Posted by: Rational Voice | September 23, 2010

The Trouble with Public Sector Unions

I stole the title from this piece here. It’s a brilliant,  informative, but very long piece on public sector unions. It has some good history in it that I didn’t know. Even far left presidents like FDR even was opposed to public sector unions and collective bargaining:

“Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”

Even the Supreme Court in New York stated, on the issue of collective bargaining:

To tolerate or recognize any combination of civil service employees of the government as a labor organization or union is not only incompatible with the spirit of democracy, but inconsistent with every principle upon which our government is founded. Nothing is more dangerous to public welfare than to admit that hired servants of the State can dictate to the government the hours, the wages and conditions under which they will carry on essential services vital to the welfare, safety, and security of the citizen. To admit as true that government employees have power to halt or check the functions of government unless their demands are satisfied, is to transfer to them all legislative, executive and judicial power. Nothing would be more ridiculous.

And yet, public sector unions, the so-called “public servants” are able to do so and they’ve turned the people they’re supposed to be serving into their slaves. Way to go unions! The issue of collective bargaining is also an affront to representative democracy:

Another common objection to collective bargaining with public-employee unions was that it would mean taking some of the decision-making authority over government functions away from the people’s elected representatives and transferring it to union officials, with whom the public had vested no such authority. In this view, democracy would be compromised when elected officials began sharing with union leaders the power to determine government employees’ wages, benefits, and working conditions. Furthermore, collectively bargained work rules could alter what public servants did day to day in ways not condoned by either elected officials or the voting public.

Don’t you just love unions? I know I do! Anyways, I think I’m going to stop here with my commentary on it. It’s long and I still haven’t finished it but I just wanted to give you something to entice you into reading it. Enjoy!


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