What Benefit Are Unions Today?

Worker unions got together long ago and pushed for days off, and I believe it’s a union that got us the right for women to vote. That’s kinda cool, but I wasn’t alive then.

I’m not against unions; I’m against the cattle who join them and — without thinking — trust with absolute faith whatever they say.

Let’s say that again: I am against faith used where logic and reasoning should be used.

I’m especially against the hypocrisy of “let us teach you about logic and reasoning and math; now, use them everywhere except when we’re on strike again”

Apparently unions are good for everyone, if you’d believe entities such as the BCTF (BC Teachers Fed). The honest truth is that Unions have helped set up a basis for employment, but they didn’t give me two free paid days off weekly; rather, my salary is negotiated annually when I accept a job offer, paid bimonthly, and part of that agreement is a 40-hr workweek. I don’t recall a union member being present, and if you think about it, if unemployment tanked again like it did at the end of the Bush Years, many people would be willing to work 6-day weeks to get paid. That may be a competitive edge they’re willing to undertake. Would unions stop that employer? Forbid the worker his choice? Forbid the employer from hiring that worker? Help that worker in some way? No.

Unions are primarily present to raise the salary of its members; behind the rhetoric of “good for everyone, making good changes”, they forget “…up until 1921” (Women’s Suffrage) and they forget that their goal is to make more money for their members. Who pays that? Government. the big endless money coffers of the government. Quick reminder: that money comes from everyone. So, in effect, unions are intended to siphon cash form us to the union members. I can’t quite see how that is “good for everyone”.

In 2005, BCTF went on strike, and was declared in contempt of court, and finally convinced through negotiation to return on Oct 24. I doubt that delay in the school year benefited everyone. In the process, other unions went on strike, denying services to people other than just the students of voters. Yep, somehow it was legal for people to simply not do their job in support of other people unhappy with doing their job.

In 2006, on the issue of compensation, the BCTF went on strike. The government gave them a 16% raise increase before it impacted the school year, plus a $4000 signing bonus. That deal was later calculated to actually be a 14% to 21% increase (http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Facts+about+teachers+contract+dispute/6259331/story.html). Nice deal.

When this contract expired in 2011, teachers demanded a 15% salary hike. I wish I could get that; I wish I could get a provincial government shut down to support me.

In 2014, Teachers are on strike yet again, impacting students’ ability to learn. This is again that trick where you impact students so that government worries about its voters. That’s like the mafia hitting kids because they’re easier targets.

Indeed, the BCTF claimed its big issue was around classroom sizes, despite constant comparison with the wages of others. Their entire platform seemed around how the governing class had better wages. But wait! Wasn’t the intent of unions to raise the salary of its members? I can see how they covet the success of another group, but that other group has nothing to do with classroom size.

So let’s go back to the almighty classroom size. I admit, that’s cool, but let’s be honest about it. The claims are that classroom size will be reduced, yet they won’t raise costs. Last time I checked, reducing classroom sizes means more classes, means more teachers total. I’m not sure unions are incentivized to reduce salaries (kinda against their goals) so where does the cost to support additional teachers come from? Magic Math?

The biggest shame is that the people who taught me math want me to ignore math.

Worse, they leverage one party by hurting another: they leverage government via voters by hurting the kids.

There’s a reason “think of the children” is a meme, but I don’t quite hear the BCTF saying it. Hmm. Wonder why.

I’m not against funding education. It’s the most important investment a province and country can make. I’m against the teachers misleading the students to abandon critical thinking and trust what the unions says, to ignore the “we’re about students but how about your salary and can I have some?” trend. Really, if they’re about students, then why impact the students? If really the government is at fault, then have faith in the legal system, and set an example of a lawful protest that only affects the people with whom the dispute is lodged. Oh wait, BCTF ignored in the BC supreme court in 2006, perhaps they feel it will hold a grudge.

I’m not against funding education. Seriously though, if money is all it’s about, then just come out and say it. Be honest. Be open. Don’t splash scholiastic collateral damage on the student they claim to be in favor of. It’s just not being truthful.