June 24, 2012

At the AFSCME convention, "any serious consideration of a fundamental change in strategy..."

"— something that many labor and political experts say the union badly needs to win more public support."
Judging from the talk on the convention floor, one would hardly know that they had experienced a huge defeat this month in their effort to recall Wisconsin’s governor, or that they faced lawmakers and voters across the country who have grown increasingly unsympathetic to public sector workers....
At most they're saying, they lost in Wisconsin because they were outspent, says Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University, but "It would have been much more encouraging if they said, ‘We lost because we are out of touch with the public.’ They don’t understand that in hard times, everyone must sacrifice."
Numerous studies have shown that wages for public sector and private sector workers are not far different. One analysis found that government workers with college degrees tend to have lower wages than private sector workers with similar educations, while those without college degrees tend to do better than their private sector counterparts.

But public employees generally have more generous health and pension plans. In a report this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said state and local workers averaged $26.85 in wages an hour, with compensation totaling $41.16 an hour when pensions and other benefits are included.
Designing the pay package like that is a way to keep the public from seeing how generous it is. What happened in Wisconsin was a new transparency. Something most people hadn't noticed became the focal point, as Scott Walker and the GOP legislature selected, for budget cutting purposes, exactly the item that people hadn't really noticed. It wasn't about cutting salaries or firing public workers, so when they protested, they were yelling about something that looked rather lavish to other citizens... which made them sound out of touch and entitled.
“I wouldn’t write off labor unions just yet. Their obituary has been written frequently over the past 70 years,” said Harley Shaiken, a professor of labor studies at the University of California, Berkeley. However, “the status quo for them is untenable,” he said. “Unions will require imaginative, bold leadership going forward.”
But at the convention, AFSCME voted for Lee Saunders as their new president, and he's saying:
“We have to be as politically active as we can possibly be in the 2012 elections at the national, state, local, school district level because there are a lot of people out there who want to hurt this union and who want to hurt you,” he said. “We have to be organized to fight back.”
Does that sound like imaginative, bold leadership going forward?

103 comments:

edutcher said...

Problem is, AFSCME itself is a dinosaur.

The whole Welfare State model it needs to survive is going belly up and they're doing their part to hasten it along.

This is the story of seamens' and railroad workers unions back after WWII and these people have learned nothing.

sane_voter said...

I think they are looking at the overturning of the Ohio SB5 union reform as the standard, whereas that was actually an outlier. I hope they stay clueless and real public union reform keeps rolling along everywhere else. It's long past time to correct this.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

I read an interesting article the other day that posits that the Imperial Federal government is entering the uncharted territory of "zero sum spending." It suggested that instead of dividing the pie as usual (the parties fighting over only how much each constituent received), in this age of "limited resources" government will now be forced to pay only Peter or Paul - something neither party is particularly adept at.

The Unions haven't gotten this memo - the taxpayers understand the memo.

The Farmer said...

They don’t understand that in hard times, everyone must sacrifice.

Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses.

edutcher said...

Jeff, the taxpayers are writing the memo.

While we can't say of the public sector unions that they are entirely at fault for pricing themselves out of existence (the entitlement mentality is also to blame), as was the case with the private sector, their hard Left radicalism, born of the 60s, has accelerated the issue.

cubanbob said...

What is lost on the public sector unions minds is that the private sector taxpayers are realizing that they are going to get hit with higher taxes to pay for public sector workers pay, benefits and pensions, taxes that will provide them with not benefit at all. Worse still the private sector taxpayer is seeing in Obamacare an attempt to reduce their earned benefits, see the coming Social Security reductions, their principal retirement plan that they contributed to for an average of 40 to 45 years while the public sector gets to get pensioned off after only 30 years. Are they that stupid or blind that the private sector taxpayers wouldn't notice or willingly accept becoming indentured servants to the public sector mandarins?

edutcher said...

The Farmer said...

They don’t understand that in hard times, everyone must sacrifice.

Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses.


Obviously, The Farmer hasn't been to town in the last 40 years or so.

ndspinelli said...

There are always those folks who don't realize the party is over and just won't fucking leave. You have to show them the door.

Jay said...

Does that sound like imaginative, bold leadership going forward?

No, but they're progressives Ann, so shut up!

Quayle said...

Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses

I know.

It's really hard to have to wait until your last year of employment before you retire in your low 50s, and then load up on hours and overtime to game the system into setting your retirement pay high.

