Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teachers Paid by Taxpayers for Union Work

"Pennsylvania teachers are allowed up to 35 days a year off from actual teaching to instead work for their union, according to the contract negotiated between the local school district and the local teachers union.  When a teacher take this time off, the school pays for a substitute in addition to paying the teacher’s normal salary, even while they are not in the classroom."

These types of contracts are commonplace across the state, said Simon Campbell, president of StopTeacherStrikes. “I’ve read a lot of union contracts. From the contracts I’ve reviewed this is very commonplace, unfortunately. There seems to be a mindset among those who like the status quo that it is acceptable to pay teachers for time when they are working for the union when they should be teaching our students.”

In the union contract it states “A total of 35 teacher days upon request with advance notice will be granted for union business,” which Mr. Campbell says is separate from vacation days or other paid-time off. The contract was originally for 2005-2009 but was renewed through June 2010."
 
Read more here

HT: Newsalert Blog

24 Comments:

At 5/25/2010 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and they "work for their union" by attending protests against taxpayers. No one should be allowed to organize against the people of the United States - period.

 
At 5/25/2010 3:26 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Are there acceptable reasons for teachers/professors not to be in a classroom teaching students at all times? If so, how is "acceptable" determined, and who makes that decision?

 
At 5/25/2010 3:50 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

This is pretty standard in all union contracts, look at the UAW reps who are paid by the car companies. The alternative is to raise the dues to pay the folks, which would mean higher wage demands at contract time. So in many respects it all comes out in the wash in terms of the total cost to have the union in place pay plus union stewards etc. Its just how you divide the pot up.

 
At 5/25/2010 4:27 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Lyle, this is pretty standard in life. We all expect the guy or girl at the corner store to be on the job for every hour they get paid, but the higher you go up, the less likely that is to happen. Other aspects of employment fall into place that has questionable value added, and that depends on who is doing the questioning. It could be union meetings, an executive at an auto company who is a seniors' golf champion, or an educator off the job who is taking paid professional development courses or on sabbatical.

I am not trying to throw stones. I am saying simply that not everyone punches a clock and is “on the job” for their full 40 hours or whatever a week, so it becomes a judgment call of what is value added and what is not. Who makes that call? Is it bargained in a union contract, does a dean decide, or maybe the public? What makes a mutually bargained contract any different than a by-laws committee or a dean? Can we stop public employees from paid off-the-job functions if we allow this in the private sector? If we are not careful, this can quickly become a blame game where everyone else is always wrong and no problems get solved because it is the other guy’s fault.

 
At 5/25/2010 4:37 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"If we are not careful, this can quickly become a blame game where everyone else is always wrong and no problems get solved because it is the other guy’s fault."

I'll play the blame game. Unions suck, especially public sector unions where there's almost zero accountability/threat of termination.

 
At 5/25/2010 4:44 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

What Paul said.

Public Unions are the worst. The UAW - until recently - was employed by a private company that could go bankrupt. In theory only, of course - those bastards figured out how to effectively become a public sector union.

Government can't go bust, but it can rob all the productive members of society to meet egregious pay demands.

I taught high school math for a short time. Teachers are overpaid given the amount of work they actually do and how many days they actually work every year.

 
At 5/25/2010 5:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Why would you need a threat of termination if you hire the right people and give them what they need to do their job? Do you usually have to resort to threats to get what you want or need?

 
At 5/25/2010 7:44 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,

"Why would you need a threat of termination if you hire the right people and give them what they need to do their job? Do you usually have to resort to threats to get what you want or need?"

You're joking, right?

 
At 5/25/2010 7:59 PM, Blogger randian said...

I wonder how much fraud accompanies this perk. We know people lie about being sick in order to turn sick days into vacation days. The fraud on this must be huge, especially since at best standard union rules for firing employees apply, and at worst the contract specifies no punishment at all for misusing it.

 
At 5/26/2010 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

35 days out of 9 months of work days? This is why government shouldn't be in charge of so much money. They can't be trusted with it.

 
At 5/26/2010 5:49 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

No, Paul, I am not joking. If I have a business arrangement with you, will threatening you be the best way to solve our differences? Problems are created from threats not solved. Have you ever had any problem resolution training?

 
At 5/26/2010 7:17 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Have you ever had any problem resolution training?'

Have you ever been in the real world where the sky is blue? There's no less productive work force than unionized goverment employees. There's no inducement to slack off like lack of accountability.

I still partially think you're pulling my leg.

 
At 5/26/2010 9:14 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Actually the sky is blue only about 1/2 the time--and less than that in Michigan. I looked it up.

How are you measuring productive work forces and accountability? You can't blame poorly designed policies and processes on the workforce. It’s also difficult for workforces, unionized or not, to overcome poor leadership.

Nah, Paul, I wouldn't pull your leg. If threats work against you, I would have to cut if or shoot it off.

 
At 5/26/2010 9:36 AM, Blogger Paul said...

