Firing tenured teachers can be a costly and tortuous task

Makalakumu

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Considering that the kind of voluntary association that unions represent is about the only thing that stands in the way of a complete impoverishment of teachers in this country, I'll take the unions. Until we take care of the overarching system, we are stuck with lots of things we don't like.
 

CoryKS

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I'm not going to downplay the hardships of looking for work, I've been engaged in that activity for months, but no one is forced to take a job. They choose to. There are alternatives. You may feel pressured to take a job by outside forces, family, responsibilities, budgetary concerns, but the choice is still yours. And many people make choices not to participate in a union because they don't agree with it's practices. Those people may suffer for it, but just like people who choose to pay more to not shop at WalMart because they don't agree with their business practices, that is a sacrifice they accept on principle.



That's just silly. There are always consequences of our actions. If I choose not to go to church, I have made a voluntary decision, but some would argue that there are repercussions for that. If I choose not to go to a concert, I have made a voluntary decision, but I have also lost an opportunity to have an experience. And here, if I choose not to join a union, I have to work someplace that isn't closed to non union members.

Our actions, and inactions, have consequences. Those consequences should be considered before we act. The difference between voluntary and involuntary association isn't the lack of consequence, it's the lack of coercive force in the decision making process. You may suffer if you choose to participate or not, but the choice itself is your own.

According to your definition, there is no such thing as voluntary exchange or association, because choosing to act or not would always carry with it some repercussion.


-Rob

Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard someone use a "voluntary exchange" argument to defend the labor cartels.

Following your example, an employer ought to be able to offer workers $4.00 an hour and no medical benefits. If one doesn't accept the terms, he is free to look elsewhere for employment. Do you agree with that statement? It just as easily fits your definition of 'voluntary'.
 

Makalakumu

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Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard someone use a "voluntary exchange" argument to defend the labor cartels.

Following your example, an employer ought to be able to offer workers $4.00 an hour and no medical benefits. If one doesn't accept the terms, he is free to look elsewhere for employment. Do you agree with that statement? It just as easily fits your definition of 'voluntary'.

Some employers already do that and those jobs are filled by illegal immigrants.
 

Senjojutsu

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A quick background read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenure

Amusing since tenure was meant to protect academic freedom at universities and colleges (in todays PC orthodox climate on campus?) and as a major job benefit that didnt cost colleges in terms of salary.

Public teacher unions jumped on this university tenure concept to bastardize it and negotiated tenure down at the local level and thus you have tenured teachers in elementary and high school public schools who are next to impossible to terminate, especially in regards to job performance. So unless they are having sex with their students and depending on the actual state well thats another thread.

Now remember boys and girls, the school budgets are almost always the number one city/town taxpayer expense bucket within the USA. Worse still the local School Committees are often separate political fiefdoms, elected on their own and not appointed. These local elections are often dominated by the local public employee unions who support friendly candidates. The School Committee members then negotiate terms with the teacher unions the contractual employment agreements and force feed these deals to the mayor/city councils. In the end the taxpayers and children be damned.


BUT NONE OF THIS IS NEW!!! :flame:

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education concluded in A Nation at Risk: If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
 

Gordon Nore

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Public teacher unions jumped on this university tenure concept to bastardize it and negotiated tenure down at the local level and thus you have tenured teachers in elementary and high school public schools who are next to impossible to terminate, especially in regards to job performance. So unless they are having sex with their students and depending on the actual state well thats another thread.

This is a trend I'm not familiar with. There's no such thing as a "tenured teacher" in Ontario. Such a designation applies only to university professors. Teachers, ie those licensed to teach in K-12, accumulate seniority, which provides protection in times of cuts, but that's it. Yes, a unionized teacher has a lot of protection here, but I think the professional body would strongly address the events described in the opening thread.
 

Thesemindz

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Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard someone use a "voluntary exchange" argument to defend the labor cartels.

Following your example, an employer ought to be able to offer workers $4.00 an hour and no medical benefits. If one doesn't accept the terms, he is free to look elsewhere for employment. Do you agree with that statement? It just as easily fits your definition of 'voluntary'.