It's the only way to get that raise you've been deserving for serving the public you choose to serve.

Quayle said...

Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses

And scorn on those people that forced you to go into civil service.

That forced you to take that job where you never got raises and bonuses.

There should be another amendment to the constitution that people that don't want to work in civil service shouldn't be forced to.

Because having that government job where you wake up every day fearing that you may be fired for no reason - that's hell to have to endure.

ndspinelli said...

There is one contact w/ public sector union members that virtually everyone can relate, that is w/ DMV employees. How much good will do you think that engenders? The chickens have come home to roost.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Educther - well put.

The professor must have esp or something.

Sandy Springs, GA, privatizes everything but the PD and Fire Department, and guess what, they are in the black ink.

From the todays NYT of all places:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/business/a-georgia-town-takes-the-peoples-business-private.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

rhhardin said...

Welfare for corruption and thieves.

The Farmer said...

And scorn on those people that forced you to go into civil service.

That forced you to take that job where you never got raises and bonuses.


So wait a second. The greedy public workers who have it so easy only have themselves to blame for taking a terrible job?

If you want public workers to make sacrifices when times are tough then you ought to be in favor of giving them raises and bonuses when the economy is booming. Instead, you want to move the goalposts.

The Farmer said...

edutcher said...
The Farmer said...

Obviously, The Farmer hasn't been to town in the last 40 years or so.


Do tell.

PatCA said...

"Does that sound like imaginative, bold leadership going forward?"

No, sounds like a guy trying to make a bunch of money and then lock in a retirement before it's too late.

BTW I had dinner with a bunch of people who did not know, had never heard, that public employees are forced to pay dues and that upwards of 80% of those dues go right back to the pols who "negotiated" their pay.

Did. Not. Know.

The GOP needs to educate people on this.

cubanbob said...

The Farmer said...

If people make bad career choices thats their problem, not the taxpayers. As long as they get paid they are owed nothing more than the private sector workforce.
Public servants aren't draftees, they can quit anytime of their choosing. Nothing is stopping them from going into the private sector if they think they can get better pay and benefits, most won't because most can't.

Quayle said...

If you want public workers to make sacrifices when times are tough then you ought to be in favor of giving them raises and bonuses when the economy is booming. Instead, you want to move the goalposts

Op, you got us, Farmer. When good times were rolling the public turned a bind eye to the pact made by the public sector unions and the lefty (mostly) politicians, and they emptied the cookie jar.

Mea culpa for us not paying attention.

But now we are paying attention, and we've noticed that nobody else in America has fixed benefit retirement plans except public sector unions.

And we noticed that Illinois, California, New Jersey, New York and a host of other red states have absolute no idea how they are going to actually..you know...pay those retirements.

But you think all is well.

Do you own a turnip truck farm, by any chance?

cubanbob said...

By the way Farmer, we must have been in a coma during the good years because as I recall public sector employees got annual pay raises during the goodyears.
Were my eyes lying to me?

geokstr said...

Hardly anyone ever mentions one of the major reasons why the health care costs were so high for the public sector in WI - the massive overcharging for the union sponsored health plan that was mandated by contract. In Milwaukee alone, Barrett managed to use the ability to get competitive bids to save $19 million annually on health care costs for the same plan with a private insurer and balanced the city budget. Why do you think he never even mentioned the union reforms in the recall - because it worked so well it even saved his ass.

The only governmental units that ended up with budgetary problems were the ones where the unions forced new contracts to be signed before the reforms were passed. They were stuck with the overpriced union insurance.

And this was only for non-essential personnel. I wonder what similar union goodies are in the contracts of the really powerful police and firefighters' unions.

Has anyone added up the total savings statewide on the health insurance? I'd sure like to see that analysis.

And while they're at it, how about we see what this union price-gouging is costing nationwide. I'll bet that's a major source of the hundreds of millions of dollars they throw at Democrats exclusively every election cycle to get a friendly "management" to "negotiate" with.

Maguro said...

The real test of whether public workers are overpaid, underpaid or paid just right is how many of them leave voluntarily for jobs in the private sector. If Walker's reforms were so unfair to public employees, they must be leaving the civil service in droves, right?

AJ Lynch said...

Unions, in many cases, are led by the children and grandchildren of former stellar union leaders. These offspring are the beneficiaries of nepotism and temd to be incimpetent and lack vision. Hence, unions have not adapted to a chsnging world. Here in Philly, the UCFW is led by Wendell Young III, the carpenters union is led by a son of a former president and there are a few others I can't think of at this time.

AJ Lynch said...

Here in Philly, the average SEPTA worker [transit system] has a gross salary of $90,000 and that is a 20% increase from 2008 in the midst of a recession. If / when the voting public grasps this simple fact, they will be pissed.

garage mahal said...

I'm surprised none of Mitt's Kidz didn't go into teaching. Or become a nurse at an state insane asylum like my sister.

That's where the real money is yo! Everyone knows this. And soooooo easy!

leslyn said...

Because having that government job where you wake up every day fearing that you may be fired for no reason -that's hell to have to endure.

Yeah, it is. I went to work that way every day for two out of the last three years. New change of command made everything very unstable. Now I just worry about it once a week or so.

AJ Lynch said...

Garbage's sister works at an insane asylum? I guess when she was growing up, she got plenty of experience dealing with a lunatic.

AprilApple said...

"Does that sound like imaginative, bold leadership going forward?"

No. It sounds like a threat from a mob boss.

edutcher said...

AJ Lynch said...

Here in Philly, the average SEPTA worker [transit system] has a gross salary of $90,000 and that is a 20% increase from 2008 in the midst of a recession. If / when the voting public grasps this simple fact, they will be pissed.

AJ, it's the people in the 'burbs (Main Line, etc.)that are going to have to raise Hell about that. They're the ones who need the Paoli Local et al. to escape the Schuylkill.

PS I remember Wendell Young.

I also remember several transit strikes that made my life ever so much fun. I can't weep very much for the poor, benighted transport workers.

leslyn said...

the private sector taxpayers are realizing that they are going to get hit with higher taxes to pay for public sector workers pay, benefits and pensions, taxes that will provide them with not benefit at all.

1) public workers pay taxes and buy things like houses, clothes, food and school supplies. Private sector are not the only ones supporting the economy. Boo Hoo.
2) Do without any public sector workers, who are of "no benefit." See how you like it.

Worse still the private sector taxpayer is seeing in Obamacare an attempt to reduce their earned benefits, see the coming Social Security reductions

So employer/employee-funded "earned benefits" and Social Security are good? Which side are you on? Looks like you just jumped horses in the stream there when it suited your interest.

Jay said...

The Farmer said...

If you want public workers to make sacrifices when times are tough then you ought to be in favor of giving them raises and bonuses when the economy is booming.


Please list the last year the members of the public sector did not get a raise.

Thanks in advance.

Jay said...

1) public workers pay taxes and buy things like houses, clothes, food and school supplies

Hysterical.

So um, why don't we put 60% of the adult workforce on the government payroll and have a booming economy?

Jay said...

The Farmer said...


Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses


This assertion has no basis in reality.

leslyn said...

BTW I had dinner with a bunch of people who did not know, had never heard, that public employees are forced to pay dues and that upwards of 80% of those dues go right back to the pols who "negotiated" their pay.

That's because it's untrue.

G Joubert said...

Public employees need a union like a fish needs a bicycle.

Aaron said...

If you are a public sector worker who feels you are under paid and could do better in the private sector, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Really.

You will be better off.

Someone unemployed will get your job.

The taxpayer burden will be lessened as you pay more taxes from your new, higher-paying private sector job.

Its a win-win-win.

So, please give notice tomorrow and hurry up to enter the lucrative private sector!

AprilApple said...

I'm tired of the emotional blackmail from the left. This isn't about teachers, firefighters and police. This is about economics, budgets and unfunded liabilities.
We cannot afford to give government unionists whatever they want.

You would think they would want to be fair and join in the shared sacrifice. You would think they would welcome the transparency. After all, Obama campaigned on transparency. Turns out transparency is a bitch.

leslyn said...

They don’t understand that in hard times, everyone must sacrifice.

Does that include UW professors?

Does that include the Wisconsin municipal police and firefighters unions (Milwaukee) who endorsed Walker?

No.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

So, please give notice tomorrow and hurry up to enter the lucrative private sector

Exactly. The private sector is doin' fine, you know!

garage mahal said...

Instead of asking my boss for a better compensation package, I'm pushing for someone else to get their's slashed so it equals mine.

I Stand With Walker!

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Instead of asking my boss for a better compensation package, I'm pushing for someone else to get their's slashed so it equals mine.


What you know about economics could fit into a thimble.

But press forward, idiot.

garage mahal said...

What I don't get is: If paying public workers less is better for the state, why aren't YOU voluntarily asking for a pay DECREASE to help the company you work for? They would be much better off! They could hire more people if you weren't such a narcissist! Are you too selfish? Greedy? Lazy? Corrupt? Thug? Radical?

Althouse? How bout working for half what you work for now? Throw us a lifeline!

leslyn said...

But now we are paying attention, and we've noticed that nobody else in America has fixed benefit retirement plans except public sector unions.

"three in 10 workers who have what those in the business call a DB plan these days." http://articles.marketwatch.com/2011-10-20/finance/30768441_1_benefit-pension-sponsors-plan

"DB" = defined benefit for private sector workers.

AJ Lynch said...

Educther;

Re SEPTA strikes, I went through quite a few too. Once, they closed at 2PM every day so those of us with cars could car pool the carless to their homes. The traffic was not fun!

Michael K said...

"If you want public workers to make sacrifices when times are tough then you ought to be in favor of giving them raises and bonuses when the economy is booming."

The bonuses that I gave my employees were in return for extra effort or good results due to their actions. The public employee unions have made merit pay illegal. Why would you give a bonus for doing nothing extra ?

A perfect example of the cluelessness of the left.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

AJ, I was one of those pooled, so I know what you mean.

Does the name Dominic DiClerico ring a few bells?

Rusty said...

2) Do without any public sector workers, who are of "no benefit." See how you like it.


OK


You know, of course that 70 % of the fire departments in the US are volunteer, right?



So (private)employer/employee-funded "earned benefits"
(are good)


Yes. I can negotiate mine in person.



and Social Security(benefits) are good?


Not really. SS is going to run out of funding next year. can I have all the money I paid in please? SS doesn't have to write me a check, I'll take federal land as payment.



Which side are you on? Looks like you just jumped horses in the stream there when it suited your interest.


Nope. I'm on my side.

You seem to have trouble with the difference between public and private.



Most public employees could not show up to work for weeks and the vast majority of Americans would never notice.
You're not really needed.

Carnifex said...

Wow Leslyn! I had no idea you had it so hard! Now, instead of worrying about it once a week, for 2 years think about this. I've been a carpenter for 35 years. Somedays I have work, somedays I don't. There have been WAAAY more don'ts the past few years. And, as a benefit of unlimited illegal immigration, the average pay of a carpenter hasn't gone up in those 35 years. A carpenter avaraged $14 an hour 35 years ago, today it averages $14 an hour. Ohh, starting pay is $8. I can build a house from the ground up, everything, and I do not do good work, I do great work.

Now, factor in a depressed housing market, and rampant unemployment. How many openings are there for over 50 carpenters with bad knees, multiple hernias, and hard of hearing (no hearing protection when I started).

Now try to imagine, I know it's hard for you but try, how I feel about democrats(and republicans I admit, but dems are worse) who lead the charge to eff up the housing market, and promote illegal immigration? Try to imagine the anger that burns in my heart for Zero giving millions of illegals amnesty.(as I said reps did it too, if anything I despise them even more).

And you worry you MIGHT get fired from a government that hasn't fired it's buggy whip inspectors?

Please...

Ps.

Before it's suggested, I tried changing careers. Got my cdla and drove a truck for 1/2 year but my hearing combined with my apnea to get me medically dq'ed. Didn't like the people I worked for so I ain't crying over that.

leslyn said...

??Reread your history. Of course, we don't see as many union members murdered since the 60's.

leslyn said...

I wonder what similar union goodies are in the contracts of the really powerful police and firefighters' unions.

They don't have to pay additional contributions. They endorsed Walker.

You don't have to wonder. It's all right there in Act 10.

AJ Lynch said...

Edutcher:

Domenic DeClerico was the TWU president in the 80's or 90's I think.

alan markus said...

@ Carnifex: the father of one of my daughter's best friends is a carpenter. Her parents were telling me that in better times he pulled 40-50 hours a week, never less than 40 hours in a 5-day workweek, at his regular job. Now, some weeks he does 30 hours in a 4-5 day workweek. So, he has been doing side jobs on Saturdays & Sundays to get to at least 40 hours in a week - if he's lucky he might get 50 hours by working 7 days. Playing havoc on the family: 3 young kids, the wife works 3rd shift, and the kids are missing out on quality summer family time.

