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Old 10-13-2016, 06:08 PM   #26
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Unions only benefit the lazy and incompetent people. There's a reason why public road work usually takes several weeks to complete when it could've easily been done in a fraction of the time. The fact that there are usually 6-10 people "working" but only 1 or 2 of them doing any actual work should tell you the problem itself.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:13 PM   #27
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I'm not a tradie or an union member but anything associated with the government is prime for abuse.

For example:
Doctors buy the most expensive iPad Pro with applecare + accessories and it's a "medical tool" thus reimbursable.
Doctors write medical notes that they can only fly business class due to a medical condition
lots of government management hires consultants at sky high rates cause they are either incompetent or they need someone to blame if things go wrong.

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Old 10-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #28
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More like a PUBLIC UNION problem.

I work in the private industry, my labour force is unionized but they act nothing like union employees in the public system. If they did, then we wouldn't be in business and they would all be without jobs.
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This is a union problem, Unions usually have specific task lists for each position, doing tasks from other workers task lists is a huge deal within unions. Just another reason unions are useless, and set up to just benefit the lazy and incompetent.
It's not just a public union thing. It's been years since I've last worked in the film/tv industry so things may have changed since then, but it used to have a similar issue. As a camera operator, I couldn't have my camera set up until the grips finished laying down the track or setting up a tracking rig. And if they were running behind we couldn't give them a hand, so we'd just end up standing around having a smoke and getting paid big bucks to do shit all. Same story for the gaffers, best boys, set dressers, and so forth. If we ever offered a hand to help, we would have our heads ripped off by our department heads or a production manager. Many a days worth of shooting were put into deep OT because of a slow department crew keeping us running behind.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:38 PM   #29
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:48 PM   #30
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I'm not a tradie or an union member but anything associated with the government is prime for abuse.

For example:
Doctors buy the most expensive iPad Pro with applecare + accessories and it's a "medical tool" thus reimbursable.
Doctors write medical notes that they can only fly business class due to a medical condition
lots of government management hires consultants at sky high rates cause they are either incompetent or they need someone to blame if things go wrong.

etc
Yeah, cause nobody here's ever taken advantage of a system loophole here and there before.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:24 PM   #31
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Worked construction at school board for years (won't say which). The accountability is just not there, money is tossed around like it's nothing. 100's of thousands spent on equipment that isn't needed just because they need to use up the budget they're given.

My last year working there my foreman bought 300 zap straps for $500 from Acklands Granger. The only reason why companies like Acklands have contracts with the school boards is because they provide insane under the table kickbacks to the foremen and superintendents
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #32
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I'm actually in upper management in another school district in the Province, and believe me when I say these issues stem from a combination of underfunding and public union issues. However, if I were to pick one, I'd say public unions are the biggest issue here. I'll get into the issue of underfunding another time.

Unions protect the weak. Those examples mentioned above are the 'bad' apples. What can we, as management do about it? Not much. If and when we try to implement change, there is heavy resistance from the unions resulting in grievances and arbitration hearings. This in turn raises legal costs, which results in decreased funds available for staffing and classrooms, which in turn leads to layoffs. The unions then turn around and publicly denounce the District and management for laying off workers and carrying deficits. The general public then sees the management group as the enemy.

This is the same in the majority of Districts in the Province. Generally, 90% - 92% of an annual budget goes to salaries and benefits. Union members (teachers and support staff -- CUPE) make up 95% to 97% of the staffing costs. The public are then informed to go blame management for all the money they make and are sapping the system of funds. In reality, I know how much I make relative to my peers in other sectors -- I get paid about 20-25% less than what my peers make. The union members are the ones making much higher than their peers in other sectors.

Custodians are an example. In the school districts, they make anywhere from $23 - $27/hr depending on the District. How much do you think they'd make in the private sector?

Anyways, just some info for those that are interested in how it works from the inside.

Oh, and for clarity, it is upper management members that have taken medical leaves from the VSB, not trustees. I know the upper management, and I know why they chose to take medical leaves. Believe it or not, they have been verbally and physically threatened on more than one occasion during this process. It has become an issue of safety that has lead most of them to take the time to get out of the situation for the time being.

If I could divulge more than I already have, you'd all be shocked with the challenges school districts are facing on a daily basis.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:27 PM   #33
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^^ And this is why we need some sort of exposť on TV to turn it into a big deal. The thing you need to do is to create public pressure so that heat gets laid on the bad apples, and then when they get fired, or when change takes place, there is public support to enact the changes.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:32 AM   #34
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Spoiler!
It's not "underfunding" if they are just wasting the money they are getting irresponsibly. Which from all the examples in this thread before yours they absolutely are. You aren't underfunded if you waste the money you do need, and then require more.

Also even if you are underfunded, even one story like the above being true and there is very few people who would willingly want to give more money to any department. Just like Translink has, departments start to lose their credibility with the public when they are found to be wasting money, and then the problem only compounds from there.

Again anything to do with the public sector needs to be very transparent, it's not like a private company where you can hide behind your walls. The private sector is here to make money, and stimulate and economy. The public sector only saps money, they do this in the hopes that the government provides certain services for the good of the people. If and when the public sector starts to fail or become too much of a burden, then there is a serious problem.

This discussion is going to go far beyond the issues of the VSB, but I'll give it a shot anyway:

----------------------------


About 20% of people in BC are employed in the public sector. This means that 1 in 5 people are a burden on the economy rather than an assistant.

Spoiler!


The reason this percentage is so important is because those 4 people that aren't employed by the public sector need to make enough money between them to support themselves as well as pay enough taxes in order to support the government so that the 5th person can be paid.

Spoiler!


In the collapse of a system (the two most notable I will rely on for information will be Greece and Detroit), the first indicators of a problem will come from the 4 people. If these people struggle, or waiver, the 5th person could go on not being impacted for quite awhile, but the fact that the 5th person isn't yet impacted doesn't mean the problem isn't there.

Just because you can't see your tooth rotting from the top, doesn't mean you don't have a huge cavity.

Often times dips and peaks in micro or macro economies cause instability which affects private sectors, the public sector is more or less immune from these fluctuations. The real issue arises when there is a valley in any economy. During that depressed period in any economy people could lose their jobs in the private sector, profits of companies get slashed, and in turn spending is slashed, etc. The bottom line is that maybe we say 1 of those private sector employees lose their job.

Well immediately you can see there is a problem, because now there is only 3 private sector employees supporting that 1 public sector worker.

I'm sure most of you can see where I am going with this, the only point I am making is that the balance of public to private is a very crucial one, and the depression of private industry means serious problems in the public sector.

Now for the crux of the problem, the government SUCKS at dealing with reductions. The government sucks at reduction for a number of reasons, Lack of profit incentive, and bureaucracy being the main couple:

Quote:
Profit Incentive - Private firms have a profit incentive to cut costs and develop products demanded by consumers. In the government sector this profit motive is often absent. Therefore government bodies have a greater tendency to be overstaffed and inefficient.

Bureaucracy - For political reasons, it is sometimes more difficult to get rid of surplus workers in the public sector than private sector. Private businessmen don’t have to worry about political popularity and so are more willing to make people redundant if it helps efficiency. The public sector on the other hand are more likely to employ surplus workers in unproductive jobs.
Now I've gone a little off track to make sure basics are understood before I delve too deep into this, but essentially somewhere a long the way the notion that the government is here for public good seems to have slipped everyone's mind. Now straying away from all the generalities and getting back to us here in BC. There was an interesting report (it's a little dated now, but still applicable), the report was generated by the fraser institute. You can see it here:

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/site...h-columbia.pdf

The report in general looks at comparing the private to the public sector in terms of wages and compensation. I'll skip all the nitty gritty, which if you are so inclined go read the report yourself, but in general they found:

Quote:
The empirical analysis of wage data and a survey of available non-wage benefit data for British Columbia indicate that government workers in the province enjoy both higher wages and likely higher non-wage benefits than their private sector counterparts.
They found that in general government workers get paid higher wages, enjoy better pension plans, retire earlier, enjoy better job security, and take more days off in the year.