Yes. I do and it does. Employers should be able to offer a penny a day, no benefits and no breaks.

And those that did would find it impossible to purchase labor as a commodity on the open market, because everyone would immediately go work somewhere that payed a reasonable wage. Market forces should set wages, not government fiat.


-Rob
 

Senjojutsu

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This is a trend I'm not familiar with. There's no such thing as a "tenured teacher" in Ontario.

I'll do some searching overnight.
Whether they call it "tenure" per se at lower levels may be the issue.

But teacher unions, as self-interested parties, may throw out outrageous teacher behavior examples, but allow overall mediocrity to fester protecting the lowest common denominator of efforts/skills.

I need to also find recent examples of teacher unions against (academically) testing established teachers - to ensure those teachers knew the basic subject matter of what they were assigned to teach students.

The unions claimed that such subject tests were "not relevant".
Is that a great example of "irony" - everyone on this board could claim having to endure twelve, or sixteen+ years of "irrelevant" finals, exams, tests, pop quizzes etcetera...
 

Gordon Nore

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I need to also find recent examples of teacher unions against (academically) testing established teachers - to ensure those teachers knew the basic subject matter of what they were assigned to teach students.

There was a big case in Texas many years ago, in which the governor at the time proposed huge education reforms, including, I think, a bump in teachers' pay. A precondition was a teacher test, which was roundly fought by the union. I believe a test was administered, but it was substantially watered down.
 

jetboatdeath

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My issue with the unions is from a workers side as well as an employer's.
Lets take a first year say plumber. This plumber went to school, lets say he is the best plumber in Illinois. He joins a union and is on the same pay scale as Billy wanna-be. How is that "fair" to the worker?
How is that fair to the employer who cannot get rid of Billy wanna-be?

What incentive does the worker have to excel?
Unions were needed at one time before there were labor laws.
Now they are more of a political tool.
I know a union plumber, unions played a BIG part in the last election (the open voting issue that was passed) His union was texting him ,calling him,
telling him he had to vote at the local. They "encouraged" him to vote Obama. Why should a labor union have anything to do with the elections?
Because the politicians(both sides) dump in tons of money to buy the votes.
ALLOT of people are so pro union they will do anything they union says
 

arnisador

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Employers should be able to offer a penny a day, no benefits and no breaks.

And those that did would find it impossible to purchase labor as a commodity on the open market, because everyone would immediately go work somewhere that payed a reasonable wage.

Unless everyone lowers their wages to match that. Some countries have persisted at very low salary levels for a long time, after all. Although I largely agree with you in principle--let capitalism do its work--I accept a minimum wage as a necessary thing.
 

Makalakumu

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Unless everyone lowers their wages to match that. Some countries have persisted at very low salary levels for a long time, after all. Although I largely agree with you in principle--let capitalism do its work--I accept a minimum wage as a necessary thing.

Me too. Theoretically, a minimum wage acts as a net that catches falling wages. People point to the fact that the Federal Minimum wage being the same for 17 years as proof that the Free Market would set a fair price, but I have yet to see how the effect of the minimum wage could be teased out of that via some kind of social science study so that it would really support that claim. How do we really know that wages would stay the same (or rise) if the minimum wage was removed?

Anyway, I can see how some businesses would fail because of minimum wages. Certain kinds of farmers just don't have the overhead to support the workers they need in order to produce our food. There has to be some kind of arrangement or our tables will simply not have those food items.

Ah well, good topic for a new thread.
 

CuongNhuka

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There was a big case in Texas many years ago, in which the governor at the time proposed huge education reforms, including, I think, a bump in teachers' pay. A precondition was a teacher test, which was roundly fought by the union. I believe a test was administered, but it was substantially watered down.

