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Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby PatLancaster » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:35 am

So you are sending them an email asking them to avoid partisan politics...by telling them they should side with Republicans and then illustrate the reasons for doing so?

Horribly written. You should have at least not tried to half heartedly hide your true motivations with the "partisan politics" line as your intentions are clear enough.

Besides Thacker is a staunch Republican as is much of the board.
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:38 am

PL: I'm sorry I didn't make my point more clearly. I do not want the PHMSC to favor any political party. As it stands now, by withholding union dues for teachers, there is an advantage for the Democratic Party because that's the only party, at least for 99% of campaigns, the NEA donates to. As for the memo being "horribly written": that's hurtful.
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby PatLancaster » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:27 am

I wasnt saying it to be mean. I was saying it was horribly written because it completely contradicts itself. I can see what you were going for, but in the end, you are still asking them to favor one party's political position over another. Justified perhaps.
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:38 am

PL: I think the Board and Supt. Thacker know what I'm proposing: ending the withholding of teacher union dues by the Corporation. Period.

Thank you for your participation.
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:48 am

Remarks to the P-H-M School Board
July 23, 2012

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, I ask the Board to end the practice of withholding unified union dues from the paychecks of teachers.

Nothing in this proposal prevents teachers from belonging to those unions and nothing prevents the PHMTA from representing teachers in collective bargaining with the school corporation. My proposal places the responsibility for paying and collecting union dues on the teachers and their union—where that responsibility should rest.

This proposal is not made in a vacuum; it is relevant in several states including Michigan where a new law banning the withholding of dues resulted in a temporary injunction on June 7th by U. S. District Judge Denise Page Hood. No doubt a lengthy legal battle has begun.

Idaho’s ban on school districts withholding union dues brought a legal challenge by the NEA resulting in a 2009 decision by the U. S. Supreme Court. The case was “Ysursa, Sec. of State of Idaho v. Pocatello Education Association.” The defendant had challenged the law citing it as an infringement of the Free Speech Amendment. The Court ruled in favor of the state in a 6-2 decision (Justice Breyer both concurred and dissented.) Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the Court’s opinion, stating in part, “freedom of speech does not confer an affirmative right to use government payroll mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining funds for expression.”

Further, in the absence of a free speech violation, the state had only to show a “rational basis” for banning payroll deductions. Roberts concluded that the rational basis in question was the “entanglement” with political organizations. The Chief Justice no doubt had in mind the well-known link between the NEA and the Democratic Party.

Other states which are considering or have passed such legislation to ban withholding of teacher union dues by school corporations include Alabama, Tennessee, Colorado and Wisconsin. The list is no doubt longer. Indiana’s SB159 for this purpose died in committee but the General Assembly restricted the scope of collective bargaining, much to the dismay of the NEA. An improved SB159 will no doubt be re-introduced during the next General Assembly.



Indiana law is not silent on this issue as I e-mailed the Board a few weeks ago. IC 20-29-7-1 declares it an “unfair practice” by a school employer to “dominate, interfere, or assist in the formation or administration of any school employee organization or contribute financial or other support to the organization.”

Have you consulted your attorney regarding the relevance of this law to the withholding of union dues from teachers’ paychecks?


Jim Cierzniak
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:15 am

Excellent Kingsmen, as usual!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
"Preserving and protecting the principles of the Constitution is the primary role of the federal government."
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:49 am

Remarks to the P-H-M School Board
Aug. 13, 2012


Trustees are familiar with this excerpt from the Declaration of Independence: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes….”

What’s true for “Governments” applies also to long-standing practices of governmental bodies. Thus when I suggest ending the practice of withholding union dues from teachers’ paychecks, I do not do so for “light and transient” reasons.

The National Education Association and affiliates are not those of your father’s day. During the last generation or two, the NEA has been transformed into a money conduit and left-wing cheerleader for one political party, the Democrats. It is no unimportant fact that your constituents in the PHM district have political preferences at odds with the agenda of the NEA. Stark proof of that, as I informed you earlier, are the votes for 2nd District Congressman in the 2010 election. In areas of the county outside PHM precincts, the Democratic candidate won 60% to 40% while PHM precincts voted 56% to 44 % for the Republican.

The NEA is over-priced. A common lament in my day as a teacher began with “I don’t mind the local dues, but” and then they go on to be critical of the dues for the state and national affiliates. There are alternatives. About 10 percent of teachers unions in Indiana are independent, local bargaining agents, with dues under $200 compared to $700 or so for the NEA, ISTA, and PHMTA. Perhaps teachers are satisfied with the Cadillac price they now pay, but a money-saving Chevy option is open to them. If the Corporation no longer withholds dues for the convenience of the NEA, trustees will create a level playing field for more attractive alternatives. It’s like giving your teachers a $500 raise—if they want to take it.