Why is this all note worthy? Because given all the above information, and given the option of working for private or public where would you go? Absolutely you would go public, there is nobody in their right mind who given actual data that proves public sector work is better paid and more secure, who would decide to work in the private sector.

BUT Given what we learned about the above delicate equilibrium between public and private sectors, there is a huge problem, because not everyone can just go work for the government, otherwise our economy would literally just flatline. Government needs the money in to be able to do their magical money out part.

There is actually a title to this phenomenon, it's called "Crowding out", basically it's the notion that any increases in public sector means a reduction in the available resources for the private sector (resources in this case being people AKA workforce).

The only thing which can correct "Crowding out", and this isn't an opinion this is proven over and over, is a reduction in spending by the government. Basically the government lowers their wages, until the equilibrium point is once again reached. This is something which hasn't happened in large scale in BC (Or canada) since before many of us were alive. Because short term it causes problems; however, long term it results in lower taxes and much higher private sector investment.

This may seem confusing, but you need to understand how much better the private sector is at being efficient. Once you come to terms with that, you realize that the private sector is where the jobs need to be, and the public sector needs to be maintained at the minimum level to provide an adequate level of the services and goods we expect.

Now the issue, and where people can start to disagree with me is here: Unions are the problem.

Unions create bloating in public sector job spaces, work that would have taken 1 person, now takes 2 (or more). They also create an environment where reductions like what the government needs to do, are impossible. This can be for legal and bureaucratic reasons. Legal reasons being the union has a contract that the government has to fulfill, and bureaucratic being that when the contract is up for negotiation, the government doesn't want to be made to look bad so they normally get butt fucked.

Spoiler!


And now it's later than I would have hoped and I refuse to proof read this since I have other work I need to do. So I hope this makes some level of sense.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:39 AM   #35
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It's not just a public union thing. It's been years since I've last worked in the film/tv industry so things may have changed since then, but it used to have a similar issue. As a camera operator, I couldn't have my camera set up until the grips finished laying down the track or setting up a tracking rig. And if they were running behind we couldn't give them a hand, so we'd just end up standing around having a smoke and getting paid big bucks to do shit all. Same story for the gaffers, best boys, set dressers, and so forth. If we ever offered a hand to help, we would have our heads ripped off by our department heads or a production manager. Many a days worth of shooting were put into deep OT because of a slow department crew keeping us running behind.
Sounds like shitty management. I've worked in a private sector union where the success of the company determined whether or not you have a job and the mentality is a lot different. There sure as hell isn't 5 people standing around having a smoke while waiting for others to purposely slow things down for OT. Management was all over that shit. If you had to wait for something to be fixed then they made sure you were busy doing something else until it got done.

Many people were fired due to insubordination. Yeah the union would fight it but generally the management had such a case against the guy by then that the union would lose in arbitration.

In the public sector it seems like all you have to do is show up and you'll have a job for life. It doesn't matter how good of a job you do because the taxpayers will always be paying your salary. I can definitely see why people try to milk that for all it's worth.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:23 AM   #36
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Ah, life in the public sector.

I worked for federal government (office "analyst" type job) and it was crazy how lazy and incompetent people were. Even the people who worked there told me to find a private sector job and come back to government when I was ready to retire. I saw so much crap like people taking hour long coffee breaks, people taking personal calls at work for hours on end (mostly older people who actually do still use the phone for communication!), people telling me they worked until 2:00 AM to create a PowerPoint deck which was a copy and paste job from a report, how many sick days people took, etc.

I remember a pretty smart private sector engineer being hired for a manager position there who basically gave up on trying to improve anything because of how ingrained the public sector culture was.

