UnionMaine

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Fair to Fair Share? New Discussion Forum Opening

E.T.I. 2009

New Discussion forum being set up.
Read the link at the bottom.

Next Month, Union Members through their delegates will vote on how the Union should be run. Members just finished voting on a new contract but a number of fee paying employees don’t have that option. Why can even prisoners in Maine still vote? It is because of the importance of this right.

If you do not join the Union, but pay the Union to negotiate a contract for you, should you have the right to judge the product? Should fee payers be denied the right to a ballot, or should Fair Share members be treated fairly?

In our democracy, there’s a belief that everyone should be allowed to vote. I think that there are both practical and fair reasons for this. The practical reason is that the more people are involved in freedom the stronger the freedom will stay. The more people that vote, the more interest there will be in the issues that affect our jobs and our families. For fairness we should ask if only smart people, or Democrats, or people we agree with be allowed the vote? How do we identify who should have the right to vote? We are Mainers and we are U.S. citizens and that gives us a real hate for being bossed around without having some say. “No taxation without representation.” Before Fair Share there was no vote, and there was no taxation.

Now if fee payers want to keep their jobs they will pay the Union to negotiate the contract that will affect their jobs and benefits. They will pay, or they will leave.


If it sounds like I am being too nice to fee payers let me say that there must be limits. W can not let non members vote on everything. Fee Payers should not be allowed to run for office, or be a member of a bargaining committee, or vote for anything except the minimum they have elected to pay, by keeping their jobs. They have no concern and no interest in Union Political actions, social affairs, or even communications. A clear unbreakable barrier must be drawn between paying the absolute minimum and being willing to go beyond and help your fellow employee and Union members. Why should they not vote on other issues? Because we don’t trust them and their judgment or their interest in their fellow employees. They can not be trusted to judge actions that they have chosen not to be a part of. We don’t let kids vote, we don’t willingly let illegal aliens vote and we do not see that as unfair because they are not full members of our society. We don’t let children vote through lack of experience and Illegal aliens through lack of commitment to the laws of our land. Remember though, children can grow and immigrants have made this country what it is by coming to love their fellow Americans.

Even if we allow a vote on our contract we cannot allow any rights beyond voting for a contract because we can not give someone unwilling to join in a common goal equal rights to that of any other member in running the Union.

The question is whether Fee Payers belong in the voting denied category? I think the answer is in two parts. We trust them to pay for negotiations. We respect their judgment enough to let them make up their minds to pay or to go. In other words we treat them like adults. WE are taking their money and promising negotiations. Shouldn’t they get a vote on whether they like what they paid for? The second part of the answer is that they can not vote on any issue other than yes or no on a contract because they have shown they have no trust or involvement with their fellow employees. If you are not willing to be involved completely then you shouldn’t be able to make the rules for everyone else.

If we do not give fee payers the right to vote on what we have demanded they pay for, there can be no involvement, there can be no healing or growth.

What is the “real world impact” of allowing fee payers to vote? Could a few fee payers change a contract approval? Not if we have a healthy involved membership. If a few fee payers can bring down our Union do we deserve to keep power by any means whether fair or foul?


Some members have said that they fear that letting fee payers vote will result in the Union being taken over by Union Busters. I’m not afraid that the MSEASEIU will be taken over by AGEM if we let them vote on contracts. If they can vote, they will discuss, and if they start discussions, they will become involved. Involvement will bring education and that education will change their minds. As for those we cannot change I think that if we give a face and a voice to opposition we will be respecting the right of free speech and we will let the members see exactly what they are up against. I also think that we will make a difference to some future members that are now only paying a fee. Be perfectly clear, that while I think they should get a vote since they are paying for the product I completely oppose giving them any rights they are unwilling to pay for in commitment and money.

I have set up a link for discussion at http://unionmaine.informe.com/

As Maine Goes has been doing a Great Job of providing a discussion forum for every type of viewpoint and I am far from too humble to copy success. I hope you like it.

E.T.I. 2009

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September 20th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | AGEM, FAIR SHARE, MSEA, MSEASEIU, SEIU, STATE EMPLOYEES, TECHNORATI, UNIONMAINE, VSEA | no comments

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