August 22, 2008

Nix the Union

Justin Katz

According to the Sakonnet Times, the Tiverton teachers' union is softening its demands in the face of fiscal reality. I note, also, that according to an RI Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education table published in the Providence Journal, not a single Tiverton school had sufficient performance or progress to merit commendation after the last school year. (As of this writing, the relevant Web page for the Dept. of Education is not available.)

That educational failure couldn't have anything to do with the teachers' collectively working to rule, could it?

What a travesty. Fire them all, I say, and rehire any who are willing to work as professionals rather than as merit-averse unionists. In the meantime, give me at least some of my tax dollars back so I won't have to continue working myself into an early grave to afford private school.

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Do you not pay attention? Do you not read the posts of that really smart fella, Bob Walsh?

If you did, you'd know you are wrong and that the Teachers' Union are really essential to a good education. They are the ones fighting for resources to get the A- performance up to an A+. In other words, the Union is "Doing it For the Children".

Seriously, you are right on the money. We need just one School Committee to grow some balls and goad the Union into going on Strike (easily done as they don't like to work) and then immediately Fire everly last one of them, canceling their healthcare benefits.

Then, start over and hire the good ones. It would be disruptive for 1 to 2 quarters, but well worth the hassle in the long run.

Simultaneously, we need to ride herd on the GA to put forth and pass legislation to make RI a Right To Work state, in order to start us down the path of abolishing the Unions.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 22, 2008 7:09 AM

Justin, once again, just makes things up and its really too bad because he obviously doesn't care about education in Tiverton. If he did he would have run for school committee himself.

In fact, the teachers proved how they could save the district hundreds of thousands dollars and the school committee rejected it. Great job Justin.

Posted by: Pat Crowley at August 22, 2008 7:58 AM


Do you realize what a boost it would be for the Tiverton taxpayer, Tiverton businesses, to the entire local Tiverton economy if you fired all the government teachers and had to replace them with new ones! People would be dancing in the streets as their property tax bills decrease by more than 50%. And, you know, I have a hunch that there would be an imperceptible change in the quality of education and the kids test scores. Seems like sound public policy to me.

Posted by: Frank at August 22, 2008 8:11 AM

I KNEW it was unions' fault that both U.S. 4x100 relay teams dropped their batons in Beijing yesterday!
And those Tiverton teachers bear direct responsibility for the U.S. softball team being shocked by Japan. Fire the whole bunch, I say.

Posted by: rhody at August 22, 2008 12:30 PM

I'm sure there are some great teachers in Tiverton. Give them a raise.

I'm sure there are some OK teachers who do their job every day. Keep them.

I'm sure that there are some underperforming teachers in Tiverton. Fire them.

Posted by: Anthony at August 22, 2008 5:09 PM

An eventful thread!

First, Mr. Zero Credibility himself makes an appearance to remind us that the NEA allows his his spinning finger (all dubious, vague declaration, and no explanation) to be representative of the "professionals" it represents. Then Rhody takes his "it's the unions" sarcasm to such a ridiculous level — yeah, blaming the Tiverton teachers' union for institutional educational failures is just as questionable as blaming the union for Olympic defeats! — that he seems inclined to compete with Crowley for the Most Justifiably Ignored Person in Rhode Island title.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 22, 2008 5:35 PM

Justin, once again, just makes things up [OF COURSE, PAT WOULD NEVER, EVER DO THAT] and its really too bad because he obviously [OBVIOUSLY, BECAUSE PAT ALMIGHTY HATH DECREED IT] doesn't care about education in Tiverton [AND PAT, WHO LIVES IN LINCOLN OFF OF TEACHERS' FORCED UNION DUES CARES MORE ABOUT THEM?]If he did he would have run for school committee himself.[BECAUSE, OF COURSE, WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH FREE TIME JUSTIN HAS BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY OBLIGATIONS]

In fact [WHERE ARE THE FACTS?], the teachers proved [HOW?] how they could save the district hundreds of thousands dollars and the school committee rejected it [IT WASN'T NEARLY ENOUGH]. Great job Justin.

Yes, Great job Justin. Keep it up!

P.S. We're really looking forward to "resolving" the contract negotiations with our teachers' union here in East Providence. There's certain to be plenty on the chopping block. Lord, I hope they strike...

Posted by: Will at August 22, 2008 5:42 PM


Try to keep up.

In a previous thread, we already covered the fact that the Union has ZERO link to the Olympic results.

The Olympics are all about Competion, Merit, Hard Work and Sacrifice.

As you know, those words, never mind those qualities, are not even in the Union's vocabulary.

Now if you want to talk about High Taxes, Poor Performing Schools, Low Productivity, Entitlement leech mentalities, Non-Self Reliance, Dependancy, Fear of Competion and the Free Market, then you can use the word Union in the same sentance.

Posted by: George Elbow at August 22, 2008 7:32 PM

Hey Justin, looks like I lost the Most Justifiably Ignored title if you and Elbow felt you absolutely, positively HAD to repsond to me.
Justin, I'm laughing at you. :)
George, yes, I'm being absurd. Why? The union bashing has reached the absurd level (and maybe even sunk to levels I don't feel like visiting).

Posted by: rhody at August 22, 2008 10:53 PM

Glad to have brought some humor into your life, Rhody, but you'll note that I said you "seem inclined to compete" for that title. I actually hope you turn away from that route.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 23, 2008 7:38 AM


Union bashing has reached the absurd level? Perhaps.

But would you agree that the Union demands have reached the absurd level when Teachers already earning above the RI Median Household Income of ~$53,000 (i.e. one Teacher earns more than the income on an ENTIRE household of many Rhode Islanders) receives both raises of between 10% - 18% and near Free healthcare? Particularly in this economy where unemployment is reaching close to 8%.

Worse, when they don't get their way, is it not absurd that they take it out on the Children via Strikes, Work To Rule, etc. as opposed to simply leaving to find a "better" job that will pay them the nutty pay & benefits that they think they deserve?

Ditto for Council 94. Is it not absurd that these fools believe that the time has not come where they must start paying their fair share of the cost of THEIR healthcare?

Isn't it enought that Taxpayers have to absorb the increases in their own healthcare, but Taxpayers are expected to continue to absorb the increase in Council 94's increases as well?

Perhaps you can coax your Union pals to stop with their absurd demands so that we can stop with the absurd bashing. What do you say, deal?

Posted by: George Elbow at August 23, 2008 8:02 AM

George, yes, I'm being absurd. Why? The union bashing has reached the absurd level (and maybe even sunk to levels I don't feel like visiting).

I at least have to commend you for coming around (albeit slightly) that we are bashing the Union and not the teachers. Now if you and your ilk can just reach a little further and grasp reality instead of trying to impose your absurdity, we may even be able to have some dialogue.

Posted by: bobc at August 23, 2008 12:29 PM

If only I were the one (or on the side) imposing the absurdity.
Damn, those who throw it around really, really hate it when some comes back.

Posted by: rhody at August 24, 2008 12:11 AM


Perhaps, just once, you could add a little meat to your pithy, say-nothing do-nothing comments.

Perhaps you could actually opine in some detail on the issues / observations / questions raised.

You are really starting to make Bob Walsh sweat, as he is in danger of losing to you his much covetted title of "Most Prolific Blogger that Says Nothing"

Posted by: George Elbow at August 24, 2008 10:17 AM

George, I will let the fact that even Justin has to censor your comments stand on its own merits. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: rhody at August 24, 2008 10:26 PM
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