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Thread: Are You A Union Man Or Union Woman? [Temp 2]

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Are You A Union Man Or Union Woman? [Temp 2]

    Last night while Consuming beverages with other area planners and city staff at a local establishment, :cheers: there was talk about how some other cities have union employees... some of us had been in a union before we started to work for our city, but none of us had anything good to day about it.

    What are your views on unions?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Never been a part of one. I can see where they were useful way back when but it seems more and more now they are just useless and cause more problems.

    Im not so sure about gov'mt paper pushers being in unions, unsettles me in some way.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I am part of a CBU....essentially a union. Support it, and always have supported unions (comes from growing up in a union family).
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    We're a mixed-bag here. Cops, fire, communications, sanitation and street departments are unionized with full collective bargaining powers. Wastewater, animal control, parks/rec and administrative staff are non-bargaining. This has created two very distinct classes of employees. The well-paid and well-benefitted union employees and the rest of us bums.

    I have been anti-union all my life owing to my father's experiences with unionization. Too long a story for here and now. But since management will always try to f**k with labor, I'm finding myself wishing there was a union that would go to bat for us bums. It's especially true when I think about the fact that the council is balancing the budget on our backs while granting 5% raises to bargaining employees. :elguapo:
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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I was a member of the United Food and Commercial workers union when I worked at a supermarket over the summer. They would take out $7 and some change each week, regradless of how many hours one worked. I made $5.75/hr w/ no benefits. I suppose it did something for full timers or long term employes but for someone just working a summer job it did nothing. It was simply $7/wk that I would never see again. Meanwhile the competitor (Wegmans) has recently been named America's number one employer. They are non-union.

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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I am management so no, not union. My mom spent 20+ years in a union shop though, and my brother still works there. I think they can be good, sometimes. From my perspective, the union will send out negotiators that know or care little about a local with few employees. These guys will make unreasonable demands and the workers my suffer from it. It can also be hard to fire someone that is really f'ing up and that isn't fair to the good employees that carry the bum's load.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Cyburbian
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    We have a union here but I have not joined. I grew up in a union household so I have seen the good and bad of such things. For many years my father's union understood the connection between the mill's profitability and what they sought in wages. When he was in his 50's the mill was struggling, the younger union members pushed for a strike for higher wages even though it was clear on paper that the mill would fold without concessions or at least a limited pay increase. They voted to strike, the mill shut down operations and a bunch of 50+ old men were left without work. It was over a year before he found a job in another mill(after "retraining" and working pumping gas).

    I do not see the need for unions for professional employees. I do support the union for the non-professional positions but with no ability to take job action even that is a toothless union sucking out dues with limited effectiveness. This past year the service employees went six months without a contract and ultimately got exactly what the town had offered in its first offer well before the contract had expired.
    Planning is much like acting, as my old theater professor used to say, "If you sin, sin boldly, only you know if you are ad libbing." I follow this adage almost daily.

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    Cyburbian
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    I'm a life time member of the Cyburbia slackers union... does that count? :P

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    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    I was a Teamster in college while working as an EMT. Here, there are a few unions but our department is not part of a CBU. Around the end of the year, I did get some mailings from one of the area unions looking to organize the rest of us. Not sure if it would help or be a hinderance. The issue I would have is the whole working only based on your job description. Wouldn't work for me... :owned:
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

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    maudit anglais
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    I've worked as a planner in both union and non-union environments. Although I appreciate the historical role unions have played in getting better working conditions my personal opinion is that they are dinosaurs - but still necessary to some extent in order to prevent labour conditions from sliding back, especially in an age of globalization and outsourcing.

