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Author Topic: Scott Walker, Union Buster  (Read 26745 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #150 on: March 03, 2011, 11:16:04 PM »
My lack of education must have prevented me from including health care, pension and other benefits when I stated 'pay.' Perhaps we can pull out the legalese and lump it all under 'compensation?'

Health care, pension and other benefits were included in the comparison above.

Quote
Calling Wisconsin and other state teachers superior based on student performance is laughable at best. I will concede that higher standards may make for a better education, but if the material is standardized, how much broader could the experience be? Most of the states that don’t have teachers’ unions are poorer than Wisconsin, and have more English Language Learners in their schools, and rank higher for other demographic factors that make strong academic performance less likely. Rich kids in a school with a teacher’s union will do better than poor kids in a school without one, generally, but that doesn’t have much to do with the union itself. States with teachers’ unions do better, on average, than states without, but is this because of the unions, or state demographics?

I think it has more to do with the rise of anti-intellectualism in the sorts of places where unions have the fewest rights, really.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #151 on: March 03, 2011, 11:18:43 PM »
Didn't like it when it was done by the left. don't like it when corporate shills like Walker do it now to distract his captiulation to the corporate sleeze. I'm sorry for every 1 good thing the Koch Brother's do it seems that they have five things that they do to undermine anything they don't like.


Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #152 on: March 03, 2011, 11:48:00 PM »
I think it has more to do with the rise of anti-intellectualism in the sorts of places where unions have the fewest rights, really.

Okay, now you have me curious. I dealt with a lot of anti-intellectual sentiment in my Jr. High and Highscool careers, the last two years of which were strikingly worse, notably in a school further south. I'm curious abut the correlation between non-union schools.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #153 on: March 04, 2011, 12:20:41 AM »
While looking for information about anti-intellectualism (still looking), I found an interesting collection of articles.  I'm going to state up front that the blog I'm linking to is attached to a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to honor the life and legacy of the late president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Despite that connection to state employees, I found these articles rather well-balanced:

Revisiting The Effect Of Teachers’ Unions On Student Test Scores
Students First, Facts Later
Are Public Employee Unions To Blame For States’ Budget Crises?
and Unions = Jobs

From the last one, something very relative here,

Quote
Traditionally, unions have used the collective bargaining process to ensure that workers receive a fair share of the profits that they help to produce. As Robert Reich* has noted, this created a “virtuous circle“: “Good pay meant more purchases, and more purchases meant more jobs,” union and non-union.

*Robert Reich was the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #154 on: March 04, 2011, 01:03:14 AM »
Okay, now you have me curious. I dealt with a lot of anti-intellectual sentiment in my Jr. High and Highscool careers, the last two years of which were strikingly worse, notably in a school further south. I'm curious abut the correlation between non-union schools.

One of Oniya's links leads to here:
http://studentactivism.net/2011/02/21/teachers-unions-actsat-and-student-performance-is-wisconsin-out-ranking-the-non-union-states/

Quote
...
But there’s another problem. Most of the states that don’t have teachers’ unions are poorer than Wisconsin, and have more English Language Learners in their schools, and rank higher for other demographic factors that make strong academic performance less likely. Rich kids in a school with a teacher’s union will do better than poor kids in a school without one, generally, but that doesn’t have much to do with the union itself. States with teachers’ unions do better, on average, than states without, but is this because of the unions, or state demographics?

There’s only been one scholarly effort to tackle this problem that I’m aware of. Back in 2000, three professors writing in the Harvard Educational Review did a statistical analysis of state SAT/ACT scores, controlling for factors like race, median income, and parental education. They found that the presence of teachers unions in a state did have a measurable and significant correlation with increased test scores — that going to school in a union state would, for instance, raise average SATs by about 50 points.
...

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #155 on: March 04, 2011, 01:12:10 AM »
One of them also states

Quote
As I noted in both posts, neither the data nor my argument offer any conclusive proof that teacher contracts act to increase student test scores. The intention of those posts was to address the age-old counter claim –that teacher contracts are somehow injurious to student achievement –and to provide very tentative evidence that the contracts appear to have little discernible impact either way (which is what the follow-up post, using state-level models that controlled for basic student characteristics, indicated, along with the requisite caveats).

