I think each of us feels that we are a good at what we do. And many of us perhaps feel we could well represent ourselves when dealing with any number of items- education, health, family, and employment. MGEC receives regular comments along the lines of: “I really don’t use or need the union, I don’t have any job issues, and I could easily represent myself.”
There is quite a bit of evidence to support the conclusion that collective representation is more powerful than going it alone- and the examples don’t always involve labor. Have you heard that organizations like AARP, AAA, and Alumni associations can arrange for group discounts? Strength in numbers. Have you heard that large pension plans have an outsized role in the funds in which they are invested? Strength in numbers. Have you heard that the Federal Government gets better prices on drugs through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veteran’s Administration? Strength in numbers. Have you heard that nurses and teachers have successfully- this year- even in non-union states, organized and undertaken collective action to pursue better wages and working conditions. Strength in numbers. Class action lawsuits? Strength in numbers.
Having sat across from more than 15 State Human Resources and Labor representatives during our contracting negotiations, I can tell you is a situation I’d rather not be in alone.