Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Limiting Collective Bargaining Power

So it seems that many teachers throughout the state will not show up for work today. Instead, they will be protesting in Madison over a proposal that would limit their collective bargaining power.

Some teachers will use personal days while others will just call in sick. In Racine today the district is making plans to deal with an unusual number of teacher absences. In Madison, teachers are planning a district wide coordinated absence so they can protest.

My guess is that your average teachers collective bargaining agreement is about the size of a federal health care bill. But apparently they have secured personal days such that they can skip school and protest while still being paid by Wisconsin taxpayers. In Madison, teachers seemingly feel confident that they can walk off the job without consequences. The union and their collectively bargained contract has their back.

In the real world, people can't just walk off the job without being fired or at least disciplined. And that is how it should be. But the teachers union, via collective bargaining, have won concessions that would (and have) destroyed private sector businesses. And the concessions they have won have already done serious damage to our education system while threatening the solvency of our state.

Who would have thought that teachers, by walking off the job, would present the best argument yet for limiting their collective bargaining power.

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