6 votes

Public Empoyee Collective Bargaining -- Yea Or Nay?

Cutting to the chase, that is the core issue which is being implemented across the nation.
I say nay. Bust the unions.
If they were to give up their right to vote, then I'd say yea.
Collective bargaining is a political advantage obviously being abused. More public workers, more clout for their own interests, not those of the people. Fortunately, the money is running out, which will hopefully expose this political charade.

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government employees should not be able to force governments to raise taxes to cover the collective barganing agreements with threats of strikes to halt government activities. There is a public trust issue that can't allow government union strikes to occur. This is much different than private enterprise unions where a monopoly doesn't exist.

On Public Unions...

There is something unholy about unions for employees of organizations bred by government institutions.

My position is that if you want to belong to a union and have it negotiate for you, that is your decision. BUT do not tell me I must belong to such an organization in order to trade my labor to anyone or any organization, entity, corporation....Don't you dare to presume to trespass on my liberty to contract with another for my labor, whether that entity be of the state or the so-called private sort. My labor is mine and mine to determine the value thereof.

However, the situation isn't quite the same when we are talking about an entity that is funded by the people and is funded so often in these times unwillingly, with theft. So no, no, nay and nay. You wish to trade your labor for a place at the public trough, well you contract with the offer. Period. Don't care for how it pans out? Go take your chances with private entities. Put a value on your labor and see how many takers you have.

And as for the "education" sector, the administrative portion of public education continues to bulge obscenely. (Actually, that is true in many private education sectors as well, but I'll bet if we took a real close look we would find the contagion of government interference at all levels in private education was largely responsible for the administrative bloat there, too.)

I recall being upset when I was in college and offered a job at Safeway that a requirement was joining a union and paying union dues. I didn't know anything about liberty. But I knew it was wrong that I was being forced to be robbed in order to work.


We don't need no stinking government employees. Privatize all existing government services and then let the unions and company heads negotiate a deal that works for both sides.

If after the negotiations the price for the service is fair and I need the service then I'll pay for it. If not, then I won't pay for it. If enough people want the service you'll be in business. If people don't want the service then you'll be out of business. Simple and effective.

Nay! To State employees haggling over how much I pay!

In Michigan their are about 7.5 million people.

There are 54,000 State of Michigan employees.

The little church down the road has about 1,000 members (500 families).

The church has a full-time live in pastor, parish secretary and part time religious education director and choir master.

Plus seven (7) full time State of Michigan employees per thousand. They work about 14,400 hours a year for the citizen/parishioners of the little church.

It seems very excessive for there to be one State employee for every one hundred and thirty-eight people in the State (not to mention county, township, city, school district employees.)

Every citizen of Michigan is billed for 14.5 hours of State employee time every year. This does not include elected officials just hirelings.

I wonder what needs to be done by the State that takes and average of fourteen and a half (14.5) hours a year.

I spend about 10 minutes a year at the Secretary of State (SOS) updating vehicle and driver licenses and titles etc.; State Roads and Parks; Hmmm.... What is the role of state government.

I do not consent to government managers negotiating with union employees on my behalf.

Nay! But I also question why we need so many employees. If School District, Township, and County employees are added to State employees were pushing 20 government employees per thousand people. Too many?

Free includes debt-free!

I say NAY to public employees, period.

No one ought to make a living off of money extorted from others.


I’m new supporter of Ron Paul I love the common sense that comes out his mouth. I’m a 32 year old father of three and public employee for the city of Milwaukee. I’m America, not a Democrat or Republican and will stand by both parties’ if I believe they are right and stand for the people. Union’s back a candidate that will give them the best deal. So do most corporation’s! That world we live in and it’s wrong! Public employees vote on what worker represents them and what we like to see in the work place! when we have Collective bargaining we have right’s. I would die for liberty and would pay whatever price I have to for my rights. I not here for debate I’m here for liberty. Without Compromise there’s conflict and without right’s there is no America


Time for public employees to take a haircut on their benefits and (unfunded) pensions.


Anyone should be allowed to combine efforts with anyone else to pursue peaceful goals, including forming a union to present a united front when negotiating with an employer.

