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Suing Against Seniority

Jul 17, 2017 by

A newspaper endorsed by the spiritual descendants of Attila the Hun, seeking to revive through journalism the legacy of their forerunners, has published the plaintive tale of a teacher who allegedly is passionately “pro-union”, except when its protections prevent her from jumping the queue of earned job security.

The Weekly Standard can be trusted to take up the cause of anyone sympathetic to the destruction of organized labor. They are amenable to any manipulation of facts that suit their loathing. And this teacher’s lawsuit is right down their alley. It is riddled with incriminating motives.

The teacher is suing because she thinks it’s unfair that she cannot pick and choose which portions of a binding collective bargaining agreement apply to her. She wants to abolish seniority because she doesn’t have enough of it. As soon as she does, she’ll have a change of heart. No doubt it’s already in the planning stages. She’s like a homeowner in the hurricane belt who balks on paying for flood insurance, but expects to bailed out when the waters rise.

Seniority is a much-maligned concept that is deliberately misunderstood by its critics.They claim that it impedes merit-based rewards. Because they know full well that this is a specious argument but delight in pursuing it anyway, there is no power on earth than can change their minds. It’s the bug they have about teachers unions. They have no complaint about seniority in the federal judiciary, for instance.

They are uplifted by the awareness that without seniority, the doors are ajar to all kinds of favoritism, as all decisions devolve and default to management.

The litigant is joined at the lip by three other plaintiffs who share her conviction that teachers should be able to opt out of contracts when it suits their personal convenience at the time. To them, the clauses of their contract are like the petals of the flower in the “she loves me; she loves me not” routine.

They are selfish and short-sighted. And as ignorant as taxpayers who want to withhold the part of what they owe for highways maintenance because they don’t drive, or from schools because they don’t have kids.

The Weekly Standard reporter says the lawsuit is “significantly different from the usual case that gets branded anti-labor and pinned on evil billionaires. For one things, its four plaintiffs are all union members.”

“Branded”. “Pinned”. The sarcastic “evil.” We sure know where this reporter’s coming from!

Mentioning that the plaintiffs are union members is calculated to enhance their credibility and refute the suspicion that they are biased.  They may be just ignorant or suffer from genuine ideological sickness or be too impatient to wait their turn The anti- seniority playbook is rife with righteous-sounding motives that camouflage devious intent. Personal greed has overcome collective loyalty to principle.

If seniority is overthrown, it will be a boon for manufacturers of envelopes whose product will be used to stash wads of temptation for the granting of favors.

Ron Isaac

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