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Weekend Quick Hits

And away we go…

Again, It’s All About The Kids

While most of the statewide press is having an orgy of “Oh My GOD!” about the number said to be in Madison today at the protests, a noteworthy thing happened.  Seems the National Education Association, or NEA, is demanding their union member double their payments to the teachers union.

Amid substantial membership losses and a $14 million shortfall in its general operating budget, the National Education Association plans to double each active member’s annual contribution to the national union’s political and media funds.

Currently, $10 of each active member’s NEA dues is allocated to these special accounts. The more than $20 million collected each year is then disbursed to state affiliates and political issue campaign.

Meanwhile, in Labor News I Care About

The NFLPA, which represents all the players on all 32 NFL franchises, is on the verge of decertifying itself as a means to prevent ownership from locking out the players when the current collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3rd.

If the union decertifies, it is no longer a union, and the National Labor Relations Board loses its hold over the NFLPA. The owners are expected to claim the decertification is a sham and challenge it in the NLRB.

But the NFLPA is poised to act this week before it is locked out. It already has obtained unanimous approval from players across the league to decertify, a process it undertook throughout last season and the union’s executive committee reaffirmed that vote this past Tuesday to empower NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to take this action.

The primary reason for decertification would be to file for an injunction that, if granted, would prevent the owners from locking out the players. NFLPA officials and players believe that this could be the only hope to have a full NFL season next year. Furthermore, decertifying as a union prior to the expiration of the CBA would allow NFL players to seek injunctive relief and commence anti-trust action against owners in front of U.S. District Court Judge David Doty, who has had jurisdiction over the current labor agreement since 1993. Owners have attempted unsuccessfully to have Doty removed from jurisdiction and strategically want the CBA to expire to effectively eliminate his authority, a source said.

Players and ownership have been meeting with a federally-appointed mediator in the Washington, DC-area for the better part of the week, but word leaked to sports-talk radio and other NFL insiders is they’re not going anywhere and both sides seem hell-bent on their respective paths.

I’m making no conscious effort to pick a side in this fight, and I think the idea of NFL ownership opening up their books (Only the Packers are legally required to because of their ownership structure) is a worthwhile idea to create trust between two parties.  Of course, when the NBA did this years back, the players claimed ownership was lying.

[BTW, the NBA is bleeding cash.  Teams might actually be contracted.  I’m rooting for the Memphis Grizzles to disappear.]

Once Again the Left Uses Reagan For Their Own Means

Funny, how when faced with a losing fight, suddenly they remember he used to head SAG…wished he got that sort of reference at the Academy Awards the year he died.

You could hear a pin drop at the Kodak Theater when his picture came on the screen.

And by the way “cap,” he’s talking about private trade unions in that video, not the type you love and profess over you AFSCME hack.

Finally, Who Says Unions are Compromising?

I’m sorry, but until I see it, I won’t believe it.  The media, the left, and the unions all say “Concessions are being made.  Concessions are being made.”

Well, where are they exactly?  All we’ve seen in the past few weeks is a flurry of activity from local public employee unions from Madison to Sheboygan and parts elsewhere in the state to hammer out new contracts with their municipalities and locking down their current deals before anything happens on the state level so any hit can’t effect them.  That’s disingenuous.

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