    I had better benefits and working conditions in my non-union gig. We enjoyed flex-time, better health benefits and MERIT pay. Here, labour relations have evolved to the point where the employer does the bare minimum while the union rants and raves about everything under the sun except what employees actually care about. I hate the fact that my union dues go to support organizations that I don't really care to support.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    My family being, small business owners, there has not been any unions in our house, therefore, I have no experience with them. From what I have heard and read I have mixed reviews and opinions. A lot of people up here are unionized or married to someone in a union, having a Budweiser Plant just up the highway...
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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    My grandfather was part of a union in the mills in Gary. He did alright by the union and they helped protect the workers in a dirty, dangerous place. But they also helped kill the industry by demanding too much pay. So, it was a mixed bag. Personally, I have never been, especially since I've been management for the past 7 years. We have a union here and some of my employees are part of it.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    The planing profession being what it is...I'm not sure how I would feel about a union. If the union could protect jobs and departments from ridiculous budget cuts, then I guess I would be OK. But isn't your fate tied to other department staffs as well. If you are OK with a contract, but the people down the hall feel that they are worth another 0.25%...you're waiting for that matter to be resolved. Maybe with a large planning staff where the staff was its own unit...but not if I were placed with other departments.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    My experience with unions comes from my last employer, where the clerical staff was union. When they decided that the Teamsters did nothing for them they disbanded. When the city began having to make substantial budget cuts and people pointed out that most of the clerical staff was completely incompetent and did not do the work required of them, their response was to find another union. Why? No benefits were cut. They still received the same increase in pay as everyone else (except management, which did not get an increase), and only one position was eliminated following a retirement. They thought a union meant that they had job security and could go on refusing to do work, making mistakes on virtually everything they did, and leaving whenever they pleased while getting paid for a full eight hours. They found out that they were wrong. :furious:
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    I don't have much experience with unions, my parents have always been self-employed for the most part and I a waitress and a planner :o
    our fire dept. and police dept are unions here and the negotiations sure help thier salary and benfits, however when negotiating benefits all the employees of the city ended up with the same thing.
    I see so many of my friends that are in unions laid off (electricians, etc) and it drives me nuts because I know there are a ton of places they could get jobs but they wont take it because its not union, they sit and collect unemplyment and union benefits.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Ummmm... yeah... I live in Texas... :smash:

    No union for me, but I do understand their place in most circumstances. I think they get a little bit of a bad name because some of them have gone a little too far with their collective bargaining (player's unions, pilot's union come to mind).

    I can only imagine how the people working in the auto plants would have been treated had their never been an autoworker's union.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    Mixed bag here too. Police, fire, street dept, finance, deputy buildng inspector, assistant assesor, and secretaries of department are union. Building inspector, me, and department heads are non-represented.

    Union members get two floating holidays, and a guaranteed 3% wage increase. Non-represented are at the mercy of the elected officials. Did pretty well this year. Non-reps also get flex-time; union members don't.

    Union members are continiuosly complaining about dues not doing anything, but yesterday they voted an increase. Also, had a case where the treasurer and vice-pres were the same person. She was robbing the retirement fund by signing the checks. Bad move.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus
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    My only union experience was during summers during undergrad years.
    I had worked in a shipyard in NJ, that had 6 different unions.
    That was RUGGED.
    Oddball
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    We are a mixed bag. Public Works/Fire are Union. I would assume RCMP is union or something like it. Management aka 'Leadership Team" bargain collectively, but I don't think it's a Union. They get special things like extra pension benefits, that differ from other staff. Other employees (such as almost everyone in city hall) don't have any affiliations and have no bargaining power.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    In response to Suburb Repairman: I can only imagine how the people working in the auto plants would have been treated had their never been an autoworker's union.

    I did work at an auto plant one summer while in college. They hired college students to fill in while everyone took their summer vacations. It was easy work (for the most part) and great money!

    These people were SO protected by the union. They were constantly late or no-shows, and many drank and used drugs while on the line. I know, because I saw it. Even the 7 a.m. shift -- Big Gulps full of whiskey & coke.

    They got away with anything. On one line, I was supposed to "share" a job with one woman. Instead she suggested that we "double up," meaning one of us would work for 30 minutes on and then take 30 minutes off.

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