One major reform that could be made is to have a nation wide final, were the teachers are given a list of 'it may be this on the test' that includes like 5 possiblities. The teacehr doesn't know what to teach to, and is forced to give a general knowledge of the subject.
Then, after the final is given, the teacehr is graded based on the average test results. If the students average grade is a failing one, clearly the teacher is incompetent and needs to be fired. If the average grade is in the 90's, then the teacehr needs a promotion. And of course, there should 'you get this for this grade' thing.

Also, Jetboat, I'm pretty sure the events in that story are actually illegal. Unions and employeers cann't encourage you to vote for anyone. They can encourage you to vote, but not for a person. A manager could get into legal trouble for just mentioning there party views during an election (i've seen it happen)
 

CuongNhuka

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Me too. Theoretically, a minimum wage acts as a net that catches falling wages. People point to the fact that the Federal Minimum wage being the same for 17 years as proof that the Free Market would set a fair price, but I have yet to see how the effect of the minimum wage could be teased out of that via some kind of social science study so that it would really support that claim. How do we really know that wages would stay the same (or rise) if the minimum wage was removed?

Anyway, I can see how some businesses would fail because of minimum wages. Certain kinds of farmers just don't have the overhead to support the workers they need in order to produce our food. There has to be some kind of arrangement or our tables will simply not have those food items.

Ah well, good topic for a new thread.

In the mean time, I do want to say this. There are exeptions to minimum wage laws. A server who can make tips doesn't have to be paid minmum wage (I make 2.13 an hour). I don't think the restraunt even has to pay an hourly wage, so long as your tips average out to you making minmum wage. So, when I clock out of my pancake house, I have to declare my tips. If my tips + wage don't equal atleast 6-somthing an hour (which is what minmum wage is right now), they have to pay the difference. There are pros and cons to not declaring tips.
Also, I think (THINK) a worker doesn't have to be paid minimum wage if they receive benefits equal to or greater then minimum wage. So, while you could say that 'well, they get a dental package equal to 2 dollars an hour, so I only need to pay them 4 dollars an hour'. Buying a packeage that would be worth 2 bucks an hour for one worker, would become cheaper if you bought that same package for 30 workers (since most insruance companys make it cheaper for for people who buy in bulk). Again, I THINK, I'm not positive about that.
Third execption, if you are under 16, you don't have to be paid mininum wage, and direct family members don't either in some situations.

And if nothing else, you could always hire people under the table.
 

Thesemindz

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Unless everyone lowers their wages to match that. Some countries have persisted at very low salary levels for a long time, after all. Although I largely agree with you in principle--let capitalism do its work--I accept a minimum wage as a necessary thing.

Ok. I don't.

It's a complete government intrusion into a free economy, and hurts those at the bottom of the pay scale the most. It pushes people out of the labor market, raises prices, and causes low end wage compression. It's not good for the poor, it destroys them.

If everyone paid a dollar a day, then everyone's income would be lowered to that level, and companies would have to lower their prices in a commensurate fashion in order to continue to operate. Those businesses that didn't do so would go out of business.

It's an unsupportable position. You can't think of money in nominal value. You have to think of money in it's comparative value as it relates to the local economy. If people are making a hundred pennies, or a hundred dollars a day, the local economy will have to compensate in order to function.

Minimum wage is government intrusion. Every time it goes up, people lose jobs and prices increase. In one business I worked for, when the minimum wage went up, the cost of the food went up and the size of the portions went down. Now, not only did the same amount of money buy you fewer portions the portions were also smaller. That's what minimum wage causes.

You can argue that business are evil, or that they don't have to raise their prices, but facts are facts. Business exists to make a profit. If the government cuts into their profit margin in some way, they will adjust their business model to compensate. That means fewer entry level positions, higher prices, and reduced product quality.

Let the free market set wages just like it should set the prices for every other commodity. Market forces will cause prices to stabalize over time.

But of course, you can't examine these things in a vacuum. Our current economic system, including the minimum wage, is deeply and tragically influenced by fiat currency and government interference in the free market in an inumerable number of ways.

Minimum wage laws are destructive. And worse, they hurt most the very people they purport to protect. And worst, those people are often too uneducated to understand what they are voting for every time they vote to increase the minimum wage.


