From the desk of Stephen Cabot: If one wants to reform education in our country, one must do battle with the unions that represent teachers. One need only look at the departure of school reformer, Michelle Rhee, in Washington DC. Her boss lost an election bid to Vince Gray in the Democratic mayoral primary. Gray, as one might have expected, was elected with enormous help form the American Federation of Teachers and the Washington Teachers’ Association.

For years now, the media has reported that America’s educational system does not meet the needs of an increasingly complex, technological age. America’s students are rapidly falling behind in science and math when compared to students in such countries as China and India.

If teachers are not held accountable for the failures of their students, then our educational goals will turn to mist as we become a country as second rate as our educational system.

And who is to blame for this sorry state of affairs? The teachers unions. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association exert enormous pressure on politicians to maintain the status quo. It doesn’t matter that students are not getting the educations they deserve and that the country requires in order for us to be competitive with other nations. What matters to the teachers unions is that teachers’ jobs are eternally preserved and that tenure remains sacrosanct, regardless of the pedagogic competence of instructors who view their employment as protected sinecures.

If America is to remain an economic powerhouse, its students must be prepared to take leadership positions in the coming decades. If, however, they are ignorant of math and science as their ever-falling test scores sorrowfully indicate, we will be dependent on the scientific advancements made by students in what were once called third-world countries. The time is long past for the teachers’ unions to become superfluous; they are obstacles to our economic growth. They provide a scandalous disservice to our country’s youth and to the future of our country.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot: According to a front page article in The Wall Street Journal, “the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant on its current picket line.” The union is picketing an office building for not using unionized workers. It’s apparently all right for the union to use non-union picketers, but it’s not all right for the building management to use non-union workers. Consistency has never been a trademark of union practices.

The union, according to the article, hires unemployed people and pays them a minimum wage, $8.25 an hour.

Yet, unions across the country loudly complain that no one should have to accept the minimum wage because it’s not “a living wage.”

With low labor costs, the Carpenters’ union is able to fund 150 picket lines in Washington, DC, where neither the pro-union NLRB nor the union-friendly White House has murmured a word of disapproval. As the picketers chant, “Low Pay! Go Away!” one can only wonder if the picketers and their low-paying unions are even aware of the inherent irony.

Will a renegade union come along and attempt to organize the non-union picketers? How would the NLRB rule on such a case? One can only hope and smile.

expert labor relations advice