Why I Don’t Like Unions

It seems that there is some trouble brewing in Collier County Florida. The school district had to change the President’s Day holiday to a hurricane makeup day. The union filed a grievance because they were not given a paid day off and were not paid time-and-a-half for working on a holiday. The school board told the union that the grievance was out of line and the threat of a work stoppage (strike) would not be tolerated. Not only would it not be tolerated, they said it would render the entire agreement null and void, i.e. you’re all fired.

Well, good for the school board for pointing out the obvious: these workers were already paid for a day of work on which they did not work. The school board chose to use this Monday as the makeup day. Now the union wanted either a paid holiday (paid day off) or time and a half for working on a holiday. But they already got the paid day off last fall due to hurricanes. In fact, they got seven paid days off and they are only currently scheduled to make up two of those.  In my world, that is referred to as double-dipping.

It is this type of thinking that makes people like me disgusted with the entitlement mentality. If you read the attached article, make sure you read the first comment at the bottom and you will see what I am talking about. The poster begins by throwing in a healthy dose of “wealth envy” and pointing out their teachers and staff are horribly underpaid. OK. I’ll buy that. Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world today, so I’ll agree, they may be underpaid. But read on and the poster says

Employees always have the right to refuse to supply their labor.

True, but this just reinforces my claim that this is an entitlement mindset since the poster (clearly a member of the union), through their own comments, does not believe that employment is a two-way street. Sure employees have the right to refuse to supply labor. The employer then has the right to refuse to supply employment.

In a free market economy, employment is not an entitlement. Wages are not an entitlement. Paid days off are not an entitlement. Health benefits, pensions, commuting reimbursment, and other benefits are not an entitlement. These are all benefits (i.e. perks) that are offered by the employer to attract talented employees. If there is no competition for employees, it goes the other way. If you don’t like the deal, sure you are allowed to not work. But don’t cry when your job is then given to someone else.

If you want a society where jobs and benefits are an entitlement, move to France. Then you can have the privilege of complaining about why your economy can’t keep up with global competition.

[ Grievance leads to anger for local union head ]