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Symptoms vs Problem

Excessive force and the death of George Floyd and others are symptoms of a problem that dates back to the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • In 1958 New York mayor Robert Wagner, Jr. issued an executive order, called "the little Wagner Act," giving city employees certain bargaining rights, and gave their unions with exclusive representation (that is, the unions alone were legally authorized to speak for all city workers, regardless of whether or not some workers were members.
  • On January 17, 1962, Kennedy issued Executive Order 10988 recognizing the right of federal employees to collective bargaining.

The Wagner Act of 1935 gave collective bargaining rights to private companies, but Wagner and Kennedy extended it to the public sector.

The Problem With Police Unions

Collective Bargaining and public unions are the real problem. They protect bad cops from discipline.

I have discussed this many times, but it is now in the national spotlight. 

Today a WSJ Editorial discusses The Problem With Police Unions.

Remember the furor in 2011 when Republican governors tried to reform collective bargaining for government workers? Well, what do you know, suddenly Democrats say public-union labor agreements are frustrating police reform. We’re delighted to hear it—if they’re serious.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Sunday said police collective bargaining and arbitration have prevented the city from holding officers accountable for misconduct. Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with killing George Floyd, had at least 17 misconduct complaints against him in 18 years. But it appears he was disciplined only once—after a woman said he pulled her from a car and frisked her for exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles per hour. He received a letter of reprimand.

Minneapolis’s Office of Police Conduct Review has received 2,600 misconduct complaints since 2012. Only 12 have resulted in discipline, and the most severe punishment was a 40-hour suspension. “Unless we are willing to tackle the elephant in the room—which is the police union—there won’t be a culture shift in the department,” Mr. Frey said.

Why It's Impossible to Get Rid of Bad Cops

Finally, someone gets it. The WSJ gave a number of examples and so did I.

Flashback June 6, 2020: Why It's Impossible to Get Rid of Bad Cops

Last Friday, Philadelphia Inspector Joseph Bologna smashed a student on the back of the head and he now faces charges of aggravated assault.

The police union is outraged. And until it goes as far as kneeling on someone neck for 8 minutes until they are dead, police unions will always defend the police.

Public Unions are the Problem

It is nearly impossible to get rid of bad cops and bad teachers. 

It takes outright murder caught on video before police unions don't look the other way. Even then, the union tries to protect the others involved.

The same happens with teachers who abuse kids, Bad teachers cannot be dismissed.

Bad Teachers Protected by Tenure and Unions

If you search, you can find hundreds of stories like this one: Dirty Dozen: 12 Bad Teachers Protected by Tenure and Unions.

Matthew Lang was a band director at O’Fallon Township High School in Illinois in 2007 when administrators learned he was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student. But instead of being fired, Lang was able to resign, and the relationship was kept out of his file so he could seek another teaching job.

“… we are asking that all information concerning the request for his resignation not be placed in his file,” read a letter from the teacher’s union rep to the O’Fallon school board that was originally obtained by education news site EAGnews.

The district complied and even provided a letter of recommendation that called Lang “an outstanding instructor.” Lang landed a job with Alton High School near the Mississippi River and about 15 miles north of St. Louis, Mo.He worked at the school until 2010, when he was convicted of molesting another female student and sentenced to six years in prison, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jon White was sentenced to 48 years in prison in 2008 for abusing ten students at schools in the Illinois towns of Urbana and Normal. But those victims might have been spared their ordeals if White’s past had been revealed.

He had previously worked in McLean’s school district, where he was twice suspended for viewing pornography on a school computer and for making sexually suggestive comments to a fifth-grader. Instead of being fired, the union-protected teacher was allowed to resign – with a letter of recommendation that made no mention of the incidents.

There are 10 more stories like that in the one article above.

Letter by Franklin D. Roosevelt on Public Unions

Please consider a few key snips from FDR's Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service, August 16, 1937, emphasis mine.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or 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. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."

Roosevelt was discussing strikes, but public unions threaten them all the times, especially teachers' unions. They demand money "for the kids". The school boards are padded with teachers demanding more money "for the kids".

Collective bargaining cannot possibly exist in such circumstances. Unions can and have shut down schools. The unions do not give a damn about the kids.

Notice I said "unions" do not give a damn. Most teachers do care for the kids, but the union does not. The unions can, and do, protect teachers guilty of abusing kids. It is nearly impossible to get rid of a bad tenured teacher or a bad cop.

Unions also threaten to shut down mass transportation.

None of this is in the public interest.

Abolish Public Unions Entirely

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Union leaders have a mandated goal of protecting bad cops, bad teachers, and corrupt politicians. Unions blackmail politicians and threaten the public they are supposed to serve.

Union leaders will do anything to stay in power, the kids and the public be damned.

The only way to deal with the situation is to "effectively" abolish public unions entirely.

The key word is effectively. What do I mean by that? Take away 100% of their power as opposed to ending their right of association.

Recommended Steps

  1. National right-to-work laws
  2. Abolishment of all prevailing wage laws
  3. Ending public unions ability to strike
  4. Ending collective bargaining by public unions

Consider Illinois' prevailing wage laws: Prevailing wages are union wages. Municipalities and businesses have to pay prevailing wages. If they do not hire union workers, they get picketed.

Why bother hiring non-union workers if you have to pay union wages in the first place?

As a direct result, municipalities and businesses must overpay for services in Illinois.

Illinois is Bankrupt

Not only do public unions protect bad cops, bad teachers, and bad employees in general, Illinois is bankrupt after giving in repeatedly to union contract demands and pension spiking.

Fundamental Problem

Lost in the wake of the death of George Floyd is the simple fact that officers like Chauvin may have long ago been weeded out had corrupt union not protected bad cops.

The California Policy Center has a nice set of articles on the Problems of Collective Bargaining.

Trump's Scorecard

President Trump had two years with a Republican Congress to pass legislation on right-to-work, collective bargaining, national bankruptcy reform and other related items.

His scorecard is a perfect zero.

It will be interesting to see if he cowers to the unions in the next 5 months in an attempt to get re-elected.

Police Unions Love Uprisings

The unions love these uprisings. They will use it to demand more cops, higher pay, and more prisons.

Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

The unions are willing to hold the public hostage without police service, without fire service and without schools to get what they want.

The fact of the matter is simple: Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That.

OK Democrats That's the Problem 

Now, what will you do about it? 

I ask Republicans the same thing. But don't expect either party to do anything 

Trump Defends Immunity Laws that Protect Bad Cops

Please note Trump Defends Immunity Laws that Protect Bad Cops

In a Ridiculous Tweet, Trump Defends Police Who Crack a 75-Year Old Man's Head

At the highest levels, both parties are willing to buy votes of the powerful unions. 

Ronald Reagan smashed PATCO, he did not go far enough. He should have smashed all the public unions.