Some people still don’t understand the connection between public sector unions and the fiscal crisis that has engulfed American states and municipalities. Governor Scott Walker illustrates very effectively the kinds of irrationality that unions impose on the public sector–irrationality that bankrupts states, makes the provision of public services less efficient, harms a great many state and municipal employees, especially the most devoted, but–and this explains all the rest–enriches union leaders and, secondarily, ineffective public employees.
Here is just one example:
Milwaukee Public Schools teacher Megan Sampson was laid off less than one week after being named Outstanding First Year Teacher by the Wisconsin Council of English Teachers. She lost her job because the collective bargaining agreement requires layoffs to be made based on seniority rather than merit.
Informed that her union had rejected a lower-cost health care plan, that still would have required zero contribution from teachers, Sampson said, “Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers.”
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/14/10
Public sector unions did not exist until very recently. They are a failed experiment, and the experiment must be terminated.