From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Democratic law makers in California have attempted over and over again to alter the state’s labor law to benefit farm workers and reduce the rights of farm owners and managers. They introduced a bill, SB1474, that would have required the state’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board to declare an immediate union victory if employers corrupted the outcome of a union organizing election. (Who would make such a determination? Unions who lose those elections?) Wielding his mighty pen, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator, vetoed the fifth attempt to pass such a bill. For Democrats the Governor is Conan the Destroyer, but for those who understand that unions are an obstacle to economic recovery, the Governor is the Last Action Hero. The Governor rightly stated that the bill attempted to tilt the labor relations playing field in favor of unions; thus, it would not improve upon the current secret-ballot system. Indeed, it would serve to call into question the validity of secret-ballot elections. The governor may no longer be Pumping Iron, but he is still maintaining a strong, vigorous stance against radicals who want to subvert secret ballot elections and injure Corporate America.
From the desk of Stephen Cabot:
The Los Angeles Times recently published a data base that evaluated 6,000 teachers. The evaluation is based upon how well students scored on standardized tests. Parents, as one might have expected, were grateful to read the results, but were also extremely disappointed, for only 40.6% of high school students in LA graduate from high school. That’s the second worst rate in the country. California now spends 40% of its budget on education, which translates to $30,000 per student, per year. Such a bad return on investment at any American corporation would result in the firing of its CFO, CEO, and president. In California, however, no more than 2% of teachers are denied tenure.
So, it’s not surprising that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the local union, The United Teachers of Los Angeles, are angry about the publication of deplorable results by the Times. Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, went on ABC News to decry the report and voice her union’s support of teachers. The local union is planning a protest at the offices of The Los Angeles Times.
The unions representing teachers do not appreciate the publication of embarrassing facts, but that does not give them the right to assail the freedom of the Times to publish. Instead of being blindly devoted to maintaining full employment for teachers, the unions should be devoted to the successful education of students. But, as one might have suspected, teacher evaluations are not based on how much students learn.
From the desk of Stephen Cabot:
Citizens of Chula Vista and Oceanside in California are sick of having to pay for sky rocketing union costs for publicly financed building projects. While those citizens overwhelmingly voted for President Obama in 2008, they have overwhelming rejected his support of unions, such as his Executive Order in support of project labor agreements, which imposes union-favorable rules on federal building projects that will cost more than $25 million.
In Chula Vista, voters supported Proposition G, 56% to 43%, which bans project labor agreements, because such agreements result in union-generated high cost overruns that increase taxes. Voters in Oceanside supported Proposition G by 53%.
In those cities, unions will no longer be able to set terms for municipal construction projects. No longer will unions dictate wage and benefit levels for construction workers on municipal projects, thus limiting the likelihood of enormous cost overruns, such as those that plagued the Big Dig in Boston.
Proposition G will be an inspiration for municipalities across the country, where tax revenues have receded and debt financing has increased. What has happened in Chula Vista and Oceanside is just another example of how savvy citizens are no longer willing to support the greedy demands of unions.