June
29th 2010
The REAL Twilight Zone: Unions, Officials Trample Teacher Options

Posted under Education Politics & Independence Institute & Just For Fun & Teachers

Talk about taking a walk into another dimension of reality. I’ve heard about those Twilight Zone episodes, but my mom won’t let me watch them yet because she says they give me nightmares. I love you, mom, but if you’re so concerned about me getting nightmares, you shouldn’t have let me watch this production from Silly Retro Theaters (H/T This Week In Education):

Now look, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think unions per se are the problem here (though the kind of bizarre and irrational scare tactics exemplified in the video certainly aren’t helping their cause). And I certainly don’t think union officials deserve all the blame for the special legal (and sometimes tax-funded) arrangements that help them live high on the hog. It’s human nature. Besides, there have been plenty of complicit local and state elected officials.

However, I can almost imagine an alternative version of this video, if someone were willing and able to make it. The premise? A non-union teacher wishing she didn’t have to go through a painful annual process of opting out of union dues, and awakening to a world with greater options, such as:

  • Government agencies recognizing all (union and non-union) membership alternatives as equal options
  • The ability to join a local-only union rather than having an all-or-nothing choice through the unified dues structure
  • For those who belong to any union or non-union organization, the respect and courtesy of being asked first before political funds are deducted from their paychecks, and of course…
  • The freedom not to have to visit, or send a letter to, a private office during a two-week period of the busiest time of the school year just to ensure you don’t lose more than $700 in dues to a group you never chose to join

But I guess that wouldn’t be quite as scary. Because if the union is as great as this original video says it is, why fear giving teachers and other education employees more choices?

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