Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Unions are Not About Workers’ “Rights”

In Obamacare, it was mandated that health insurance companies spend 85% of premiums on care (vs. marketing, profits, and overhead) or else they owe their customers a refund.  So if the same standard was applied to unions, how much of their dues would they have to refund?
For example, according to the most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association — the state’s largest labor union — received $122 million and spent $134 million in 2012. They averaged about $800 from each of their 152,000 members.
According to union documents, “representational activities” (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11 percent of total spending for the union. Meanwhile, spending on “general overhead” (union administration and employee benefits) comprised of 61 percent of the total spending.
The union appears to have spent nearly the entirety, or $119 million of their $122 million in dues, just supporting their leadership  (and various politicians) in grand style.  They actually had to borrow $12 million to do their job of representing their members.
By Obama’s standard of good management (core activity costs = 85% of total customer dues paid) then the union should have taken only $17.4 million from their members, and owe them a $104.6 million refund.
Speaking of unions, I was forced to fork over about $65 in tax dollars over the next 15 years to build two turf stadiums (one with lights) at our two local government high schools – among the richest school districts in the nation. They are only spending about $8 million to build them. Hilariously, in their “mailing” telling me all about the vote (I may have been the only person to vote against it) they said that we should vote yes because much of the money is coming from New York State (so, poorer people around the state funneling money to us to make lavish athletic facilities for rich kids), and also because the amount I am chipping in “amounts to a cup of coffee each year.” That is fu-king appalling. If it is “just” a cup of coffee per year, then pay for the damn things yourselves. More on this in future posts.

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