How many Public Sector Workers put in 40-50 hours at straight time over a 7-day period?

Some of their kids elementary teachers make $80,000 a year over a 9-month period. They get all summer to spend with their kids. And most of them are out of the school within a 1/2 hour of dismissal. Same lesson materials are used every year, so there isn't much time needed for after-hours lesson planning either. Get paid personal days off during the school year too.

These people used to have an Obama sticker on their car, but I'm sure they voted for Walker in the recall.

tiger said...

1)AFSCME is fighting the last war.

2) The notion that someone in the private sector needs to force his/her company to give him/her better benefits instead of reducing public sector employee benefits is childish logic.

3) Leslyn? The MAJORITY of unions dues goes to supporting democrat politicians, whether you think so or not.

4) As to your comment that that 'firefighters and police' endorced Walker. Yes, a minority did but the well over 80% of those unions endorced Barrett, something you should know.

5) The truth is that some state employees *have* gotten screwed. No raises for the past few years for the rank and file while people with senority got bumps. Were they and the teachers have really been taken advantage of is in having any raises go to reduce insurance premiums instead of in their pocket, but again, the union administrators are to blame for that.

edutcher said...

His best-remembered quote, delivered the night before a strike with a blizzard forecast, "I hope it snows 10 feet!".

Ah, yes, we remember it well.

Jason (the commenter) said...

By taking the positions they do, unions are ensuring that when the cuts come, they will be even bigger than they might have been.

Works for me.

leslyn said...

The public employee unions have made merit pay illegal.

A few samples:

Merit Pay and Motivation in the Public Workforce: Beyond Technical Concerns To More Basic Considerations:
s article examines the influence of workplace participation and job enrichment in promoting employee motivation. Using data gathered from a panel survey of public employees in Washington state, the authors found workplace participation and job enrichment to be more salient determinants of public employee motivation than merit pay. They also suggest that the adoption of a participative performance appraisal system may even improve employee attitudes toward compensation. http://rop.sagepub.com/content/7/2/54.abstract.

State employees to receive $24 million in merit pay Posted on 11 May 2012. http://arkansasnews.com/2012/05/11/state-employees-to-receive-24-million-in-merit-pay/.

The merit system owes its start in Alabama to a determined effort to generally ... personnel.alabama.gov/Content.aspx?.

An analysis of data The Associated Press obtained through an open records request showed Wisconsin agencies have handed out more than $765,000 in bonuses and merit raises this year to nearly 220 employees.

Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle suspended a program in 2008 that allowed state managers to give employees bonuses or raises to keep them from leaving or to equalize their pay. Most unionized state workers weren't eligible for that program, however. Walker's program, in contrast, covers almost all other state employees. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/walker-reinstates-bonuses-despite-budget-shortfall/article_3d9e5de4-8b0f-11e1-affa-001a4bcf887a.html.

leslyn said...

@Carnifex,

I've been self-employed by choice for a total of 11 years. It has its drawbacks and its rewards.

alan markus said...

@ Tiger: Were they and the teachers have really been taken advantage of is in having any raises go to reduce insurance premiums instead of in their pocket, but again, the union administrators are to blame for that.

And they got double-screwed, because the "reduced" premiums they were paying were actually "inflated" premiums going to the WEA Trust plan, which was charging above market rates.

leslyn said...

You know, of course that 70 % of the fire departments in the US are volunteer, right?

I know that a lot of them are. I grew up in a VFD family.

I also know that it's because small communities cannot support a paid department. When they can, they do. The equipment, training and response times are more reliable.

And many VFDs of small communities are in addition to the county fire dept--which does help improve response time if the county house is 30 miles away.

So what's your point?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yeah, it is. I went to work that way every day for two out of the last three years. New change of command made everything very unstable. Now I just worry about it once a week or so.

Welcome to the real world.

You should try being a self employed business person. The uncertainty would probably cause you to keel over and crouch into a fetal position.

Boo hoo.

Jay said...

Since 2010 AFSCME president Gerald McEntee has traveled by private jet 18 times & been paid a total of $943,038.

Unions forever!!!

leslyn said...

