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Thread: Optician Guild/Union or what ever

  1. #1
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    Optician Guild/Union or what ever

    So I've been skimming the boards here and I was wondering. Is there some sort or optical Union type thing? If not why not start one?
    I bring this up because I've seen some disparaging comments about our profession's state. So many of us complain and want the respective states do improve yet it sees to me, as a relative new comer to the path of becoming a good optician, that something should be done to raise the field. I see equations and thought processes that are easily college level, if not masters level topics. I often find my self over my head in the more technical parts of the forums, yet when not here I'm the one people come to for answers. (I do get more than a few here and thank you all for the answers I get)
    Perhaps a national standard beyond the ABO? Maybe form some sort of union or guild that would not only help with income for us, but education, and enforcement of laws. For example here in Georgia there needs to be a LDO at all time unless a doctor uses their status. Yet I know many stores that have no LDO, or dispense with no Doctor or LDO. From what I understand it's a bit on the wrong side of the law, yet maybe one or two store get caught or fined a year. Perhaps this could become a more self regulating industry, or if we come together we could do what needs to be done to improve how the industry is seen.
    Just an idea that I'm tossing around and would like to see what others thought about it.

  2. #2
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    The well in the USA and Canada is currently too poisoned by the financial government and corporate oligarchs.

    Not to mention the OD's and independent chains who would weigh in as it's against their interests.

    You'll also need a large pool of money to organize and initiate such a major undertaking.

    Now if Wal-Mart and Fast Food gets unionized...

  3. #3
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    I know in the great state of Washington there is a limited presence of a union in the Seattle area. I believe it is a branch of SEIU. One large optical employer runs with this union. Been a while since I've been in contact, but it seems to work there.

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    Something like that could work on the national level. It kills me that a profession like this is so unregulated.

  5. #5
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    The "profession" does not wish to be regulated, unfortunately. But a union is not the answer. Until we develop a solid level of education and training that is the same across the country we are dead in the water, and will continue to decline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    The well in the USA and Canada is currently too poisoned by the financial government and corporate oligarchs.

    Not to mention the OD's and independent chains who would weigh in as it's against their interests.

    You'll also need a large pool of money to organize and initiate such a major undertaking.

    Now if Wal-Mart and Fast Food gets unionized...

    +1 and it's a damn shame...

  7. #7
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Rather than hijack another thread...From Dr. McDonald-

    Always that caveat from this community.......the experience is important! Of course it is, but if you do not have the knowledge in the first place your experience can be useless. Just read some of the posts here on the most basic of topics that clearly reinforce the need for increased education.
    So why not unionize and like the trades require education with experience to advance by an apprenticeship, journeyman then master optician system?

  8. #8
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    I'm not sure about the purpose of unions. I believe that they were formed to organize labor, and to be able to negotiate pay as a group. When I was an employee, the last thing I would have wanted was to be lumped in with my peers, many of whom spent their weekends partying, while I took extra classes to learn more about my profession and business. When I thought I deserved more money, I went, hat in hand, to the management, and negotiated a good wage for ME. Who knows what the others were worth? I didn't really care.

    Do you really need a union to tell you to go out and learn about the profession you are working in? Really?
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    The mom and pop small business is being squeezed so badly that the day of the independent optical shop will soon be like a blacksmith. Sure you can find them but they're not going to be in every village.

    A national standard can be created to ensure that "more than a pulse" is answering your eye wear needs questions and abusive practices over employees now have a voice other than their own to represent them.

    State legislatures would be sidelined so nationally recognized standards could be achieved in all 50 states.

    I can see the ophthalmic tech also being a part of us as well.

    The recent movement to organize assistant teachers at colleges should be interesting to follow as I see similarities in their plight.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    The mom and pop small business is being squeezed so badly that the day of the independent optical shop will soon be like a blacksmith. Sure you can find them but they're not going to be in every village.

    A national standard can be created to ensure that "more than a pulse" is answering your eye wear needs questions and abusive practices over employees now have a voice other than their own to represent them.

    State legislatures would be sidelined so nationally recognized standards could be achieved in all 50 states.

    I can see the ophthalmic tech also being a part of us as well.

    The recent movement to organize assistant teachers at colleges should be interesting to follow as I see similarities in their plight.
    Agree with this so much.
    To add in that Optician would be something earned rather than given out like some companies like to do. I hated it at lenscrafters when I started working sales and they called any one who sold an Optician. It belittles a title that I'm working for. I still call my self a Lab Tech (well lab rat with the ones I know) and will until I pass my practical.
    Johns: It's not about having to be told to go out and learn, it's about having a standard. It's about our line of work getting the pay and respect it should, as well as raising it up to a higher standard.
    I've seen glasses so far out of Anzi that my jaw dropped. I've met lab techs that where clueless about Anzi. If we as a group would organize this would be brought to a minimum.

  11. #11
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    Hey a union could probably help us out......like they did Detroit!

