Published: Monday, Feb. 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Re: "This is not to say that unions have no place . . . ."This is. Unions have no valid place at the table. Public employees have
already co-opted the politicians they serve, and have no real need of union
"protection."Until we, the people, have a seat at the
negotiating table, there is nothing that can validly be called
"negotiation."No valid negotiation -- no valid need for the
liberal scam of public employee unions.
State governments are currently beholden to banking, construction, real estate,
agri-business and insurance interests.What little attention state
governments pay to education and public safety is almost entirely due to the
influence of public sector unions.In Utah, our legislators are
greedily counting the ways they and their friends will get rich from moving the
prison at a taxpayer cost of hundreds of millions, while at the same time they
can't scrape together a fraction of that amount to keep our schools funded
for just the annual growth in enrollment.So long as politics is
dominated by corporate money, public sector unions are a vital necessity if
_anyone_, public sector or private, hopes to preserve America's middle
"The data (pdf) come from Rutgers's Jeffrey Keefe, and he also ran
"a separate calculation that controls for full-time status, education level,
years of experience, age, gender, race, employer organizational size, industry,
and hours worked," which found that "public employees are compensated
2-7% less than equivalent private sector employees." " -Public employees
don't make more than private employees, The Washington Post, Ezra KlienYeah, soldiers make so much more then their private sector counterparts.
By the way, who in the private sector makes just about poverty wages to get shot
at, and have limbs blown off? Yep soldiers are making bank. Especially when they
rotate back and get hired easily in good paying jobs. And cops are
just raking in the money. Who are their private sector counterparts? Security
guards? Yeah right. Everyone knows if you want to get rich just become a cop.
And firefighters are just swimming in cash. What private sector job
is it that you absorb deadly toxins through your skin? Average life expectancy
for a firefighter is 5-6 years after retirement. Well at least they are dying
when they are supposed to, so they don't put a strain on social services.
Police and Firefighters get paid better than average. They make way more than
my private sector job and get the perk of a 20 year retirement at 50% of the
average of their last three years of employment wages (70% if they last 30
years). Not a bad deal while still young enough to get another job. I've
been at my job for 22 years. A 20 year patrol officer with Unified Police makes
a lot more than I do. I'm not crying for them.I'm
responsible for paying into my own retirement with my own money. The police and
firefighters get part of their retirement contribution paid by the entity they
Actually it is illegal for federal employees to strike, so one of the
assumptions in the editorial, at least for federal employees, is bogus.
Flashback, you haven't been paying attention. The Utah legislators changed
the retirement of public employees. It was in all the newspapers. You say
firefighters and cops make more then you. Put you didn't say what your job
is. What is your job? And how is it comparable to what they do? And if you like
the job they have so much, why didn't you become a public servant? I didn't ask you to cry for them. (Well maybe you could for the
two Texas firefighters that died in a fire last week) My point is they
aren't getting rich, and government sector employees do not make more then
comparable private sector. Are they starving? No. But that's okay with you
isn't it? You don't mind, do you flashback, if we actually pay the
people that keep us safe a living wage do you?
Re: "Actually it is illegal for federal employees to strike . . . ."Illegal, yes. But, sadly, not particularly uncommon.Remember
the air traffic controllers? And "blue flu" is common enough to have
entered into our lexicon.Even here in the reddest of red states, the
teachers' union has gone out on strike a couple times.
lost in DC, where in the editorial does it claim that is is legal for federal
employees to strike?
This editorial leaves a lot of details out. For example the federal workers
with only a high school degree do out earn their private industry counterparts
but those with advanced degrees make significantly less than private industry.
While I do agree with the prohibition that Federal employees not be
allowed to strike I have no issue with then bargaining collectively in private.
Like private workers they earned the compensation they are given and like others
have a right to collectively bargain and in private if they so wish.One issue the editorial also does not mention is that the decline of private
union membership has coincided with the decline in the wage growth of the
average worker. Instead of fighting to end the collective bargaining rights for
public sector employees maybe we should work to expand the use of collective
bargaining rights for non-public workers. We should be racing to expand worker
rights not participate in a race to the bottom.
@lost in DCIn Salt Lake City, where the employees are both unionized
*and* collectively bargain, city ordinance prohibits them from striking. So the
article was wrong in that regard as well.@procuradorfiscalWe all know what happened to the PATCO members who went on strike - every one
of them was fired. It was one of the telling moments of the Reagan
administration, and certainly a bellwether for public unions.If
strikes by federal employees are so common, as you say, name one other instance.