@DBQ: see comment at 11:50

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do without any public sector workers, who are of "no benefit." See how you like it

If they are of "no benefit" I wouldn't miss them at all. If they are of "no benefit" why are they even employed anyway? What the hell are they doing if they are not providing a benefit.

With the possible exception of police and fire departments and in our area the road crews who plow the snow, pretty much all public sector employees, including teachers (who are among the dumbest people on earth) do not provide a benefit.

I'm tired of the emotional blackmail from the left. This isn't about teachers, firefighters and police. This is about economics, budgets and unfunded liabilities

Truly. The lefts wants to scare us and try to put a guilt trip on us. Boo hooo. The teeeeechers will be laid off. OMG we are all gonna die if we have less police. In reality no one wants to have "LESS EFFECTIVE" police and fire protection. We just want to have AFFORDABLE services.

leslyn said...

"How many Public Sector Workers put in 40-50 hours at straight time over a 7-day period?"

I do. And the majority of people I have worked with over the years have as well. But let me make that clearer: time over 40 isn't straight time. It's unpaid.

Steven said...

What I don't get is: If paying public workers less is better for the state, why aren't YOU voluntarily asking for a pay DECREASE to help the company you work for?

Because I have no interest in my company doing better, except insofar as it redounds to my benefit?

In private sector unions, the employer is the stockholders, and the union is organized against them. It is accordingly entirely possible when the interests of the employers and the union clash, the public interest might be on either side, since neither side is directly aligned with the public. Thus, figuring out what regime of laws best serves the public interest is complex, and may well include extensive rights and privileges for unions.

In public sector unions, the employer is the general public, and the union is organized against them. It is accordingly impossible that when the interests of the employer and the union clash, that the public interest is on any side except that of the employer, which is the public. Thus, figuring out what regime of laws best serves the public interest is simple; smash the unions flat so they can't possibly oppose the public interest.

ndspinelli said...

Mr. Garage, The only lifeline Althouse would anyone would have a flattering photo of herself and an Amazon link.

leslyn said...

DBQ said,

"If they are of "no benefit" I wouldn't miss them at all. If they are of "no benefit" why are they even employed anyway? What the hell are they doing if they are not providing a benefit."

I agree with you. However, I didn't write the original quote that public employees are of "no benefit."

Jason said...

My company has been profitable 2 years out of the past 10. And those 2 years werent exactly booming profits.

Meanwhile, the school district I lived in built a brand new elementary school about 15 years ago when times were running good, and has now asked for money in a referendum 3 out of the last 4 election cycles, despite my property taxes going up every single year. And the teachers of this school district rushed through a contract before Act 10 guaranteeing them 2% pay increases.

Im sorry, I dont feel one bit sorry for these assholes complaining now that they've been pulled away from the taxpayer tit. Why? Because they dont care at all about us in the private sector, except when they want to ask for more money in referedums or tax increases.

leslyn said...

"Does that sound like imaginative, bold leadership going forward?"

It sounds like an Althouse snark.

Steven said...

I also know that it's because small communities cannot support a paid department. When they can, they do

I am quite certain the City of Troy, Michigan, with 80,980 people and a median household income of $79,000, could support a paid fire department if it wished. Nonetheless, they still have a volunteer fire department, which is not backed up by a county department. And it seems to work out pretty well for the 22nd safest city in America.

leslyn said...

@Steven: so do you assert that that is the norm?

leslyn said...

Back to Steven:

I thought that sounded weird, so I looked it up. Troy, MI has 10 paid firefighters and 180 volunteers. It is the largest combination fire dept in Michigan.

Unknown said...

Leslen implied above that U of Wis faculty was exempted from Act 10.

This is in disagreement with Wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Budget_Repair_Bill_of_2011

Of course the University system was a hotbed of Walker hating...

http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/121176134.html

Jason said...

Ask Althouse about the effects of Act 10 on UW faculty. I believe she posted early on that the Act 10 changes affected her to the tune of about $10K.

leslyn said...

@Jason:

Do you think the real estate bust has anything to do with your property taxes?

Who "rushed through" the contract, and how did they do it? Don't you have a schoolboard there to deal with "these assholes"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do you think the real estate bust has anything to do with your property taxes?

Only if you go to the trouble to have your property re-assessed at a lower value. Or if you are buying a home at the lowered market value.

