'Systematically Biased' Against Schoolchildren

[stream provider=youtube flv=w4TkzWcGTxo img=x:/nrtwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/TerryMoeCEAFU.png embed=false share=false width=580 height=280 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /] Dr. Moe: As long as monopolistic teacher unions "remain powerful," effective schools "will be short-changed." Stanford Professor Lambastes Monopolistic Teacher Unionism (Source: July 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) On June 1, Tennessee achieved a legislative milestone when its elected officials effectively repealed a 33-year-old state statute authorizing and promoting union monopoly-bargaining control over teachers and other K-12 public school instructional employees. Under the new K-12 reform law approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam (R ), no union or other organization will be handed a legally protected monopoly over all "employee" input in discussions with school boards over working conditions. Once this law, known as the Collaborative Conferencing Act, takes effect, teachers who choose not to join any union will, for the first time in decades, have a voice in discussions throughout Tennessee regarding salaries, benefits and grievances. Tennessee revoked teacher union bosses' monopoly-bargaining privileges last month largely thanks to persistent lobbying by the roughly 46,000 National Right to Work Committee members and supporters in the Volunteer State. And, according to Stanford University political scientist and education specialist Terry Moe, the Tennesseans who helped pass the Collaborative Conferencing Act have done an enormous favor for their state's schoolchildren. From Children's Standpoint, Union Boss-Perpetuated Salary Rules 'Make No Sense at All' In his new book Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools (Brookings Institution Press), Dr. Moe documents how teacher union monopoly bargaining, still statutorily enshrined in more than 30 states, impairs school outcomes while sharply raising the cost to taxpayers. In practice, charges Dr. Moe, "exclusive" union bargaining routinely produces "key decisions that depart from -- and are systematically biased against -- what is best for kids and effective organization." One example among many are so-called "single salary schedules" that furnish teachers with extra pay for additional degrees and course taking, even though "research has consistently shown" that simply accumulating degrees and/or additional course credits, "does not make teachers more effective." From "the standpoint of what is best for children," such Big Labor-perpetuated salary rules "make no sense at all" (emphasis Dr. Moe's). But teacher union officials ferociously defend "single salary schedule" rules, because they keep educators dependent on the union for securing better pay and career advancement. Monopolistic Unionism Can Never Be 'Reform Unionism' In today's America, Special Interest goes on to point out, many education policymakers and other leaders "recognize that teacher unions are standing in the way of effective schools," but mistakenly believe that union officials "can be persuaded to do good things with their [monopolistic] power." This is the false hope of what is commonly called "reform unionism."

'Systematically Biased' Against Schoolchildren

[stream provider=youtube flv=w4TkzWcGTxo img=x:/nrtwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/TerryMoeCEAFU.png embed=false share=false width=580 height=280 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /] Dr. Moe: As long as monopolistic teacher unions "remain powerful," effective schools "will be short-changed." Stanford Professor Lambastes Monopolistic Teacher Unionism (Source: July 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) On June 1, Tennessee achieved a legislative milestone when its elected officials effectively repealed a 33-year-old state statute authorizing and promoting union monopoly-bargaining control over teachers and other K-12 public school instructional employees. Under the new K-12 reform law approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam (R ), no union or other organization will be handed a legally protected monopoly over all "employee" input in discussions with school boards over working conditions. Once this law, known as the Collaborative Conferencing Act, takes effect, teachers who choose not to join any union will, for the first time in decades, have a voice in discussions throughout Tennessee regarding salaries, benefits and grievances. Tennessee revoked teacher union bosses' monopoly-bargaining privileges last month largely thanks to persistent lobbying by the roughly 46,000 National Right to Work Committee members and supporters in the Volunteer State. And, according to Stanford University political scientist and education specialist Terry Moe, the Tennesseans who helped pass the Collaborative Conferencing Act have done an enormous favor for their state's schoolchildren. From Children's Standpoint, Union Boss-Perpetuated Salary Rules 'Make No Sense at All' In his new book Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools (Brookings Institution Press), Dr. Moe documents how teacher union monopoly bargaining, still statutorily enshrined in more than 30 states, impairs school outcomes while sharply raising the cost to taxpayers. In practice, charges Dr. Moe, "exclusive" union bargaining routinely produces "key decisions that depart from -- and are systematically biased against -- what is best for kids and effective organization." One example among many are so-called "single salary schedules" that furnish teachers with extra pay for additional degrees and course taking, even though "research has consistently shown" that simply accumulating degrees and/or additional course credits, "does not make teachers more effective." From "the standpoint of what is best for children," such Big Labor-perpetuated salary rules "make no sense at all" (emphasis Dr. Moe's). But teacher union officials ferociously defend "single salary schedule" rules, because they keep educators dependent on the union for securing better pay and career advancement. Monopolistic Unionism Can Never Be 'Reform Unionism' In today's America, Special Interest goes on to point out, many education policymakers and other leaders "recognize that teacher unions are standing in the way of effective schools," but mistakenly believe that union officials "can be persuaded to do good things with their [monopolistic] power." This is the false hope of what is commonly called "reform unionism."

