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My view: Forced unionism is a cash cow

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  • Teacher Ann BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    I agree with the debate that teachers should be allowed to pay to be a member of the association of their CHOICE -- union and non-union alike. Choice is the operative word here. Ohio teachers don't have a choice.

    I understand why taxpayers would be concerned. Obviously teacher salaries are paid via taxes. If union dues are forced as a condition of employment, essentially tax payers are paying for the union membership of each teacher in the state.

    I am so glad teachers, such as myself, have a choice here in Utah.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 19, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    I have issues with forced unionism, but I also have issues with stockholders of a company being forced to donate to political causes. No company should be allowed to donate money from my portion of a company, (that I hold shares in) without getting my permission first.

    If I refuse to give that permission, and the company donates to a political cause, the company should cut me a check in perportion to the amount of stock that I hold.

    I used to hold stock in TRW who was lobbying at the time that companies shouldn't have to pay time and a half for overtime work. They wanted to be able to give comp time instead as an option. I disagreed with this. They lobbied and gave political contributions for a cause I as a stock holder disagreed with.

    So if we restrict unions, we should likewise restrict companies in similar situations.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Nov. 19, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    Unions have an honorable history of protecting workers against abusive practices and raising working conditions for all workers. Unfortunately, some of those unions became so big and strong that they suffer from corruption. That doesn't make the concept of unionism bad. Power induces corruption in government and in businesses, too. I'm just glad we enjoy the privilege of joining together to protect our interests.

    Quit making general, sweeping statements for or against unions. Let's just make sure we have reasonable laws to regulate bad corporate practices, bad government practices, and bad union practices.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Nov. 18, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    Raven, Sandyresident is absolutely correct. You have no right to tell me where MY hard earned money is spent. Your tax dollars do not go to the UEA. Through my free choice as an American citizen, my money can go to the association of my choice.

    Funny that those who claim to love America so much despise the basic principles we as Americans hold dear. The right to assemble, the right to free speech, the right to representation. These rights are not subject to any conditions. I do not particularly care for the Tea Party but I will defend an Americans right to associate with them.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    So's the DABC

  • sandyresident Sandy, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    @Raven--its not your taxpayer dollars going to UEA. It is my salary and I can VOLUNTARY contribute to any cause I want. I choose to be a member because while I'm busy teaching YOUR children, I need someone to do the work to protect my job.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Teacher Ann, I am confused as well. They are not the same and to imply that they are is completely inaccurate.

  • jotab Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Teacher Ann, you have me very confused. How can defending a woman's right to carry a baby to term be the same thing as supporting abortion?

  • Teacher Ann BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    "The NEA does NOT support abortion. They weighed in on a Catholic nun's right to carry her baby full term after being raped when leaving school late one evening."

    Weighing in is the same as supporting the issue. Lets call a spade a spade. The right to carry the baby is the same thing as abortion. I realize by being against abortion I am against the "right" a woman may have to kill a baby she is carrying. With few exceptions, I am against that "right", thus I do not want an organization I would be a member of "weighing in" on an issue I am against.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Unions do serve some beneficial functions. Can you imagine a large employer (or their HR office) having to negotiate separate pay rates for 100,000 employees? That task alone would require a huge increase in staff. Imagine trying to correlate them all and make sure they were all fair. More staff, more expense.

    Unions force employers to come up with pay grades, uniform requirements for advancement and raises, and so on. This also helps the employer come up with a stable budget.

    Most of the benefits some of the more outspoken posters have attributed to unions today were won by our grandparents' or great-grandparents' unions, and are now codified in numerous laws. That fight is won, and voters today, union or not, would never stand for having those guarantees stripped away.

    The problem with unions now is that when times are tough and an employer has to reduce costs, unions will not allow anything to be taken from the employees. I don't advocate putting everything on the backs of employees (I'm one), but for a company to survive, sometimes everyone has to share in the pain.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    The NEA does NOT support abortion. They weighed in on a Catholic nun's right to carry her baby full term after being raped when leaving school late one evening. This issue needs to be put to rest. They support a non-discriminatory workplace and that is as far as they go on gay rights.

    Please let's all do a minimal amount of research in order to stop theses mistruths from continuing.

