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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

 
Campaign Promises And Performance Pay

From this week's EIA Communiqué:

Quote of the Week. "You can look back at the president as a candidate speaking before the unions making it clear about his support for charter schools, his support for things like performance pay. It was not a closeted agenda. And for people to act right now like they feel betrayed by this president only suggests that they were not paying attention when he was speaking." - Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform. (July 7 National Public Radio's All Things Considered)

Gee, you'd think political lobbies (like teachers' unions) would actually pay attention to candidates who speak on their pet issues.

The performance pay issue catches my eye. Unions here and abroad abhor the concept. I don't see why the sorts who like collective bargaining don't support salary plans that factor in base levels based on seniority plus variable amounts based on performance. But I don't think like a unionist.

Many anti-unionists perceive that the unions are simply protecting the underperformers. That may be the case, but I think there's more to the story. Perhaps the unionists perceive that a performance-based factor would be so great as to render the very concept of collective bargaining meaningless. (Especially if you start docking the underperformers' pay.) Perhaps unionists tend to share a perverse sort of egalitarian ethic that sees performance-based salary stratification as "elitist."

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