And yes, I also remember having to use up a budget for no reason. We would just start a project for the sake of using up the budget even though there was no business case/need for it.

Personally, I would never go back to government unless I lose all ambition in life or get to my 50s and just want to hang out with other old people.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:28 AM   #37
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Sounds like shitty management. I've worked in a private sector union where the success of the company determined whether or not you have a job and the mentality is a lot different. There sure as hell isn't 5 people standing around having a smoke while waiting for others to purposely slow things down for OT. Management was all over that shit. If you had to wait for something to be fixed then they made sure you were busy doing something else until it got done.
Yeah I know for a fact that many of my guys are putting in more hours than they're charging on their timecards. (IE many will spend time at home reviewing plans, figuring things out, making up their schedules etc)

They understand this just comes with the territory with the type of work they do. On the other hand, they're paid significantly more than their non-union counterparts, and have a way better benefits package to boot.

In my 9 years with the company, I've never seen a Union "stop work" order, not even the slightest whiff of one, ever.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:30 AM   #38
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It all boils down to work ethics.

If you have poor work ethics, chances are, you probably have little to no integrity when it comes to everything else in life.

Part of the reason why our society is filled with losers with attitude. People who think of only themselves and have that, "Fuck everybody else," attitude.

I was taught from day one to work hard and work honestly. I've passed that on to my children. Hopefully, when they have kids they'll do the same.

Doesn't matter where you go, you see a few good workers out there. The ones who care. They're the ones who love their job and want to make a positive difference. I've gone out of my way to tell them they're doing a good job. Doesn't matter if they're working at a fast food joint or behind the desk at an office. There aren't too many of the good ones around, but when I see one, I'll let 'em know.

I've worked at many union jobs and everytime I saw a slacker, I worked harder. When I got home, I was dead tired, but felt really good about myself. It rubbed off on others, but it also got me ridiculed - a lot. Those losers went to bars, got wasted, and spent what they earned. They had marital problems and all kinds of other issues. And, they did nothing but complain, complain, complain.

There's nothing like working hard.............. then when you retire, you can slack off all you want and waste your time on forums like RS, Gulolololololol.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #39
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Its not a problem with the school board, its a problem with the allocation of tax money and little to no accountability in the public sector.
Bingo, there is no concept of performance measurement in the public sector like there is in private business.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #40
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Yeah I know for a fact that many of my guys are putting in more hours than they're charging on their timecards. (IE many will spend time at home reviewing plans, figuring things out, making up their schedules etc)

They understand this just comes with the territory with the type of work they do. On the other hand, they're paid significantly more than their non-union counterparts, and have a way better benefits package to boot.

In my 9 years with the company, I've never seen a Union "stop work" order, not even the slightest whiff of one, ever.
Good to hear positive stuff for a change. Good environment, I gather.

When workers get it, its great. A successful company starts with great workers and of course, awesome management.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:22 AM   #41
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Bingo, there is no concept of performance measurement in the public sector like there is in private business.
Tell me about it. We've been implementing a performance measurement / growth plan review process with our support staff this past year, and you wouldn't believe the backlash and resistance we are receiving. The legal costs are racking up, but we're sticking to the plan. Short term pain for long term gain.

I'm not even sure why I've stuck it out to get to where I am today in the public sector, but I guess I want to make a difference ... at least in our District. I'd make a LOT more money if I went back to the private sector, that's for sure.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:39 AM   #42
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I've worked in both the public and private sector in the past, and my experience follows more along the lines of MG1 -- there are hard and honest workers giving all they've got in the public / unionized sectors, and there are lazy spineless bastards that somehow managed to survive (or even get into higher management positions) in the public sector that always make me wonder how I got there. It all depends on the work place and the people.

But generally speaking, I see a bigger union entitlement issue in a blue collar type of unionized environment. That is not to say a similar entitlement mentality doesn't exist in a white collar type of unionized environment thought. (I've worked in both.)