  • Teacher Ann BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    On top of my issue with the NEA, the UEA claims to be doing ALL teachers a favor by bargaining for their salaries and benefits. I have been called a "free loader" because the UEA decides my pay. I don't want the UEA to decide my pay! Obviously, they aren't doing teachers a favor! We are close to the lowest payed teachers in the nation, if not the lowest. The UEA isn't helping teachers. If I could bargain for my own salary, I would be able to negotiate a salary that would work for me as an individual. I don't want a one sized fits all pay scale. Nor do I want a union telling me how to vote.

    Mrs. Smith, thank you for writing this article. It's refreshing to read an article from someone who views things the way I do. The union politics are hurting not helping my classroom.

  • Teacher Ann BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    As a teacher, what scares me about the teachers union (UEA) is the forced affiliation to the NEA. To be a member of the UEA on a district level, it is required to also be a member of the NEA - an organization with a liberal agenda. I do not want my hard earned salary going to support issues such as gay rights or abortion, especially because the religion which I belong stands opposed to the position the union takes on these issues. This would mean that, as a teacher, if I joined the union and paid dues, I wouldn't have control over the portion of that money that would go to the NEA. The stances the NEA takes would be something I would know my money supports and I would have to look in the mirror and know that I am supporting an organization which stands contrary to many values I have sworn to uphold.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    I cannot see that unions are any benefit to our nation and they are certainly a ball and chain on the economy.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 17, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    To "EJM | 11:36 a.m. " this is why your arguement is lame.

    If I was accused of inappropriate behavior with a customer (student), then I can be fired on the spot.

    Educators are not fired until they have handcuffs on and are being taken away after a criminal trial to go to prison.

    If you want to fix things, you can start by making both teachers and students responsible. If a teacher's students consistantly fail a portion of the state mandated testing, that teacher should be fired.

    If a student does not pass the 3rd grade, they should be held back a year. If they don't complete Highschool, they shouldn't get a diploma or certificate of completion.

    The best thing we can do is make people responsible for their own lives. Cut back the welfare programs to the point where life is hard on welfare.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    To Redshirt: I am glad that we have complex rules to fire teachers and here's why. Let's say you are accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. Due process protects you when are you are falsely accused. Every worker should be afforded due process. With education it is spelled out so that there is no argument as to what that process should entail and if the teacher is found guilty then they are removed from their position. For those of us in the education field who take teaching our students seriously this false accusation stuff could hit us at any time when you have a student, or students, who want revenge for poor grades that they earned. Students say all the time "Why did you give me this grade?" when they should be saying "Why did I earn this grade?" We have raised a generation of students who believe that everything should be given to them. The concept of earning is foreign to them. Unions didn't cause this. WE, as a society, have created this beast. Tell me what you think we should do to fix it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 17, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    To "atl134 | 9:31 p.m." now we know why you want other people to run your life for you. Thanks for letting us know.

    It does explain other aspects of your posts. If you believe that Unions are better negociators than you can be, what does that say about other sources that you don't question. Do you also believe that the liberal media knows more about the world than you do? What about groups like Media Matters, do they know more than you do about Politics, and who is the best person to run for office?

    To "CHS 85 | 8:49 p.m." so what you are saying is that the fact that it takes 6 months to a 1 year to fire a teacher, that it is ok. Eventhough in industry it takes about 5 minutes to do the same thing. Why is it that teachers should be so protected? You do realize that the rules for firing a teacher are so complex and difficult that it is nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher, unless they have physically harmed a student.

  • jd11 Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    As a teacher and a former union member I am glad that we are in a right to work state. I don't agree with the union or its philosophy.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 17, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    ksampow - really? When was the last time you saw and anti nuke march? And what makes you think any of these people are ok with Iran having nukes. This is ludicrous. More radio head talking points.

    Points made by people who don't have to figure out how once you start a war, how to win it. We tried that twice in the last decade. One was clearly justified, the other less so. But neither had a solid plan on how to win the war. Winning a war doesn't end mean you blow the holly snot out of somebody, but that you leave behind a stable place afterward. We saw how hard that has been to come by in Iraq, why would you think it would be any easier to do in Iran.

    Its how do you prevent them getting nukes without starting an engagement where we are stuck policing the region for the next 50 years. When you have that answer, we can spring to action. Until then, building global support for any action is required.

