Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Missing the Point, by a Mile or More

Jay's a decent kinda guy.

So he wrote an essay as part of some big co-operative thing, defending the WEA (and the NEA, by extension.)

Well, that's nice.

But defending the WEA (and the NEA) isn't the point, as Jay well knows.

The point is the $3.6BILLION deficit that Wisconsin has beginning 7/1/11. And the $173MILLION deficit that Wisconsin has right now. Today.

The point is that the State cannot afford the benefits given to WEA (and NEA) union members, nor the benefits given to AFL-CIO/SEIU members who are on the State's payroll.

The Union would like to re-frame the debate.

Nice try, though.

14 comments:

John Foust said...

Is it true that the State began to contribute the larger share of the pension component as a concession in the past, to prevent other wage increases?

If Walker & Co. were honest, they'd admit this was a desire for an across-the-board wage cut, combined with kneecapping the unions.

Jay Bullock said...

A, I contest your argument that the state cannot afford the status quo. Rather, the state does not have the will to pay for all the things it wants, and it has prioritized its workers and its schools below its prisons and its highways.

B, My union, and other unions, offered concessions to address the current and future budget crises. Those concessions were rejected in favor of disbanding the unions entirely, a move of no fiscal significance but of great political significance.

C, In breaking the unions, the GOP has not merely eliminated a political foe. Instead, they have obviated the great bulk of protections provided by contracts and collective bargaining that have naught to do with pay. It is in the absence of those protections that many of my (formerly) union brothers and sisters will bid a hearty fuckall to this state and move on. My resume is polished and ready to go in 2013 when my protections vanish. Do not pretend that Wisconsin will not be poorer without us.

Deekaman said...

If collective bargaining for anything other than wages is not rescinded, we will be right back in this mess in a very few years. There is no reason to think otherwise. If you can tell me with a straight face that the unions won't look to recoup these and more in better times, I have a river to sell you.

neomom said...

Exactly what protections are being lost other than cushy benefits?

Dan said...

"It is in the absence of those protections that many of my (formerly) union brothers and sisters will bid a hearty fuckall to this state and move on. My resume is polished and ready to go in 2013 when my protections vanish. Do not pretend that Wisconsin will not be poorer without us."
Nothing like being a drama queen, Jay.
So, exactly where will you be going? Who is hiring? Maybe North Dakota who is enjoying an oil boom.
No one else is hiring,especiallywith the years of experience Jay has. Who is a school district going to hire when dollars are short? A person fresh out of college or a 10 year or more veteran of teaching with at least a master's degree. the answer is simple- the newbie. That's what the unions have given education.
Now, if he wants to join the private sector. good luck with that, Jay. Unless it is a liberal organization, Jay you are going to be screwed.
So, keep on being the drama queen, Jay. Just like you have been on different ocassions.

Jay Bullock said...

Exactly what protections are being lost other than cushy benefits?
A, The benefits are no cushier than what used to be standard among the middle class everywhere. Corporate America has trained you all well to believe you don't deserve that anymore, and a significant chunk of my dues every year go to fighting to get you those benefits back. But whatever.

B, what's been lost is everything that years of real-life experience in the classroom has led teachers and administrators to sit down and hammer out agreements for dealing with. That's everything from what procedures to follow to make sure a fired teacher isn't a victim of a vindictive principal to what happens after a teacher is assaulted in class. Everything from how much time in a day a special ed teacher should get for dealing with fed- and state-mandated paperwork to how long teachers can be made to teach in a row without a pee break. Everything from making sure the boys and girls tennis coaches get the same pay to what recourse teachers have when principals let a building go to hell.

As I said, this is not about the money (for me--I can handle the $5-$10k pay cut at this stage in my career; a novice teacher maybe can't). It's about the ability for me, my colleagues, and my employer to sit down and work out a system that's fair and workable for the teachers and the kids. In a system of 170+ separate programs, letting each principal run his own fiefdom would be chaos. Sadly, it is now--almost, pending litigation!--illegal for me and my peers to try to bargain our way out of that chaos.

Dad29 said...

You "contest"?

The State's residents no longer have the will to support the money going into educationism--among other places.

The fact is that margin-squeeze has changed the bennies picture everywhere except in public-supported union jobs.

As to "concessions"? Two days ago you bemoaned the fact that MTEA rejected your own cost-saving ideas--now you tell us that MTEA wanted to make concessions?

Frankly, at this point, you're right: the State will no longer fund that crap, Jay.

And you know what? When you and all the other old guys hit the road, the State will find young ones.

Just like in private industry.

Dan said...

From Jay: "significant chunk of my dues every year go to fighting to get you those benefits back."
Umm, no. A big chunk that teachers pay is to pay money to the local and to WEAC and to the NEA. Then you are paying for the all the employees of the union, in which probably 90% or more have nothing to do with fighting for benefits. You are also paying for the benefits the union leaders get. In reality, the money that is used to negotitate a contract and union rep to get you out of trouble is very small.
In part B, all that is true, except that stuff hasn't been changed in many years or if it has changed, it is very little. But please tell me how extra time a sped teacher gets over and above a regular ed. teacher to do their IEPs?
And I am sorry, but if a principal lets a school get out of control, the union has very little say on what happens. They may report something that has happened but in reality, that is about it.
And for the last paragraph, more drama queen/king from Jay.
There are many school districts/states that don't have collective bargaining. In Nevada, the State employees don't have collective bargaining and the state has not fallen apart. It has fallen apart in many areas, but the biggest problems have been with unionized employees and management, not with the state employees. The state employees have handled the financial crisis with more professionalism than the union employees and their unions.

Anonymous said...

If you look at Zach Wisniewski's photo stream on Flickr, there's a picture of Zach and Jay.

Both of them need to lose about 50 pounds. Jay's so morbidly obese, he's forming a third chin.

Cutting his salary would be a great start.

Anonymous said...

"And you know what? When you and all the other old guys hit the road, the State will find young ones. Just like in private industry."

Hey, Dad29, I thought you stated earlier that if people didn't like it here regarding the end of collective bargaining that they could move and easily find a job. Now you claim that private industry won't even hire those with experience. How does that help the bottom line with greenhorns in key positions?


Hey, anony 5:48 a.m., how's that operation coming? You know, going from a man to a woman?


Dan--A big chunk that teachers pay is to pay money to the local and to WEAC and to the NEA.

Um, what, $700 a year for SERVICES (NOT bennies for union heads)? Wow, that sure will break the bank account of a teacher, fire fighter, police officer, etc.

Now, in the private sector, when a big business gets a tax break or has a contract from the state, part of that money goes into the pockets of Republicans. Yet I don't hear you complaining loudly about that situation when they fund big fancy dinner parties for their donors or use that money to pay for the operating costs of the political party.

Besides, don't you know that money = freedom of speech? It's all spelled out in Citizens United!

Jay is right, those in the private sector have been conditioned by their employers to accept unilateral terms.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Anonymous above has entered the level of Wisniewski-child retarded. My apologies for ramming Anonymous' head on the headboard so hard it caused brain damaged.

Anonymous said...

You're right, anony at 5:48 a.m. has issues. I'm sure he/she/it is also a peaceful, church-going conservative.

John Foust said...

And while Dad29 feels confident enough to wail his admonishments from horizon to horizon and to any event around the world, he's powerless to condemn personal attack comments on his own blog with the same energy.

Deekaman said...

I am certain everyone who comments here is capable of recognizing things for what they are.