• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right

    The New York Times has a story out today purporting to show that “Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions.” But this poll is completely worthless. To understand why just look at the question they used to justify their headline:

    Collective bargaining refers to negotiations between an employer and a labor union’s members to determine the conditions of employment. Some states are trying to take away some collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Do you favor or oppose taking away some collective bargaining rights of the unions?

    Unsurprisingly, 60% of Americans told The New York Times they did not want to take away the rights of other Americans. Problem is collective bargaining is not a right. It is a privilege.

    There is a big difference between rights and privileges. Americans have the right to vote. The state, barring a felony conviction, cannot take that right away. Driving, on the other hand, is privilege. The state can refuse you the privilege of driving for a myriad of reasons including failure to pass a test showing you know the rules of the road or failing to purchase auto insurance.

    Similarly the freedom of association is a right shared by all Americans and protected by the First Amendment. In contrast, collective bargaining is a special power occasionally granted to some unions. In upholding North Carolina’s ban on government union collective bargaining, a federal court wrote in Atkins vs. City of Charlotte: “All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision making process.”

    Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) budget bill in Wisconsin in no way infringes on any Americans’ right to associate and lobby government. What it does do is allow Wisconsin employees to choose not to join a union and keep their job at the same time. It also forces the government unions in Wisconsin to collect their own union dues instead of using the power of the state to withhold them directly from employee paychecks.

    Now there is a question you’ll never see in a New York Times poll: “Do you favor forcing all state employees to join a union and empowering government unions to take union dues directly from employee paychecks?”

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    99 Responses to Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right

    1. Andrew, VA says:

      If unions are so popular, how come more people haven't joined them?

      • Tim says:

        They aren't popular. In most cases, non union workers HATE the union workers because the union workers are almost always selfish, lazy, and inconsiderate.

      • bill w says:

        because people feel intimidated by their employers if they do join and as most people have homes and debit they are scared of losing their jobs,the unions work for what you want.

    2. Nobby says:

      I think the writer is too keen to find an anti-union perspective. "Collective bargaining is not a right. It is a privilege." No, it's not a right and it's also not a priveledge, (how patronising) it is like respect, won. Freedom of association allows employees to come together and by working together, force collective bargaining on an employer, and win respect.

      Its also worth noting, any company or organisation which makes people want to join together to form a union is probably not following best practice in the first place! In my experience, the companies who bleat loudest are usually the ones whose corporate social responsibility leaves a great deal to be desired.

      • Tim says:

        Force? seriously? No group should be allowed to FORCE anyone to do anything. Unions have no respect. They are self serving, and malicious. I have seen, first hand, the worthless nature of most union labor. The companies that are required to use union labor always treat the workers as badly as they can because, in almost every case, the worker would have been fired in a non union shop and everyone knows it.

        • laura says:

          ha!!!! you've seen first hand "most union labor"? liar, liar, pants on fire :P "in almost every case"? how could possibly be in a position to make that kind of evaluation? "everyone knows it"? do you know what the word "everyone" even means? even if you had a legitimate point, your flat out lies render it irrelevant.

      • Jane says:

        Very good point — we;; stated

    3. Dave says:

      I agree with your conclusion, but your premise that rights are different from privileges, and that the government can't take away rights but it can privileges is kind of scary. Since the Constitution and Bill of Rights are silent on the use of computers, for instance, does that mean that Congress can outlaw them?

      I think you need to more carefully think about this distinction.

      • Tim says:

        Yes, if congress had the votes, computers could be outlawed, and yes, just like parents taking away the car keys if you screwed up. The gov't has the ability to remove any and all privileges with the stroke of a pen. The reason that we have a representative republic is so that the people of the country have at least a small amount of input on whether privileges are removed or not.

    4. Ed San Jose, CA says:

      The right to bargain collectively was conferred on Americans through the passage of a series of federal laws many years ago. This right is an important part of democracy. It is unfortunate that writers and politicians (whose views are more Fascist than Republican) are seeking to subjugate American people to the greed of most members of the Forbes 400 and their beneficiaries. This is rapidly resulting in the extermination of America's middle class.

      During my career, I represented both large corporations and unions and sat on both sides of the bargaining table. My belief is that unions are earned by large organizations whose management tactics seek to shortchange employees. Well-managed non-union companies such as Wisconsin's S. C. Johnson are highly unlikely to face union elections because they do not short-change their employees. In contrast, Wisconsin's school system pays below average salaries and would undoubtedly lower salaries if employees had no union protection. Unions are vastly superior to the revolutions that have occurred and are occurring in other nations.

      • Tim says:

        There may have been laws enacted that protected the use of collective bargaining, but only by amendment to the constitution is a right granted to a specific people or action. There has been no amendment to the constitution whereby granting the RIGHT of collective bargaining. That being the case, the author is correct. Collective bargaining is NOT a right.

      • JIM says:

        I agree

    5. Pingback: Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right

    6. Michael Evans says:

      Our government "education" system has produced generations of drones as Mark Levin calls them who do not understand the concept of rights. It is unfortunate that our populace thinks of cell phones and satellite TV as rights. It's not surprising that there is an assumed right to "negotiate" for tax payers' money without their having a seat at the table. Great job as usual Heritage.

    7. Jerry (un-happy UHW says:

      Oh yea!!You nailed it Mr.Conner.Well said!Here's an added point,Those of us who are Union member are forced to be so if we want to keep our jobs.My hospital went Union 5 Years ago.(I've been working there for 17 years)& I know my Union back Politicians that I strongly disagree with,but my Dues go to their campaigns non-the-less.

    8. Izzy Shepherd says:

      Last I heard, the US was a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

      Go read Article 23, which the US agreed to abide by…

    9. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Companies do go out of business due to bad labor deals. However, it is a single company and its assets will be sold and its functions taken over by other companies. The United States is failing due to bad labor deals – at the local level, the state level and far worse at the federal level. Who will buy us out when we fail?

      By the time FY11 is done, the National Deficit will be $15.48 trillion just from the ineptitude and the incompetence of the federal government. Accumulative State debts will total $1.14 trillion and accumulative local debts will total $1.79 trillion for a grand total of $18.41 trillion in collective public sector debt. This was racked up by greedy self-serving public union employees.

      The largest annual loss of Ford Motor company was $12 billion. Ford employs 180,000 – mostly union workers. Even if we proportionalize that loss to the 2.7 million federal workers – mostly union workers, that loss would still be only $180 billion. The average annual deficits since the advent of Regan’s introduction of massive deficit spending is $280 billion. The average annual deficits for the last five years is $994 billion. The average annual deficit in the 30 years prior to Regan was a mere $13.5 billion. Ford’s massive loss was for one year and now the company is running a profit. The feds have been running their debt at high levels since 1980 – or 31 years, and these wizards of smart plan to continue doing so for years to come!

      Governments are losing money – especially the all-smart and self described geniuses in the federal government – are racking up trillions of dollars of debt each year and we the public cannot protect ourselves from their greed. In a poll on Monday, 70% of public workers want to continue spending as is. This is not democrat politicians, this was public workers. Even democrat politicians are starting to recognize we need to cut spending. 70% of us taxpayers want to cut government spending.

      The public sector no longer represent us – the American citizenry – or our needs. They represent their self-centered interests – mostly because they know they would never get the same extravagant incomes in the private sector. They need public spending as high as it is to personally profit as they are.

      Public workers should never earn more than their private sector equivalents. Their pay should be 90% of the private sector. They should have the incentive to move out of their government jobs and go to the private sector. People should never have a public sector jobs as a career. Public jobs should be thought of as akin to the peace corps or something like that. It should be temporary and then you move on.

      There is a danger in letting people set in those jobs for too long. As it is said, government profits on misery. Social security, Medicaid/care and welfare profits on managing a certain level of poor people to stay in business, military profits on managing global chaos and turmoil to stay in business, transportation profits on managing a decrepit highway and bridge system to stay in business, education profits on managing a degree of stupidity to stay in business, homeland security profits on managing a degree of fear and uncertainty to stay in business, environmentalism profits on managing the impression the planet is about to die to stay in business, and so on and so on. If a public worker actually solved a problem, they would be out of a very high paying jobs – it goes against basic human survival instincts.

      To regain control over government, we need to end public unions. This will significantly reduce the public sector power over us. Then we need to start placing “term limits” on public sector jobs. Lastly, we need to get the public sector pay back to 90% of the private sector and their benefits back to equal what the private sector receives. We cannot sustain an overpaid and an enduring public sector in jobs that garnish unwarranted power over us. These people need to understand they are subservient to us and that they can change that by going to the private sector.

      People should not be allowed to garnish rich fortunes off the back of people who are struggling. People should not be receiving lucrative benefits packages when their income is derived from people who are cancelling theirs. If your income is derived from the volunteer actions of happy and satisfied customers, you should be able to earn as much as you please and do with it as you please. However, if that income is derived from mandatory payments forced by threat of jail, then no, you do not have the right to bargain for pay and benefits that could never be afforded by the public you get that income from.

      It is morally wrong!

      • Darcy Heyd, Michigan says:

        Is there a "Like" button on this blog? Very well said…! I can remember working as a temporary through Kelly Services in college and I absolutely loved getting placed on State Jobs…they paid the most and I did the least amount of work (funny how your work ethics change when you are actually paying for everything) The terrible thing is…that I worked for the Michigan Department of Labor and the cubicles were filled with undereducated workers playing solitair on their pc – take 15 min. extra breaks and 10 and 2 and leaving early…I quickly learned what a waste of tax payers money the whole set-up was…complete waste…!!!! I saw it first hand…disgusted me…!

    10. West Texan says:

      Collective bargaining is neither a right or a privilege, it is rather a business arrangement. In Wisconsin's case an exploited one. The employer promises to compensate an employee an agreed upon amount and/or benefits for a defined job. Unions are simply parasitical to this process as most states do have labor laws.

    11. Jessie says:

      Neither are quality health care, and housing.

    12. Brad, Detroit, MI says:

      Health care is also not a right, yet liberals and progressives go prancing around claiming it is . . .

      My favorite analogy to health care not being a right is picking any trained profession, let's say – a plumber – who must be compensated for their time and effort. Nobody is going to run around holding a sign up that says – "Good Plumbing is a right !" – are they ? So, why hold up signs that say Health Care is a right ? Last time I checked, doctors, nurses and staff aren't free . . . .

      Collective bargaining is just a union tactic to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer thru politicians that they backed with their dues. It's funny how the Democrats used the phrase "Elections have consequences" when they win, yet moan and complain when it doesn't go their way. Typical.

    13. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      I really don't understand why HF, and most every news group in this country

      quote anything the New York Times reports. How many times must they

      lie and distort the truth before we all recognize everything they report should be used as liners on the floor of pet cages. To use a line from a movie, "what would you expect from a pig but a grunt".

    14. Charlene Saphiloff says:

      I, as a United States citizen, am tired of all this foolishness!! Our entitlement mentality is killing our country. When you have a room full of children and you give them candy everyday, they then expect it as a way of life. One day you all the candy has run out, and you have to say, "no candy"…the objections to that can't be realized as anything else but…you have taken my rights away!! Entitlement mentality!! There is a big difference between rights and privileges…this statement is lost do to all the rhetoric as it is in the "Collective Bargaining" debate. I truly believe at one time the unions did have the workers of our great nation close to their hearts in trying to protect them. Now it is all about the power and money that the unions have and where that money goes and how it is collected. I believe that all citizens have the responsibility to take on their share of the cost of their life.

      I recently saw a news clip about Obama's' auntie and how she uses the system because she says it is her "RIGHT" to take from the government for her living expenses (health, food, housing, etc) even though she is in this country illegally.

      Gov. Walker understands that this mentality can't go on….all that he is asking is for you to understand "rights vs privileges"…

    15. Larry Welch, Idaho says:

      Hey, Dave, try using the dictionary to resolve your confusion over rights and privileges.

    16. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I was at the Department of Highways when the Right to Drive became a Privelege. The creep of Official Definition has been done like this all along, driving used to be a Right. The argument was hot back then, driving was the Right of Transportation, adjunct to Pursuit Of Happiness and Commerce. Driving meant survival! It was "Prospective Harm" versus "Habias Corpus" and it was "Double Jeopardy" to punish both kinds of Damages, statistical and real. But the argument that won was the Statistical 'proof' of Accidents, Deaths and Injuries. Never mind these Deaths are somebody else's Crime, they are pasted on you like the best Thought Crime ever dreamed up.

      For some crazy reason nobody wants to talk about Thought Crime in Traffic Law. Nobody wants to take up this Liberty Crusade, Thought Crime came into Law in America via Traffic Law! There is a gigantic Protection Racketeering going on in Traffic Law and the local Governments are hopelessly dependent on it for Billions in Revenues for Crimes that have no Victim! In the early Seventies Driving was 'defined' as a Privilege. The History of Thought Crime in America begins in Traffic Law! I was there! In Policy Planning as an Intern.

      Collective Bargaining is not a Right and the Unions have abused the Privilege! It should be taken away on this logic. No group may Bankrupt their Government! That would be Treason.

    17. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I think the 9th & 10th amendments would or should prevent Congress from outlawing items such as computers, cars, cigarettes, etc., but allow the states to do so, if they thought the people wanted them outlawed.

      Furthermore, states should be able to legalize collective bargaining, curtail it, as Wisconsin seeks to do, or ban it completely with no fear of intrusion from the federal government since it is not an enumerated right.

    18. Bobbie says:

      thought crime in traffic? Like when we were at a left turn lane and there was a car so close to our back end, when the green arrow came up it lasted for two cars ahead of us, we went through on a yellow and the influence of the car behind us, that turned out to be a police car that pulled us over claiming we obstructed the traffic? There was no traffic and he was behind us going through a red! we did nothing unlawful and the truth didn't win in court…

      America lost integrity!

    19. Thomas C says:

      Unions were formed to "force" companies to do the right thing at the beginning of the industrialization era. You know, do away with child labor, fire hazards, 16 hour work days, etc. Now, Unions are strong-arm associations to force companies to bend to their will or else.

    20. Mario, Temecula, CA says:

      While I do agree that collective bargaining is not a right, the analogy to driving is a really bad one. You absolutely have a right to drive, its built into your right to a peaceable journey and your right to travel. It matters not your choice of mode of transportation.

      That's the problem with licensing and the overall state of licensure. Force it on the people's natural law rights long enough and most everybody forgets that its a right to begin with.

      And of course its all done in the name of safety. Well, think about it, for all those who insist you should have "training" (said with sarcastic emphasis), and a permit, followed by a license to drive…for all those measures car accidents still take more lives than guns every year (appr. 40K cars to appr. 30K guns with about half of those being suicides). So much for "training" and licensing to keep the people safe. Oh, and you lost your rights to freely travel to boot.

      To summarize what did Ben Franklin said again, purchase safety with your liberty, and you end up with neither.

      Now, who wants to take on their state to eliminate drivers licenses and the DMV?

    21. Greg Ransom says:

      If it is a right, taxpayers have a right to collectively bargain their tax bill, and tax strike if they don't like it.

    22. Jeff, Pennsylvania says:

      Here's another question you'll never see in a NYT poll: Does Freedom of Association also mean freedom FROM association?

    23. Joan of Argghh!, SC says:

      Someone needs to tell NPR as well. They've been pushing the term, "human rights" onto this for the last two weeks non-stop. They've also been trying very hard to make it look like the public sector employees are the most over-qualified and comparatively underpaid minority in the nation.

      The poll is actually quite useful. It tells the Left everything they want to know: their tactics are working.

    24. John, Arizona says:

      What the union-supporting commenters above fail to recognize is that collective bargaining, as implemented through laws, is a special privilege granted to unions. It empowers them to force other employees to join the union, pay dues to people they never voted for, and work by the rules those people negotiate.

      Anyone who thinks the form of collective bargaining we have in the US is a right clearly is confused about the meaning of the term/

      Even worse, collective bargaining with a government is anti-democratic. A group of people get together and force the elected representatives of the people into all sorts of rules and concessions the people did not want. Public sector unions should be illegal. Public sector employees have the right to collectively assemble. They have the right to not show up for work – along with the risk of being sanctioned for doing so. They do NOT have the right to force others to join the union; they do not have the right to strike without being fired.

      I am tired of our "public servants" becoming parasites on the people they 'serve."

      We need to fire a whole bunch of them, starting with those who strike. Those teachers in Wisconsin who shut down schools with their phony sick-outs should be prosecuted for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. I'm sure there are plenty of parents who could do a better job, anyway.

    25. Luigi, A right to wo says:

      I understand the potential utility of a union protecting employees from an overzealous, penny pinching private corporation that may not be worried about safety, profit etc. From whom does the union protect public employees?? We, the people??

      Secondly, after a union helps get someone elected, they sit down with that very same person to negotiate. How does that pass the smell test?

      Finally, if the union is really concerned for employees and believes there is a need for them, how do they justify mandatory membership and confiscatory dues??

      Progressives, talk amongst yourselves and get back to me when you can answer these question in a calm, non-confrontational manner, free from small minded personal attacks. It would make me feel better just to know you are able do so.

    26. Mark Arnold, St. Lou says:

      In Missouri, collective bargaiing is a constitutional right. Article I, section 29, Mo. Const. The text of the constitution does not distinguish between public and private unions and the Missouri Supreme Court has held that it covers both.

    27. Denan Knight says:

      Izzy Shepherd on March 2nd, 2011 at 5:19am said:

      "Last I heard, the US was a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

      Go read Article 23, which the US agreed to abide by…"

      I suggest *you* read Article 23.(4). There is no right to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is not the same thing as the right to form and join a union.

      Article 23. (In its entirety).

      * (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

      * (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

      * (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

      * (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

      And for the sake of discussion, read Article 7. Then ask yourself why union members are provided protections under the law that non-union members are not.

      Case in point, in the Chrysler and GM matters the preferences and privileges given to unions (their membership) that were not made available to non-union parties that were outside anything covered by collective bargaining agreements. Had Chrysler and GM been allowed to go through the bankruptcy process, the legal system would not have provided those unions with rights/privileges outside what would be called for under bankruptcy law.

    28. James Dixon, WV says:

      > Driving, on the hand, is privilege.

      Incorrect. Driving on the public roads is a privilege. Driving itself is not. You can drive on your own land without a license.

      And a very good argument could be made that driving on the public roads should be a right and not a privilege. But that's another topic entirely.

    29. Rick Supplee, Colora says:

      Problem is collective bargaining is not a right. It is a privilege. This is a great point in that unions need to get off the place of thinking they own the right to push around taxpayers and demand excess pay and benefits. Rather, collective bargaining should be taken away and management point workers toward performance as a reason to get higher pay and benefits. Somehow this obvious metric of the private sector is lost on public employee unions.


    30. Luke, Virginia says:

      It's simple: That rights are granted by God, and, as such, are inalienable is self evident.

      Everything else is a privilege.

    31. bob kimball palmyra says:

      i work for the post office and people do not have to join the union to work there. i would not be opposed to letting state employees decide whether or not they want to join the union. you should not be forced to join any group you dont want. I also would like to say collective bargaining is a right signed into law in the 30s. blame Kennedy in the 60s for giving the same thing to public workers.

    32. Sebastian says:


      Article 23 establishes the right to join a trade union: it doesn't establish that anything a trade union wants to negotiate over shall as a matter of rights be subject to collective bargaining. In addition, requirements that you MUST join a union to be, e.g. a teacher in Wisconsin, are in no sense required by this article. So you could break the unions entirely, make them voluntary, remove their ability to use the state government to withhold union dues from paychecks (make them collect union dues directly from their members), and still not violate this requirement. All of this would be much worse than what the Wisconsin governor is proposing.

      Also, Article 23 (2), the general welfare clause, could obviously trump Article 23. For example, the courts have often found that police don't have the right to go on strike, although they can belong to unions.

      Anyway, you're implying that the right to join a union means that you lose the right to NOT join a union. I would disagree.

    33. Tom, CA says:

      California public sector workers are NOT overpaid:

      "Now, a scientific attempt to go beyond the outrage seeks to answer the question: Are California public employees overpaid compared to private sector employees?

      The short answer offered by researchers Sylvia A. Allegretto and Jeffrey Keefe in their report for UC Berkeley's Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics is 'no.'

      Taking data that includes educational levels, age, wage and benefits from state and local employees and from private sector employees, their study is able to compare apples to apples, in a sense, to arrive at several interesting and important findings. One is that public employees wages are actually 7 percent less on average than comparable private sector workers. And that is one factor to take into account when looking at benefits, which are more generous for public employees, Allegretto and Keefe find. But even when taking those benefit differences into account, they say, total compensation for public and private employees is similar.

      They do find some very important differences, though, between public and private sector workers that do bear on earnings. Public employees are older than private sector employees and they have a higher proportion of women—55 percent women compared to 40 percent in the private sector, and women typically earn less than men. Also, public sector workers are more highly educated than those in the private sector, with 55 percent having a four-year college degree, compared to 35 percent in the private sector. And that degree is worth higher wages for private sector employees, the researchers find."

      from http://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/pulse-of-the-bay/

    34. Forrest says:

      I heard a local news bimbo on the radio quote this same New York Times poll as evidence of public support for the striking teachers union. I knew it was wrong since every credible pollster has found it to be just the opposite. It's all about maintaining the left wing narrative.

    35. John, Seattle says:

      Of course collective bargaining is a right. It is a statutory right enforced by the power of the state — just as all other recognized rights are enforced. If it isn't enforced by the power of the state it isn't a right.

      I think what you mean to say, is that it isn't a fundamental right.

      Having a job with the state is a privilege — or perhaps a curse from what I hear…

    36. Shannon Love says:

      Collective bargaining is definitely a privilege and not a right. Further, it is a privilege in the original sense of the word meaning "private law". Privileges were originally extended by autocrats to a favored few who where not required to follow the laws that other people were. Collective bargaining is that kind of privilege.

      The privilege granted by collective bargaining is the legal authority to dictate to other people where, when and how they work and for what reward. Is the legal authority to FORCE people into an association. It is the legal authority to FORCE people to pay dues and the legal authority to FORCE those others to work only for the contracts the forced association approves of. It is the legal authority to create a monopoly and to FORCE all consumers to pay the prices set by the forced association.

      The formation of a labor monopoly is the entire goal of a union and the only way that you can form a monopoly is to exclude competitors. The privilege of collective bargaining does this by FORCING everyone who wants to work into a union whether they believe that to be in their individual best interest or not. Unions are the systematic violation of the freedom of free association.

      Right-to-Work states destroy unions simply by refusing to FORCE people to choose between having a job and joining the union. Without that FORCE, the union cannot form a monopoly so it cannot extort above market prices for the products the union produces. When unions have to operate in the free-market just like everyone else they evaporate.

      If anyone else where to engage in the forced association and monopoly practices of unions, they would be thrown in jail. The legal authority to violate the rights of others is the greatest privilege ever granted.

    37. Tom NC says:

      Hee — PATCO

    38. Mike, Illinoisd says:

      Let's see: the government workers' unions negotiate with other government officials for their salaries and other benefits. Then, the unions use member dues to financially support the election campaigns of those same government officials, to ensure that the next round of negotiations goes even easier.

      Sounds perfectly fair to me. The only people who get screwed are the non-union taxpayers.

    39. Hyphenated American says:

      "Freedom of association allows employees to come together and by working together, force collective bargaining on an employer, and win respect."

      It's now the time for the taxpayers to come together and by working together force the government workers to give up unions and win respect.

      Freedom of association goes both ways.

    40. joe in nc says:

      Doctors are prohibited from unionizing.

      How can such a central right be denied?

      When it is not a right?

    41. Joaeph Gause says:

      Leon: I agree with you about driving. It should be considered a right to transportation, enjoyed by the pioneers who traveled west in their wagons,

      and on their horses to settle the West and establish a new life, while carrying

      arms for self protection in a lawless environment. Yes, there is a distinction

      between a right and a priviligege. But we should be careful what we allow

      elected and appointed officials to declare a "privilege". Driving is a right, but

      states have a right for you to show qualifications, for safety reasons only. In

      this case, the driver's "license" should be titled "driver's qualification".

    42. Frew, Houston, TX says:

      A right may not be taken from a person through the passage of a law but only by amendment of the Constitution. A privilege can be abolished or modified by the legislature. Collective bargaining was establish through statutory law and can be abolished the same way. If public sector unions continue to use collective bargaining to soak the already broke people and win benefits and wages far better than what their peers in the private sector, who outnumber them, can get then they are like to lose collective bargaining through the passage of new laws.

    43. Sebastian says:


      "Also, Article 29 (2), the general welfare clause, could obviously trump Article 23. For example, the courts have often found that police don’t have the right to go on strike, although they can belong to unions. "

      is what I meant to say. Sorry.

    44. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » CONN CARROLL: You know, collective bargaining isn’t actually a right….

    45. Ryan Waxx, USA says:

      Article 23 doesn't say what you want it to say, buddy.

      It says people have the right to form and join unions. It says NOTHING about government being forced to hire only union workers, nor does it say anything about government being required to confiscate union dues out of paychecks.

      In fact, most union-busting tactics don't directly affect someone's right to form or join a union.

      This should be common sense to anyone with such a sense. After all, it's not like the U.N. arrested Ronald Reagen after he ordered the ATC's back to work.

    46. Bohemond, Richmond says:

      "Freedom of association allows employees to come together and by working together, force collective bargaining on an employer, and win respect."

      Oh, rot. The "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for redress of grievances" does not in any way, shape or form imply some "right" to form a price-fixing cartel, which is all a union is. It is in fact a true monopoly in the old mercantilist sense, when royal governments gave groups of favored subjects the exclusive right to provide a good or service.

    47. Seerak says:

      Good God, I just cringe when primitives attempt to grapple with the nature of individual rights.

      First: Collective bargaining IS a right. The trick, is that it is not a fundamental right, but a derivative, an expression, of the actual right. That actual right is the right to bargain individually, a.k.a. freedom of association. If certain individuals choose to form a group, designate a representative, and declare that they will only negotiate and form agreements as a group, that is their prerogative, and right. If other individuals prefer to negotiate for themselves, that is their right also. The essence of this freedom, is the freedom to set terms of association for oneself, and to accept or reject such terms as set by others.

      By the same token, however, employers have the right to refuse those terms and/or to negotiate alternative arrangements. That is *their* prerogative, sanctioned and protected by precisely the same fundamental right.

      Voting is not a "right". That is properly understood as a privilege reserved to the citizens of a nation — Americans, in this context. As voting is contingent upon citizenship, a State-granted status, it cannot be a "right". Rights belong to human beings as such ("granted by their creator", for the religious), and are not a gift from the State.

      Driving, on the other hand, IS a right, when understood under a proper understanding of individual rights, where individuals act by right, but government by permission. Mike from Wichita gets close to this fact, but gets sidetracked by one of the Founder's errors: the notion that the federal government alone should be constrained by the principles of the 9th and 10th. (Hint: you do not fight tyranny by localizing it to the states. A government that can control whatever it wants, is by definition not a limited government.)

    48. Pa Deuce says:

      Dave @ 0546 hours -

      Use of a computer is well within the Freedom of speech and freedom of association clauses within the Constitution. What is scary is that Democrats want the ability to throttle the Internet like China and the Middle East dictatorships do.

    49. Pa Deuce says:

      Izzy @ 0519 hours

      To be exact it is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sponsored by the UN.

      Article 23 reads in its entirty:.

      "(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

      (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

      (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

      (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."

      I cannot tell if you are arguing for against collective bargaining which is the subject of this article, but collective bargaining is not mentioned in the Declaration.

    50. Alec Rawls says:

      I think the proper statement is that collective bargaining is a crime (a moral crime, something that is wrong in itself). We outlaw price-setting collusion by all other sellers and buyers of goods and services, and it should be illegal for sellers of labor as well, ALL sellers of labor, not just public employees, though there are additional reasons to bar public employees from this inherently criminal behavior.

    51. John, Texas says:

      Simple question:

      How can something be a right if I am forced to exercise it. i.e. If I am forced to belong to a union to keep my job, do I really have a right to collectively bargain? I can't choose to not belong to the union and not collectively bargain. With other rights, I can choose to exercise them or not, without any issues. i.e If I choose to not speak, or not assemble, or to be indifferent to religion, those would be with in my rights, but I cant choose to not collectively bargain. So at that point, I would say that it can't be a right.

    52. materialist, califor says:

      Come on, Mike. You are out of touch in Wichita Falls. Haven't you read the latest court decisions?

      It appears that, since computers are articles of commerce, the fed is constitutionally entitled to forbid you to purchase one. OK, that goes back to the properly cowed Roosevelt court. But the most recent decision takes this leftist reasoning to its inevitable, illogical conclusion: the decision not to buy a computer is also an act of commerce. So the feds can not only forbid you to buy one, they can require you to buy one. O brave new world that has such people in it!

    53. Ryan says:

      Dave, part of the reason the government could remove collective bargaining as a privilege rather than a right is that they GRANTED it in the first place. They didn't 'Grant you' the privilege to the computer, so to speak.

      And if you are going to have antitrust laws against companies I see no reason there shouldn't be the same against unions.

    54. Michael, Central Flo says:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Collective Bargaining is not a certain unalienable Right.

    55. wormme, Oak Ridge TN says:

      Of course collective bargaining is a right! And since it is, the Bloggers' Union Guild is mandatory.

      Resistance is futile.

    56. GeekWithA.45, USA says:

      I see an amazing lack of clarity in discussions of this topic, largely having to do with the fraudulent way in which the terms of the discussion are framed.

      The author of this piece gets us most of the way there.

      The People absolutely have the right to peaceably Assemble for any darned purpose they see fit, including explicit attempts to manipulate the market price for labor through closing the market and manipulating the supply.

      This does not, however, create any moral duty for anyone to contract with them, especially when better terms are available from other sources of labor.


      Sidebar: Unions are thus inherently not a free market concept. Interestingly, without the artificial legislative support, the free market usually wins out, as when union demands outstrip what the market can legitimately support, it creates a motive for individual workers to defect from the union's closed market and return to the free market.


      The issue isn't about "collective bargaining rights" or freedom of association at all, it is about freedom of contract, a concept that took several knives in the back during the FDR administration, a concept which is now so lost that few people can actually see it.


      The other bit I'd like to address as being fraudulently framed is the premise that driving is a "privilege". While that ship has sailed far too long ago, it's a premise worth examining and rejecting.

      A better framework is to understand that driving is a right, derived from our fundamental right of travel, but like all rights, is subject to the axiomatic condition that it be wielded in such a manner as to cause no harm to others. From this, we can derive ordinary regulation of traffic. Furthermore, it is also conditioned on the axiomatic principle that you are individually responsible for any harm that you may cause, from which we can derive a requirement of showing some level of financial ability to pay for likely damage, one possible form of which is insurance. In fact, some states actually get that part right, in that they don't demand "insurance", but in that they demand "financial responsibility", which potentially comes in the form of large amounts of money being put into escrow against potential claims.

      Framing driving as a privilege really just was an intellectually slothful way to avoid legitimate questions concerning prior restraint on the exercise of what is actually a right.

    57. Denver says:

      Bring back the Hatch Act and enforce it on the Several States.

    58. John, Albany, NY says:

      Ed from San Jose says "The right to bargain collectively was conferred on Americans through the passage of a series of federal laws many years ago. This right is an important part of democracy. It is unfortunate that writers and politicians (whose views are more Fascist than Republican) are seeking to subjugate American people to the greed of most members of the Forbes 400 and their beneficiaries. This is rapidly resulting in the extermination of America’s middle class."

      Actually Ed, let's not confuse constitutional Rights as was the author's point, with "rights" (small "r") that are conferred through legislation. The Railway Labor Act of 1926 did indeed require employers to collectively bargain, and that "right" theorically can be changed or legislated away, as is not the case with constitutional "Rights", at least not without a constitutional amendment. (Let's not forget federal workers do not have that "right" o collectively bargain!) Whether it an "important part of democracy" as you say is debatable, but not really germain to the conversation.

      The argument is not about private unions, it's about public unions. Private unions have an adversarial relationship between management and labor that serves as a check and balance to the "greed" of either party, but public unions have no such balance. They have developed a symbiotic relationship between the bargaining parties, i.e. the unions and the politicians that they contribute to to keep them in power. That is how the salaries, benefits, and pensions of public workers have grown substantially and progressively eclipsed those in the private sector where economic market forces serve to keep them in check., This collaboration has transformed the "public worker works for the taxpayer" relationship into "the taxpayer works for the public worker", and if the middle class is indeed being "exterminated", its because the middle class taxpayer has become enslaved to the collaboration.

    59. Cal Damage, Californ says:

      First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      So, at least for employees of the government, this is an actual "right." Period. The law that Wisconsin's Republicans are trying to pass, and most of the others (see 'Kasich') are therefore unconstitutional.

      PS: Bonus question: why is it OK for capital to assemble for financial leverage, but it's awful for human being to do it? Remember, the only two generators of wealth are capital and labor. Why are conservatives so in favor of artificial constructs and so against actual humans? Just askin'

    60. Pingback: Lies, Damned Lies, and the New York Times « Commentary Magazine

    61. Sandra Spellman,MN says:

      In the American past, unions arbitrated in manufacturing factories, essentially for humane rights in working conditions, hours, and pay. Eventually laws were passed, whereby a citizen could simply resort to a lawyer to settle a grievance.

      When the large mechanical factories with their associated unions changed over to a more electronic commercial demand; some of these factories were not able to make the transition, while other factories did. This left some union leaders without business and the legal system gave much more power for rights in matters of fair employment practices, lessening the gross employee need for union-block action. Union mgmt became more and more obsolete.

      I think based on the past track record of industry and law, that obsolete union practices have driven union bosses to the public sector to find a niche. As a parent who has raised minor children who were students, I think that schools are not the place for these obsolete union managers. The law itself is sufficient; and teachers are supposed to be holding Masters Degrees as a requirement for employment; which should prove that they are articulate enough to state their need; without running a blockade against whom ? The parents of the kids? Are they running this union action against the taxpayers? Don't the taxpayers vote? Are our voting rights in jeopardy by unions in public niches? I see a problem with this mix. That is the circumstance that striking teachers would bring about by their action of using a union format. Most parents/guardians work. When a child must stay home because their teacher is on strike, the parent must stay home. Some parents can't afford a babysitter and can't afford to miss 1 day of work; let alone a week or 2 or 3 while the teachers are out. The taxpayer also can't afford a government-subsidied babysitting service for these circumstances; as this would represent a whole new sub-culture that does not produce income to pay for service received. The problems begin to pile up. Unions don't belong in the minor children mix. In general public jobs do not produce financial returns/profit. Creating public jobs therefore throws the saddle on the taxpayer who is already beleagered by the trickle-down effect of everybody's taxes being factoed into the cost ratio of supplies to live. I just want to encourage people to think about how to work this out. Do the teachers really need assistants and helpers to grade the students' homework? How can the teacher know the student's work if someone else who does not have a Master's Degree is grading papers. Figure thiese things out for Yourselves. Thank You for Your kind consideration. S.S.

    62. John, Albany, NY says:

      Re: Cal Damage- Wow! Trying to transmogrify the constitutional right to assemble into a right of public unions for collective bargaining? The logical gymnastics for that one are impressive! And whatever you may believe, be assured that I for one have never know any conservative who was against "actual humans", since that would be self-defeating in its essence. Unless of course you are arguing that conservatives aren't human; if that's the case, a reasonable discussion of the topic probably isn't salvageable.

      As a conservative, I don't have a problem with private unions, as long as any consequences of bad collective bargaining agreements (be they the fault of the union, management, or both) are allowed to play out, and the parties are not "bailed out" by the taxpayer (e.g. GM). Nothing in the private sector is "too big to fail" in my opinion.

      The upshot of the conservative argument re public unions is that the process is "rigged" as it stands now. The unions and the politicians do not have competing interests; they collude to prosper. (It would be analogous to a private union collectively bargaining with a managment official who is simultaneously getting paid off by the union to make decisions advantageous for the union.) And public unions haven't endured the consequences of bad bargaining; they've just been able to pass them on to the taxpayer– until now, when the taxpayer is tapped out and as such the consequences are so dire that drastic action has to be taken. The unfortunate fact for the unions is that tax revenue is just not limitless.

    63. Sigivald, Oregon says:

      Dave: So long as taking away computers is done under an enumerated power and does not materially prevent the exercise of an actual right, yes, Congress could do exactly that.

      Congress could slap a 50000% excise tax on all computer imports and interstate shipments, or ban such entirely, without a hitch, under the Commerce Clause.

      (It would be difficult in the extreme to try and justify a ban on using existing ones under the Commerce Clause, but one could certainly shut down the internet, as it is inherently interstate and, even if you're not using it to do commerce, the companies running it are.

      To ban computers per se would require an amendment ala Prohibition.)

      It would be stupid, and it'd never be stood for by the electorate, but it is absolutely within Congress' legal power, within the limits described above.

      (The only legal objection I can see is that these days computerized communication is central enough to communication that there might be First Amendment grounds for preventing such a ban.

      But it's not inherent to the Constitution that Congress can't just ban things that we all think it's stupid and pointless for them to ban, so long as it sticks to the enumerated powers.)

      Cal: "Assembly and petition" are not "collective bargaining". Every individual has the right to petition, and they have the right to assemble in peaceful protests for the same. If you insist on maintaining that somehow they're the same, show us the work.

      They have the "right" to "strike" in the same sense that I have the right to "not show up at work" – they have the "right" to get fired if they do it.

      They have no right at all to force others to pay union dues or join a union in order to work.

    64. Don Rodrigo, VA says:

      Collective bargaining is only an acquired "right" within the context of a business arrangement made between unionized employees and their employer. Technically it could probably apply to employees not belonging to a specific union if an employer were willing to agree to it.

      Nevetheless it is not a right in the senes of those enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. If it were such a right as those, then all Ameicans and legal resident aliens would have to be automatically conferred a right to collective bargaining at any place of employment. That notion would be ludicrous on the face of it, and the fact that less than a quarter of American workers have collective bargaining arrangements (and of varying requirements) dramatizes the fact that it is not a genuine, full-fledged right.

    65. teapartydoc, Indiana says:

      The last post by Cal Damage is so wrongheaded, one barely knows where to start. First, collective bargaining has nothing to do with free speech or the ability to petition the government for redress of grievances. These are individual-not collective-rights, and the amendment refers to actions taken by congress and not to actions taken by states.If there is some clause in the constitution that enables people to achieve higher incomes and guaranteed pensions by intimidating acts of thuggery, I have yet to find it.

    66. JLP1947-MARYLAND says:

      No one would build anything in this country with a contractual agreement, but for some reason when a group of people form a group to negotiate a agreement they are the bad guys.Collective Bargaining is a orderly way of establishing rules etc. forwork. Many states do not allow economic issues on the table.

      The Wisconsin issue is a bunch of theives stole all the money and now cannot meet their contractual obligations that were agreed to in good faith. So blame it on the union, stop them and everything will be fine. NO that is not right.

      Your going to get old and your going to get sick what can the average worker do to prepare for this coming event,

    67. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

      And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

      And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

      And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

      Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

      And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all day idle?

      They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

      So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

      And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

      But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

      And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

      Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

      But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

      Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

      Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

      So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen."

      Matthew 20: 1 – 16 ( printed in red ink)

    68. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

      Thomas Jefferson

    69. James, Los Angeles says:

      Years ago, I worked for an Alarm Co(ADT), which had aquired the Co I was working for. One day a guy (later I learn he was the Shop Steward) comes up to me and ask if I am a member of the CWA(Communication Workers of America). I tell him I am not and he ask when do I plan on joining. When told I had no such plans he says "Do you want to keep working here?" Even now as a county worker and NOT a menber of a union, we are forced to pay dues. These dues are titled "Fair share dues" I don't see anything fair about being forced to pay for membership I do not want. Nor do I see fairness in being told "Join or quit"

    70. Ralph Pascoe, Allen, says:

      Inalienable rights as defined by the Constitution of the United States, are God given. All other "rights, privileges or arrangements" are of men and are, therefore, temporary, meaning they can be changed as needed by society by due process such as by properly elected officials.

      Unions are not of the "Inalienable" variety and can be revoked, modified, limited, curtailed or truncated as deemed necessary.

      The proper route for unions is to bring forth their arguments in subsequent elections and engage in civil debate. If they can win a majority without resorting to bribery or voter fraud or breaking a few heads or knee-caps, then, so-be-it. Any other route is anti-american.

    71. Arnold Lange, Liverm says:

      It has long been my opinion that unions are a necessary evil. Unions can, and have, overstepped their legitimate bounds. On the other hand workers must have the ability to bargain, if they want it. Let's keep the necessary part under control and eliminate the evil part.

      Arnie L.

    72. Mike, Chicago says:

      Having worked in a union for 13 years, I can tell you that they are detrimental to companies and the country.

    73. Edna Joss, Arizona says:

      I fully support Gov. Walker. Collective bargaining is a tool to give the unions more power than the voters have. By distorting the facts, those in government

      who negotiate with the unions do not have a true understanding of what they are

      giving away and each session the unions are given more power. Gov. Walker needs to stand firm!!

    74. Richard Roach says:

      Why is it that you had to explain what bargaining rights were? Why can't the Republicans explain it? Why couldn't Walker explain this? The Republican party would have a hard time explaining how to get across the street. Unless they wake up and learn how to COMMUNICATE , a la Reagan, they will get nowhere. The Republicans just can't get there collective act together when it comes explaining what they stand for and what the issues, like this one, really are. Maybe the Heritage Foundation can explain that to them. If not Obama will be back for four more horrible years.

    75. Ninth, Suisun City, says:

      Hello Izzy,

      I did look up the 23rd article of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Basically it states that people have a right to work, a just and equitable pay as well as the right to form a union to have their interests represented. Where your implication falls apart is when you cannot work unless you join a union. Now, it is not a right, but an obligation. I am also not interested in the employer, private or public sector having to collect the dues. You want to join a union, take responsibility and pay your own dues.

      Go Governor Walker. Keep to the straight and narrow and the people will be thankful.


    76. Cody, Madison, WI says:

      "I think the writer is too keen to find an anti-union perspective. “Collective bargaining is not a right. It is a privilege.” No, it’s not a right and it’s also not a priveledge, (how patronising) it is like respect, won. Freedom of association allows employees to come together and by working together, force collective bargaining on an employer, and win respect.

      Its also worth noting, any company or organisation which makes people want to join together to form a union is probably not following best practice in the first place! In my experience, the companies who bleat loudest are usually the ones whose corporate social responsibility leaves a great deal to be desired."

      Perfectly said.

    77. Bobbie says:

      for everyone that knows the difference between a "right" and "privilege," God Bless, for those a bit confused, God Bless you to use your God given mind to figure it out.

    78. flataffect, Utah says:

      Anything that you can go to the court to enforce is a right. That is not to say that it's a natural or God-given right. Governments create rights all the time and repeal them, as well. Since every right is also a limit on others to some degree, they ought to be analyzed in those terms.

      In the case of collective bargaining, the benefits of protecting workers from abuse has to be balanced the government's interest in holding down taxes and assuring essential services. Otherwise, the public can be extorted, which is happening right now.

    79. maried, ohio says:

      as the wife of an ohio teacher (NOT A RIGHT TO WORK STATE) I can tell you the union does the good employee no favor. many of their arbitrary rules keep an employee from negotiating what is good for him or his family. a STEP based salary system that makes you lose 5 steps if you move from one school system to another. you know – counldn't have your additional experience and qualifications actually grant you a better salary than someone who is already employed there. no chance to negotiate a higher base salary to totally opt out of their useless health care package. also no chance to opt out of their retirement system. we only wish he could have opted out of both–it is all a pyrmid promise–we would rather save our own retirement and purchase personal health care that is controlled by us.

    80. Betty, Reno, Nevada says:

      I love this Country because we are a Republic, not a Democracy. Our Rights are given From God… not man. We are free to believe as we choose. If someone is affended by that simple truth… so be it. LIve life as you see fit. Yet let others live as they believe. If it is so offensive to someone that another does not agree with tem … and that they feel there is no room to all live in peace and acceptance, than find another Country that you love better and move. But Never, never, try to make those of us who love America change to fit your way of life. We are caring, loving, giving, amazing people which includes all the differences that God made in the human race… We, one by one, would help you find the strength and inner peace to see and live your own American Dream… but don't try to take our's away! America is Special, because of the Love of us Patriots, rich, poor, man, woman, young and old… God has blessed this land.

    81. CJ Cox Tulsa, OK says:

      Forced union membership and forced collection of union dues are coersion.

      No problem with a union membership offering the worker a choice to joiin, but to be forced to join has nothing to do with the worker's job conditions and has everything to do with the union's control over people who literally owe their jobs to the union. You can see how dangerous that is.

    82. Dana, Ohio says:

      My opinion of unions took a downturn when our Teachers' Association was trying to squeeze more money for pay raises out of a district facing financial ruin. It left a bad taste in my mouth. The loudest voices seemed to indicate that it was our God-given right to get more money. Funny, I saw it as "Thank God we all have jobs!"

    83. Rob Etheridge, Frank says:

      Ed in San Jose speaks without getting the facts first. He states the following:

      "Wisconsin’s school system pays below average salaries and would undoubtedly lower salaries if employees had no union protection. Unions are vastly superior to the revolutions that have occurred and are occurring in other nations."

      He is correct in one aspect of Wisconsins' payscale for teachers. Wisconsin teachers do make below the national average for starting pay ($32,049.9 Nationally and $25,222 in state). However, the 21.5% 10-year increase takes Wisconsin teachers above the national average ($43,349 Nationally and $46,390 in state). Wisconsin also ranks 28th in Salary Comfort Index which is better than many states who pay their teachers more (AL $55,553 with an Index of 30 and 10-year increase of only 7.9%, California $59,825 with a 41.6% increase puts them near the bottom with an Index of 44, and Massachusetts $56,369 with a 35.0% 10-year puts them at 34)

      He also states that Unions (Union rallies) are superior to other rallies around the world. I would more liken them to other rallies which are unruly, selfish, and violent. Union rallies are more like them than superior to them. What may be 'best' for the individual is not always best for the group. If our states are out of money, then cutting the budget at all areas has to be done.

      I am studying to take my praxis to teach math and will probably teach in a private school for less pay so that unions are of no worry to me or my job.

      information gathered at http://teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-stat

    84. gail frudakis, lakew says:

      collective bargaining is not a right.


    85. Woodrow Sanders says:

      You sir, have pointed out the obvious, and missed the point entirely. As an American you have the RIGHT to not work (strike) for better working conditions. The idea is to avoid that possibility in strategically important jobs, like teaching. Generally, most prudent administrators try to avoid those types of situations, and not complicate peoples lives with the unnecessary dislocations that follow such actions. Because they have not had strikes, does not mean there will not be any. Shame on you, and all of you who take this position, for the unneeded problems in peoples lives you are bringing.

    86. Lori, Madison says:

      Izzy Shepherd said it all with the reference to the UN's Declaration of Universal Human Rights. Sadly, the provisions contained in this Declaration are not currently enforceable by law, but that does not change the fact that the US signed the Declaration in 1948 and must, apparently, have believed at that time that "everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests." Is our current insistence that collective bargaining is not a "right" an example of hypocrisy or ignorance? I suspect that ignorance must be the answer, since many of us also seem to be ignorant of the fact that "taxpayers" and "public employees" are not different groups of people….

    87. zaptoid says:

      More people have joined them? Say what now? LMAO

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.