Tag Archives | unions
Debunking the Mackinac Center's phony teachers union "pension spiking" scandal

Debunking the Mackinac Center’s phony teachers union “pension spiking” scandal

I recently wrote about Michigan teacher Mary Davenport, a woman who had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from her union, the Michigan Education Association (MEA), only to turn around and claim they “weren’t there when she needed them.” She was duped into being the poster child for the campaign by the corporate front group Mackinac Center to encourage teachers to leave their union.

In the letter Davenport signed that was sent to thousands of Michigan teachers using their taxpayer-funded work email addresses, Davenport railed against what Mackinac Center calls “pension spiking” by MEA president Steve Cook whose pension will be based on his MEA salary.…

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Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been traveling in China for work for the past two weeks. I’m now back in Michigan and have finally recovered from my jet lag and the 12-hour time difference. I appreciate your patience during my absence. Regular posting will now resume : )

Back in 2011, shortly after Republicans took control of our state government, one of the first things they did was to enact a series of laws designed to diminish the ability of teachers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. The new laws created local boards that would govern teacher discipline, teacher evaluations, teacher tenure and strengthened a prohibition on strikes to further harm unions that encourage them.…

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President Obama smacks down Republican attempt to block new NLRB rule making it easier for workers to unionize

President Obama smacks down Republican attempt to block new NLRB rule making it easier for workers to unionize

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a new rule to “modernize and streamline the process” of forming a union.

The new rule:

  • Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensures that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Eliminates or reduces unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
  • Adopts best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
  • Requires that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and
  • Allows parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single appeals process.
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New study finds that union members are happier, more satisfied people

New study finds that union members are happier, more satisfied people

A new study by professors from Baylor University and the University of Arkansas shows that, despite a 10% decline in union membership over the past 30 years, union members are happier and have greater satisfaction in their lives than non-union members. In a New York Times article titled “Want to Be Happy? Join a Union”, the two professors talk about their research:

[A] recent study may give some workers reason to reconsider [union membership]. For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction.

The study authors, Patrick Flavin, an assistant professor at Baylor University, and Gregory Shufeldt, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, used data from five different years between the early 1980s and mid-2000s, conducted in the United States, of the World Values Survey, a research project focusing on people’s beliefs.

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Corporatist profiteer Richard Berman attacks AFT President Randi Weingarten in Detroit News "Op-Ed"

Corporatist profiteer Richard Berman attacks AFT President Randi Weingarten in Detroit News “Op-Ed”

The Detroit News published an op-ed yesterday by a man so well-known for being a corporatist shill and profiteer that running it must have been a decision made by the News‘ advertising department. The piece was penned by a Richard Berman and attempts to lay the entire blame for the poor quality of Detroit Public schools at the feet of the teachers union and, more specifically, at the feet of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

It hardly bears pointing out that Detroit schools didn’t get where they are because of greedy, self-interested teachers. You don’t go to work in Detroit public schools with the aim of becoming wealthy thanks to your cushy union job.…

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INTERVIEW: AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler – Has the “American Dream” become the “Impossible Dream”?

The American Dream, according to dictionary.com, is defined as: the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American, or, a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

I might suggest that, based on generational differences, the definition of the American Dream might be different from generation to generation. Clearly, though, at least in the world I live in, one has to wonder if it’s time to redefine what the American Dream is. I’m not suggesting that the ideas set forth at dictionary.com are necessarily wrong. At the same time, however, I am concerned that the way it’s defined doesn’t exactly fit into today’s model of what our communities are, what we seek for them to be, and more importantly, how we get there.…

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AUDIO: Mackinac Center staffer claims emails urging teachers to leave union aren't "political" (UPDATED)

AUDIO: Mackinac Center staffer claims emails urging teachers to leave union aren’t “political” (UPDATED)

po·lit·i·cal – /pəˈlitikəl/ – adjective: of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country

Updated with video of Rachael Siemen asking her question.

Yesterday at a forum at the Michigan House Office Building, the Mackinac Center brought in a representative from another notorious corporatist front group, The Heritage Foundation, to spew propaganda regarding the raising of the minimum wage. During the question and answer period following the presentation, UAW Local 6000 member Rachael Siemen asked Mackinac Center staffer Vincent Vernuccio a simple question regarding a recent email sent spammed out to thousands of public school teachers in Michigan urging them to leave the Michigan Education Association teachers union.…

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BREAKING: Mackinac Center using public school email system to encourage teachers to leave their union (UPDATED)

BREAKING: Mackinac Center using public school email system to encourage teachers to leave their union (UPDATED)

NOTE: Updated to clarify the restriction on unions using official school emails to conduct business.

NOTE 2: This post has been updated HERE.

The anti-union corporatist group the Mackinac Center is using public school email systems to encourage teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of two major teachers unions in the state. I have confirmed that at least five teachers in the Livonia school district received the following email in their school email accounts:

From: Peter Boyd
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Subject: August Opt-Out
To: [NAME REDACTED]@livoniapublicschools.org

Dear Colleague:

My name is Peter Boyd, and I’m a high school science teacher in the Martin school district.

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New website UnionsWork.us shows how unions help ALL workers and fight income inequality

New website UnionsWork.us shows how unions help ALL workers and fight income inequality

It’s not going too far to say that American workers everywhere benefit on an ongoing basis from the hard work labor unions have done over the past several decades. I work at a non-union company that treats its employees very well. They compete for talent with other companies, including union shops, and this encourages them to do right by us, offering us good working conditions, an excellent benefit package, and a host of other things that result in employees working for them for decades.

That’s a direct result of the modern labor movement’s successes over the years in securing these things for their members.…

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GUEST POST - Oops: Public forgets to hate public employees

GUEST POST – Oops: Public forgets to hate public employees

They think their pensions are OK, too

This guest post is by Roger Kerson, a Michigan-based media consultant for labor unions, environmental groups, and non-profit organizations. He was director of public relations at the United Auto Workers during the GM and Chrysler restructuring. As an associate of the Arlington, Virginia-based firm PRWRK, he has provided strategic counsel to the Transport Workers Union of America during bankruptcy at American Airlines and to the United Mine Workers during bankruptcy at Patriot Coal.
Aren’t you tired of all those overpaid, underworked public employees, who are bankrupting cities like Detroit with their lavish pay and pensions?…

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