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unions versus the public
Blue Civil War in New York’s Jails
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  • Robert Bennett

    This article points out a major problem. I am a retired MD. In the mid 1960’s I spent 3 years as a student and resident in a large municipal hospital unionized by the AFCME. The large majority of the employees were caring and competent, but I would estimate about 15% were awful, non-caring and totally incompetent. It was impossible to get anyone disciplined. I saw a nurse asleep at her station. The night shift routinely made rounds at midnight when the shift started and then not again until about 5:30 AM. The MD on call knew that a 5:30 AM call meant that one of the patients had died during the night. Orders were not followed, IV’s were slowed down to avoid changing the bottles, and lab were unreliable. Attempts to complain about specific employees were laughed at by administrators. There a large number of unnecessary deaths and disabilities in this system. The union spent much of its time demeaning supervisory personnel and trying to get them disciplined rather than doing something about the incompetent or un-caring employee. Since this hospital took care of the indigent, the poor were the ones who suffered from the union abuse. Your statements are certainly correct.

    • Boritz

      “The union spent much of its time demeaning supervisory personnel and trying to get them disciplined rather than doing something about the incompetent or un-caring employee.”

      Queue Geico commercial: If you’re a union it’s what you do.

    • iconoclast

      Sounds like a step up from the VA, where the administrators live well off the bonuses from allowing vets to die.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We should not ignore for this subject the fact that the prison environment and the hierarchical structures of the prison custody staff are quite different from most of where unionism resides. In a prison, the union is as likely to be a protecting feature against the abuse of inmates as a contributor to or enabler of abusive behaviors. You want to imagine that the commanders and middle managers of prisons are the upstanding folks and those lowly unionized guards are the bad apples. Anyone who knows anything about prisons will say, Whoa, there, pardner. Not exactly.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Did you read the link? The individuals who committed these acts were the low-level union members. There is no excuse for this sort of abuse, and less excuse to cover it up. This isn’t a question of the union protecting the virtuous workers from evil management (a fantasy play that has very little basis in reality no matter how much the left likes to believe it), but a group of bad apples covering up their crimes, and the union is facilitating it.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Yes, I understand this is the case here. So TAI is celebrating it to attack all public-employee unions, as usual. But you are not going to be able to convince me that prison systems do not have culture problems emanating from up the line. I have far too much personal knowledge to the contrary, and, no, I’m not going to relate the details of it here. It’s an “anyone who knows anything about prisons” thing—-seriously.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Spent time in prison, have you?

          Do you really just expect us to take your word for it?

          • FriendlyGoat

            No, I have not spent any time in prison as an inmate. As for you taking my word for it, you can read up on the realities of prisons and their staff culture if you wish. Your comment about ” (a fantasy play that has very little basis in reality no matter how much the left likes to believe it)” indicates you could use some education about those. I don’t do personal “over-sharing” in comment sections.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Labor Gang Monopolies are just that, Monopolies. They use their monopoly on the jobs to extort monies and benefits from their employers who ever they may be. In a just world the Antitrust laws would be used to break up the Labor Gang Monopolies, and regain the all important “Feedback of Competition”. Unfortunately the Gangs have purchased political clout from the Democratic party which they have used to protect and expand their extortion racket.

  • Anthony

    “Neither party is able to deal with this problem forthrightly. Republicans are more likely to defer to the police and prison guard unions, Democrats to the teachers and bureaucrats – and nobody wants to pick a fight with the firefighters.” W

  • Anthony

    “Neither party is able to deal with this problem forthrightly. Republicans are more likely to defer to the police and prison guard unions, Democrats to the teachers and bureaucrats – and nobody wants to pick a fight with the firefighters.” Well, here we are!

    “And to this end, “in a highly developed society the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communication workers, garbagemen and firemen. These people – the employed, the somewhat privileged – become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system fails.” Yes, coalitions (perhaps to their real detriment) depend on currying favor.

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