'It’s also difficult for workforces, unionized or not, to overcome poor leadership.'

I have no illusions about poor, and corrupt, union leadership. Their lack of accountability is nearly non-existent as well.

 
At 5/26/2010 10:48 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Do you have any data to support your bandwagon fallacy that union leaders are any more corrupt than other positions of power?

I will agree that power naturally corrupts. In fact, that is one of my main agruments for labor unions. Organizing labor unions is also legal using current law--unlike some attempts to eliminate unions and collective bargaining rights.

 
At 5/26/2010 11:19 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,


"Do you have any data to support your bandwagon fallacy that union leaders are any more corrupt than other positions of power?"

That's too arbitrary, unprovable.
I simply said labor bosses are corrupt, and the history of unions bears that out. And now they have a President in their back pocket like they haven't had in decades.

"Organizing labor unions is also legal using current law--unlike some attempts to eliminate unions and collective bargaining rights."

agreed. we need to work on that before unions bankrupt any more industries.

 
At 5/26/2010 1:50 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Pretty much everything is unprovable. Reseachers usually build a model to support their hypothesis. You could show some labor bosses are corrupt, and I could show some people named Paul have murdered people using the same logic. Does that make you a murderer?

I agree with you that the NLRA needs to be changed to reflect 21st century reality.

 
At 5/26/2010 3:25 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Do you have any data to support your bandwagon fallacy that union leaders are any more corrupt than other positions of power?

They don't have to be worse than people in other positions of power to be worse.

Unions are a monopoly on labour and unions can and do suck off the tit of the taxpayer. Maybe they're no worse than politicians, but unlike politicians, the public that is forced to pay them can't get rid of them.

It's rich that you're objecting to the "use of force" against employees - and by "force", you of course mean ordinary firing - but you have no problem with the Unions exerting force by getting anti-trust exemptions, forcing workers who don't want to be part of the union to pay dues, and forcing the working public to pay your posse whatever you want.

Unions lost the moral high ground a hundred years ago.

 
At 5/26/2010 4:04 PM, Blogger Paul said...

'Pretty much everything is unprovable. Reseachers usually build a model to support their hypothesis."

ah, so, objective truth is nothing but a bourgeois trick. In the real world, unions are a giant wrecking ball, public sector unions are even worse. That's provable by just looking around.

 
At 5/26/2010 4:14 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,
Why would anyone be forced to pay union dues? They can always quit which is the worker equivalent of getting fired that you support: Right? I agree that at-will employees can be let go for any legal reason, but those with contracts are protected using language just like any other contracts. It doesn’t matter if it is a million dollar baseball player, a tenured college professor, or a unionized coal miner in West Virginia.

Do you support contracts as legally binding? If not, our entire property ownership laws are null and void, too. Should we pick which laws and contracts we uphold and which ones we don’t? Collective bargaining is the law whether you like it or not. I can tell you do not. Maybe you should run for office and change the law.

Paul,
You have no proof. What you have is opinion, and you are entitled to it.

 
At 5/27/2010 10:47 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"You have no proof. What you have is opinion, and you are entitled to it."

It's not an opinion, it's the real world where business in conducted. You live in some theoretical universe where non-fireable employees perform at levels comparable to real world employees. Perhaps you've marinated too long in some of the more polluted fever swamps of academia.

"Maybe you should run for office and change the law."

As I said, we definitely need to change the law before govt unions bankrupt the country, and private unions destroy any more industries.

 
At 5/27/2010 5:01 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul, You've got nothing to support your claims except fallacies, and now you are resorting to personal attacks. What is a non-fireable employee? Remember, it only takes one case to prove a contradiction.

 
At 5/28/2010 7:54 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"You've got nothing to support your claims except fallacies, and now you are resorting to personal attacks. "

Didn't really mean it as a personal attack. more of an observation. you haven't offered any proof for your bizarre claims. however, i have the history of socialism as proof.
you haven't shown where my claims are fallacies.

"What is a non-fireable employee?"

ok, nearly impossible to fire. feel better?

 
At 5/28/2010 10:58 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

If you want to make a claim like that, don't use cartoons. That's a weak claim. Try information like this: find the number of teachers in New York and divide by the number of teachers on suspension that administrators would like to discharge. Multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage. This will determine if you even have a problem or not. If you have a problem, investigate easy solutions such as hiring the right people in the first place and supporting them as valuable assets. If that does not work, make sure all the administrators are following procedures for possible discharge (this should always be done anyhow).

Use risk assessment to determine which employees should be terminated. Make sure your supervisors and human resource department are doing their jobs if you expect to fire someone for not doing their job. The big problem is that poor leadership in poorly run operations is often promoted to move the problem somewhere else, so the person evaluating the employee is incompetent themselves. This causes representation to bargain safety nets or hurdles into the discharge process.

I can tell you most discharges that do not stick or survive arbitration are because company policies and procedures are not followed. If supervisors do not want to do their jobs, why not fire them instead to solve your problem?

 

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