    If you have the magic answer - perhaps Beck or Limbaugh shared it - please do pass it along.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    Having been in a union, I was outraged at their assumption that the left wing leaders would do all the decision making and members would do all of the paying. Unions are the most repressive, anti-democratic organizations in the US. They suppress excellence, protect incompetence and have lost more US jobs than any "big corporation" outsourcing.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    @redshirt
    "what you are saying is that you are so inept at negociations that you would never be able to negociate better benefits or salary for yourself?"

    Yes, you know why? Because those unions have such a good track record of negotiating that conservatives want to go after them to limit what they can do and claim that union workers are greedy and make too much. Clearly those union employees must be getting something good out of it... or the GOP is just lying about how good those union workers have it.

  • Raven Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    The UEA/NEA is definitely in collusion with the USBA/NSBA, SEIU, ACORN and many other Unions and Associations. What" wrong with all of this? The problem is that money from the backs of hard working teachers works its way to the union bosses, who earn mega $$$ and then back into the coffers of corrupt politicians. I hear that many teachers ask, "So what?" So what? That money is from my pockets in the form of taxes. There is no added value in all of this. Teachers suffer, students suffer and most of all we all suffer from the lack of productivity in the economy. There is only so much our economy and wealth can survive without an influx of hard work and wealth creation.

    I'm sorry, but, I resent my hard earned tax monies going to waste.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    @RedShirt

    "Teacher's Unions, you know, the ones that defend the bad teachers and make it impossible to fire them."

    This is the most tired argument out there. I implore you to look at the procedures for eliminating employees in any school district. I'll bet you that in almost EVERY case, there is a clear path to dismiss an ineffective teacher.

    If MANAGEMENT is too lazy to follow the procedures they implemented in association with labor, it is automatically labor's fault, right? Don't blame management laziness on labor. Management needs to do it's job and quit looking for scapegoats.

    How many union members haven't been indicted? I'm guessing it is in the tens of millions of honest, hard-working employees.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    Re: "Union haters - get back to work."

    Just a reminder -- it's not 1716 anymore. Hasn't been for a long time. Indentured servitude has been outlawed. Overprotective labor laws are firmly in place.

    Union bosses and shills still want us to think otherwise, though. And that the dark ages will return the moment a union boss is held to account for his sexual harassment, misuse of pension funds to support political cronies, or abuse of rank and file for political gain.

    And, it's not like they can actually do anything for rank and file today, anyway -- there's really nothing to be done. Everything union bosses do these days has as its object preserving their white-knuckle death grip on political power.

    Well, that and trying to make us feel like we owe them for what others did generations ago. And enforcing payroll collection of dues.

    Today's American trade unions are the most cynical, worker-hostile organizations known to man.

    Everyone in rank and file knows it. Only lazy, mewling wannabee union officials don't admit it.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    Union haters - get back to work. There are no weekends, holidays or 8 hour workday rules. Look at your boss wrong - you're gone. Why is your boss winking at your wife? Nobody else will hire you because they all play golf together, don't step out of line. Drop off your kids at thier work an hour early too.

    It's all happened in the western world and still happens in China. You want to go back to that regressives? Figures.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal | 1:15 p.m." lets take a look at the saintly unions you mention, and lets see how well they look after their members:

    Lets see, the Airline union, CWA-AFA, was recently found to be violating its own voting rules on 5 searate occasions.

    The Air Traffic Contollers union just had their President arrested in June of this year for wire fraud.

    The FireFighters union also had one of their local Presidents arrested for fraud.

    The Police Officer's Union that defended the NY cops in their corrupt practice of making tickets for fellow officers just "disappear".

    Teacher's Unions, you know, the ones that defend the bad teachers and make it impossible to fire them.

    There is no such thing as a Doctor's union.

    The Nurse's Union is part of SEIU, which also was recently investigated for raceterring.

    Engineer unions, like the Boeing Union that prevented non-union people from negociating their own contracts.

    It seems like once you look into most any union, you end up with some sort of corruption. Why is that if they are only looking out for the welfare of their members?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    Re: "Clearly this is not just about unions getting more power."

    It's about unions getting more power.

    It's disingenuous to assert substantial non-union support for repeal. This election was a trade-union-funded political operation from start to finish, thwarting the will of Ohio voters. Even the trade unions take credit.

    Ohio has 750,775 registered voters. Turnout was 46%. So, 345,357 total votes were cast. Thus, Ohio's closed-shop public employee union [360,000 members] could easily have pulled off the victory, just from its own membership.

    But, it didn't. Ohio is a closed-shop state. Too many voters depend on union bosses for continued employment. This permits them to called in a few favors and rig the outcome of this election, covering their expenses -- and maybe more -- from out-of-state trade union money pouring in from all over.

    The Ohio election graphically illustrates the danger of enforced trade-union membership laws -- they can be, were, and will be used in the future to subvert the will of the people.

    Clearly.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    listing a bunch of occupations represented by unions does not make an argument about the corruption or lack of corruption in unions. lol, rolling my eyes.

    Unions are some of the largest contributers to Obama's campaign. Unions make billions of dollars and pay no taxes. Uniouns pay huge bonuses to their leaders. Doesn't that put them up there with the 1% the left is so want to hate? Could be why only 7% of the national workforce is actually represented by Unions.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    RedShirt | 10:35 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "LDS Liberal | 9:41 a.m. " actually, you are wrong. The Unions are a hotbed of corruption and highly questionable activities.

    Other than the unions for miners, railroads, and and a few other high risk unions, the unions are typically corrupt organizations that fight more for their own existance than for their workers.

    ==============

    actually, you are wrong.

    Airline Pilots,
    Air Traffic Contollers,
    FireFighters,
    Police Officers,
    Teachers,
    Doctors,
    Nurses,
    Engineers,
    Carpenters,
    Electricians,
    Plumbers....

    That list goes On-and-On

    In your skewed perception, America is just chuck FULL of shady and "evil" Union members, bent on the total destruction of America! (rolling my eyes) ha-ha-ha.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    To "atl134 | 12:00 p.m." so, what you are saying is that you are so inept at negociations that you would never be able to negociate better benefits or salary for yourself?

    Basically, you would rather turn big decisions over to somebody else. Personally, I would like to make my own decisions as much as possible.

    To "Harvey1950 | 12:08 p.m." yes, do you think it is a great thing to keep around an organization that does not add any value to the work place?

    I would love to reduce the Federal Government, not eliminate it. There is too much wasted money in ineffective programs.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    I belong to the UEA. I like the work they do. I wish the NEA would stay out of national politics (foreign policy, gun control, etc.). Focus in on education. When you take policy positions in areas not in your expertise you can come across foolish.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Having researched this more, the article is flawed in many other ways. It fails to point out SB5 attacked all public unions in many ways- not just dues. Ohio has 360,000 public employees and yet they got over 1.3 million signatures for the referendum. Clearly this is not just about unions getting more power. It also failed to mention that the pro-SB5 people did not disclose their financial records in the campaign but many independent sources believe it was more than the $30 million from the referendum group. The referendum was also funded almost entirely from donations by public employees not from their paycheck dues. Whereas the anti-referendum people received most of their money came from out-of-state groups like ALEC, the Koch Brothers, and Rupert Murdoch.
    I love how movements by the people are spun as a bad thing in many media sources and yet government movements- like Ohio's SB5, Utah's voucher movement, etc. are spun as good for the people. I thought capitalism promoted small government involvement in how organizations are run. Apparently more and more conservatives view Capitalism as let us control things not the people.

  • DavisDon KAYSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    Really? UEA and it's local affiliates do promote a quality education for every Utah public school child. Utah "unions" are not allowed by law to have "forced dues." Educators in Utah join the "unionized" professional organization of UEA because they want real representation, solutions, professional development, and a say in their workplace and their careers. Unlike AAE and Ms. Smith's postion, which are funded by pro-voucher and anti-public education entities, our local NEA and UEA affiliates are dependent on member dues.

  • Harvey1950 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    To "RedShirt | 10:35 a.m."

    If corruption and fighting for existance is your measuring stick for eliminating organizations, then you certainly must be for eliminating the federal government, and state and local governments, too. Definitely political action committees. Oh, and don't forget big business, and small business, for that matter. Oh, and let's eliminate colleges and universities (especially sports programs!), special interest groups, non-profit organizations...and churches!--probably should have listed those first.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    @RedShirt
    "Imagine you were forced to contribute $1000 each year to the Heritage Foundation. Would you like that, or would you want to get rid of the law that forced you to contribute to the Heritage Foundation? "

    That depends, did the Heritage Foundation get me better salary and benefits like health insurance?

