When I saw this headline at the Chicago Sun-Times site — “Ex-head of Chicago police sergeants union sentenced to 12 years in prison” — I thought what any ol’ Southern boy would think:
They got so many unions up there, they got a special one just for sergeants?
Which means that those other parts of the country are… really different… from down here. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
As I’ve said before, I don’t hold with public employee unions. Public employees work for the people, not some separate private entity. That means they serve themselves as well as their friends and neighbors. Given that special relationship, there’s something really twisted about employer and employed being on opposite sides of a bargaining table. We should be able to rely on their being on the same side.
Fortunately, that’s one thing (one of the few) that I don’t have to worry about in South Carolina. We ain’t got none o’ that.
Unfortunately, we do get some of the negative effects of public employee unions here, with none of the dubious benefits. For instance… you know all that money that flows into our state from people trying to elect legislators who will undermine public education? They are to a great extent motivated by their animus toward “teacher unions.” Well, we don’t have any of those here, which is why it’s bitterly ironic that we should be a battleground for that issue (thanks in large part to Mark Sanford — his being governor persuaded those interests that South Carolina was fertile ground for their movement). The SCEA is a professional association, not a collective bargaining unit.
Today in the WSJ, there was yet another screed against teacher unions — which of course has no application to South Carolina. Sadly, too few in our state understand that, based on how many times I hear public education critics in our state moan about how the “teacher unions” stand in the way of improving education here. (I actually heard it from the lips of a Rotary speaker recently.)
Anyway, these are the things I’m thinking about as voters in Wisconsin decide whether to recall their governor over a battle about public employee unions. A fight in which we do not have a dog.