Tuesday, September 01, 2009

There is something to enjoy here

I just love it when a union and its own staff union fight over wages. Why? Because these battles prove that the so-called fight for a fair wage has nothing to do with a fair wage. The fight is simply just the means for one legally-protected unionized group to gain an advantage over all others.

Look, the OEA -- the epitome of union hacks -- can't even agree on wages with their own laborers.

Folks, it ain't about the kids. Nor is it about a fair wage or similar nonsense. It's about using the power of the state to justify greed.

From our good friend over at the
Education Intelligence Agency:

2) Ohio Education Association Staff Prepare to Strike, South Carolina Staff Warned of Disaster. As I type this, the employees of the Ohio Education Association are less than 10 hours from going out on strike. OEA and its staff unions have had bitter relations in the past, resulting in a strike in 1997, a lawsuit in 2005, and a last-minute settlement in 2006. I'll refrain from making too much of this right now, since last-minute settlements are fairly common in NEA staff labor disputes, but I'll have more tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the Sou th Carolina Education Association and its staff are souring, with the staff union president asserting SCEA executives told employees "that the South Carolina Education Association is two years from closing its doors." This may be a negotiating tactic, but SCEA is a mess, and the last time an NEA state affiliate was in such bad shape, the national union ceded it to the New York State United Teachers. Unfortunately there is no AFT affiliate in South Carolina.

No NEA state affiliate has ever "closed its doors," and it won't happen in South Carolina as long as there is dues money flowing in from members in New Jersey, Illinois and California to keep the doors open. The thing is watch for is when the have-not affiliates start to outnumber the haves.


Paul said...

An old friend of mine is one of the founders of the OEA staff union. The backstory here is that they weren't unionized, and didn't particularly want to be unionized, but the OEA leadership came to them and said it was inappropriate for a union to employ non-union workers, so they had to form a union.

Jim Fedako said...


Had to form a union?!? I doubt that. Remember, labor laws work both directions.

Paul said...

Splitting hairs -- the point is that the OEA initiated the formation of the staff union for appearances sake, probably never expecting the staff union to be so challenging to work with.

The comedy is in watching the union/management squabble with the union/staff over limited (albeit substantial) resources. How does that look when the management is itself a union?

Jim Fedako said...


Not to beat this but ...

They (the staff) chose to form a union. And your friend chose to lead it.

Anonymous said...

Hey--if a $165,000 "performance bonus" is just the ticket to "create a spirit of cooperation" and prevent "infighting" between vendors then the OEA should think about giving the same kind of bonus to its employees.

On 2:15:17 of the audio of the 8/25 meeting Andy Kerr says, "On Cheshire just a few weeks ago, we had conversations with a site contractor who has a bonus built INTO (his emphasis) their EXISTING (his emphasis) contract that doesn't require additional approval by the board". No kidding.
What other money are we giving away to friends of Dave King?

Anonymous said...

Bonuses are fairly common in construction work all over, not just for school construction, when the projects are completed early or under budget. It happens for roadways, public buildings and even private homes and businesses. Why all the fuss now?

And what does this have to do with Dave King? His company doesn't even specialize in school architecture.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please...like the development committee and the contractors they've been doling out business to all of these years aren't buddies?

You're missing the point here...if there is a need for "early completion" then all they have to do is move up the timeline by 30-60 days. Since they have building these schools virtually down to a science this should not be an issue.

When asked by Terri Meider what the saves were Kerr couldn't come up with any. Instead he said that it was convenient for teachers to be able to move their stuff in, and that the bonuses kept contractos from "infighing". Gee--great use of taxpayer money. Call it a "babysitting tax".

Anonymous said...

I agree, it could be taken care of by moving the time line up, something that should be arranged with the next new building. Easy enough to take care of, thereby eliminating the need to put it into that contract or future ones, for that matter; perhaps that way, a longstanding practice could be eliminated.
But if the early completion bonus for the new school was negotiated a couple of years ago, and is now being paid, then it should be honored, but then re-negotiated for the next job that hasn't started. Reneging on an already-agreed upon contract bonus right before it is to be paid is dishonest just because some people don't like it.

Anonymous said...

Jim...sorry this is unrelated to the post....but the comments went there awhile ago.

Come to the BOE meeting tomorrow night and listen to the Development Chair's 30 minute board sanctioned campaign commercial....that will explain the goodness of taking care of contractor buddies....

Then in a sequel....the Board will vote on the new middle school contract that they haven't read....which will include bonuses for the contractors.

Something continues to stink and its related to the Board President Feasel, Development Committee Chair....Mr (candidate for BOE ) King and Mr. (used to be a contractor and former BOE President) Kerr!

Oh and Teri...it's not going to impact the kids...until we run out money in a few years.