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1 Danforth  Dec 2, 2014 12:06:28pm

Great.

Just what we need…someone who has no idea how Unions work explaining to everyone else how Unions work.

The two sides agree to protocols in these circumstances. By “agree”, I mean both sides sign the contract. Then, when one side wants to play by different rules, the folks reminding them of the signed contract are somehow the bad guys. In point of fact, it’s the Union’s fiduciary responsibility to take the member’s side to protect the protocols, even if they have to hold their nose in the process.

2 Lumberhead  Dec 2, 2014 12:53:19pm

re: #1 Danforth

Exactly who is “explaining to everyone else how unions work”?

3 Danforth  Dec 2, 2014 2:46:44pm
Exactly who is “explaining to everyone else how unions work”?

The author. Didn’t you even bother to read your article? How about just your headline?

It’s claiming “Police Unions…keep abusive cops on the street”, when all they’re doing is requiring the hirers to adhere to the signed agreement. The author also talks about “secretive appeals geared to protect labor rights rather than public safety”, when a) agreements are usually confidential already, and b) Unions are defending the principle of adhering to the protocols in the contract, not the officer. If you noticed via the article, arbitrators (who are known to be fiercely independent and must be) side with the officers 70% of the time, suggesting the vast majority of appeals are valid.

Again, the Union isn’t saying don’t get rid of bad cops. It’s saying if you want to get rid of them, follow the steps you’ve laid out in the agreed-upon contract.

4 cinesimon  Dec 2, 2014 3:02:07pm

re: #3 Danforth

Naive much? You actually think the police unions are honest actors, then you simply haven’t been paying attention.

5 Lumberhead  Dec 2, 2014 5:34:16pm

re: #3 Danforth

The author. Didn’t you even bother to read your article? How about just your headline?

Right there in the article the author, who you say is “someone who has no idea how unions work” says this:

His union stood by him, per their assigned role.

And one sentence later he says this:

Fighting to protect officers like Reynolds is part of what police unions do.

But I’m the one that didn’t read the article, right?

If you noticed via the article, arbitrators (who are known to be fiercely independent and must be) side with the officers 70% of the time, suggesting the vast majority of appeals are valid.

Do you have any evidence that these arbitrators are “fiercely independent”?

6 gwangung  Dec 2, 2014 10:49:11pm

re: #5 Lumberhead

Sorry. Not understanding the defense here. What part of the process keeps abusive cops on the street?

What do unions do that is egregious? Defending the accused can’t be it; that HAS to occur for a fair system. Was there evidence of poor arbitrators? What?

7 Danforth  Dec 2, 2014 10:50:38pm
And one sentence later he says this:
Fighting to protect officers like Reynolds is part of what police unions do.

So basically the author doesn’t know the difference between defending officers and defending the contract both sides signed. From my experience, the person is never the issue, nor should they be; the principle is.

Do you have any evidence that these arbitrators are “fiercely independent”?

Sure. Decades of dealing with them over Union matters, while serving on both Local and National Boards of Directors. No one, from either side, ever wanted to go the arbitration route, since no one on either side wanted the crapshoot of an uncertain outcome. Plus, even if you’re 100% right, you still owe 50% of the cost.

And you? Have you any evidence arbitrators are lackeys?

8 Danforth  Dec 2, 2014 10:56:43pm
What part of the process keeps abusive cops on the street?

The part where management has signed on to one set of procedures to remove the abusive cop, but unilaterally decides it’s going to choose it’s own route instead.

Again, please don’t conflate defending the principle of living up to the contract with defending some asshole.

Not unlike, say, the ACLU defending the KKK’s right to march.

9 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 4:11:05am

re: #6 gwangung

Sorry. Not understanding the defense here.

Danforth claimed that the author didn’t understand how unions work. As I pointed out, the author clearly does. That was all I was pointing out. My commentary in the original post only highlighted that police unions don’t receive the same scrutiny as teachers’ unions for defending bad apples.

What part of the process keeps abusive cops on the street?

What do unions do that is egregious? Defending the accused can’t be it; that HAS to occur for a fair system. Was there evidence of poor arbitrators? What?

FTA:

I’d rather see 10 wrongful terminations than one person wrongfully shot and killed. Because good police officers and bad police officers pay the same union dues and are equally entitled to labor representation, police unions have pushed for arbitration procedures that skew in the opposite direction. Why have we let them? If at-will employment, the standard that would best protect the public, is not currently possible, arbitration proceedings should at a minimum be transparent and fully reviewable so that miscarriages of justice are known when they happen. With full facts, the public would favor at-will employment eventually.

That’s the author’s contention. I don’t agree with him so I’m not going to defend it.
I was simply sharing what I thought was an interesting article covering a newsworthy topic and pointing to the different public perceptions of two unions.

10 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 4:59:26am

re: #7 Danforth

The author clearly understands how unions work. He simply disagrees with how they work.

So basically the author doesn’t know the difference between defending officers and defending the contract both sides signed. From my experience, the person is never the issue, nor should they be; the principle is.

The author disagrees because

Society entrusts police officers with awesome power. The stakes could not be higher when they abuse it: Innocents are killed, wrongly imprisoned, beaten, harassed—and as knowledge of such abuses spreads, respect for the rule of law wanes.