Which one is right, eh?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #156 on: March 04, 2011, 01:21:58 AM »
One of them also states

Which one is right, eh?

One of them actually does involve a study. It's singular, and dated, but it's still a study that accounted for differences in condition.

Like I said, I suspect the difference is due to anti-intellectualism in the South and other areas where unions are particularly weak. When there is a disrespect for facts and logic, it is hard to educate in that environment.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #157 on: March 04, 2011, 01:38:31 AM »
It's not limited to facts and logic, but higher learning in general. Children pursuing and performing above the average academic level, or even something as minor as engaging in numbers centric games of strategy and planning are isolated and discouraged (most times physically) by their peers.

While I hesitate to reference it, Glee abstractly (but on some levels accurately) portrays what I witnessed and experienced myself.

If proposed legislation were worded to leave collective bargaining in place but provide voluntary participation and public recourse options, do you think it would be better received, worse or the same? (Naturally this suggests riding favortist policies are absent)   
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 02:00:07 AM by Lyell »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #158 on: March 04, 2011, 01:56:43 AM »
Could you explain a bit what you mean by 'voluntary participation and public recourse options'?  I suspect that how well it would be received would be based on how effective those options appeared to be.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #159 on: March 04, 2011, 02:16:16 AM »
Suppose a teacher was attempting to influence a child's beliefs twords extremist views and this raised legitimate concern. Or any issue regarding questionable practices within the classroom really. Teachers would ofcourse be provided similar frivolous investigation/lawsuit protection as doctors, but several complaints of the same nature could carry some form of punishment. Increasing the ease of transferring students and credits could also be another option.

Optional participation in the union would be just that. Practitioners wouldn't be strong armed or forced to pay union dues or receive their benefits if they opted not to join, with protection from pressure and recourse from union members of the same profession or workplace.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #160 on: March 04, 2011, 03:05:06 AM »
I'm not certain that teachers, police, firefighters or state employees are required or coerced into joining unions in these states, so I don't see how that would affect anything.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #161 on: March 04, 2011, 03:15:19 AM »
Wisconsin law allows compulsory unionism. That means public school teachers in Wisconsin are forced to pay the union -a private organization with a partisan political agenda -simply for the privilege of having a job.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/23/teachers-rights-muzzled-in-union-debate/

That's an opinion piece, but I bet someone can confirm or deny that full time positions are reserved for union members.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 03:22:10 AM by Lyell »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #162 on: March 04, 2011, 03:55:22 AM »
It's not limited to facts and logic, but higher learning in general. Children pursuing and performing above the average academic level, or even something as minor as engaging in numbers centric games of strategy and planning are isolated and discouraged (most times physically) by their peers.

While I hesitate to reference it, Glee abstractly (but on some levels accurately) portrays what I witnessed and experienced myself.

If proposed legislation were worded to leave collective bargaining in place but provide voluntary participation and public recourse options, do you think it would be better received, worse or the same? (Naturally this suggests riding favortist policies are absent)

There is also the recertification requirement in the bill.

Suppose a teacher was attempting to influence a child's beliefs twords extremist views and this raised legitimate concern. Or any issue regarding questionable practices within the classroom really. Teachers would ofcourse be provided similar frivolous investigation/lawsuit protection as doctors, but several complaints of the same nature could carry some form of punishment. Increasing the ease of transferring students and credits could also be another option.

I haven't noted that this is any significant problem up here. We've had the occasional teacher trying to teach creationism but other than teachers who simply were horrible as teachers, I'm not sure what you're referring to.

I do think that teacher retention should be based off of their recent performance (after three years) and not flat seniority. Some people are not fit as teachers and I'm no fan of seniority only systems. I think most Americans would support leveling that to some degree. The union leadership probably wouldn't, but you wouldn't see the same level of support even within the union.

Quote
Optional participation in the union would be just that. Practitioners wouldn't be strong armed or forced to pay union dues or receive their benefits if they opted not to join, with protection from pressure and recourse from union members of the same profession or workplace.

