And These New Rules Are Bad Because ... ?


And These New Rules Are Bad Because ... ?

CREATED Jan 3, 2012

Here's the way the story in the Madison newspaper begins:

 "In Mauston, it's easier for the School District to fire teachers.  In Jefferson County, seniority no longer determines who is laid off or promoted.   In Waukesha County, road maintenance workers can't count on overtime pay when they work odd hours.  In New Berlin, teachers work longer days and can wear school sweatshirts on only a limited number of days".

Heaven forbid, the teachers can only wear sweatshirts on certain days?  How will they survive?  Oh, the humanity!

The cause of all these problems?  Scott Walker and the end of collective bargaining restrictions that allow public sector employers to impose work rules - like most in the private sector already do. 

Okay, so let's break this down.

In Mauston, it's easier to fire bad teachers.  Good!  Maybe this will save school districts from having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending lawsuits on behalf of teachers trying to save their jobs after viewing pornography at school like in Middleton or on school computers like in Cedarburg.

In Jefferson County, layoffs and promotions can be based on merit instead of simply on seniority. In other words, good workers can be rewarded and advanced and dead wood can be sent packing.  Seems reasonable to me.

In Waukesha, workers don't have to be paid overtime for working at odd hours.  So, if your normal shift is 4 p.m. to midnight but they need you to work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. because of special circumstances, you don't get overtime as long as you don't work more than 40 hours a week.  Hardly seems like slavery.

And, in New Berlin, teachers work longer days.  The School Board recently set the work day at 8 hours plus 30 minutes for lunch - meaning teachers have to be in the building for 8.5 hours a day.  The number of hours that teachers are actually with students however is less than half their day and they still get summers off.  Try telling your boss that you want full pay but only want to spend half your time dealing with clients or customers - and that you want the summer off!

The point is that these various work rules being put in place across the State are hardly unreasonable or onerous.  In fact, a lot of them seem long overdue.

Not that you'd know it from some of the rhetoric we heard last March.   

Still, if you want to watch porn in the workplace, I understand that you might be unhappy about some of these changes.  That however is why they always need clerks at adult video stores.