Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bad Ideas

The Gambler of pop song fame knew when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, and when to run. Our union has more of a Right Place, Wrong Time philosophy. I love Dr. John, but we desperately need a new approach.

Perhaps the best idea the Unity patronage mill has run down the pike lately is that of a coalition of municipal workers. There's nothing quite like a united front to stare down union-busting, billionaire-welfare fan Mike Bloomberg, and his satanic cohort, Joel Klein.

However, when Unity finally unveiled it, there were some glaring flaws. It's great that they've managed to organize twenty unions. However, the list was more notable for those it excluded, like NYPD, FDNY, and perhaps most significantly, DC37, whose willingness to work for a pittance set the pattern in the last round of bargaining.

The gaping exclusion of DC37 means they're free, once again, to sell out the entire city, with the blessings of PERB, to whom UFT President Randi Weingarten has repeatedly turned when she couldn't manage to negotiate anything herself.

There are important alliances, like sanitation and 1199. Also included is CUNY's union (I work for CUNY), which has not yet been able to resolve the last round of bargaining, let alone the next. They make the sellouts at Unity look like seasoned pros.

Alas, perhaps that's how they made the list.

Correction: Jonathan informs me CUNY has reached a contract agreement.
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