Teachers’ unions wield enormous clout even in states without collective bargaining, writes RiShawn Biddle in The American Spectator.
Ending forced labor negotiations can weaken the influence of teachers unions. But through the sheer force of campaign war chests, armies of rank-and-file teachers, and strong alliances with other defenders of traditional public education, the NEA and its sister union, the American Federation of Teachers, still retain more than enough influence . . .
Reformers hope abolishing collective bargaining would let them “move toward private sector-style performance management and to ditch degree- and seniority-based pay scales, which have long ago been proven ineffective in improving student achievement,” Biddle writes.
But the NEA and AFT would continue to be major campaign donors, giving them “tremendous clout in state legislatures.”
Teachers’ unions also have the power through donations and campaign workers to elect pro-union school board members. Retired teachers and school administrators — and sometimes those working in neighboring districts — often win election.
School district administrators in Wisconsin fear labor-management relationships will suffer if the unions lose collective bargaining rights, reports Ed Week.
Update: Shrewd collective bargainers, Milwaukee teachers get 74.2 cents in benefits for every $1 in pay, triple the average for private-sector workers, writes Robert Costrell in the Wall Street Journal. The average teacher earns $56,500 in pay and costs the district another $44,000 in health and pension benefits. Like many other Wisconsin school districts, Milwaukee agreed to buy health insurance from a high-priced company created by the teachers’ union.