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    "UEA have grown into a behemoth special-interest group that funds an agenda that is out of step with Utahns"
    I would ask Mrs. Smith what these issues are. She doesn't appear to feel the need to actually back up her argument with these crazy things called facts. But that's the way conservative media works these days. Just throw out the scariest buzz word you can. Seriously, I almost always disagree with the dude. But the commentor Redshirt includes more facts in his comments than this entire editorial.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal | 9:41 a.m. " actually, you are wrong. The Unions are a hotbed of corruption and highly questionable activities.

    Other than the unions for miners, railroads, and and a few other high risk unions, the unions are typically corrupt organizations that fight more for their own existance than for their workers.

    Actually, unions believe in "free rides", or at least rides that are as close to free as possible. For example, the UAW has its rules set so tightly that they control the number of parts that an employee can work on in a day. If that employee finishes their parts in 3 hours, they get paid for 8 and go home. Nothing can be done to change that job, nor can that employee be fired.

    Read the article "UAW Members Expose Widespread Corruption" at Labornotes (Pro-Union web site). They list the MANY corrupt practices of the modern UAW.

    You complain about the Gadiantons ruining things, but you continue to support them in their various names. In this case, Unions are part of that problem.

    Also, you never answered the original question. Would you accept a law that required you to contribute to the Heritage Foundation?

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    I'm surprised we haven't heard the scream yet --- In Utah it's NOT a union, it's an Association!

    Unions are no different than a company -- it's all about money. Unions are all about money; nothing more, nothing less. There is no disputing it. Unions are just as bad as the companies they deplore.

    There should be absolutely no public unions since the public (the people paying for it) are not represented at the table. Don't tell me that elected officials are there for the public because we know that's not true.

    And here I thought LDS Lib was about choice. I want to be a teacher in Ohio because that's what I love to do. I'm great at it and students love to be in my class. You're telling me I should go do something else because I don't want to be forced to join a union? Unbelievable

    Also, why don't I get a vote on where my forced-union dues go for political purposes? I'm not a Commie/Socialist and would never contribute to their coffers. Why should my union dues go to those causes without my permission? Why don't they go for Conservatives?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    After all that mud and hate for the workers unions for teacher, the writer recommends the joining of a competing union. She probably thinks that because it is labeled as an association it is not the same as a union.

    Mostly we are all part of the greatest union ever, called the United States of America. It is a forced union for its members, they have to pay dues, called taxes. It is also a totally voluntary union, no one is forced to be a citizen. The important thing about the USA is that it has greatly benefited the members, called citizens. And like the AAE, and the teachers union, it was created for that purpose.

    Worker union bashing is a standard capitalistic weapon in their never ending quest to have cheap labor. And they consider the USA as their enemy just as much as the teachers union.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    If I had a business and a union leader came in and said he was going to organnize my company I would quit or take it overseas. Up to now $15 trillion has gone that way.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    The NLRB will lose their fight with Boeing over a new plant to assembly the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina which is a right to work state.

    President Reagan had the right idea when the Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) got to big for their britches. He fired them, decertified their union, and refused to rehire the repentant workers who belatedly saw the error of their ways.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    RedShirt | 8:00 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "LDS Liberal | 7:04 a.m." since when it it ok to force somebody to join something taht they don't want to join?

    ===============

    If you don't want to join a Union, don't hire into a Union job.
    No one is "forcing" you to do anything.
    It's really that simple.

    BTW - One doesn't not always "have" to join the Union.
    You can always opt out, but if you sit in a Union represented position, you are still required to pay an "Agency Fee".
    RedShirt, You would be the first to acknowledge that in America, Nobody should ride for Free. Unions share fact with you.

    In my experience - if you pay the fee - you might as well enjoy all the rest of the benefits that Unions have to offer.
    i.e., Vacation, Sick Leave, Retirement, Seniority, Healthcare, 401K, 40 hr work week + 1.5 over-time, filing Grieveances, and free Legal counsel.

    You know - everything that created MIDDLE America in the 1st place.

