Teacher Union Monopolies Undermine Education and more news
‘[Coercive] Union Strength Variable . . . Has a Substantial and Statistically Significant Negative Relationship With Student Achievement’
By Stan Greer
For many years, the vast majority of Americans have rated the performance of the public schools of our nation as mediocre or worse. By more than a two-to-one margin, Americans agree that, on average, elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. are not as good as those of other wealthy countries.
Since 2007, Education Next, a journal sponsored by Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, has annually conducted a nationwide survey of adults, including oversamplings of parents and teachers, to gauge the state of public opinion on education-related topics.
The Washington Times, November 06, 2018
“Unfortunately, winning a Supreme Court decision isn’t the end of things, in many ways it’s just the start,” Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, told The Times.
His organization recently sent a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority demanding that it stop automatically deducting union dues from workers’ paychecks.
freebeacon.com, November 07, 2018
“The same far-left union executives are doubling down on backing the same far-left political candidates, often using member dues to make political contributions,” Nelsen said. “It’s pretty much business as usual.”
Watchdogs see only two clear paths to changing the partisan culture: Members can vote out entrenched liberal leaders and replace them with more bipartisan ones or vote with their feet and resign or begin paying partial dues known as agency fees, which are designed to exclude political spending. Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW), said that “lip service” is about all members can expect unless such changes are made.
“You see the same song and dance every few years when union members look up and realize the union officials that claim to represent them are spending their money in opposition to the candidates and causes favored by many workers,” Semmens said. “They may occasionally pay lip service to being more representative of the diverse political views of rank-and-file workers, but when push comes to shove union bosses will always back the candidate who is most devoted to protecting and expanding Big Labor’s coercive powers. “Employees have the option of joining or not.
reason.com, December, 2018
There are already some relevant cases in the pipeline. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represented Mark Janus in his lawsuit, has two ongoing challenges to exclusive representation requirements in Minnesota and Washington state. Both plaintiffs argue their First Amendment right to freedom of association is being violated. According to Patrick Semmens, a vice president of the legal defense group, Alito’s nod to the issue indeed “strengthens those cases.”
89.3 WFPL, November 06, 2018
Republicans have held on to their majorities in the Kentucky legislature, dashing Democratic hopes for a “blue wave” in Frankfort.
Initial results show that Democrats were able to flip control of a few House districts around the state, but Republicans were able to fend off many challenges and flip a few seats in their favor as well.
UAW Corruption Scandal Update
automotivenews.com, November 07, 2018
Jerome Durden, 62, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman to 15 months in prison based on his August 2017 plea agreement to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. The former financial analyst for FCA served as the controller of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center between 2008 and 2015.
Durden presented false tax returns on behalf of the training center as a “charitable” organization associated with the late former UAW Vice President General Holiefield to conceal over $1.5 million in illegal payments by FCA to senior UAW officials.
Keith Mickens, 64, a former UAW official, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. In April, he was convicted of conspiring with other UAW officials and FCA executives to take illegal payments from FCA. Mickens was responsible for administering collective bargaining agreements on behalf of thousands of UAW members employed by FCA. He also served as co-director of the training center.
Michael Brown, 60, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for providing misleading and incomplete testimony to a federal grand jury. Brown pleaded guilty to one count of lying to a federal grand jury about the scope of the conspiracy in May, as part of a plea deal with federal investigators.
autospies.com, November 07, 2018
Federal prosecutors have secured convictions of seven people linked to the conspiracy at this point, claiming FCA executives provided gifts or covert cash payments through the jointly operated UAW-Chrysler National Training Center in an effort to influence collective bargaining. It became such a problem that several union officials now claim they engaged in illicit activities because they were fearful of bucking the trend, losing their six-figure salaries, and being forced back onto factory floors — you know, like the people they were supposed to be representing.
thetruthaboutcars.com, November 06, 2018
“This investigation and prosecution has revealed that there was a culture of corruption in the senior leadership of the United Auto Workers union,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey wrote in Mickens’ sentencing memorandum. “Leaders of the UAW viewed the National Training Center as a mechanism to take apparently unlimited and illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler for their own personal benefit, for the benefit of the union itself, and for their own lavish entertainment.”
Federal prosecutors have already hinted that more charges are likely in the coming months. In the interim, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman has to decide an appropriate punishment for Mickens. His lawyer requests probation; the opposition wants 16 months in a federal prison.
jdsupra.com, November 07
Illinois: The major story in Illinois is the election of J.B. Pritzker as governor. In short, his election is likely to usher in greater infrastructure spending—including an increase in prevailing wage jobs—and more aggressive enforcement efforts by state agencies charged with regulating employers and protecting employees.
Missouri: In Missouri, the elected status quo kept. Governor Mike Parsons, serving out former Governor Eric Greitens’ term, was not on the ballot. In the Legislature, Republicans maintained their supermajority status in both the Missouri State Senate and House of Representatives. In the Senate, the Republicans maintained their 24 to 10 seat lead over Democrats with no seats changing hands. In the House, preliminary results show that each party flipped three seats from the other, maintaining the Republicans’ dominant 116 to 47 seat advantage.
businessfacilities.com, November 07, 2018
All states mentioned have Right to work laws
Thanks in part to its pro-business policies, strong workforce and trade infrastructure, Florida ranks among the nation’s top 10 states for manufacturing. The state is home to more than 19,000 manufacturers employing more than 331,000 workers. Florida’s manufacturers produce a wide variety of goods including aerospace products, batteries, communications equipment, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, boats and more.
Asked if Kentucky’s January 2017 passage of right-to-work legislation played a role, Gov. Matt Bevin said it absolutely did. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development worked closely with Verso’s site manager to market the plant following closure. Across more than two years, multiple suitors made various steps toward purchasing it. With prior union contracts not an issue post right-to-work, corporate interest in the facility increased.
NBC ranks Indiana’s infrastructure 2nd in the nation. An excellent example of this is the utility infrastructure placed near NSWC Crane, which included Hoosier Energy installing an electric substation, and a water tower constructed with the financial backing of UDWI. Both UDWI and Hoosier Energy are proactive with renewable energy sources and recently installed a solar field in the general area.
REDUCING FOOD WASTE IN ARKANSAS
PEORIA, AZ IS WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE AND BUSINESSES WANT TO GROW
Chalkbeat Colorado, November 07, 2018
The Denver teachers union used state law to make a public records request for the names, email addresses, and salaries of every charter school teacher in the school district — and Denver Public Schools complied and turned over the information.
The request could signal that the union plans to try to get charter school teachers to join. Currently, only teachers at district-run schools belong to the Denver union. Given that more than a quarter of Denver’s 200 schools are charters, recruiting charter school teachers could significantly swell the union’s ranks and increase its political power.
A study by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools found that 781 charter schools nationwide participated in collective bargaining agreements with teachers unions in 2016-17, which represented about 11 percent of charter schools nationwide. However, a majority of those were required by state law or district policy to be part of the contract.