The new collective bargaining law and ever-tightening budget restraints chip away at the NEA’s power, but there will be no corresponding reduction in dues. A bad deal for teachers is getting worse. Another major threat to the NEA, one it is spending millions to stop, is Prop. 32 in California. This is the “payroll protection” referendum which will prevent the withholding of union dues used for political purposes. A good idea, but an even better one is to stop all payroll deductions for union dues.

I ask the Board, beginning with the 2013-14 school year, to end the withholding of union dues from teachers. As Terry Moe, author of the definitive book on teacher unions, "Special Interest: Teacher Unions and America’s Public Schools," concluded in an e-mail I shared with trustees, “There is no justification, in my view, for districts to make these deductions. The unions should be responsible for collecting their own dues.”
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:21 am

Remarks to the P-H-M School Board
Aug. 27, 2012


Later this year, talks will begin with the union bargaining team on a new contract with the P-H-M School Corporation. But these contract talks will be unlike those of recent years: a new Indiana law restricts such contracts to “salary and wage-related matters.” Gone should be (but will it?) provisions for “rules” which Terry Moe in “Special Interest” describes thusly: “Unions do want higher salaries and benefits, of course. But they also want to protect jobs, expand the rights and prerogatives of teachers in the work place and restrict the discretion of management” (p. 174). And unions do that by inserting work “rules” in those contracts, many of which are favorable to union officers in the form of released time for “union duties.”

Moe adds, “It’s too bad all Americans can’t just sit down and read the collective bargaining contracts their school districts live by. Many people, I hazard to guess would be stunned” (p. 174). To which I add that a transparent, confident school corporation leadership team will make such information available to its patrons as a routine matter.

The key determinant in P-H-M contract talks will be the application of “wage-related matters.” So health care and other benefits and pay for extra duties will be included in the contract but will transfer policy, for example, make the cut? Union leaders will press for the widest possible interpretation of “wage-related.” My concern is that a compliant administration and board, unwilling to challenge the union, will negate the spirit of the new collective bargaining law by caving.

I suggest the following process: Well before contract talks begin, the Superintendent should bring a list of “wage-related matters” which he believes should be the subjects of collective bargaining before the Trustees for their discussion and approval. Copies of that list should be available to patrons prior to the Board’s action. Patrons should be allowed to speak prior to the Board’s discussion.

The state legislature, with the new collective bargaining law for school corporations, has given the Board an opportunity to set a precedent for many future contract talks by halting and reversing the accretion of power gained by the union. Don’t blow it.
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:56 am

Kingsman: Any insight on how individual board members are responding? For example: a few years back Chris Riley, former Chairman of the St Joseph County Republican Party, did some chest-thumping about how local government operates and and about the role of unions in local politics. Any sign that he recognizes the issues you raise?

PHM School Board
Front row, left to right: Jaye Galloway, PHM Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker, and Larry Beehler. Back row, left to right: Larry Romero, Gary Fox, Randy Leliaert, Jamie Woods, and Chris Riley.

Image
THE ONLY REASON
TO BE AGAINST VOTER ID
IS IF YOU SUPPORT VOTER FRAUD.

-- Bill Adams
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Re: Is collective bargaining collusive bargaining?

Postby Kingsman » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:28 pm

BBM: Thanks for asking--and the pic. The response to my three “remarks” has been almost total silence. Since I send an e-mail of my remarks to the Supt. and Trustees on the morning of the meeting, it’s not as if I’m taking them by surprise. Total responses: 1. Chris Riley asked me the name of a Supreme Court case—which he already had in the e-mail. 2. Randy Leliaert thanked me for sending advance copies. That’s it! I suppose the Trustees and the Supt. think I’ll just go away if ignored. I’ll have to be more confrontational in future meetings.

If the P-H-M Trustees and Supt. are typical, the new collective bargaining law will have little effect on contract talks throughout the state. Terry Moe in “Special Interest” (referred to earlier in the thread) contends that technology and the increasing variety of schools will reduce the power of teacher unions, but he does see the unions being influential for another generation. I’d like to add a third leg to that stool: ending the withholding of union dues by school corporations. I believe that would reduce union membership by 10-20% and force unions to work harder to keep up their numbers.
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