    FYI -- I feel more exploited and taken advantaged of by having to pay for 2 Wars we should never have been in in the 1st place.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    Oh please.

    the repub Ohio government wasn't looking to help anyone. Especially teachers. they were merely looking to punish teachers and win their ideological war. They were looking to take away the CBA from unions and teachers. Ridiculous.

    It's a shame we see so many like this letter writer bashing teachers.

    Teachers in Utah put up with a lot of crap. Terrible salaries, largest class sizes, and constant complaining from the far right. Lets stop bashing teachers and unions and start supporting them. Whenever I hear anyone complain about unions, I remember the poem:

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Who is going to stop big business? Who is going to stop our bought off government? Who's going to protect the workers?

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    Major flaw to this argument is that Capitalism says these teachers are not "forced" to pay for those dues. The teachers in Ohio fully understand they have dues taken from their checks, like in other states. If they choose to teach in Ohio they accept these dues as part of working there. Teachers in Utah understand they don't have to pay the dues and still receive all the benefits the teachers union provides for them.They piggy back off the members of the unions and don't have to pay a thing here for all the benefits they get. Ohio makes all teacher spay since they all receive the same benefits from the union.
    So Capitalism dictates that the best employees will go where they think they get the greatest benefits. As Utah continues to destroy the teaching profession, watch lots of teachers flee to states to like Ohio- where unions still help the teachers.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:00 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal | 7:04 a.m." since when it it ok to force somebody to join something taht they don't want to join?

    The teachers do not "feel" forced, they are forced.

    Imagine you were forced to contribute $1000 each year to the Heritage Foundation. Would you like that, or would you want to get rid of the law that forced you to contribute to the Heritage Foundation?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    The legacy of unions in America= made in China.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    Well yeah there's dues but if the size of the paycut and lost benefits people want thrown at you is more than the amount of the dues is, then are you surprised that teachers are just cool with the whole union thing?

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    This article is deliberately deceptive. The issue in Ohio was not about right to work. It WAS union busting, because it prohibited collective bargaining. I would have supported legislation to make Ohio a Right-To-Work state. Employees ought to have the choice, as they do in Utah. But to prohibit public unions is to take advantage of public employees.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Charity,
    Your op ed is filled with misconceptions and misrepresentations. But, I have to give you credit, you are touting the rhetoric we are hearing from those who do not care about the middle class quite well. The UEA is 18,000 teachers. Your organization does nothing to help students or teachers. I know this because of teachers who could not be helped by your "non-political" group. I have one question for you, "How is being non-political in the world of education a good thing?" Everything done in classrooms has been decided by a policymaker. Quite frankly, I think teachers should be running scared from an organization which claims to advocate for students and teachers while being non-political.

    Your thoughts do not resonate in Utah as you are comparing agency fee states to a right-to-work state. BTW, the citizens of Ohio clearly feel differently as this was defeated with a resounding vote of the people. Citizens of this great country are tired of the negative and spiteful rhetoric. We are ready for solutions not divisiveness.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Union work like these United States --

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    Ask a Southern 150 years later if they feel "Forced" into the Union and the answer will still be "yes".

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:28 a.m.

    So why do we compare a right to work state such as Utah to states such as Ohio and Wisconsin when we want to rip on teacher unions? It is as if we are comparing oranges to rutabagas. No comparison whatsoever. When I see articles or letters written from former classroom teachers ripping on the Utah Education Association, a special interests behemoth (that's a keeper line right there) my only thought is "Are you kidding me?" If the UEA had as much power as the author and people such as Senator Stephenson think we had then we would not be the lowest funded (in terms of the education "beast) in the entire country. What are these folks afraid of? Again, this is Utah where the sheep usually follow the shepherd pretty easily. We don't have forced unionism here and probably never will and that is a good thing. Free agency is a nice word bandied about here in our great state. We have it. So tell me what scares you all so much about the UEA? I ask you this question honestly. What scares you?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:17 a.m.

    AAE is a front organization for the far-right Hume foundation. Membership in AAE buys you nothing, while the Education Association is out there fighting for a little more money and a little more respect from our hostile legislature. As for "forced union membership," we don't have that in Utah. A free-riding AAE teacher can sit back and watch while others battle the legislature and pay their dues, contribute nothing and still reap the benefits of others' labor. Nice little club...