In my current field (IT), I think a public, unionized environment is far better than a similar line of work in the private, non-unionized sector. There is a far better work-life balance in the public, unionized environment, and for the most part, people don't abuse the system and privileges. I have a couple of acquaintances working in the same field as I do, and those guys just get worked to death. One of them, in particular, is supposed to be at least a good 4 or 5 years younger than I am (if not more), and he looked great (and looked his age) when he first started working. Over the years as I saw him, he looks continually more tired and worn out, and nowadays, I'd say he probably looks more out of shape and older than I do. He is raking in some solid dough, but man... that work-life balance is so out of whack that I feel really bad for him.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:14 AM   #43
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at all the people bragging about their work ethic while posting on RS during business hours. Retirees notwithstanding.


Edit: Now that I'm on lunch I can elaborate more

Let me preface this by saying I've worked in many jobs both quasi-Public (with a Union) and Private (with and without a union). I currently work in the private sector without a Union. The only real difference I can attest to? I like not having union dues deducted off my paycheque. There's dog fuckers in every job but I believe there's a majority of hardworking people in any profession and company. You people that bitch endlessly about public sector unions, or unions in general - really need to get over yourselves.

Who's to say that if you landed your first job out of school at say, the BC gov't, that you wouldn't be as entitled and "lazy" as those you despise so much. And by that I mean you are a total product of your environment and experiences. There's always going to be a guy that thinks he's working harder than everyone else in the company. I believe that's an inefficiency caused by ineffective management and poor corporate culture. Fact of the matter is, with as much waste there is in the public sector, BC is still efficiently run and solvent. Sure could taxes be lower? Of course, but you really haven't experienced Government corruption and waste until you leave the developed world.

Like everything else "work ethic" is all relative. Some General Construction Laborer is going to think office workers have it easy. Some guy in Vietnam hustling on the streets with 3 jobs will probably laugh at our cushy "entitlements" such as 8 hour work days, weekends and paid vacation time off. As one of them told me "If I don't work, I don't eat".
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:48 PM   #44
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at all the people bragging about their work ethic while posting on RS during business hours. Retirees notwithstanding.


Edit: Now that I'm on lunch I can elaborate more

Let me preface this by saying I've worked in many jobs both quasi-Public (with a Union) and Private (with and without a union). I currently work in the private sector without a Union. The only real difference I can attest to? I like not having union dues deducted off my paycheque. There's dog fuckers in every job but I believe there's a majority of hardworking people in any profession and company. You people that bitch endlessly about public sector unions, or unions in general - really need to get over yourselves.

Who's to say that if you landed your first job out of school at say, the BC gov't, that you wouldn't be as entitled and "lazy" as those you despise so much. And by that I mean you are a total product of your environment and experiences. There's always going to be a guy that thinks he's working harder than everyone else in the company. I believe that's an inefficiency caused by ineffective management and poor corporate culture. Fact of the matter is, with as much waste there is in the public sector, BC is still efficiently run and solvent. Sure could taxes be lower? Of course, but you really haven't experienced Government corruption and waste until you leave the developed world.
Most people here aren't blaming the workers, I've watched hardworking tradespeople who I have had as foremen and superintendents on projects become lazy and useless when they started working at the docks.

So it is definitely the case of you are a product of your environment, the problem here is that public sector unions are the ones that create this environment. They throw their weight around and because of politicians fear of not getting re-elected, they tread very carefully when dealing with them.

The reason why unions in the private sector don't have nearly as much power is because the bureaucratic issues are missing. A CEO doesn't have to worry about being elected, he is hired and the only measure he has to live up to is his shareholders or owners of the company.



As for the BC is still run well and solvent, I wholeheartedly disagree. I hear and see enough dealing with the government to know that the system is fucked, it has been for awhile, and it's only getting worse.

Just like the RE market, should we wait until it's been two years of everything being fucked to shit before we do something about it?