Labor laws are convoluted and biased in favor of collective bargaining, so it should be no wonder that unions have driven such hard bargains that they have bankrupted large corporations and entire state governments. Take away the special privileges and the unions lose much of the unearned clout. If the unions demanded more than the market could reasonably deliver, employers would be able to hire other employees and the union would be thrown out.

Banning public employee unions is the wrong answer.

TAX Payers have NO seat at the bargaining table.

The bargaining goes on between the TAX COLLECTORS , SPENDERS, and the government workers. They are "ALL" government workers at the table. They do not represent the TAX PAYER. You have to get out more and catch the real world.. Go to a school Board meeting. You will learn who the TAX Collector works for. NOT YOU.
Who does a teacher work for ? NOT YOU.
Try, just TRY, to do your own collective bargaining as a TAX PAYER, and see what you get. A millage increase is what you get.
It's a TAX SPENDERS' paradise.

Collective bargaining in public arena does NOT exist.
IT does NOT fall under the guidelines of the Labor Relations Board.
Two parties at the table must have a stake to give.
Since NO one there has a vested interest to lose there is NO bargaining. It is simply take from the TAX PAYER by both parties.

But clearly there is a limit

Overpaying for labor, whether you are a business or a municipality, or a state, will put a pinch on your finances. There is a limit to how much a business can charge for their products, and that is one of the natural checks on uncontrolled union demands...they can put the business out of business. The same is true for government institutions: there is a limit to how much a government can tax, so unions end up getting broken by their own lack of flexibility. In Wisconsin, either the unions will become flexible, or they will become a whole lot smaller due to inevitable layoffs. There is no way for Wisconsin, or any other state, to raise taxes to balance their budgets without committing economic suicide. Public employee unions are killing their hosts (to use a biology simile) which will cause their own demise.

The problem is not the unions. It's our representatives. They are the ones who give away the farm for the sake of votes, or favors, or pull, or influence, or.... The employees, through their unions, are only doing what comes naturally: asking for MORE. Businesses dealing with governments do the same exact thing, as do consultants, contractors, suppliers, etc. Anyone who engages in trade with governments does it.

I don't believe there is a solution to this problem, but if governments were much small on all levels, the burden on the public would be less of an issue.


Given the current state of affairs, Nay.

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

reedr3v's picture

the problem with public-sector unions

is that the "bargaining" is between the recipients of largess and the ones who gain their votes by bestowing generosity -- of other people's money. The source of the funding, the taxpayers, are not included in negotiations, and generally not informed of the long-term consequences.

When private-sector unions bargain, it is directly with the corporations that have to pay. this is at least a less direct tax on consumers since they can look for alternative producers who charge less.

But in a government monopoly consumers can't take their business elsewhere. Even if you home school, you still have to pay school taxes for the government schools.

Compromise.. Cut 10% of gov. jobs, give the remainder 5% raise.

Guarantee the raise just for this year, on the condition that 10% of existing government positions are eliminated.

We all win.

tell that to

the already unemployed.
Raises are totaly out. Pay cuts accross the board are in order.

Everyone is afraid of pay cuts, WHY? All you do is pay more to the gov't and pay higher interest on your more expensive homes. Inflation is the gov'ts friend, not your or mine. A raise "IS" inflation.
GET IT ? They have everyone on a merry-go-round.

It is still about, "CIRCULATION".
FIAT: more money in circulation equates to more WASTE. AHH!, it's only a buck. While the FED smiles.

What about

the Pensions? I think its the 70-90% of salary Pensions and Health Insurance that is whats costing us.

I say we start backwards. Lets shut down the government for 2-5 years, both Fed and State, cut all taxes by 50%. After two years of paying down the debt we can examine what state sponsored "services" are really needed to be put back in place, if any.

You would find out

much soon than that , what is neccessary.
The legal functions, I have no problem with.

Sure but you need to give it time.

So that people can get organized and replace the services they had (education, security, road maint, water service, etc) with private solutions and time for the pigs at the trough, er I mean government workers to find real jobs.

Offer them a tax free buyout of the failed pension plan.

Offer them 40 - 50 cents on the dollar but tax free. 20 to 30 cents on the dollar if the wish to 1) cash out, a little more to move it to an annuity or IRA now.

