09 November 2011

The Votes Are In

The first bit of good news is that the Personhood Amendment did not pass in Mississippi.  This is especially important since the state still went primarily republican and voted "yes" on many other conservative pet issues.  This indicates that people are starting to make informed decisions on a case by case basis and not just voting with classic party lines.  That kind of thing could be a real game changer in the upcoming campaign season.

In other good news Ohio will be allowed to have collective bargaining.  I think this indicates an important bit of social change that may have been inspired by the Occupy movements.  Mostly though this makes me very happy because I am a pro-union gal.  While I will not pretend for even a second that the system is perfect, it does work on many important levels.  I feel this way for two main reasons:
  1. I come from a Union Family.  Both my grandfathers were union men in construction and patent engineering.  Both my parents were educators and worked within the NYS Teacher's Union.  I have seen first hand how the collective bargaining process allows workers to do the best job possible while also providing for themselves and their families.  In an era where women staying in the workforce post-kids was still a novelty my mother taught full time, enjoyed proper maternity leave and was provided job security.  My father who later moved into administration was able to retire at 55, but since the system is so wonderful, still works as a superintendent, by choice, in an interim capacity.  That's right people.  The system is so beneficial to its users and consumers alike that there is actual retention in the field.  Pretty good for a job where you have to have a graduate degree so as to earn half what you might make in industry. 
  2. My husband works without a union.  His place of employment requires no limits on work hours, provides no overtime, allows no sick days, does not guarantee holidays and may soon offer no major retirement or healthcare benefits.  My husband worked 100 hour weeks.  Many submariners are working a 2 person duty rotation meaning they work for 40 straight hours, often with no breaks, only to come home long enough to sleep (and by that I mean 4-5 hours) then do it again the next day.  The irony here being that this employer is the federal government. An entity that probably wouldn't let this happen to any other American workers.  I am not saying there are not benefits, clearly there are some otherwise none of us would be here doing this, but still that is a lot of abuse for a paycheck and in some cases, the chance to die young. 
So yeah!  Go Ohio.  Go Mississippi and all the other states who saw some real change this week.   Sometimes it is very uplifting to read the news.