EDIT: Also as for posting during work hours, "Business hours" are just the hours during which I schedule and take meetings, and my office doors are open. 75% of my work is done outside of those hours. After I posted that diatribe last night, I worked another 2 hours, before going home to sleep for 4 hours and coming back to work. So don't lump the rest of us into whatever your experiences have been.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:19 PM   #45
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EDIT: Also as for posting during work hours, "Business hours" are just the hours during which I schedule and take meetings, and my office doors are open. 75% of my work is done outside of those hours. After I posted that diatribe last night, I worked another 2 hours, before going home to sleep for 4 hours and coming back to work. So don't lump the rest of us into whatever your experiences have been.
Pretty sure his comment was tongue in cheek as not everyone works a 9-5 schedule.

I know the government unions can be pretty bad, but it comes down to how much power the union has, and that all depends on how hard the union members fight.
I was a member of a private union and while the people were slack, 95 percenters, it was a shit labour job and people were there for the pay cheque.
My current job is a private non-union job and there are people who go out of their way to find ways to slack off.
Wife works for the government, public union job, and the culture is bad. Most of the older workers are the typical government workers that we all make fun of. If you were a go getter, you would have left that union and found another job.
That being said, some of her co-workers managed to find work in other government sectors where the people were much more hard working, but again it is the culture of the office.

But government inefficiencies is not uncommon. While that co-worker works in a place with career minded people, it is still inefficient as they are given 8 hrs worth of work and if they are done in 5, they get to slack off for 3 hrs.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:36 PM   #46
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Yeah it was tongue-in-cheek and wasn't directed to anyone in particular. But whatever you're doing meme405 I hope it's worth more to you than bragging rights on an online forum.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:13 PM   #47
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First off. I agree with you that the VSB and other government jobs totally waste tax dollars.

But I will say, preparing for the day and taking 45 minutes to an hour is normal within any trades job. When else will you pack the all of the right tools for your task of the day? Especially in safety sensitive trades(maybe not lawn mowing), it is important to assess the task and bring the right tools. Even more so if you are a contractor.

And yeah Acklands is total shit, I work for a national company and we have to buy from them. Total bullshit if you think about how many people are getting laid off yet we pay 650 for wrenches worth 350.

And for those who are against unions. Yeah they do produce lazy workers and it is normal in all unions. But most union jobs are hard to get and you can't be a lazy person from the start to get into those. And if you are 60 years old and about to retire and everything the company promised you is taken away, you'd realize how useful a union is.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:06 PM   #48
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Hahahaha........... Acklands prices are like amazon.ca vs amazon.com. When I compare prices on tools and supplies, Acklands is anywhere from 30 to 100% higher than most other places. How can you sell shit for more than MSRP? Answer: Acklands wrote the book on the subject.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:32 AM   #49
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It is highly improbable that unions will go any where in this political environment. You can bash unions all you want, but coming up with a political and economical palatable way to replace it with a "better system" requires so much political capital and time that it is not worth it. Anyone that can do it will win Nobel Peace and Economic prizes at the same time.

I think unions can be improved and don't have to be so adversarial eg say unions in Europe, a lot of them are actually part of the management.

In the era of Trump, it is easy to promise the moon and you don't have to deliver anything.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:44 AM   #50
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I do agree there are rooms for improvements (as seen with every establishments) but saying "all gov't and union people are leeches and scum of the earth" is unfair and a bit too much. Like what some people say, it boils down to the individual person's work ethics and how the higher ups monitor their subordinates.

As a person who is in a healthcare unionized job for ~15yrs, I do see my fair share of inefficiencies, and people who read their union contract book trying to find ways to make things work to their advantage. Believe me, it makes my blood boil. However, I also see people who works their ass off every day. Having a supervisor who is a hard worker encourages good work ethics from subordinates while having a lazy incompetent boss will promote the laziness.

My final pet peeves: public is constantly being played by BC Children Hospital's "Think of our children" card
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