Give them the cash out tax free option now.. and tell them to take it or they may not get anything later.

Get congress to approve it.

I admit this still may not work but what else can you do.. bankrupt these pensions later is the only other option?

Of course once they pull these funds to cash out of the markets we will find out how worthless paper stock certificates are too.


Simply treat the pensions

as if they were fired and start over with a new benefit package self funded with a small match...
NO bargaining with what is NOT theirs'
Don't cut what they already earned, but cut the salary for the coming year . There are PLENTY of waiting teachers.
They can decide to get another job before the new year.

THAT's Compromise.

And next year, make them the same deal. And then do it again.

Pretty soon the bureaucrats will be gone, and they will get their raises too.


Unions, like Government, usually start off

well meaning, but somewhere along the way, the money starts to migrate to the top bosses. Unions, or no unions, I don't like the States subsidizing employees pension retirement at all. Nobody subsidizes mine, yet I have to pay for these State employees. As Mellencamp said it, "Ain't that America!". Just cut it out. If they are "educated", they will make provisions to fund their own. These State legislators slip in all these raises (along with their own!) and the populace doesn't pay attention becuase the bills are so complex. I wish some web site would publish all the cushy programs each State (and legislators) enjoy.

alan laney

Since my server goes down every time

I make a hot comment, This is for you Big T.
Your NAY comment is ageeable.

Since Tax Collector bargaining is ILLEGAL so is two government employees collectivly bargaining with what is not theirs' to bargain with or for, ILLEGAL

They are two NO -Interest parties doing bargaining for Tax Payers. END of Story . ILLEGAL

fireant's picture

I read it. Still feel the same.

If things are so bad, let them form private schools and they can unionize all they want.
Honestly Bob, I care not what their beefs are. That begs the larger question of society falling under control of the public union political machine which, by it's self-serving nature, will consume more and more of gdp. We cannot continue in that direction and expect to leave a legacy of liberty for our offspring.
It's time we return to the concept of public service that pays a nominal wage, but affords the opportunity to serve the public. I'm tired of the unions having a stranglehold on my pocketbook.

Undo what Wilson did

I am old enough to remember when very few . . .

people were employed by the 'government'--

how did this happen to *us*?

Having said that, I spent many years with a man (my grandfather) who remembers his own grandfather telling him of how the miners worked such long hours they never saw daylight and how little boys were often killed in the mines--

while those who operated the mines had very good lives. When my great-great grandfather's little brother (9 years old) was killed in the mine, my great-great grandfather came to America. They were very poor, but somehow they managed to board a sad, stinking ship and make it here--

This is why many of the miners from Britain emigrated to America and other places--

for the freedom to see the sunlight and let little boys herd their father's cows and work in the gardens instead of going down into dark mines and losing their lives--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Nowhere near a "core issue."

"Should public employees have the right to collective bargaining?" presupposes that we ought to have "public employees" at all.

Government provides two kinds of "services": valuable services (which implies that people would be willing to pay for them) and "dis-services," which people would NOT be willing to pay for. In the latter category, put things like wars, enforcement of victimless "crime" laws, foreign aid, and so forth.

When people want a valuable service performed, the best thing government can do is GET OUT OF THE WAY of the people who are willing to provide the service. That's what the free market does best. If kids need teachers, let their parents keep the money they now pay in taxes and hire whatever teachers they choose. Let people keep the money now spent on police, and they will be able to afford private security patrols in their neighborhoods (who might actually protect people, instead of "enforcing laws" that the politicians have inflicted on us.) Privatize EVERYTHING. And as for the services that no one wants to pay for -- they are not needed at all. Freedom is the ONLY "public good."

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Now, that's the way forward,

Now, that's the way forward, if freedom is the goal!

interesting way of putting it--

I agree with you.

Having paid tens of thousands of dollars of taxes which went towards public education, while I purchased thousands of dollars worth of curricula and books for my own children to learn at home--


I agree.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

SteveMT's picture

In a word "Nay."

The Wisconsin Teachers Union will succeed in getting most of them laid off rather than doing something to address the problem quickly, which would make the teachers look great.

Do you recall the state governments have a second set of books?

Don't let this crisis to forget that government is the problem, not unions.