On, Wisconsin

With teachers in Wisconsin having the ability to decline the payment of  forced union dues or fees, teacher union officials are reportedly laying off 40% of their staff.  The Wall Street Journal opines: The Battle of Wisconsin ended with a whimper on Tuesday as two Democrats facing recall elections for their roles in the fight over union reform hung on to their seats. Four of six Republicans up for recall did the same last week. After Greek-style protests in Madison, a judicial election and tens of millions of dollars spent, voters weren't in the mood for revenge after all. For all the hullabaloo, the great upheaval prophesied by the unions never came true. Republicans still control the state senate. The national unions went home. Badger State voters got a balanced budget without tax increases, and the spectacle of Democratic senators fleeing to Illinois to avoid a vote became an unpleasant memory. Life goes on. Since Governor Scott Walker's union reforms and budget legislation went into effect, school districts have saved money with competitive bids for their health-care plans. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the change will save Milwaukee some $25 million a year and as much as $36 million in 2012, more than compensating for the cuts in state aid to the city.

Taxpayer Funded Big Labor Cash Cow Hit by WI Reform

What Reform Was About Wisconsin Republicans put their careers on the line to reform the state's collective bargaining process for government unions -- standing up to entrenched special interests and back room deals that have dominated the political landscape for decades. Byron York of the Washington Examiner takes a look at one of the corrupt bargains that seems to be coming to an end thanks to their efforts. It appears the union bosses were padding their bottom line by forcing school districts to buy health insurance through a company they owned -- all at inflated costs. Now free of those constraints, schools are saving money on wasteful contracts helping teachers and students in the process. Other states should take note. The Hartland-Lakeside School District, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee in tiny Hartland, Wis., had a problem in its collective bargaining contract with the local teachers union. The contract required the school district to purchase health insurance from a company called WEA Trust. The creation of Wisconsin's largest teachers union -- "WEA" stands for Wisconsin Education Association -- WEA Trust made money when union officials used collective bargaining agreements to steer profitable business its way. The problem for Hartland-Lakeside was that WEA Trust was charging significantly higher rates than the school district could find on the open market. School officials knew that because they got a better deal from United HealthCare for coverage of nonunion employees. On more than one occasion, Superintendent Glenn Schilling asked WEA Trust why the rates were so high. "I could never get a definitive answer on that," says Schilling. Changing to a different insurance company would save Hartland-Lakeside hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be spent on key educational priorities -- especially important since the cash-strapped state government was cutting back on education funding. But teachers union officials wouldn't allow it; the WEA Trust requirement was in the contract, and union leaders refused to let Hartland-Lakeside off the hook. "It's going to save us about $690,000 in 2011-2012," says Schilling. Insurance costs that had been about $2.5 million a year will now be around $1.8 million. What union leaders said would be a catastrophe will in fact be a boon to teachers and students.