The right to unionize--DFLers believe--ought to be in the Bill of Rights.
That state legislators should consider it open to reinterpretation 'shocks the conscience'--shriek the morally scandalized-appearing.
Will Wilkinson and others have argued that since public employees are hired by the people's representatives, it is not clear why decency requires their organization to be facilitated by public policy.
Rules have to be set by government, for how employees organize. Considerable good-willed disagreement is apparent, when people discuss where government should set the dial--if recertification votes should be required annually, if member dues should be refunded to dissenting members, etc. By setting the rules disadvantageously to unions, organizing can be made very unlikely, without coercion.
The choice before the state legislator, then, is not 'Should public employee unions be banned?'--it's 'Should unionization be encouraged?'
Given that public servants are employed by voters, their non-unionization would not constitute an injustice--and so I advocate withholding encouragement.
Jeff Fecke believes that a person who wants government to withhold encouragement-to-unionize is a person who is attacking teachers. In other words, Fecke sidesteps the argument--he often finds people who disagree with him to lack ethical standing--and so their arguments needn't be addressed.
When the rules governing the formation and maintenance of teacher unions get tweeked so as to make unionization unlikely, teachers do not writhe eternally.
Similarly, when one looks at the American auto industry's last several decades, it is not obvious that unionization has benefited the livelihood and number of US auto workers--to say nothing of their prospects.
I seek to minimize the state's encouragement-to-unionize, though not out of any hatred for teachers: I believe the profession can thrive non-unionized--just as other professions do.
Michelle Rhee's article, defending teachers' collective bargaining, is a disappointment--though her reasoning doesn't impress.
Rhee assumes that society's choice concerns whether to allow or ban the unionization of teachers. Pshaw.
Rhee does not divulge from whom she believes public school teachers need to be protected--or why she thinks voters by default underreward educators, in the absence of collective bargaining.
People who believe teaching would benefit from non-unionization do not think the change will scratch every itch--nor must we assert that it is central to educational reform. It is a step in the right direction.
Rhee's misunderstanding of the debate--or refusal to address its central questions--shocks the conscience:
We founded StudentsFirst to create a balance with other special interests, not to snuff out other voices.Whose voice would be snuffed out, were teachers not encouraged to unionize?
Are you, gentle reader, a non-unionized worker?
Is your voice snuffed out, within your workplace?