  12. #12
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald View Post
    Hey a union could probably help us out......like they did Detroit!
    The biggest element of mismanagement was designing and selling poor products. Anyone who lived in Michigan in the 1970s remembers when Detroit began building truly terrible cars, like the Chevy Vega, the AMC Gremlin, the Chrysler Imperial, and the Ford Pinto; it was the beginning of what became a slow-moving train wreck.
    [...]
    Autoworker wages didn't make the Big Three uncompetitive by driving prices up; poor value drove prices down. As prices and quality fell together, consumers fled. The UAW's contracts were almost irrelevant. One way to show this is to compare the pricing of the competitors' vehicles with the size of the labor cost differential bargained by the UAW. Labor costs make up only 10 percent of the cost of a typical automobile. Before the auto rescue, the Big Three paid $55 an hour in compensation per auto worker while the Japanese paid only $46 an hour. (Company lobbyists and publicists inflated the total Big Three labor cost to $71 by attributing the unfunded pension and health benefit costs for decades of retired workers to the much smaller currently employed workforce; the legacy costs for Japanese transplants were only $3 an hour.) But even if, for the sake of argument, we accept the unfairly inflated $71 figure, the difference in the cost of a vehicle attributable to the UAW (the UAW premium) would be 30 percent of the average 10 percent labor cost, or 3 percent of total cost.
    In 2008, according to Edmunds, GM sold its average large car for $21,518. Assuming GM sold its cars at cost, the UAW premium would have been only $645 (3 percent of $21,518). Did the UAW premium raise the selling price so high as to make GM cars uncompetitive with Toyotas? Not exactly. Toyota sold its comparably equipped average large car for $31,753--$10,000 more than GM. It wasn't price that made GM cars uncompetitive, it was the quality of the product and the customers' perception of quality. [The Economic Policy Institute, Working Economics Blog, 5/24/12]

    From: http://mediamatters.org/research/201...d-labor/198343

  13. #13
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    That was a mix of Unions out of control and Factories being taken over seas.
    What I have in mind would not set wages in stone, but would give us more negotiation power. It would hopefully not harm the indy stores, but more help with the giants that pay rock bottom. Set a national License standard that could move state to state. things like that.

  14. #14
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    Licenses are in state jurisdiction in the US, not the federal government. You can attempt to argue the value of unions all day, and only convince yourselves. In the days of cold mines when people were being injured unnecessarily, and unfairly, unions were of value. But in professional fields, that should be able to stand on their own. The path for Opticians is education, then legislation just like others before us.

  15. #15
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    'Be vewwy vewwy carefuw wnat you wish for. You may just get it'
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  16. #16
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    The funny thing is that there is even less of a national educational standard than there is a national optician competency baseline. Compared to the variable quality, limited locations and lack of any nationally agreed upon standard, the ABO in all it's ridiculous glory still has it all over the possibility of a national opticianry educational system. Until that changes in a massive and coherent way, there isn't really anything to discuss - let alone promote.

    Sure it's a nice thought to wax poetic about, but presently it's nothing more than a national pipe dream. Hard to say if that will ever change for the better...but appearances haven't been encouraging so far.

  17. #17
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    That is why the largest optical corporation has chosen this continent as their learning and playing ground for their advance to full worldwide commercial dominance.
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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    Blue Jumper That is why the largest optical corporation has chosen ..............................

    That is why the largest optical corporation has chosen this continent as their learning and playing ground for their advance to full worldwide commercial dominance in the optical field.
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  19. #19
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    The biggest element of mismanagement was designing and selling poor products. Anyone who lived in Michigan in the 1970s remembers when Detroit began building truly terrible cars, like the Chevy Vega, the AMC Gremlin, the Chrysler Imperial, and the Ford Pinto; it was the beginning of what became a slow-moving train wreck.
    [...]
    Autoworker wages didn't make the Big Three uncompetitive by driving prices up; poor value drove prices down. As prices and quality fell together, consumers fled. The UAW's contracts were almost irrelevant. One way to show this is to compare the pricing of the competitors' vehicles with the size of the labor cost differential bargained by the UAW. Labor costs make up only 10 percent of the cost of a typical automobile. Before the auto rescue, the Big Three paid $55 an hour in compensation per auto worker while the Japanese paid only $46 an hour. (Company lobbyists and publicists inflated the total Big Three labor cost to $71 by attributing the unfunded pension and health benefit costs for decades of retired workers to the much smaller currently employed workforce; the legacy costs for Japanese transplants were only $3 an hour.) But even if, for the sake of argument, we accept the unfairly inflated $71 figure, the difference in the cost of a vehicle attributable to the UAW (the UAW premium) would be 30 percent of the average 10 percent labor cost, or 3 percent of total cost.
    In 2008, according to Edmunds, GM sold its average large car for $21,518. Assuming GM sold its cars at cost, the UAW premium would have been only $645 (3 percent of $21,518). Did the UAW premium raise the selling price so high as to make GM cars uncompetitive with Toyotas? Not exactly. Toyota sold its comparably equipped average large car for $31,753--$10,000 more than GM. It wasn't price that made GM cars uncompetitive, it was the quality of the product and the customers' perception of quality. [The Economic Policy Institute, Working Economics Blog, 5/24/12]

    From: http://mediamatters.org/research/201...d-labor/198343
    Ok...so now we know what George Soros wants us to think about unions...
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  20. #20
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    Under the leadership of UAW President Walter Reuther, the UAW insisted on very generous compensation at each company. Reuther engaged in “pattern bargaining”—targeting one of the Big Three during contract negotiations for terms of a new (and usually generous) contract.

