Comments about ‘My view: Forced unionism is a cash cow’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 16 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

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...

Herriman, UT

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?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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".

Taylorsville, ut

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.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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?

Hayden, ID

The legacy of unions in America= made in China.

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?

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?

open minded
Lehi, UT

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.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

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?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

the greater outdoors, UT

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?

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, 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?

Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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?


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.


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.

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