Not sure this qualifies, but they held up the ports in the NW. They destroyed
grain. Sorry, I grew up with a father who was head of a union (a big one). In
those days it was tough going and tough organizing. No wages like trumpka makes
now. In fact when he died there wasn't even life insurance. How things
Re: "If strikes by federal employees are so common, as you say, name one
other instance."How about 39? That's the number
investigated and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just between 1962
and 1981. And that, of course, doesn't count the thousands of "blue
flu" incidents during the same period, such as postal and other federal
employees who were suddenly taken ill -- in support of PATCO during the Reagan
years. Nor does it count many that have occurred since 1981 -- including a
"sickout" by overseas DOD teachers during the mid-'80s I'm
personally aware of.But, federal employees are, by far, not the
worst offenders. State and municipal employees -- Rahm Emanuel's Chicago
teachers, for example -- walk out all the time. So did Wisconsin's, a year
ago last week.Even Utah teachers have been known to do so, when they
feel like it.Union bosses and shills intent on asserting government
employee unions are pure as the driven snow should do a little research first.
I think the last teacher walk out at a state level was in 1990, maybe 1989.
It's not that it happens a lot in Utah. Teachers are more likely in Utah
and sit there and take it then fight for what they deserve. It could be argued
since they don't fight for better pay and conditions they are getting what
When a single employer has monopoly power in a segment of the employment market,
organizing a countering labor monopoly with bargaining power can help make
outcomes more fair and efficient. That's why unions were important in the
days of single-employer factory towns and low worker mobility- much more
important than they are in most of the economy today. Usually it's better
to avoid both kinds of monopolies and encourage competition. But we don't
want to have several competing governments with the same jurisdiction. So the
public sector is one of the few places where unions make sense. However, I absolutely agree with the DN that public-sector bargaining- as with
all other aspects of government- should be made as transparent as possible.
Otherwise we end up with all kinds of principal-agent problems. Without close
oversight, legislators, bureaucrats, etc meeting privately with unions,
lobbyists, etc will continually make agreements that are in the interest of
those present but are to the detriment of the public.
Re: "I think the last teacher walk out at a state level was in 1990, maybe
1989."That may well be what you think, but the last walkout was
actually 5 Dec 2000, not too long after longtime leftist union boss Lily
Eskelsen's "ascension" from UEA to NEA leadership, but clearly at
her urging, nonetheless.Additionally, walkouts were threatened
several times, though not actually implemented, during UEA/NEA's 2007
all-out war on school choice.
@procuradorfiscalThe fact that you have to go back 30-50 years, add
in non-strikes such as sick-outs, and then throw in non-federal employees such
as out-of-state municipal employees - and one Utah teacher strike - to try and
make your point, shows that public employee strikes are, in fact, uncommon. Not
unheard of, but certainly not common.Out of all the instances you
name, how many constituted an illegal job action? The PATCO strike, certainly,
but not many others. Public employee labor laws are quite varied and mixed when
it comes to strikes. Not all public employee job actions are illegal.
Sunlight is the best sanitizer. Legislators, union leaders and individuals can
be secretive with their own personal finances, but not the publics funds. Why is
there a discussion?
"...manifests nothing less than intent on (our) part to prevent or obstruct
the operations of government until (our) demands are satisfied," he noted.
Republicon manifesto.And then we learn..."Such action, looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have
sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable...".Republicon Manifesto exposed...
Procuradorfiscal,Local teachers are not federal employees. Blu flu
episodes are investigated – perhaps not as frequently or vigorously as
they ought to be, but…JerseyGirl,It may not state it is
legal, but the basic assumption behind the editorial is striking public
employees hold a government hostage, which, unlike a private business, cannot
fail.The intent of the comment was to remind the editorial writers
that they need to get all the facts straight and complete, or there can be no
confidence in the conclusion. Reasonable people can look at the same facts and
come to different conclusions, and can provide reasonable support for those
conclusions, but when the underlying premise is false or incomplete, the support
for the conclusions is lacking, even if the conclusions are correct.
Lost in DC: you'd think they are federal employees since 0bama has said
they will be laid off in horrendous #"s. BTW, not in Utah, but what
about what the teachers did in Wisconsin? They were a horrible disgrace to their
profession and a horrible example to their students! What they did to their
state house was dispicable. If I had a student in school there and their
teachers were part of it I would've pulled them out and sent them to a
private school or home schooled them.
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