One of the downsides of an organization that engages the political spectrum is that is membership has unwittingly signed a contract with that organization’s leadership to become an asset. By gathering these human assets together, the organization’s leadership can leverage the members for the things most important to the leadership like prestige and power. The last thing the organization’s leadership will want to do is sell its members on the notion that a lot of what the membership wants they can get on their own.
I’m not talking about political revolution like we are seeing in North Africa and the Middle East. That type of wholesale change in political infrastructure requires a mass movement. I’m talking about groups like unions, whose leadership sells its members on the notion that the only way the membership can obtain the best wages and other benefits is through a union.
I think that notion runs counter to the value that we place in individualism. How can a group assume it knows my individual value in the marketplace? Am I not the best person to negotiate the compensation that best reflects my value? This used to be part of the American economic swagger. Unfortunately, we have let the progressives suck that vitality out of us and we have replaced it with the notion of collective helplessness.
Collective bargaining needs to be replaced with individual bargaining. Let individuals, who have the most accurate information regarding their investment in and expectations from their academic achievements and work background, negotiate their own contracts.
The producer of educational services, in this case the local or state school board, publicizes a maximum wage ceiling for each position along with its scope of work. Let individual teachers negotiate as to why they should be paid this maximum or even deserve more. In this economy, however, I would expect these teachers to send in the lowest bids possible because of the need to work. It’s this downward pressure on wages combined with the elimination of onerous benefits packages that will help relieve the fiscal burden that taxpayers are facing.