Aug 23 2011
It turns out one of the strangest and clearly useless ‘unions’ I have ever heard of is now defunct – thanks Governor Scott Walker and the GOP legislature. It turns out that in Wisconsin, a program to help financially struggling but promising students become Teaching Assistants was co-opted by a union that used to feed off the meager pay of TAs. Now that this union has to be voted annually into existence AND has to go get its own damn dues it is folding its tent in Wisconsin:
Last week, after hours of debate, the union’s members voted not to seek state certification to continue to act as a collective bargaining agent.
Union leaders said that they couldn’t function well if they had to effectively be in a perpetual organizing drive for the annual union votes, and also if they had to pay annual fees to be certified.
The union faces challenges as it adjusts to the limits imposed by the state law. Under the old contract, union dues were automatically deducted from the paychecks of the 2,700-2,800 graduate teaching assistants at Madison. Now the Teaching Assistants’ Association must seek dues from members by itself.
Let me be clear here. When a government employee union is ‘negotiating’ legislation to increase benefits it is LOBBYING! And when they receive mandatory dues from the government they are being PAID TO LOBBY by the government.
TAs will be better off now as teachers and their TAs work out arrangements between the two that is beneficial to both. But what Wisconsin is doing is an important example for the entire country. Ever since the union stranglehold on government was broken, schools went from bankrupt to flush with funds, which means they can spend more on teaching. The monopoly on health benefits were broken, reducing costs across the board. And now teachers and their assistants can collaborate without some nosy union rep butting in and taking money from the TA.
This is why the left is furious, because now they have to actually compete for ideas and customers and money. Something they are not good at.