I think you're missing the point of a 'union shop' a bit.

At the most drastic level - when one union controls an entire industry, yes, this can be disastrous. That is an antitrust problem as big as any monopoly.

The reason for union shops is to prevent the employer from finding ways to stealthily replace and thus fire them. And to prevent 'freeloaders' when a strike is needed to actually correct serious problems with conditions.

Now keep in mind I've seen this at its worst - I wasn't allowed to touch computer equipment at a defense contractor because I wasn't union. One of them managed to plug in a D connector upside down. Surprisingly the card (worth some $20k) still worked. We were not allowed to automate easily automatable processes. Do you want to know what missiles cost $100k each? Hint: It's not in the parts.

But at the same time - at the same defense contractor (different state) - unions started protesting over bad chemical conditions. Company decided to fire them and move in new people... with no experience with the systems in place. Conditions got worse.

In the case of public sector unions, you're mostly trying to have some experienced check against political attempts at undermining the structure of their institution. There are certainly cases for reform - but these can be made above the board, discussed with the unions first and the case can be made to the public as well, rather than trying underhanded tactics like this.

Offline Lyell

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #163 on: March 04, 2011, 05:00:03 AM »
Trust me, I worked for a company that made parts for missiles. I know how cheap they can be to fabricate. This same company has ethics standards much higher than the legislation in place than what my state requires. All this will be made irrelevant when I tell you they don't have a monopoly on the industry.

My point in the above? I understand the need for a union when there is lack of incentive to do the best job one is capable of and to give your employees the tools to required to represent that ideal. States and school staff should have a better incentive than anyone, since they produce the men and women who'll be inheriting that state.

Oh, and the 'surplus' that Walker walked into? It doesn't exist. It was an excerpt from a memo that was taken out of context.

http://politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

Offline Rhys

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #164 on: March 04, 2011, 09:19:32 AM »
As far as issues with teacher quality, the teachers unions have already supported quality evaluations that'll play a role in maintaining their employment. However, the matter has been held up by the fact that those pushing the idea wanted the evaluations based off of test scores which, frankly, is a horrible idea.

As far as the surplus goes, its largely irrelevant. Mostly because the tax breaks are fact. If he was trying to offset a shortfall, that would be great. But when someone gives 140 million in tax breaks that won't help the state and then wants to make 137 million in budget cuts (on top of his actual budget cuts as announced in his recent speech), he's not actually fixing anything in the long run. He's offsetting his own, essentially, payoffs of his backers. And he's using the chance to also target and attempt to destroy a traditional, Republic foe in government employee unions.

How much money he does/doesn't have doesn't change the fact that taking away the bargaining rights and implementing his plan costs more than it saves. Or the fact that the unions have agreed to all the truly budget cutting demands, but Walker refuses to budge on just allowing them to maintain their basic worker's rights. It doesn't change the fact that he considered planting fake protesters, that he refused to acknowledge a court order, that he blocked people getting food and medical supplies to protesters, or that he's threatening unnecessary layoffs and essentially blackmailing Democrats to try to get his way. Lastly it doesn't change the fact that a majority of Wisconsinites and people in the US as a whole are against his bill.

All Walker would have to do is allow people to keep their rights and these protests would end. But he refuses to listen to the voice of the people he was elected to represent... or to do what's best for the state. If his goal was to save money he already would've compromised. His goal is to cripple unions.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #165 on: March 04, 2011, 10:02:45 AM »
I looked up my old high school to see how it was doing.  It's always been considered a good high school overall, and certainly some of the teachers there were excellent -- the sorts of teachers who made kids want to be in class.  I feel like I received a good education there.

During this past school year, the board requested a 2% increase in overall funding.  Considering the average cost of living raise is 3%, that's not so much.  And yes, there's a union there.

Oh, and the 'surplus' that Walker walked into? It doesn't exist. It was an excerpt from a memo that was taken out of context.
I'm lousy at discussing high finance, but I'll try.  Even if we allow Walker's math, and there's a $137 million gap looming, why is Walker cutting $1.25 billion in spending to schools, local government, and Medicare?

