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Schools Should Get More Bang For The?Buck

January 30, 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $137.2 billion state budget for 2014-15 should be popular among area school superintendents. It isn’t....

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Jan-31-14 11:14 AM

Cont.) about Obama stopping union-friendly projects like the XL pipeline. Seeing as how JFK and RFK installed direct control over corrupt unions that lasted for decades, do you honestly think Obama hasn't allowed a playing field that hurts the average union worker.

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Jan-31-14 11:09 AM

phil, I agree with you in the sense that far too many unions have evolved from their original charters. However, I feel the old saying holds true, "you can't live with them and you can't live without them". I believe public union membership should not be mandatory in order to hold a job. Dues absolutely cannot be donated to or end up going to political groups or individuals. Also, no public union should have provisions that allow employees to collect wages/benefits beyond a reasonable period of time (3-6 months). In the two years before Obama took office, the Fed. Gov't. watchdog agency recovered over $100 million from corrupt union officials. In his first year, Obama slashed funding of this agency by 50% and reassigned many of the remaining staff to unrelated duties. Later in his first term, Obama cut all funding and there is now no oversight of union officials. Maybe that will help some of you understand why there is so very little public outcry from union officials

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Jan-30-14 3:04 PM

i am a union member. do i care for unions, private or public? no. the days of upton sinclair are forever gone in this country. i feel employees should be able to stand together without dues & elected officials. strikes are a last resort tactic. nobody benefits from a strike.

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Jan-30-14 1:28 PM

Thanks, Phil. Of course, public employees COULD strike, but they're subject to severe penalties in NY if they do.

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Jan-30-14 1:24 PM

we're gonna open a whole 'nother, new can of worms if we get into public sector unions vs. private sector unions.

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Jan-30-14 1:19 PM

sorry jh my last comment was before i read your last comment. thanks for the amendment.

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Jan-30-14 1:18 PM

"But public employees can't strike."

would you care to be a little more specific? at face value this is not correct.

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Jan-30-14 12:42 PM

Harold: It seems that your objection should be not so much with the Triborough Amendment, as with the Taylor Law in general. With extensive editing from the LA Times:

Only 11 states allow any public employees to strike, and most of those impose limits. The most common restriction is a ban on strikes by police and firefighters, for the perfectly legitimate reason that those walkouts pose an immediate threat to public safety.

But what about teachers, or forest rangers? The reason that public employee strikes are outlawed in all but 11 states has nothing to do with a threat to public safety. It's that governments are the only employers that actually have the ability to outlaw strikes. Supermarket owners? Airlines? UPS? They'd all love to make strikes by their workers illegal. They just don't have the power.

That said, public employee strikes even in those 11 states are rare.

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Jan-30-14 10:33 AM

William and Jh, what you say is accurate, but how do the other 49 states manage to operate without this provision. Just another high cost of doing business in NYS.

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Jan-30-14 9:13 AM

The Taylor Law states that teachers cannot go on strike (sillier to police and fire), so the Triborough Amendment allows teachers to maintain the same contract until anew one is reached. This prevents district adminiatrations from not reaching a new contract and letting the salary and benefits of their employees stop. Without the ability to strike, what district would ever settle a contract with their teachers if they did not have to pay them or give them health insurance? Once a new contract is reached, then any new benefits go into effect.

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Jan-30-14 9:09 AM

For another perspective, it's true that the Triborough Amendment says while a new public-employee contract is being negotiated the provisions of the old contract continue to be in force. But public employees can't strike. Without Triborough, good faith negotiations would be impossible, i.e., they would be one-sided in favor of employers (school boards, city governments, etc.) placing pressure on employees to accept whatever is offered.

New raises don't happen until a new contract is agreed to, but existing contract provisions remain, including provisions for step-increases. For example, a police contract may have a provision that a rookie who successfully completes a probationary period is entitled to an x% increase. Ditto for a teacher's contract.

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Jan-30-14 8:51 AM

NYS is the only state that allows the provisions to employees that are in the Triborough amendment.

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Jan-30-14 8:49 AM

The Triborough amendment to the Taylor law states that existing union contracts stay in force while at an impass on a new contract. Essentially, a union knowing that consessions are going to have to be made when negotiating a new contract declare an impasse, sometimes for years, to delay the implementation of the consessions. At the same time the union can complain that its members are working without a contract.

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Jan-30-14 7:21 AM

get rid of corrupt unions, things will be much better

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Jan-30-14 6:47 AM

What is triborough? What makes it so bad?

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