Can Janus Unravel the “Solidarity” Between PORAC and the CTA?

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The reactions from representatives of California’s public sector unions to the Janus ruling are revealing. For any member thinking about quitting these unions, these reactions, and the political agenda they epitomize, bear close scrutiny.

Here are excerpts from a press release regarding Janus on the California Teachers Association website: “Today’s ruling is an attack on working people that attempts to further rig the economy … the decision is the result of a well-funded and nationally orchestrated effort to weaken the ability of working men and women to come together as unions and to speak with one, united voice.”

And here are excerpts from what the Peace Officers Research Association of California had to say about Janus on their website: “This is the dawn of the war against both labor unions and the law enforcement profession in this country, and no association should choose to stand alone. A united voice is more important now than ever before.”

These responses typify the reactions from California’s public sector unions, and there is one major fact they willfully ignore. Janus did not affect private sector unions at all. As always, these government unions pretend they have solidarity with unions that operate in the private sector. They don’t. Government unions don’t have to be reasonable when they negotiate. Instead of putting a company out of business, which is what an unreasonable demand could do to a private company, government unions just elect and control politicians who vote to raise taxes.

What irony. These government unions depend on taxes paid by private sector “working men and women,” yet falsely claim solidarity with them.

While we’re on the topic of solidarity, why on earth would PORAC want to declare solidarity with the teachers union? There are legitimate reasons to criticize police unions, and police officers could probably operate just fine with civil service protection combined with the clout wielded by voluntary associations that didn’t engage in collective bargaining. But police unions did not destroy the effectiveness of law enforcement. They’re actually doing a pretty good job. The teachers union, on the other hand, has nearly destroyed public education.

So why, PORAC, would you need to declare that “a united voice is more important now than ever before”?

Now that union members can stop paying dues, it’s unlikely members of public safety unions will do so. The level of cohesion among public safety professionals, law enforcement, fire fighters, and correctional officers, is far higher than what might unify teachers. The knowledge that public safety professionals may at any time have to face strategically applied cartel violence, or unexpected natural conflagrations of stupefying ferocity, gives them a sense of fellowship that teachers – for all the nobility of their calling – will never know.

Janus isn’t just about quitting the union, however. Even if members choose to continue to pay their dues to public safety unions, that doesn’t mean they can’t hold them more accountable. Public safety unions could channel more of their political activism into helping to counter the leftist political agenda of the teachers unions.

Public safety professionals realize the consequences of leftist policies. Every day they patrol and protect communities ravaged by welfare programs that have destroyed work ethics and dismantled nuclear families. Every day they cope with fallout from gang conflict and drug abuse. Every day they endure the frustration of contending with problems caused by a porous border, ruthlessly controlled on its southern side by the renegade private armies of a corrupt and failed state. Every day they have to mitigate these ongoing and escalating problems while looking over their shoulder to see if they’ve “profiled” someone or committed some similar phony transgression. Every day they have to endure undeserved hostility, funded and fomented by anti-American leftist oligarchs, because of the isolated actions of a vanishingly few bad apples.

For these reasons, public safety unions have, for the most part, stayed in touch with the political sentiments of their members. Their political advocacy at the state and national level has been neutral or conservative.

The teachers union is a completely different story. Many public school teachers, possibly even a majority, witness daily examples of the same consequences of leftist policy. They see the almost unbelievable absurdity of now being forced to allow racial quotas to govern how many students they may suspend or expel. They see the children entering school each day bearing the scars of homes broken by welfare, or devastated by drug abusing parents. They understand the futility of trying to teach effectively when permissiveness is the answer to misbehavior, and the worst teachers are protected at all costs by a fanatical union.

The agenda of the teachers union is preposterously misguided. They want open borders. They promote multiculturalism over assimilation. They’re training young immigrant students to believe that America – the most welcoming, tolerant culture in the history of the world – is a hostile and racist nation where they will inevitably be victims of discrimination. They’ve even gotten rid of English immersion. They’re teaching young boys to deny their masculinity, and training young girls to resent the “patriarchy.” On a scale of deplorable, with ten being the worst, the teachers union is an eleven. Disgruntled members should quit. Immediately. Permanently.

In a perfect world, private sector unions would thrive wherever they were needed – and they often are needed – in a right-to-work environment, and public sector unions would be illegal. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Until that time, the pretense of solidarity between public safety unions and the teachers union should be openly recognized as fraudulent. And the members, in both these unions, should aggressively use their new rights to hold their leaders politically accountable.

Ed Ring co-founded the California Policy Center and served as its first president.

 

RELATED COMMENTARY:

A Post-Janus Agenda for California’s Public Sector Unions, February 2018

Public Safety Unions and the Financial Apocalypse, May 2016

The Challenges Facing Conservatives Who Support Public Safety, March 2016

In Search of a Legitimate Labor Movement, January 2016

Pension Reform Requires Mutual Empathy, not Enmity, October 2015

Public Sector Union Reform Requires Mutual Empathy, June 2015

Can Unionized Police Be Held Accountable for Misconduct?, June 2015

Pension Reformers are not “The Enemy” of Public Safety, April 2015

Conservatives, Police Unions, and the Future of Law Enforcement, January 2015

Police Unions in America, December 2014

Conservative Politicians and Public Safety Unions, May 2014

How Much Does Professionalism Cost?, March 2014

Visit California Policy Center

Ed Ring has over 20 years experience in business and finance, primarily with start-up and early stage companies. From 2010 through 2016, he was Executive Director, then President of the California Policy Center. From 2007 through July 2010, in partnership with AlwaysOn Media, Ring designed and programmed their “GoingGreen” conferences, held in San Francisco and Boston, attracting clean technology entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.

Ring was CFO for Play Industries in 1999-2000, the first company to develop and deploy technology for desktop digital video production and internet video broadcasting. In 2003, Ring was Director of Strategic Planning for Anuvu, one of the first companies to build a prototype fuel cell vehicle. Currently Ring consults for various clients in politics and media.

In 1995 Ring founded www.EcoWorld.com, an online environmental magazine reporting on clean technology and the status of species and ecosystems. For over 14 years under Ring’s editorial direction, EcoWorld was a respected international voice for free-market environmentalism, something that is needed now more than ever.

Ring has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from UC Davis, and an MBA in Finance from the USC.


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