-Rob
 

arnisador

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You're looking at a single country. If we don't have a minimum wage, China will drive down our wages...and it will be painful.
 

Thesemindz

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You're looking at a single country. If we don't have a minimum wage, China will drive down our wages...and it will be painful.

Except that China can't sell it's goods to people who can't afford to buy them. And like us, the businessmen in China want to make a profit too.

The argument just doesn't wash. In order to stay in business, McDonald's has to be able to sell its products. In order to buy those products, people have to be able to afford them. No matter how poor people are, anyone who wants to sell to them will have to lower their prices to a level the market can bear. In order to sell those products at a profit, McDonald's will have to be able to buy their raw materials at a lower cost than they offer their products to the consumer. In order for McDonald's to be able to afford those raw materials, their suppliers will have to lower their prices as well.

It works in both directions. In an unregulated free market, the price of goods and services will stabilize based on supply and demand. Labor is a commodity which McDonald's has to compete for on the open market, just like bread and cheese and french fries. They will pay the market price for that commodity, whatever that price is. And the market will adjust in response to that.

Companies can't charge ten thousand dollars for their products when their customers are making ten cents a day. They would go out of business. You can see this influence reflected in our society everywhere you look. During our current economic crisis, restaraunts are offering five dollar pizzas, and ninety-nine cent menus, gas has plummeted in price, car dealerships are offering huge discounts on their vehicles. It isn't out of charity. It's because they were priced beyond what the buyer could afford, and the businesses had to compensate.

All that aside, what justifies forcing someone at gun point to pay any specific wage, minimum or otherwise? What gives anyone the right to say that someone's labor is worth any specific amount other than that agreed to by the worker and the employer? I have worked with people who were worth far less than seven dollars and change an hour, yet the state requires that they be paid as much. In the absence of a minimum wage, these people would get paid what they are worth. And if they wanted more, they'd have to improve their value to their employer.

Minimum wage is violent coercion. It is destructive. It costs employees opportunities, it costs businesses oppotunities, it costs customers opportunities. More importantly, it is immoral on its face.


-Rob
 
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Big Don

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You're looking at a single country. If we don't have a minimum wage, China will drive down our wages...and it will be painful.
Which is where quality comes into the equation.
Do you want a McJob, that pays accordingly, or will you be a professional?
 

arnisador

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In an unregulated free market, the price of goods and services will stabilize based on supply and demand

In theory, eventually, if no govt. mucks things up. That could be a long time with a lot of "what ifs" in between.

Minimum wage is violent coercion. It is destructive.[...]More importantly, it is immoral on its face.

You're seeing ghosts everywhere. Chill. It's going to be all right.
 

Senjojutsu

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Getting back to education...

Some information across the fruited plain:
http://teachersunionexposed.com/protecting.cfm

"I don’t represent the children.
I represent the teachers."
— Al Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers

In the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, never mind union contracts – tenure – called “professional teacher status” is part of state law:

M.G.L. CHAPTER 71. PUBLIC SCHOOLS

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/71-41.htm
Section 41. For the purposes of this section, a teacher, school librarian, school adjustment counselor, school nurse, school social worker or school psychologist who has served in the public schools of a school district for the three previous consecutive school years shall be considered a teacher, and shall be entitled to professional teacher status as provided in section forty-two…

Once a Massachusetts teacher is tenured we have then have the “A” word:

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/71-42.htm
Section 42. Dismissal or demotion of teachers or other employees of school or school district; arbitration
 
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Thesemindz

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In theory, eventually, if no govt. mucks things up. That could be a long time with a lot of "what ifs" in between.

Sure. Since we know that government will "muck things up" we should just give up on the notion of voluntary contractual agreements all together. Good point.

You're seeing ghosts everywhere. Chill. It's going to be all right.

Nope. It's not. And I'm not "seeing ghosts." Things are bad, and they're gonna get worse. Hold on to your butts.


-Rob
 

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