Sure. Decades of dealing with them over Union matters, while serving on both Local and National Boards of Directors. No one, from either side, ever wanted to go the arbitration route, since no one on either side wanted the crapshoot of an uncertain outcome. Plus, even if you’re 100% right, you still owe 50% of the cost.

IOW, I’ll have to take your word for it.

And you? Have you any evidence arbitrators are lackeys?

I’ll provide evidence for that claim when I make it.

11 Danforth  Dec 3, 2014 6:57:29am
Danforth claimed that the author didn’t understand how unions work. As I pointed out, the author clearly does.

Not if he believes the Union is defending the officer.

The Union is defending the terms of the contract, much like the ACLU wasn’t “defending” the KKK, they were defending the concept of free speech.

12 Decatur Deb  Dec 3, 2014 7:04:35am

re: #11 Danforth

Bless you.

13 Danforth  Dec 3, 2014 7:11:56am
IOW, I’ll have to take your word for it.

If you doubt my experience, I’d be glad to provide proof.

I was just offering perspective from those of us who actually have to deal with the issues, rather than those whose only experience is to editorialize.

With full facts, the public would favor at-will employment eventually.

Oh, please. “At-will” is code for I can fire you because today ends in a “y”. My sister-in-law got fired by her boss for something an underling did, and the ensuing investigation (required because the charge involved a mentally handicapped patient temporarily “escaping”) uncovered lie after lie from the boss. The judge finally cleared my SIL, and ripped the boss up and down for misleading the court. When we met with a lawyer about further options, we were told there was nothing we could do. It was in an at-will state, meaning firing someone based on a lie is just fine.

Would you want that type of treatment in your job?

14 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 7:36:14am

re: #11 Danforth

Not if he believes the Union is defending the officer.

The Union is defending the terms of the contract, much like the ACLU wasn’t “defending” the KKK, they were defending the concept of free speech.

FTA:

good police officers and bad police officers pay the same union dues and are equally entitled to labor representation

Again, he clearly understands how unions work, he simply disagrees with how they work. Take it up with him, there are currently a couple of hundred comments on his articles.

You originally said:

someone who has no idea how Unions work explaining to everyone else how Unions work.

I’ve pulled three quotes from the article that show differently.

15 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 7:49:54am

re: #13 Danforth

If you doubt my experience, I’d be glad to provide proof.

I was just offering perspective from those of us who actually have to deal with the issues, rather than those whose only experience is to editorialize.

Oh, please. “At-will” is code for I can fire you because today ends in a “y”. My sister-in-law got fired by her boss for something an underling did, and the ensuing investigation (required because the charge involved a mentally handicapped patient temporarily “escaping”) uncovered lie after lie from the boss. The judge finally cleared my SIL, and ripped the boss up and down for misleading the court. When we met with a lawyer about further options, we were told there was nothing we could do. It was in an at-will state, meaning firing someone based on a lie is just fine.

Would you want that type of treatment in your job?

As I wrote, just a couple of comments above this:

That’s the author’s contention. I don’t agree with him so I’m not going to defend it.
I was simply sharing what I thought was an interesting article covering a newsworthy topic and pointing to the different public perceptions of two unions.

I am by no means anti-union. Teachers’ unions are constantly criticized for protecting “bad” teachers and we just don’t see that same level of criticism leveled at police unions. That was the point that I made.

Too bad police unions don’t get held to the same standards or receive the same criticisms and scrutiny as teachers’ unions.

I just don’t think it’s fair to say Friedersdorf doesn’t understand how unions work.

16 Danforth  Dec 3, 2014 7:53:12am
I’ve pulled three quotes from the article that show differently.

See if you can find one where he points out the Union is defending the principle and not the officer.

17 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 8:10:32am

re: #16 Danforth

See if you can find one where he points out the Union is defending the principle and not the officer.

Seems to me

good police officers and bad police officers pay the same union dues and are equally entitled to labor representation

acknowledges that.

18 Danforth  Dec 3, 2014 8:34:05am

#17

It doesn’t. Not at all.

In reality, what’s worth defending is the principle. The officer himself (or herself) is immaterial.

The author is stating “the officer” is entitled to representation, when what’s really being “represented” is the principle within the agreed-upon contract. World of difference.

Similarly, “the KKK” isn’t specially “entitled” to representation, they’re immaterial when discussing the principle of whether folks can peaceably assemble and march while speaking their piece. Did the ACLU have to hold its nose? Of course. Do Unions have to as well? Absolutely, at times. But differentiating between the dislike of a player and the importance of a principle is vital.

19 Lumberhead  Dec 3, 2014 8:53:23am

re: #18 Danforth

You’re absolutely right. The author, Conor Friedersdorf, has no idea how Unions work. If he did understand how they work then I’m sure he’d agree with you.

20 Danforth  Dec 3, 2014 9:13:43am
You’re absolutely right. The author, Conor Friedersdorf, has no idea how Unions work. If he did understand how they work then I’m sure he’d agree with you.

So IOW, no, you couldn’t find one instance where the author made a distinction between the principle being defended, or pointed out the officer in question is immaterial. Got it.


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