7/30/09

Public employee unions

The attached article is an interesting read, for several reasons.
To begin with, I can understand the Union's position. The leadership feels it is their primary obligation to protect their constituents. I respect that, if it is the true motivation for taking a litigious path.
The problem I see is that the state is in dire straits. I'm not absolutely sure what happens if a state goes bankrupt, but we are certainly headed there.
This position by the Union leadership actually sends a very powerful position statement to the public that they are absolutely unwilling to try to be a BIG part of the solution. In the business world, leaders who dig their heels in and don't allow the good ideas from their subordinates, or constituents, to rise to the top, are really not leaders at all. They are self interest minded, protecting their own perceived superiority and control, and completely miss the opportunity to improve by drawing on the best and the brightest. That seems to be happening here.
I think that if the Union leaders put the problem squarely in the laps of their hard working constituents, with a clear explanation of the severity of the situation facing the state, they may be very surprised at the incredibly creative, willing responses they would receive as to how best to proceed as part of the solution, as opposed to continuing to be part of the problem. The hard working people of the state would be heroes.
So, I am not being particularly critical of the Unions, as they can make a case for what they are doing, if it is pure. They just are operating with a very retro attitude and are missing some huge opportunities to do some great things.
Thoughts??