Clarification about the unions

To clear up some things that seem contradictory between my “public employee apology” and my recent “OUS is ripping us off” posts, I offer a few bullet points.

But first, check out what software engineers get paid to understand why I feel OUS underpays us. The general IT positions are even lower, of course, but I don’t have as much of a frame of reference for those pay scales vs. the private sector. Continue reading “Clarification about the unions”

OUS vs. SEIU 2013

Two years ago I went on a rant about how unions aren’t demanding as much as the public sometimes perceives they are. Now, after seeing the IT world of the Oregon University System (I’ve worked in two of the universities over the past three years), I have to say the union pay structure is indeed crap, even with the benefits. Continue reading “OUS vs. SEIU 2013”

Technology choices and lack of innovation in the public sector

I’m continuing to talk about how frustrated I am that people believe that public employees are too expensive, public employees are lazy and incompetent, and unions only protect morons.

So now, on to technology and innovation. I hear that the public sector is stagnant and lacks imagination. I hear that the public sector makes horrible choices in technology investments. I wonder where people are that they think the private sector is that much better. Continue reading “Technology choices and lack of innovation in the public sector”

What does the union do besides protect stupidity?

Last time, I discussed how the private sector is pretty bad (though admittedly not as bad as the public sector) about retaining incompetent employees. …but all I really did was prove that the private sector ain’t all that great. Those examples don’t excuse unions from doing the same thing.

But here’s the deal: unions don’t deliberately protect unproductive workers. If you aren’t doing your job, you can be put on a “work performance program” or something. The manager has to prove that he or she is trying to help you get past your weak spots, and if you can be shown to not improve, you are let go. It takes time, yes, but this process is very similar to the disciplinary process in many private sector jobs. The big difference is that we have union representatives to help us avoid being unjustly fired, such as for rallying our peers into pushing for fair pay (At MF, my boss told me I could be fired after I told several coworkers their pay was too low). Continue reading “What does the union do besides protect stupidity?”

Unions protect lazy, incompetent employees

Today, continuing with my “public employees suck!” theme, I’m going to address another interesting and confusing myth: the belief that unions protect the lazy and incompetent workers.

Really, this argument is ridiculous. I hear it a lot, and apparently the people making this argument have never held a job at a serious company where there is a formal process to discipline and fire an employee (except for unusual circumstances like assault or sexual harassment). Retaining bad employees is as American as apple pie. It happens everywhere, and if you disagree… you’ve never been part of the workforce. Continue reading “Unions protect lazy, incompetent employees”

Incompetent public employees with ridiculous benefits, and the evil unions protecting them

Public employees are the DEVIL. That’s what I’m hearing a lot lately. We cost the state too much. In Wisconsin, they have limited negotiation rights now, and here in Oregon we’re looking at various cuts to our benefits to help the state out of debt.

It’s interesting to read the responses on various news sites – depending where you go, the public might be behind us or completely disgusted by us. Obviously I’m planning to address the latter, as I would have no reason to be annoyed at supporters. Continue reading “Incompetent public employees with ridiculous benefits, and the evil unions protecting them”