Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Public Employee Unions need to get a clue - "This is the new norm. It's a different day for public sector employees."

When you look at how things are rigged in favor of Public Employee Unions, you realize that if anyone in private business operated this way, you'd be able to support an indictment for Racketeering.

Of course, the Union Bosses and members don't see it that way but in the new economy, they are trying to hold on to promises that were made by people who had no idea how bad our economy would be at this time.

Public Sector employees need to adjust to the new reality as the taxpayers have had to do so for some time now....and I am getting a little tired of listening to their gripes when the rest of us, (The Majority of Workers), have little sympathy for Unionized Government Workers when all other workers have suffered severe pay cuts, loss of benefits and job cuts.

The tax dollars we pay must benefit all citizens, not just those lucky enough to be inside the system....The Hacks need to get over themselves....really.

Unions Mobilize Against Curbs

Several big public- and private-sector unions are launching a campaign aimed at stopping a growing push by states to curb union bargaining rights and benefits.

Union members, clergy and community leaders were using a pre-Martin Luther King Day candlelight vigil in Cincinnati on Friday to protest proposals by Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich to eliminate collective-bargaining rights for thousands of home health-care workers.

Mr. Kasich is considering changes to union rights and benefits in light of a pending big budget gap, said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for the governor. Mr. Kasich also supports banning strikes by public school teachers.

"There are going to be concessions in many facets of government," Mr. Nichols said. "Everyone needs to be contributing."

The Cincinnati event is one of several planned over the next few months, coordinated by both private and public unions. Those representing government workers face a tough battle this year to convince lawmakers and the public that precious tax dollars should be spent on their pensions and health-care benefits amid widespread government budget woes.

Unions are also filing lawsuits challenging cutbacks and offering lawmakers other suggestions on how to cut costs and raise revenue.

"Every segment of the labor movement is under attack right now," said Naomi Walker, director of state-government relations for the AFL-CIO, which is working with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the U.S.'s biggest public-sector union; the Service Employees International Union; the American Federation of Teachers; and others.

The pay and benefits of the highly unionized public-sector work force have become prime targets for cuts as many states face budget shortfalls. Some politicians argue that union workers, who typically enjoy stronger job and benefit protections than those in the private sector, will have to make sacrifices.

The union campaigns—targeted now on Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and New Jersey—will include phone calls and visits to union members, as well as demonstrations and meetings with elected officials. The goal is to get union members to convince state officials to oppose these measures and turn public opinion in their favor.

Labor expects the fights to be most intense in typically union-heavy states, such as Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Changes are being considered in those states that include right-to-work proposals that would eliminate mandatory union membership and dues in organized workplaces.

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said eliminating bargaining rights for public-sector workers is one option to help rein in costs and help control the state's budget gap, which is $158 million now and set to grow to $3 billion in the next fiscal cycle.

Some unions are trying to prevent cuts affecting their members by proposing ways for states to address shortfalls.

"They are seeking to put out their ideas and to engage the budgets in some new and innovative ways," said Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in labor issues.

Other unions are turning to the courts. In Miami, the firefighters' union last fall filed a lawsuit in state circuit court saying the city circumvented full collective bargaining and then cut wages, health insurance and pension benefits for current workers because of what the city called financial urgency.

"The bottom line was that wages and pensions are the biggest chunk of our budgets," said Julie Bru, Miami city attorney. "This is the new norm. It's a different day for public sector employees."

Write to Kris Maher at

No comments: