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  • All Workers--Including Union Workers--Should Be Able to Achieve Rewards

    The Brooklyn Hospital Center wanted to reward its best nurses, so it honored high-performing nurses with a breakfast and gave them $100 gift cards. Unfortunately, the nurses’ union did not approve. They filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and the board forbid the hospital from giving such bonuses again.

    This ruling was unsurprising. The National Labor Relations Act requires unionized companies to bargain over all pay changes. Companies cannot pay individual employees less than the union rate, but they cannot pay them more than the union rate, either. The only surprise was that the Brooklyn Hospital Center thought it could legally pay bonuses.

    Unions usually do not allow companies to reward individual performance. They prefer seniority systems and job classifications that apply to all workers. Such group compensation divorces pay from performance. Most union members get paid a fixed rate, no matter how hard they work. Their employer cannot legally pay them more.

    It is one thing to argue for unions setting a pay floor. But why should unions set a maximum wage? If a worker can earn a raise through hard work, then he should get to keep it.

    Fortunately, Representative Todd Rokita (R–IN) has introduced legislation removing this pay ceiling. The Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act would allow union members to earn performance pay. Unions could not object to individual raises and bonuses, and paying more than the union rate would no longer be an unfair labor practice. The bill would prevent businesses from selectively giving raises to anti-union employees, but it would allow them to reward hard work.

    Many union members would take advantage of this opportunity. Workers earn an average of 6 percent to 10 percent more after companies implement performance-pay systems. For the typical private-sector union member, this would mean a $2,700 to $4,600 raise. Companies pay these raises out of the higher profits that their employees’ greater productivity creates. Instead of labor and management battling over how to divide the economic pie, both sides work together to obtain a larger slice.

    This conservative reform is common sense. The law should not prevent nurses at the Brooklyn Hospital Center—or any other workers—from working hard to get ahead.


    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to All Workers--Including Union Workers--Should Be Able to Achieve Rewards

    1. Capt. A. says:

      Labor unions are nothing more than indirect application of government force. Unions are "price-fixers."
      The seniority system is favored over the merit system and breeds mediocrity and contempt.
      Labor unions are baneful to free enterprise, to individual freedom and liberty. Unions are supporters of egalitarianism.
      If labor unions truly have a better operational business plan over "alleged free enterprise" that their members work for – why don't the capitalize their "own" business plan and show the world just how much better their "collective" performs? Moving offshore from the U.S. is the only answer to negate the government's "force" via the NLRB's centralized compliance system. I did just that – I took my business out of the U.S., 35-years ago (460-employees – I refused to be unionized!). It was simply the very best thing, with never a regret. My airline is run on a merit and VALUE producing system and rewards merit and superior productivity in a salubrious manner. Now that's true freedom and liberty! America is a place … to be from!

      Capt. A.
      Principauté de Monaco
      UTC +2:00 CET

    2. Steve, OH says:

      If this doesn't show someone where union leadership's allegiance and values lie, I don't know what will. These people only care about keeping the union ruling class in power, at the expense of the members they claim to support. If you are in a union, you better watch your back, because you know if push comes to shove, your leaders will shove you under the bus if it means they get to keep their status.

    3. jturning says:

      I work in a union shop for a major telecom with our small office unionized a few years ago by the CWA. So I have seen first hand how they make it about seniority and nothing about performance. As long as you aren't in trouble you get the same mediocre raise everyone gets. Before the union I received great raises and bonuses, but not anymore. There is no incentive for an employee to go above and beyond for customers or the company other than personal ethics. In many union environments going above and beyond will actually have other employees discourage you as you're making them look bad.

      And to make matters worst the CWA uses the worst Marxist rhetoric to fire the employees up to back whatever their play is, and they just voted to strike at my location as contract negotiations continue. They are using class warfare to say the corporation is making enough money to eat the increased medical costs threatening to not show up for work to demand in effect a high raise. I try to reason with coworkers until I'm blue in the face. I gave the union a chance, but after seeing what they're about I resigned and love to tell the truth about them in the office so they know where I stand. Here's a great example of their classless behavior, they have these little signs up with CWA propaganda in the cubes and added a red round sticker that has "WTF" with small print underneath that says "Where's the Fairness."

      • someone says:

        I know what you are talking about. I'm not saying I agree with everything the union are doing, but I don't think every company can serve the public better w/o union, especially large company & corporation. I can understand why some people would say union system doesn't work. Well, true enough but for large corporation, even w/o union, their system don't work either.
        Say, w/o union and employee are graded per performance. It sound great and all, but the true is, it doesn't work. It never works. In a perfect world, it sound absolutely amazing, but in reality it just doesn't works. Grading by performance usually done in one of the two ways. One is subjective review by your immediate supervisor. And we all know how many time we have heard about the boss that abuse their power or the sex scandal, for every one we heard on the news, there probably 10 times more we haven't heard of. The other grading system is usually set by rules or set of numbers which disregard many of the environmental factors. I have been on such system, and when I asked how they came up with those numbers as a standard, well he couldn't tell me. But yes the company have no problem pull up those numbers out of the place where the sun doesn't shine and expect their employees to meet those numbers.

        I don't know much about how the cell phone company works, but from what I understand in general technology suppose to make things cheaper. We can buy a computer today at a fraction of the cost of the computer 10 years ago and the computer today can run at about 100 times faster than computer 10 years ago. In the US, we have 4 major cell companies, AT&T and Verizon have union employees, Sprint doesn't and I don't know about T-Mobile. I don't know about you, but I can tell you that my cell phone bill never get any cheaper over the years. It's getting more expensive actually regardless of whether the cell phone company have the union workers or not.

        When we talk about very very big company & corporation, especially the one that dominate the market they all tend to abuse their power and simply buy their way in. Make a new law if they have to, to make something legal or illegal in their favor. When it's companies that big we are talking about, union is the least you should be worry about.

    4. BobMark says:

      More union shop employers should offer bonuses, just to make the union bosses say that the workers can't have them. Can you think of a better way to highlight the difference between collectivism and economic freedom to those workers? Plus, since the union has to squash the payments, it doesn't even cost the company any money. Double bonus!

    5. Bobbie says:

      Isn't that funny!? The company can't even freely show their appreciation for the work of the workers because the union won't let them? How egregious! People, unions are destroying businesses in America backed by government authority!

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