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In Union There is Strength

Bradjupp A-Russ via Whitney Tilson reminds us of the brilliance of Katherine Boo by linking to her portrait of Michael Bennet. (It’s is almost as good as her portrait of my "postage stamp of earth" in Oklahoma City which can be found in the link in this post.) Boo also reminds us of "the brilliant" aide, Brad Jupp, and that prompted me to dig up Jupp’s eight considerations regarding unions. When embarking on reforms like the Denver Pay for Performance Plan, we must remember:

  1. The union won’t sell it, although it will be thoughtful and provocative in analyzing it.
  2. The union can help explore tough topics. It is not easy, but it will help people think together.
  3. Union leaders are qualified leaders, not enemies.
  4. The union is in touch with its members "worst fears, and best hopes."
  5. It is the union that will guarantee the completion of the project. Denver has had five superintendents since performance based evaluation was begun, and most were lukewarm about completing the project.
  6. Unions engage in ongoing communication with their members, thus providing feedback.
  7. Unions ensure high-quality evaluation. They do not do so because they are evaluators, but because they know that they are not and, thus, welcome third party input.
  8. Some may not like what they hear, but unions are the experts on wages, benefits, and work conditions.

- John Thompson


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