Pelosi strikes deal with unions – no tax on high-cost health care plans

You knew this would happen. The unions deserve payback for support of Democrats and President Obama, so when the plan to tax “Cadillac” health care plans would obviously included those negotiated by collective bargaining teams, something had to be done. It’s change you can believe in!

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Another UAW bailout – $10 billion in reimbursements guaranteed

Coming on the heels of the auto makers “hinting” that they will not be able to repay the TARP bailout money they received, comes yet another union grab of taxpayer money. But, this time it’s only $10 billion dollars that we will never see again.

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Thug morning wrap up – unions step up for Obama health care

Yesterday, we told you to watch out for the thugs since unions working at the behest of President Obama were planning to “step in” to set the record straight. None of this does any good for the cause, since the media is now focused on the yelling and face slaps and not the issue. But anyway, here’s a wrap up of news from last night.

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More teachers paid to do nothing: 700 in New York City alone

In early May I wrote about an LA Times article on teachers being paid to do nothing while their fitness to teach is under review. Now the Associated Press is digging into 700 New York City teachers who spend their days in “rubber rooms” occasionally fighting about seating assignments.

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Teachers on both coasts paid to do nothing

I remember reading about this a couple of years ago. Now seems like a good time to bring it up again to see if there would be any backlash, and the Los Angeles Times has the story written by Jason Song. Teachers across California and in New York City are being paid their full salary and benefits – in some cases for years – while education bureaucrats try to figure out if they are fit to teach.

From the Times, with my emphasis in bold.

Every school day, [Matthew] Kim’s shift begins at 7:50 a.m., with 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell at his old campus rings at 3:20 p.m. He is to take off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, per a district agreement with the teacher’s union. At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school.

He has never missed a paycheck.

In the jargon of the school district, Kim is being “housed” while his fitness to teach is under review. A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.

Last week, Kim was ordered to continue this daily routine at home. District officials said the offices for “housed” employees were becoming too crowded.

Do read the entire article at the Times’ Web site. It also includes a video report.

Why? Union contracts. Previously, these teachers were assigned duties that did not involve teaching students, but district officials are…

…prohibited from assigning chores under the contract with the teachers’ union. Although there is no specific reference in the contract to housed employees, an attorney for L.A. Unified pointed to Article 9, Section 4.0, which defines the “professional duties” of a teacher, such as instructional planning and evaluating the work of pupils.

With no mention of photocopying, stuffing envelopes or answering telephones in the contract, the district and union have interpreted this provision as prohibiting clerical duties.

“Why would we denigrate [teachers] by forcing them to do something they’re not supposed to do?” said A. J. Duffy, who is now president of UTLA, adding that housed teachers are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Look, either they are fit to teach or not. If not, they should find another job.

Would this work in the private sector? Hell no, unless of course your backed by the United Auto Workers, they too seem to get paid for doing nothing. These union contracts are unsustainable and destroying the productivity of this country.

As Malkin says

Nice non-work if you can get it.

Obama order represents payoff to unions

Here come the payoffs. Whether you think the government spending $1 trillion-plus to stimulate the economy is the right or wrong thing, there is absolutely no reason why President Obama should shut out non-union labor from even bidding on any of the stimulus package pork dollars.

But that is exactly what he has done.

Here is the story from the AP.

President Barack Obama on Friday issued an executive order backing the use of union labor for large-scale federal construction projects.

The order encourages federal agencies to have construction contractors and subcontractors enter project labor agreements. Those agreements require contractors to negotiate with union officials, recognize union wages and benefits and generally abide by collective-bargaining agreements.

Obama’s order restores a Clinton administration order that was revoked by President George W. Bush.

It is the fourth union-friendly executive order that Obama has signed since he’s been in office, and one of about a dozen orders put in place by Bush that labor leaders have urged Obama to repeal.

“Project labor agreements are a win-win for everyone involved,” said James Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “Contractors get highly trained, skilled labor with fixed costs, and workers are fairly compensated with their rights and safety protected.”

But the Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group, said the order would unfairly steer federal construction contracts to unionized contractors despite the fact that 84 percent of U.S. construction workers do not belong to labor unions.

ABC president Kirk Pickerel said the effect would “drive up costs for American taxpayers” by reducing competitive bidding on projects.

AwWin-win Hoffa? I can’t find anything good about this since many of the large non-union business will not be able to get one contract. This is simply a pay-off to the unions, that will drive up the costs of projects and slow them down.

As noted, this is one of those executive orders that switch back and forth depending on which party is running the Executive Branch.

One quick thing. When was launched, there was a section called Executive Orders under the Briefing Room. Now that section is called Presidential Actions.

Here is a direct link to the order. Since federal dollars will be spent at the local level on these projects, my bet is that they will be considered federal projects and will need to have union labor.

More from Gateway Pundit.

Homework assignment. What percentage of the unionized workforce work for the government?

Economics lesson: supply and demand for firefighters in Miami

A story at the Fox News 7 Web site caught my eye this morning. Almost 1,000 applicants lined up for 35 available firefighter positions that will be available in the City of Miami.

Three of those who were waiting in line were interviewed, the first was a former Marine who was unemployed and the other two had waited days in line for a chance to apply for one of the positions.

Looking for work is not fun, It is – quite honestly – a full time job. For these three guys looking for work in south Florida with unemployment hovering around 7 percent, a Miami firefighter position would be good work.

My question is this. Why is there a line 1,000 people long for 35 firefighter positions? Could it be that the pay and benefits are really good? Too good?

If the supply of available candidates is so high, it’s time for the City of Miami to take a look at their union contracts to see if the pay and benefits are too high. I know, it’s a harsh statement. Of course, being a firefighter is a position that is important to the community, and in a city the size of Miami even more so.

But if you were running a business that needed to stay in the black to keep things going, what would you do if you had three positions open and 100 people lined up at the door overnight – in the rain – looking to apply?

If you’re one that says you would not lower pay or cut benefits, I can assure you competition will open their doors across the street and provide a lower pay and benefit package to employees. This will allow them to lower costs to consumers and offer the same level of quality and service.

Where would you shop?

Take A Pay Cut … Save A Job

Governor Rell has told Connecticut Prison Guards  the state can’t afford the pay raise the state has agreed to pay them and wants them to pass on it. It’s not likely to happen.

Legislators say it’s unlikely to happen this year because Democrats, who traditionally support state-employee unions, hold two-thirds of the seats in the Senate and more than two-thirds in the House.

But it’s not just Connecticut. I never got to this piece of sound this week … so let’s do it now. In Feyette County, Georgia, officials are asking teachers to take a pay cut to avoid layoffs. More here.


I am not a fan of this kind of budget cutting. But maybe you are. Maybe you can convince me it’s the only way. Take the poll and leave a comment.

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