Because he's also predicting a $3.6 billion shortfall over the next two years, and that is his fault.  His so-called budget repair bill isn't likely to be of any help, either.

Quote
Walker stressed that the aid won't be missed if the legislature votes to severely curtail public employees' collective bargaining power. That's because school districts and local governments will be able to raise workers' contributions to their health care and pensions, saving a total of $1.5 billion.

...

Walker, however, is making some big assumptions in his budget-balancing plan, experts said.

While the state could shave $300 million off its employee costs by boosting contribution levels, there's no way to know how much local governments will save from doing the same. Several unions have settled contracts recently that don't include increased benefit payments.

"He can't control what goes on at the local level," said Todd Berry, head of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance, a non-partisan research group.

Municipalities, counties and schools would have to make cuts across the board to deal with the reduced state aid. School districts would likely lay off personnel and increase class sizes, while local governments would curtail public safety, parks, libraries and other services.

Although Walker wants to grow the state's economy, his spending plan could ultimately hurt its prospects, said Andrew Reschovsky, a professor of public affairs at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mixing revenue increases with spending cuts would be less likely to do long-term harm, he said.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/01/news/economy/wisconsin_budget_walker/

I realize there are plenty of rotten people in any political party.  Yes, there are Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, whatever, doing things wrong, too, whether deliberately or misguidedly.  I don't consider myself a rabid liberal, and I'm not just trying to make Republicans look bad.

But if Walker is simply no better or worse than the "average" politician, I need to go start my own country.

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #166 on: March 04, 2011, 10:11:54 AM »
But if Walker is simply no better or worse than the "average" politician, I need to go start my own country.

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Offline Zakharra

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #167 on: March 04, 2011, 10:32:19 AM »
My personal opinion on the tactics and timing employed by Scott Walker are summed up thusly; turnabout is fair play. Pushing political agendas through when party numbers favor you was legitimate when the left wing wanted to push through Obamacare. Why is it then, a suprize that when the situation is reversed that conservative republicans push their agendas?

 Turnabout is not fair play. It's just vindictive. Putting forth your ideas and pushing an agenda legally is one thing. What Walker is going is at least questionable and skirting the edge of leaglity if he isn't breaking it outright.  Walker is doing far more damage to his cause and party than anyone else right now. It's as if he doesn't want the Republicans to win any elections there anymore.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #168 on: March 04, 2011, 11:50:43 AM »
Turnabout is not fair play. It's just vindictive. Putting forth your ideas and pushing an agenda legally is one thing. What Walker is going is at least questionable and skirting the edge of leaglity if he isn't breaking it outright.  Walker is doing far more damage to his cause and party than anyone else right now. It's as if he doesn't want the Republicans to win any elections there anymore.

I think he's trying to get as much of his sponsor's agenda done before he is out of office (or more likely loses control after the Nov elections) and goes on to being a fully paid Schill of the Koch's. I'm sure he'll wind up working in one of their 'think tanks' or such.

Cause I'm pretty damn sure the second coming of Hitler could win in Wisconsin against him next time around.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #169 on: March 04, 2011, 12:01:08 PM »
A few of Walker's lies, half-truths, and inaccuracies, as discussed in the Madison paper.



I agree with you on the trying to get as much (damage) done as possible angle, Callie.  That's really the only explanation I can think of for the gigantic rush he's in.  :P

Offline Trieste

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #170 on: March 04, 2011, 12:12:57 PM »
In regards to Dems vs. GOP, etc.

It always makes me uneasy when one party can either stonewall or stampede the other. It made me uncomfortable when the Dems threatened to force through the healthcare bill under a technicality (I forget what it was called, something along the lines of reconciliation or something) in the Senate, and it makes me equally uncomfortable that the Repubs in WI are essentially trying to stampede the Dems there, too. Now, if the Repubs had hidden away from DC in order to avoid a quorum, it would have had people howling.

The more I think about it, the more I'm incredibly uncomfortable with what the WI Dems have done here. This legislation is shit, but it needs to be killed by the system, not stalled by crippling the system.

