Teacher's Union Bosses: 30% More Taxpayer Money and Less Work or We Strike!

Teacher's in Chicago, Illinois have voted to authorize a strike over their demand for a 30% pay increase (funded by the taxpayers) and smaller classroom sizes. The union wants a two-year deal that reduces class size and calls for teachers to receive a 24 percent pay raise in the first year and a 5 percent pay raise in the second year. The strike would start at the beginning of the next school year should the union not come to terms with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. With their neighbors on one side in Indiana enacting a Right to Work statute and their neighbors on the other, in Wisconsin, enacting reforms to save taxpayers money, it is clear Big Labor in Illinois hasn't gotten the message. Taxpayers want reform, choice, efficiency and freedom. That message will take root in Illinois soon. Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said the public schools cannot afford a strike. "At a time when our graduation rates and college enrollments are at record highs – two successes in which our teachers played an integral role – we cannot halt the momentum with a strike," she said. "Our teachers deserve a raise, but our kids don't deserve a strike and taxpayers cannot afford to pay for 30 percent raises." You might remember this video from a previous Chicago/Illinois Teachers Union staged event titled "Give up the bucks!"    

Big Labor's Watershed Moment

Big Labor's Watershed Moment

Edward Morrisey looks at the impact of recent victories in Wisconsin and Indiana arguing that this signals a watershed moment for reform: Have we reached a watershed moment for the labor movement? Earlier this year, Indiana became the first Rust Belt state to enact right-to-work laws. Arizona made their already-restrictive environment even tougher. And now, after targeting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other republican lawmakers for more than a year, the labor movement has come up empty. In Wisconsin, Walker’s reforms of public-sector collective bargaining were at issue. Democrats nationwide allied themselves with the unions in pushing for recall elections, and liberal pundits promised they would stop this encroachment on labor prerogatives and send a lesson to other governors around the nation. In that, at least, they succeeded, but not in the way the unions had hoped. Despite the high-profile campaign waged by the labor movement in Wisconsin -- where unions have a long history of support – Wisconsin voters reaffirmed Walker as their governor. In fact, Walker won 125,000 more votes in the special recall election than he did in 2010, which was known as a wave election for Tea Party conservatives. He bested the same opponent, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, by an even wider margin of seven points rather than the five-point victory 19 months earlier. The results exposed labor’s weakness rather than strength. While it might not encourage other states to take drastic action to reduce the collective bargaining power, the impotence of the unions in what had been the heart of the progressive Midwest certainly won’t convince anyone not to try. Thanks to the millions spent by the unions in a failed attempt at undoing the 2010 election, Big Labor might not have the resources to fight on this scale again, especially with the national election on the horizon. Nor was this the only big loss that unions took on Tuesday night. In California, where public-employee unions have exerted a strong influence on politics for decades, two cities defied the PEUs to pass badly-needed pension reforms. That may

Big Labor's Watershed Moment

Big Labor's Watershed Moment

Edward Morrisey looks at the impact of recent victories in Wisconsin and Indiana arguing that this signals a watershed moment for reform: Have we reached a watershed moment for the labor movement? Earlier this year, Indiana became the first Rust Belt state to enact right-to-work laws. Arizona made their already-restrictive environment even tougher. And now, after targeting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other republican lawmakers for more than a year, the labor movement has come up empty. In Wisconsin, Walker’s reforms of public-sector collective bargaining were at issue. Democrats nationwide allied themselves with the unions in pushing for recall elections, and liberal pundits promised they would stop this encroachment on labor prerogatives and send a lesson to other governors around the nation. In that, at least, they succeeded, but not in the way the unions had hoped. Despite the high-profile campaign waged by the labor movement in Wisconsin -- where unions have a long history of support – Wisconsin voters reaffirmed Walker as their governor. In fact, Walker won 125,000 more votes in the special recall election than he did in 2010, which was known as a wave election for Tea Party conservatives. He bested the same opponent, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, by an even wider margin of seven points rather than the five-point victory 19 months earlier. The results exposed labor’s weakness rather than strength. While it might not encourage other states to take drastic action to reduce the collective bargaining power, the impotence of the unions in what had been the heart of the progressive Midwest certainly won’t convince anyone not to try. Thanks to the millions spent by the unions in a failed attempt at undoing the 2010 election, Big Labor might not have the resources to fight on this scale again, especially with the national election on the horizon. Nor was this the only big loss that unions took on Tuesday night. In California, where public-employee unions have exerted a strong influence on politics for decades, two cities defied the PEUs to pass badly-needed pension reforms. That may

Wisconsin -- unions vs. kids

Wisconsin -- unions vs. kids

From the NY Post by Michelle Malkin: Students were the first and last casualties of the ruthless Big Labor war against fiscal discipline. To kick off the yearlong protest festivities, the Wisconsin Education Association Council led a massive “sickout” of school personnel. The coordinated truancy action — tantamount to an illegal strike — cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million. When they weren’t ditching their students, teachers were shamelessly using other people’s children as their own political junior lobbyists and pawns. A Milwaukee Fox News affiliate caught one fourth-grade teacher dragging his students on a “field trip” to protest against Walker at the state Capitol building. The pupils clapped along with a group of “solidarity singers” as they warbled: “Scott Walker will never push us out, this house was made for you and me.” According the WisconsinReporter.com, cash strapped state affiliates also coughed up major sums to beat back Wisconsin’s efforts to bring American union workers into the 21st century and in line with the rest of the workforce: “The Ohio Education Association made a $58,000 in-kind contribution May 30, followed a day later by a $21,000 contribution from the Pennsylvania State Education Association. New York State United Teachers gave $23,000 on June 1, the Massachusetts Education Association gave $17,000 on May 31, and a group of unions based in Washington, DC, poured in $922,000 during the past week.”

How California Unions Hijacked the Golden State

How California Unions Hijacked the Golden State

Liz Peeks at the Fiscal Times looks at the political and economic damage big labor has done to the once Golden State: President Obama raked in a hefty $15 million from Hollywood’s elite at George Clooney’s home last week. The $40,000 per plate star-studded crowd cheered the president’s just-in-time conversion to same-sex marriage; are they equally enthused about Mr. Obama’s economic prescriptions? Californians should know better. Their state, best known for red carpets, is awash in red ink, just like the federal government. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown announced that the state’s budget deficit will approach $16 billion this year, up from $9.2 billion projected just a few months ago. Years of misguided financial policies have led to this: stifling taxes and savage cuts to public services – including Medicaid, childcare and welfare programs. Even movie stars occasionally venture out. What do they find? A state with 12 percent of the country’s population and one third of its welfare recipients. A state with the nation’s lowest bond ratings, the second-highest marginal income tax rate and the third highest unemployment rate. Most important – a state that CEOs rank the worst in the country for doing business. Dead last! For the eighth year in a row. The upshot? Businesses are leaving California. Spectrum Location Solutions reports that254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009. According to the Labor Department, California’s private employment actually shrank 1.4 percent over the past decade, while Texas added 1.15 million jobs.