Union! Union! Union?

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    Christopher Patzke

    I don’t understand this question.

    Lee Attinger

    Unions are great if you want to destroy an industry. They sound great in theory but what have they done for other professions? When somebody builds a house, hiring a landscape architect is a luxury, not a necessity, at least in the minds of your average every day person. With the economy like it is now who is going to pay even more for this luxury when they can find an unlicensed landscaper to do a similar job for a fraction of the price? Unions= increased overhead = higher fees passed on to the client = less work for everybody.

    Aaron Coleman

    The problems of low pay and long hours are only going to get worse. Many new grads are willing to work for $13 or $15 an hour without benefits, and live with their parents. We will all be undercutting each other until the economy turns around, and even then it will likely be an employers market. A union seems like a solution, but their can certainly be negative consequences to unionizing as well; scabs, other professions willing to do our job at low rates (architects, landscape designers, draftspeople, graphic artists).


    Unions were intended to protect the worker from the abuses of unregulated employers. I assure you that there are enough employment regulations afforded employees that unions become arcane at best and a killer to local jobs. If you want a union experience I suggest you go to work for the Government. They have several unions that will tell you what you can and can’t do as it relates to your employment. Collectives turn employees in to commodities to be bargained for at the lowest possible price assuming all goes wrong. Individual deal making for a job is based on the best possible out come. The problem is that there are bad employers and bad employees and little discussion about what makes either one identifiable thus avoidable. Landscape Architecture is a very small profession and the bad apples should be identified and choices should be made. No one will protect you better than you, I don’t care what anyone says. The best revenge for any ill treatment that you may have had at the hands of an employer is to open an office and treat your dependants (that is what they become) the way you wanted to be treated. This is why my office is an eight to five organization, with a value given to personal time and family time.

    Jake Fisher

    I think we are in desperate need of a replacement for the ASLA. It seems to me like they overcharge for everything and do very little in the interests of common Landscape Architects. Maybe it would be best to start a new organization first and be an advocate for “livable wages and contemporary professional norms” rather than a union. If you establish a strong organization first, your chances of being successful starting a union will be much greater.

    A new LA association could:
    Make licensure a reasonable endeavor, not try to make the test three times as hard as when the people already in the club took it
    Represent sustainable development practices, which the ASLA makes a weak effort at only after it’s new main stream popularity
    Be an advocate for the environment and not crumby development
    Quit charging people unreasonable amounts of money for things like – job posting, membership, competitions, etc
    Quit trying to recruit new people into a flooded field. Who are these guys representing?(ahem corporate interests, undermining your job security with competition)

    I applaud you on your efforts to make a change to the injustice. It could be risky to get involved in such things from a professional point of view. Lets replace the ASLA and then we can Unionize from there…

Viewing 5 posts - 16 through 20 (of 20 total)
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