Broward Teacher’s Union Scandal is the Latest to Demonstrate the Need for Federal Legislation that Provides Active Accountability for Responsible Public Employee Unionism.
Anything Less is Neither Responsible nor Unionism
shortlink to this article: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=453
The very adage that necessitates unionism, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely,” also describes the Achilles heel and undoing of modern public employee unionism.
It is the nature of the profit maximizing, cost minimizing machines of commerce and service to demand maximum labor from minimum employees. It is the effort of these employees working in union to prevent unjust exploitation that is termed “unionism.” To pretend the latter is unnecessary is naïve.
Budgets and profit, both public and private, represent a source of power that encourages the entrenchment of the management sector of any corporate organization, a sector that has little to do with production, but much to gain by maximizing exploitation of the financial and human resources.
Union entities established to defend against this are subject to the same self-perpetuating forces and must be held to an equal or higher level of accounting and oversight themselves.
Nationally, private sector unions and parent public labor unions (AFL-CIO, International Longshoremen’s Association, and American Federation of Teachers) are subject to federal laws and accountability measures as well as state laws, with clear and severe measures to prosecute criminal violations and issue appropriate punitive sentences.
However, most state and county public employee labor organizations around the US are subject only to the states’ labor laws and accountability measures, many of which were crafted with consulting input from the national labor organizations themselves and are considered less elaborate and less resourced in terms of investigating and enforcing accountability.
Actionable state legislation focuses predominately on civil violations termed “unfair labor practices,” leaving a loophole in criminal accountability that needs to be closed to assist in the provision and achievement of state and county public union accountability.
Reliance on national parent unions to ensure propriety at the local level has failed time and again, as evidenced in the multi-million dollar fraud episodes witnessed in Washington, DC’s, Miami-Dade County’s, and now Broward County’s teacher union scandals.
As testimony regarding the 2003 Miami teachers’ union scandal to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions stated, “The onus should not be on [employees] to have to hire legal counsel and file an unfair labor practice action to enforce compliance with state statutes… [but employees at this time cannot] count on the state attorney, the AFT, the FEA, legislature, the school district or PERC to protect them…
We need Federal Legislation …so that workers can reclaim their organizations and return them to their lofty goals. Without [this], corrupt union executives will continue to manage dues monies as their personal expense accounts.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools