June 29, 2014

"Worker unions ending at UW Hospital."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

See if you can find anything in that article about why the unions are ending. I combed through it, and the closest I came was:
Act 10, introduced by Gov. Scott Walker, banned collective bargaining for public employees, except for public safety workers, for all but an inflationary pay increase. It ended required union dues and automatic dues deductions from paychecks. Unions seeking to recertify must get approval from 51 percent of an employee group.
A commenter there says: "So to recertify they need 51%? What's the problem?"

28 comments:

TML said...

Isn't this:

"...where the law known as Act 10 is eliminating union representation for about 5,000 workers.

just dead wrong? The law is eliminating absolutely nothing. As the article goes on to state, with just 51% of the employees voting to rectify, the union would remain.

BigFire said...

Even after recertification, what is the benefit of the union other than a cut of your paycheck?

Original Mike said...

"So to recertify they need 51%? What's the problem?"

My wife is in the Union. She says the Union can't get the 51%. Because it can only bargain wages, people don't see the point.

The Hospital gave lower wage workers permanent raises from 14%-20% to compensate for the increased insurance/pension costs they now pay. Higher wage workers get a short term wage increase.

BTW, the court reinstated automatic dues deductions, didn't it?

SGT Ted said...

It shows that unions are coercive and predatory.

If the unions were "all that" 51% certification would be easy-peasy to achieve.

The idea that union employees guarantee quality over non-union employees is the big fat elephant in the room.

Unions with automatic dues collections and mandatory membership requirements are legalized ponzie schemes.

Original Mike said...

A lot of people, my wife included, is glad to see the union go. It resulted in a lot of rigid work rules.

TML said...

Dammit. "recertify" not "rectify"

richard mcenroe said...

If they need the votes, Ted Cochran can bus them some Democrats...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Just like 1776.

No union, jack.

Krumhorn said...

Public employee unions horribly distort the political process. The unions spend huge sums to get leftie politicians elected with whom they will later negotiate their contracts. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could all install into a position of authority the person we will soon negotiate our deals?

Naturally, without anyone representing our interests, the tax payer takes it up the discharge pipe.

- Krumhorn

MadisonMan said...

5000 workers now giving up dues each month. So that's -- what -- $100K each month (at least, I'm thinking) not being siphoned off for the Union Bureaucracy that failed completely in heading off Walker's election, passing of Act 10, and recall survival?

Why should failure be rewarded in this case?

Collect evidence that the end of the Union leads to adverse health outcomes and I might be persuaded it's a bad idea to end the Union there. As it is, it seems like an increase in efficiency to me.

Curious George said...

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Solidarity FOREVER!

The Union MAKES YOU STRONG!

REMEMBER?

Matthew Sablan said...

If they succeed in recertifying the union, that's what democracy wold look like.

David said...

Original Mike said...
My wife is in the Union. She says the Union can't get the 51%. Because it can only bargain wages, people don't see the point.

The Hospital gave lower wage workers permanent raises from 14%-20% to compensate for the increased insurance/pension costs they now pay. Higher wage workers get a short term wage increase.


I am unclear on what your point is.

Without the Union, "lower wage workers" got a considerable raise." What was the cause of the increased insurance pension costs that supposedly generated this raise? It was not Act 10, because eliminating the union as sole provider had the effect of lowering these costs. Was it Obamacare? Some other factor? In any event the so called evil employers seem to have done right by the workers.

How much are the workers saving in Union dues? That's also a raise, right?

And what the heck is a "short term wage increase" that the higher paid workers got? Sounds to me like obfuscation and gobbledygook.

Bottom line (as you concede): given a choice the workers did not want a union. And without it they are getting higher wages and avoiding costly union dues.

Levi Starks said...

I've been in a union, and it's been my experience that loud mouthed troublemakers benefit the most. I suspect the nurses discovered the same thing.

garage mahal said...

Amazing all the stuff Walker has managed to ruin in Wisconsin in just a few years. What a doucherocket.

Anonymous said...

Can this please spread throughout the USofA now?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

garage mahal said...
Amazing all the stuff Walker has managed to ruin in Wisconsin in just a few years. What a doucherocket.


That fact that you are unhappy, makes my day. Thanks!

Original Mike said...

"Without the Union, "lower wage workers" got a considerable raise." What was the cause of the increased insurance pension costs that supposedly generated this raise? It was not Act 10, because eliminating the union as sole provider had the effect of lowering these costs."

Sole provider of what? I think (though I'm not sure; you'll have to explain yourself) you're conflating these unions with the (Madison?) teacher's union. Act 10 did increase these workers health insurance and pension costs.

"In any event the so called evil employers seem to have done right by the workers."

That was my point Sherlock.

Seeing Red said...

True story found this out last nite. We do know liberal/progressives, how can we not living in the Peoples' Republic of Illinois?

What's fun is when said lib/(vile) prog gets hit over the head. The 40+ person we know was out and about with her mother and overheard a conversation between 2 teachers bitching/lamenting that the teachers in that district don't get 4 -FOUR??!!!! Years of maternity leave in their contract anymore.

Remember when you hear the push to raise the minimum wage, check your local areas teachers/ govt /janitors/longshoremen/auto etc. contracts to see if the also get a step up. This isn't about the poor; it's paying off the unions again.

Mark said...

Matthew Sabian, please note the elections in the US where anyone got 51% of eligible voters.

Not 51% of the votes, 51% of possible voters.

In a country where less than 50% vote in political elections saying that another system is only representative with 51% of potential voters approve something hypocritical.

Original Mike said...

"I've been in a union, and it's been my experience that loud mouthed troublemakers benefit the most. I suspect the nurses discovered the same thing."

That's what my wife says.

Drago said...

Garage gets very very very upset when union bosses take a pay hit.

Things have gotten so bad the bosses might not be able to have a big convention/vacation in Boca or something.

I'll bet some of the union bosses are black! So racism on top of no-union-boss-pay-raise-ism!!

Gahrie said...

Amazing all the stuff Walker has managed to ruin in Wisconsin in just a few years. What a doucherocket.

He's a piker compared to Obama.

jazzizhep said...

@george mahal

Last time I checked Walker doesn't have the "Obama pen and phone", so he kinda, sorta, maybe, had to sign/not sign a bill from the Madison legislature.

@Sgt. Ted

Instead of a Ponzi scheme I was thinking extortion; You want to work here, give us money.

Levi Starks said...

Ruin = Fix

Peter said...

'Mark' said, Matthew Sabian, please note the elections in the US where anyone got 51% of eligible voters.

Not 51% of the votes, 51% of possible voters.

In a country where less than 50% vote in political elections saying that another system is only representative with 51% of potential voters approve something hypocritical.


Is it? Unions are not governments; why should they have the same coercive powers (e.g., the power to tax)?

Governments are widely viewed necessary to fund public goods (such as national defense), and ro maintain public order by asserting a monopoly on legitimate violence (with the exception of self-defense).

Governments may be a necessary evil; unions are not.

mikee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Professor Althouse:

I'm not sure if you are just criticizing the WSJ for shoddy legal reporting, but I hope that is the reason. As the legal research skills needed to learn the answer to the "why" are 1L level skills.

Act 10 removed Wis. Stat. 111.825(1m), which authorized collective bargaining units at the UW Hospital. That means these workers didn't even get the ability try and keep a union by a 51% vote. State law in its current language does not permit or recognize unions at the UW Hospital.