Mac Mcleod
United States
houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Need more time to read before commenting. Also give folks a chance to correct possible spin.

But good post.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Les Marshall
United States
Woodinville
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I am sure the school districts would only lay off poor or low average teachers. They wouldn't even think of laying off the most senior (highest paid) teachers for any other reason, right?

Your post seems to conclude that the budget battle is an unqualified success. Of course, until you see the results of the new budget in action, like during an actual school year, it's just numbers. Will class sizes change? Will outcomes change? Will politically motivated administrators try and cut out the dead weight of lower performing students by restricting admissions or encouraging some students not to particpate in some testing measures.

There are lot's of games that bureaucrats play and we'll need time to see how this shakes out.

Hopefully schools and students will benefit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bjlillo wrote:
Here in this very forum there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth that Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill was simply designed to bust unions, not actually fix the budget. At that time, Wisconsin's state budget deficit was projected to be between $3.3 and $3.6 billion. The Budget Repair Bill is now law and the budget has been passed. Wisconsin is now projected to have a budget surplus over that same period of approximately $300 million.


I don't know about the complaints in this forum, but the complaints in the real world were not about the fiscal measures in the budget bill but in the inclusion of unrelated union-busting provisions. The public employees' unions agreed to make financial concessions, but even then, Walker insisted that he wanted to eliminate public employees' ability to unionize and collectively bargain at all.

Thank god those damn fat cat teachers can be forced to take a pay cut now, though. If they really cared about educating kids instead of lining their own pockets, they'd teach for free, right?
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
badge
Check out Stately Play for news and reviews of games worth thinking about.
Avatar
mbmb
Do you think this demonstrates that there were no contentious provisions of the bill which were about union-busting rather than balancing the budget? You seem to suggest so, and I was wondering whether that was a position you actually endorse.

Totally with you on seniority. I'd rather have a terribly flawed test-based evaluation scheme than it, though I understand why the unions have been trying to hold out long enough that someone actually figures out a good metric, rather than the ones we have now. But it's taken too long--that was a bad choice, and just makes them look stupid. Not even effectively greedy, just dumb. Irksome.

Also, you may recall some wailing and gnashing of teeth about those districts which were negotiating contracts before the bill was in effect. I'm not going to search for the thread at the moment to provide quotes supporting my point, but I recall trying to suggest that maybe people were making reasonable concessions, and just trying to reduce uncertainty. As I recall, I seemed hopelessly biased and naive to the conservatives posting at the time. Has the fact that these deals have turned out quite similar to those which came later changed your opinion of unions and their connections at all?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
badge
Check out Stately Play for news and reviews of games worth thinking about.
Avatar
mbmb
bjlillo wrote:
[T]he unions have abused taxpayers in so many varied ways that ending collective bargaining on the vast majority of things was really the only way to rein in costs.



[T]he unions were willing to agree to the terms they were screaming about publicly as long as they were able to get their pound of flesh from their members.


We have recent data on agreements made with and without collective bargaining, and the article you chose says the terms were similar in the concessions secured. Not only was ending collective bargaining not the only way to rein in costs, it wasn't even one way! It accomplished nothing financially relevant.

There's an excellent argument to be made that Walker's election and the strong pushback the unions were getting from their fellow Wisconsinites made a big difference in what concessions unions were willing to make. Union defenders have been saying all along that the unions were willing to make the budget-relevant concessions before the bill was passed. I understand that this is a substantial change from their earlier behavior, but I can think of no evidentiary reason you'd attribute the changes to the end of collective bargaining rather than successful signaling to the unions prior to that law going into effect.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
badge
Check out Stately Play for news and reviews of games worth thinking about.
Avatar
mbmb
BJ, what you're saying seems to be that unions were so motivated to keep their collective-bargaining rights (including the forced-dues gravy train) that they were willing to make the budget-relevant cuts if they could keep that. I'm not debating their motives, I'm saying that your claim that the collective bargaining rights needed to be removed to fix the budget is unsupported by the most relevant evidence.

By focusing on Milwaukee, you're setting the example of a single district against more than 150 on the other side (according to your own source). If I seemed to you to be suggesting that there weren't at least 1% of unions who were unwilling to make the necessary cuts, I apologize. I meant to be talking in generalities rather than universals.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelsey Rinella
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
badge
Check out Stately Play for news and reviews of games worth thinking about.
Avatar
mbmb
bjlillo wrote:
Not true. None of them agreed to any of the budget-relevant cuts prior to the bill being passed. The removal of collective bargaining privileges is what prompted the changes.


But it hadn't taken effect yet, so they still had the collective bargaining rights at that time. I think the signals I'm attributing with changing unions' attitudes are unlikely to have been fully effective at the time of the Milwaukee negotiations, so it's not a great example for distinguishing between your explanation and mine.

Maybe there's just no good data on the issue. I'm reading in rather a lot, but I get the impression you'd say that the imminent and predictable removal of collective bargaining so thoroughly undercuts the leverage of unions that its end should be credited with affecting behavior even before it actually happens. That doesn't strike me as totally implausible; I tend to prefer explanations in which causes unambiguously precede effects, but the passage of the bill gave people information which obviously could have had some effect on the negotiations (though the court hold-up makes that a harder sell).

It just seems to me that it's a reasonable and simple explanation to say that teachers learned how bad things had gotten and were likely to stay, and agreed it was time to pitch in. I have no problem with the idea that we ought to be agnostic between these two explanations, because the evidence we have doesn't rule either out (though it might incline us somewhat toward one explanation or the other). Similarly, perhaps both explanations played a partial role. Perfectly plausible. What I find so objectionable is that you seem absolutely convinced that the alternative, more charitable explanation I'm saying fits the evidence at least as well as yours is certainly false. I don't think you have good reason to rule it out so completely.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.