These actions are not heroic in any form or fashion, and the governor's bad behavior does not justify bad behavior on the part of WI Dems. There is a GOP majority because a GOP majority was elected; they are the rightfully elected officials of the state, and there are processes in place to un-elect them, even. The question is whether they've done enough to get thrown out of office. If they haven't, well, I guess the majority is still with the GOP.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #171 on: March 04, 2011, 12:16:38 PM »
A few of Walker's lies, half-truths, and inaccuracies, as discussed in the Madison paper.



I agree with you on the trying to get as much (damage) done as possible angle, Callie.  That's really the only explanation I can think of for the gigantic rush he's in.  :P

Either that or he's just plain up stupid and thinks since he's Governor that he can get away with anything. I like how he padded the budget into the red and THEN find a reason to hammer to the education system to the tune of $200 million AND restricts what local municipalities can do  to keep their qualified teachers?

Do you think one of his teachers paddled him when he was little?

Honestly, how can ANYONE who has gotten that far not understand how important education is?

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #172 on: March 04, 2011, 12:19:41 PM »
I know I am coming in late about the public being paid more then the private sectors but let us compare apples to apples. Of the same education level counting benefits public workers are paid much less.

I also want to point out as a matter of competition for all the school districts in Wisconsin that sit next to the Chicago Suburbs. The lowest high school districts in the collar counties of Chicago would be the highest paid district in the entire state of Wisconsin by quite a bit and have the same benefits. How are these disctricts to compete for the good teachers with such a large difference in pay?


For years the teachers of Wisconsin were not making the raises that their counterparts were making before the recession. Now that we have a recession is it fair to make them pay for it just because the counterparts that were given more money during the good times are now in a crisis. The teachers choose the profession not to get rich but to teach and for the security. Now we want to take away the security as well.


Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #173 on: March 04, 2011, 01:45:20 PM »
Well, as I mentioned earlier, Walker didn't graduate from college, though he attended Marquette University for about two years.  He got in trouble for running a crooked campaign for student government president in 1988.  His GPA was either 2.3 or 2.59 -- there are conflicting reports there -- which is either a D+ or a C-, respectively.


As of yesterday, paperwork has been filed to attempt a recall vote on the eight Republican state senators who are eligible for recall.  I mentioned earlier that recall votes don't often work at the state level, but in this case, there's one senator who won by 1,007 votes, and another who won by only 184 votes; so not a lot of people would need to switch sides.  If two are recalled, then the bill wouldn't pass the senate, since there's already a third Republican who has said he'll vote against it.

However, part of the problem is time.  It takes 60 days to get a recall vote even scheduled.  Then a clerk has 31 days to determine if the petition and its signatures are valid.  If so, the clerk issues a certificate of sufficiency.

A recall election would then be scheduled for the Tuesday of the sixth week after the certificate is issued.  That could be 133 days altogether, or four and a half months.  The budget is due in June, which doesn't give enough time.

I'm not very happy about the Democrats being gone, either -- though I was interested to learn about the Abraham Lincoln precedent.  On the other hand, had they not left, I would now be counting the days until my public utilities are privatized and my electric bill goes through the roof.  I still might be counting the days, but at least I've got some hope of it not happening.

If the bill is passed and then repealed later, what would become of the sale of Wisconsin power companies to the Koch brothers?  I honestly don't know if there would be any way of getting that changed after the fact -- and I'm betting that the sale will get rushed through the instant it's legal.

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Re: Scott Walker, Union Buster
« Reply #174 on: March 04, 2011, 03:14:01 PM »
Wait, what?

Meanwhile, the state Senate approved a resolution that would hold absentee Democratic lawmakers "in contempt of the Senate." The missing lawmakers -- who left February 17 -- had not returned by Friday.

The contempt measure allows state law enforcement to detain the Democrats and bring them back to Wisconsin, according to Senate Majority Leader spokesman Andrew Welhouse.

So they can't pass the measure they want to pass while these senators are out of state, but they can pass a different measure that criminalizes them?