    If the automaker would not pay, the union would strike, shutting down operations, sending business to the other two companies, and costing the targeted firm billions. So the target company routinely conceded to union demands. Reuther forced the other two automakers to accept contracts with similar terms. This strategy allowed the UAW to raise labor costs across the Big Three without putting any of the automakers out of business.
    This arrangement worked incredibly well for UAW members. Until the automakers were forced into bankruptcy proceedings in 2008 their labor costs (wages and benefits) exceeded $70 an hour. UAW members enjoyed seven weeks of paid vacation and they could retire to generous pension benefits after 30 years on the job, irrespective of age. They earned more than many Ph.D. scientists.

    However, the UAW—like all cartels—helped its members at the expense of the rest of the economy. Detroit automakers passed along the cost of inefficient work rules and higher labor costs by raising their prices. Since the Big Three controlled almost the entire U.S. market for cars, and since Reuther did not allow them to compete on labor costs, American consumers had little choice but to pay more for their product. That meant higher monthly car payments and less money to spend elsewhere. For some people the higher costs made buying a car unaffordable. So Detroit built and sold fewer cars—and needed to hire fewer workers. The UAW raised its members’ wages by raising prices and by restricting the job opportunities for everyone else.
    http://capitalresearch.org/2012/01/t...o-the-economy/

    So, here's another article from the battling pundits. Talk to (former) union workers, and the stories are plenty. "Slumber rooms" with cots for workers to sleep off a buzz while on the clock, work stoppages because a small part needed to be moved, but assembly worker were not allowed to touch it, due to their job description. Yes, I agree with the article that the quality went down, but you can't build a quality product and maintain profits, with an inefficient work force and a bloated payroll. I know I can't.
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boldt View Post
    Agree with this so much.
    To add in that Optician would be something earned rather than given out like some companies like to do. I hated it at lenscrafters when I started working sales and they called any one who sold an Optician. It belittles a title that I'm working for. I still call my self a Lab Tech (well lab rat with the ones I know) and will until I pass my practical.
    Johns: It's not about having to be told to go out and learn, it's about having a standard. It's about our line of work getting the pay and respect it should, as well as raising it up to a higher standard.
    I've seen glasses so far out of Anzi that my jaw dropped. I've met lab techs that where clueless about Anzi. If we as a group would organize this would be brought to a minimum.
    ANZI ??? What the Heck is ANZI ? Oh , did you mean ANSI or American National Standards Institute ?

  22. #22
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    lol Oops. I fat fingered the hell outa that one! ANSI is what I meant. I blame that on the end of day, lack of coffee, and so not lack of looking back at what I put down.
    Thanks for the catch there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald View Post
    The path for Opticians is education, then legislation just like others before us.
    Though I've asked time and again from the folks that prescribe this, to give me a step by step way (that's grounded in reality) that this would work, I've yet to get ANY answer. What worked for OD's over a century ago will NOT work today. It has to be the other way around,,, legislate THEN educate. I can give you a more realistic way to make Opticianry get educated with mandate than (IMHO) anyone can the other way around.


    I've used the analogy of driver's licenses before....If a person did not need to pass a test and pay a fee to drive, whom would?

    The vast majority in Opticianry are apathetic at best. Ask me how many stepped up when we asked here in Texas for Opticians to help us change from voluntary to mandatory registration/licensure. There were only 4 of us. And even though there were so little of us, we managed to get a bill sponsored. (which got buried in legislative council by one very large retailer).

    There will be no large movement by Opticians to educate themselves, just the opposite. Again, you will have to drag Opticians into the classroom kicking and screaming all the way. And that way has to be, and will only happen through mandate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    Though I've asked time and again from the folks that prescribe this, to give me a step by step way (that's grounded in reality) that this would work, I've yet to get ANY answer. What worked for OD's over a century ago will NOT work today. It has to be the other way around,,, legislate THEN educate. I can give you a more realistic way to make Opticianry get educated with mandate than (IMHO) anyone can the other way around.


    I've used the analogy of driver's licenses before....If a person did not need to pass a test and pay a fee to drive, whom would?

    The vast majority in Opticianry are apathetic at best. Ask me how many stepped up when we asked here in Texas for Opticians to help us change from voluntary to mandatory registration/licensure. There were only 4 of us. And even though there were so little of us, we managed to get a bill sponsored. (which got buried in legislative council by one very large retailer).

    There will be no large movement by Opticians to educate themselves, just the opposite. Again, you will have to drag Opticians into the classroom kicking and screaming all the way. And that way has to be, and will only happen through mandate.
    +1

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    Step #1) Degree from an accredited school.
    Step #2) Pass legislation to require #1.

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