Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Short Term vs Long Term


This article highlights what I see as a problem with Unions. Namely that they can occasionally put the short term protection of a few of their members as a higher priority than the long term benefits of the whole organization.

In the short term I can see how the Union is protecting it's members. It has set up what is likely a very thorough system of due process. I get that.

But in the long term are they really helping their members? Isn't a $65 Million price tag every year detrimental to the city's budgets? Isn't a $65 million annual loss detrimental to the kids' educations? If the Union is contributing to the demise of education, shouldn't the contract and the system of due process be changed, and sooner rather than later?

Yes, there should be an established agreed upon system for due process, and any system will have some cost. But there is a point where if the costs get too high, then a new system should be explored, or else the whole enterprise can be in danger of ceasing to exist. Sure the Union can rest on the strength of the contract and take a "Not my problem" short term approach. But is that what's really best....in the long term?

I was once told that perfection is the enemy of good enough. It seems to me that their current due process system has the high cost of expecting perfection. I bet that a change to "good enough" would be better for all parties....in the long term that is.

But I could be wrong. I often am.

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