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THE DARK SIDE: When good unions go bad

David Ziemer

David Ziemer

This is an example of what is wrong with public sector unions.

I’m not attacking public sector unions here. They have their pros and cons. But this case is a good example of one of the cons — excessive litigation that private sector unions and employers wouldn’t pursue.

It is a 188-page decision from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. It resolves a dispute between the city of Green Bay and the police union. I haven’t read the entire 188 pages and I have no intention of doing so. But it appears the dispute is over whether some police officer should have been assigned to work the club seats, or the seats by the 10-yard line, during a Packers-Bears game. Also, some disputes over an officer with seniority being inadvertently passed over for a couple hours of overtime.

Ultimately, the legal fees for both the union and city, and the costs to pay someone to resolve this dispute, all comes from taxpayers. I can’t imagine employees in the private sector tolerating union leadership that would devote such enormous resources to this petty dispute; and I can’t imagine corporate shareholders tolerating management that would waste this much money on such a petty dispute.

But in the public sector, there’s no disincentive, because ultimately, it’s the taxpayers who pay for it all.

Look for more from The Dark Side on David Ziemer’s new blog. Coming to wislawjournal.com.

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