endured for years. Upset at $10 copays? Don’t make me laugh. Cashing in those 200 accumulated unused sick and vacation days? Most people don’t have any EXTRA to cash in on and even if you do they go away if you don’t use them by the end of the year. I could go on and on and on…

When times are good, nobody complains about excesses. These days, not many people are in the mood for the prospect of increased taxes to pay for those luxurious contract provisions.

Heck even though I don’t live there anymore, I’m tempted to send him a contribution to his re-election campaign!

Especially when the average teacher’s salary in Wisconsin is $56,000 (the average cost including all compensation is $100,000 but that’s a whole separate topic).

If you’re going to give the Guv a contribution, do it like the Democrats: meet him at the border with a briefcase and make sure he comes alone. As the Wisconsin Democrats know, that’s how you do a ransom drop.

Anyone on this board doing well financially? That fat load Michael Moore went to Madison last week and said he wants to take your money from you. That’s all you need to know.

Wisconsin is $56,000 teacher’s salary ? So how does that compare with some one in business with a bachelor or master’s degree ?

As a mechanic that has busted knuckles and worked on junk, I always envied and despised the UAW and auto execs.

All auto union members and auto execs should be required to work on cars for two years .

Don’t know. Don’t care. Doesn’t matter.

Many years ago when Nixon was President in upstate NY…Nixon gave block grants to towns and states. Well one such block grant went to pay for a study to increase jobs in the upstate NY area which was at a unemployment rate of twice the national average. Most of the money went to a consulting firm that was commissioned to create a report and recommendations. The report was total waste of paper. Then some people started looking into this company…Well the consulting company wasn’t formed until a month after Nixon was sworn in…And it consisted of just 5 people…all who contributed greatly to the Nixon campaign…Gee I wonder how they were able to get this grant money.

Especially when the average teacher’s salary in Wisconsin is $56,000 (the average cost including all compensation is $100,000 but that’s a whole separate topic).

I’m looking to hire two fresh-outs with no experience…starting salary $60k. Why become a teacher with a starting salary of $30k when I’ll hire you at $60k. And that’s why the science and Math teachers across this country are mostly under qualified and under paid.

“I’m looking to hire two fresh-outs with no experience…starting salary $60k. Why become a teacher with a starting salary of $30k when I’ll hire you at $60k. And that’s why the science and Math teachers across this country are mostly under qualified and under paid”.

You make a good point. I was once offered two and a half times what I earn teaching to work at as a statistician for a major pharmacuetical company. I turned it down because I enjoy teaching. I had the opportunity to be a university administrator at a higher salary, but again turned it down. Yes, there are many times when I would like to have had a higher salary. However, I’ve earned enough to live reasonably comfortably.

I’ve been fortunate that I had a profession that I’ve liked. However, it would be wonderful if teachers’ salaries and just as importantly working conditions would be such that we could attract and retain talented young people into the field. I have had outstanding students who went into teaching, but became disillusioned with the job and could double their salaries by going into industry.

The problem is that in many parts of the country like NH and MA where the cost of living is very high…To BECOME a teacher it almost has to be a second job in a two income family. The new teachers I know…either A) have a husband or wife who’s the real wage earner…Or B) live at home with their parents. It’s very difficult for a college educated teacher to make a living to support him/herself let alone support a family on what they get paid.

It isn’t just the teaching profession that has low pay for college grads. There are many, many people today with college degrees who can’t make ends meet despite their qualifications. The bad economy, high unemployment, and a glut of college grads have all combined to hold wages down across the board. Teaching is no more noble than any other profession, and we all could use a boost in pay, but it just isn’t there right now.

Of course not, they’re just people educating the youth of your state upon whom, you will depend upon one day. If you don’t care, don’t know, it doesn’t matter either.

Certain teaching fields are extremely low…Math and Science when compared to the private sector. And that’s why we get under qualified math and science teachers. Starting salary for someone with a degree in Mathematics in this country is about $50k…teacher…$30k.

“Of course not, they’re just people educating the youth of your state upon whom, you will depend upon one day. If you don’t care, don’t know, it doesn’t matter either.”

Read it again. I said I don’t know or care, and it doesn’t matter, what people who are NOT teachers get paid. And yes, I would like fries with that.