For Washington state public employees, including school teachers, union membership should be voluntary. They need no union protection. They have civil service protection with great retirement and benefits. For injuries, they have Labor and Industries. For risky occupations, such as police, fire and corrections officers, politicians should provide hazardous-duty pay.
School teachers, social workers and others enter public service because of dedication, not money. While taxpayers should provide a living wage to public employees, if these employees want to be rich, they should become lawyers or hedge-fund managers.
Public school teachers only work part-time (summers off, winter breaks and a multitude of holidays) for a full-time salary. Their unions negotiate policies that detract from their occupational goals. School teachers are laid off based on seniority rather than teaching effectiveness. The union claims to support the kids, but during layoffs, they keep incompetent teachers with seniority and lay off effective, newly hired teachers. Where are the angry parents? Where are the angry taxpayers? We only see angry union members when we question these policies.
Mandatory union membership is unnecessary to provide job safety, security or salary, but quitting the union increases take-home pay.
Union bosses and the governor negotiate labor contracts in secret and without taxpayer input. Taxpayers must be represented during negotiations. Politicians are not representing taxpayers as these job furloughs, which are a joke, show.