7. Those who resent the pay and benefits public employees receive should be urging raises for private sector workers rather than urging a race to the bottom. The middle class is rapidly disappearing in this country, and that’s not a good thing; nor is the great concentration of wealth at the top of the economic pyramid.
8. By opposing repeal of LIFO and pressing for other non-pecuniary “rights,” such as tenure, teachers – who want to be regarded as professionals, even though they want to organize like labor – risk being perceived more as the latter and less as the former.
9. To the extent unions have overplayed their hands, it’s in large part because management has let them. How many teachers NYC now wants to lay off should not have received tenure (until recently, teachers there were routinely granted tenure, when they could have been let go without further ado)? How many negotiators took the easy way out on work rules or seniority to avoid a strike, loss of political support, or something else? As in most disasters, in this one, there’s plenty of blame to go around.