For weeks, I’ve been making the point that collective bargaining privileges, (they aren’t rights), for public-employee unions are completely different than for private-sector workers.
Why? Because unlike private-sector businesses, public employers (elected officials) have no skin in the game. It isn’t their money they’re dealing with. It’s the public’s money. The taxpayers.
They don’t have to worry about making a profit, or worry about competition, or worry about making sure their business survives. In the name of labor peace, or for the purpose of being reelected, public employers all too often make agreements that are not in the taxpayers’ best interests. They aren’t coming to an agreement with the unions on a level playing field. The unions have the advantage over the taxpayers, and they know it.
You also get instances where the elected officials are just plain incompetent, and end up agreeing to contracts that the taxpayers cannot afford. After all, being elected to a position of power requires far less talent and experience than getting to a position of such power in a private company. We only need to look at the current bumbling fool in the White House to realize that.
On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch echoed these points brilliantly.
By narrowing the scope of what can be bargained and establishing limits on provisions such as sick leave and health care, Senate Bill 5 limits the ability of politicians to give away the store.
The problem lies in the nature of public-sector collective bargaining.
In private-sector labor negotiations, the two sides have adversarial interests that balance each other: Unions want the highest wages and best benefits possible, and management wants the highest profit possible. Unions need the company to profit and thrive; the company needs a competent, loyal and motivated work force. Each needs to accommodate the other.
In public-sector negotiations, unions similarly want the highest wages and benefits possible. Management wants … to be reelected. Government doesn’t have to make a profit, and it faces no danger of its customers turning to a competitor.
Further, they illustrate the ability of the unions to corrupt the process.
The ability of unions to pool members’ donations to make political contributions, as well as to organize members as a campaign force, gives them influence over their bosses that no private-sector union ever dreamed of.
In 1975, the leader of a New York City council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) expressed it memorably: “We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.”
Indeed, today’s system in Ohio is a massive money laundering scheme in which the Democratic Party uses the unions to funnel huge amounts of taxpayer dollars into their own campaign accounts. The unions keep taking dues from their members to give to Democrats, while the Democrats keep rewarding them by ensuring that the laws are skewed to give the unions their power.
Go read the entire article, and then send it to your friends. People need to be educated on this issue. These are the facts of the debate, but the unions and Democrats will soon start airing commercials with non-sequiturs like “SB5 is an attack on the middle class”. They don’t want people to learn the real facts of the issue, so that they can make an informed decision. Their entire campaign will be based on emotion, and the notion that curbing some of these privileges will destroy people, even though SB5 will still leave them with privileges their private sector neighbors don’t have.