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conbo61

Officials Union

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Just received an email regarding an information session for the new PIAA Officials union.

I have no interest, but I am curious to hear their spiel.

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This was posted a while back when it first surfaced in PIAA district 7 and 8.  I also have no interest, but once the ruling came down several weeks ago, it is gaining more support here.  I am just waiting to see what will happen and how it plays out before I make a decision.  Time will tell on this movement. 

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Why the lack of interest or negativity toward this union?  I ask this as someone who is definitely in the middle on unions (I don't love or hate them; I think they have done some good and some not-so-good, historically). 

Anyways, I am interested (as an attorney) to hear the specifics as to why you all have a lack of interest or got a "good laugh" out of it.

Just curious.  I am not judging any of you...your views may be my own if I was in your shoes.  This just fascinates me as both an umpire and lawyer.

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I don't want to speak for everyone in my local PIAA chapter, but the consensus I have gathered from the conversations with several members (including union workers) has been pretty negative.  Our chapter functions as a union without calling ourselves a union.  Our assignor, chapter president and / or rules interpreter handles any issues whether they are major or minor. Our pay is fair.  We serve several schools that require putting some miles on your car and these schools are required to pitch in gas money as part of the game fee.  The fear in our area is that we will have to pay more in dues and will not benefit from it.  Right now our chapter dues are $20 and it goes towards an all you can eat / drink banquet at the end of the regular season.  Whatever is left after the banquet fees is given to a local charity.  Donations are typically made in the honor of a recently deceased chapter member. The fear of the individuals I spoke with is that we will see an increase in dues and no benefit to the local chapter.      

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Why the lack of interest or negativity toward this union?  I ask this as someone who is definitely in the middle on unions (I don't love or hate them; I think they have done some good and some not-so-good, historically). 

Anyways, I am interested (as an attorney) to hear the specifics as to why you all have a lack of interest or got a "good laugh" out of it.

Just curious.  I am not judging any of you...your views may be my own if I was in your shoes.  This just fascinates me as both an umpire and lawyer.

If I could find that Q&A sheet they put out I could go point by point on how laughable it was. If you'd like to know my experience in general with the unions, I'd be more than happy to DM you our experience. Hubs has been a member of his trade his whole working career and has worked permit for 4 different trades, so I have a good working knowledge of the effects both the good and the bad. Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
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I just don't get it, but I'm viewing this through the looking glass of how my own association works.  The members of the association don't work for the association, or even the schools it serves.  We are independent contractors and are paid directly by the schools, so if I work 20 games in a season, I will get checks (or payments via Refpay) from somewhere between 15-20 different schools. 

I'm not sure if the association, or CIF (the state) negotiates the game fees.  Besides that, what good is unionizing?  Improving working conditions?  Management?  Benefits?  None of those fits the situation.

Like I said, I just don't get it.

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I believe the issue is about not being paid fairly.  Here in Western PA, I have actually seen a difference in fees when doing the same level of games.  I have also seen a lower level (MS and JV) pay more that varsity.  Another issue is that we are basically told what to wear.  I don't have a problem with that, but some of my peers do and insists that this is what makes the umpires "employees" not "independent contractors".  It is going to be interesting because I have been hearing others saying it is only the beginning.  

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Why the lack of interest or negativity toward this union?

In my 'real' job as a federal employee, I can join a union, but am not allowed to strike by law, and my benefit package is set/effed with/chipped away at/ruined by 535 special needs people known as Congress.  So, I could pay dues to an organization whose lobbying impact is barely above me writing a letter to my own Congressman.  I choose not to.

I fail to see where a union will help in the case of sports officials, either.  Virginia is a 'right to work' state, which, as I understand the details of that, should actually read 'the right to get fired at almost any moment for any reason.'

I'm more in the lack of interest camp, versus negativity, as I can't see the benefit one would offer.

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