There’s been a massive shit storm hitting the capital in Wisconsin and that shit storm has started spilling out over the border to my capital. I’ve not stated much on this subject because I’ve not had a whole lot to say but now that I’ve done a bit of research I feel I can make some actual comments on the subject.
First let us do away with the term “collective bargaining” because that’s not what the teachers of Wisconsin currently have. I propose a new term to use called “monopoly bargaining.” I’m a person who believes if a group of employees want to voluntarily come together to fight for better working conditions that is their rights. They key word there is voluntarily. As it sits in Wisconsin every teacher in that state has to become a member of the teacher’s union. There is only one union, not multiple ones available to compete for your membership dues, and anybody who wants to be a teacher must join this single union.
What we have isn’t a collective of people bound together to fight for better wages, instead we have a monopoly whom people are forced to pay money to. I have a huge problem with this type of setup because it causes potential conflicts of interest for teachers. If you pay union dues I guarantee you some of that money will end up being donated to the Democrat Party. Personally I can’t in good conscious allow any of my money to find its way into the pockets of those fuckheads. This principle would bar me from being a teach in Wisconsin since there is no way to do so without paying the union and the union donates to the Democrat Party.
Now we have my two least favorite things; money stolen from the pockets of people and mandatory donations to a political party. The only thing that could make this situation more distasteful in my opinion is if they Wisconsin teacher union were allowed to use force to enact their desires, thankfully the government still maintains a firm grip on their monopoly over the use of force.
Collective bargaining would only be an accurate term if individual teachers could come together and fight for better working conditions. Teachers aren’t allowed this luxury instead having to rely on one monopolistic union which they must be a member of. This is the main point people seem to be missing. Wisconsin doesn’t currently allow its teachers collective bargaining rights, they force teachers to become a member in an entity that will fight only for a set of ideals while teachers whom wish to go against the union have no recourse. If the union of Wisconsin doesn’t want something then it won’t be fought for leaving teachers who do want that out on the cold with needs remaining unfulfilled by the entity they are forced to pay money to.
The other thing I find interesting about this whole fiasco is the fact the people who are actually paying the bills, tax payers, aren’t present in any teacher salary negotiations. When you work in the public sector you’re paid tax dollars. Each teacher working in a public school system is paid through our money yet we don’t get to be present when their union comes to “negotiate” higher wages for teachers. Bargaining usually implies a buyer and seller haggling for an outcome that both sides find mutually beneficial. In the case of public employees the employees can be considered the sellers (selling us on the idea they need higher wages) while the tax payers can be considered the buyers (buying the services of the public employees). The problem comes when these negotiations comes around it’s between the seller and a third party who will not actually be footing the bill.
When a public union negotiates higher wages for the employees it represents it means more money will be taken from the private sector and sent to the public sector. The people who have this money, you and me, get no say in the matter. Hence what these unions do can’t really be considered bargaining or negotiations, instead it would be coercion. The union is using the government’s monopoly on the use of force to take money from private citizens and give it to public employees. So to be more accurate we should call what the Wisconsin teacher’s union does monopoly coercion (monopoly within the realm of teacher pay) not collective bargaining.
The entire situation is being misrepresented by entities that only continue to exist if people are forced to pay them a tax. Needless to say it’s in the union’s best interest to ensure their monopoly use on forcing tax payers to foot a higher bill continues. Now that we’ve defined the real problem let’s work on finding a real solution.