Do you think the lowered property tax revenues from the real estate bust will have an affect on the ability to pay ever higher salaries and benefits to public workers?

leslyn said...

tiger said,

"4) As to your comment that that 'firefighters and police' endorced Walker. Yes, a minority did but the well over 80% of those unions endorced Barrett, something you should know."

Tiger. Milwaukee Police and Fire, West Allis P & F, and the State Patrol endorsed Walker for Governor.
Milwaukee P&F are by far the largest such union in Wisconsin.

Although Act 10 protects the State Patrol (the supt is the Fitzgerald bros daddy) and municipal (read: Milwaukee) P&F from additional benefits contributions, the State Patrol and West Allis P&F threw their support to Barrett in the recall.

Milwaukee P&F hung in there with Walker, though. You should be proud.

Unknown said...

---Don't you have a schoolboard there to deal with "these assholes"?


See the comments above where union dues is funneled to politicians.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

effect not affect. D'oh!

elkh1 said...

"One analysis found that government workers with college degrees tend to have lower wages than private sector workers with similar educations..."

Missing in that analysis: govt. workers' degrees are Grievances Studies degrees, private sectors' degrees are Engineering, Computer,...

In the private sector, those have Grievances Degrees probably get pay less than those working in MickyD.

Also missing: the govt workers who are dissatisfied with their pay could get a private sector job if they are qualified. But the private sector workers could seldom get a govt job unless they are "connected".

Jason said...

Who "rushed through" the contract, and how did they do it? Don't you have a schoolboard there to deal with "these assholes"?

Thats the favorite liberal line when talking about schools...taxpayers are supposed to stay out of school matters. Leave it up to the "school board".

Well, all but 2 members of the school board signed the Walker recall petition. So why dont you tell me how that turned out. This is exactly what is talked about when we say there are union people on both sides of the negotiating table.

People like you on the left need to start coming out of denial. Public sector workers in this state just got a huge slap in the face from voters in this state. Its up those union folks to actually listen to that slap, and respond accordingly.

leslyn said...

AJ Lynch said... Here in Philly, the average SEPTA worker [transit system] has a gross salary of $90,000 and that is a 20% increase from 2008 in the midst of a recession.

The average SEPTA salary in Philadelphia for 2012 was $51,000. http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-Septa/l-philadelphia%2C+pa.

Wages for a bus operator start from $14.12/hr to $15.28/hr., depending on assigned location. All starting wages increase annually by 10% for the first four years. After four years, the top hourly rate ranges from $23.55/hr. to $25.47/hr., depending on location. http://autohire.careershop.com/septajobs/JobSearch/JobCenterViewCndt.asp?JobAd_Id=865364.

Sounds like a Ralph Kramden job.

leslyn said...

Jason said,

Thats the favorite liberal line when talking about schools...taxpayers are supposed to stay out of school matters. Leave it up to the "school board".

That's not at all what I meant. I would think taxpayers would have a vested interest in what its school board does and who is on it.

leslyn said...

Dust Bunny Queen said, to "Do you think the real estate bust has anything to do with your property taxes?"
Only if you go to the trouble to have your property re-assessed at a lower value. Or if you are buying a home at the lowered market value.

Appraisal is simple and not very expensive, and can be submitted for a reassessment. It might be financially worth your while.

But my point was that lower property values result in less taxes collected, so tax rates may go up to make up the difference.

Do you think the lowered property tax revenues from the real estate bust will have an affect on the ability to pay ever higher salaries and benefits to public workers? Ever higher. :) Isn't that what your voting has been ensuring will not happen?

Also, the RNC says 617,000 public jobs have been lost, including 265,000 of those teachers you hate. "Trickle-down economics" will ensure that you see some relief that way, right? (bwaa haa haaa!)

leslyn said...

Leslyn implied above that U of Wis faculty was exempted from Act 10.

Not quite...but I did have it wrong. I thought I read that the UW contributes the additional. Instead the UW matches it.

Seeing Red said...

****They don’t understand that in hard times, everyone must sacrifice.

Probably because in good times they don't get raises and bonuses.***


Did someone's subsidy get cut because we had some good times?

Seeing Red said...

Raises & Bonuses? They get that plus minimum wage steps.

Stephen St. Onge said...

        It's astounding, the way 'progressives' lie about issues nowadays.

        The Farmer claimed that in good times, govt. employees don't get raises and bonuses.

        A few minutes websearch, focused on San Jose showed that "disability retirement" was going to people that could still work.  Retirees were getting "bonus" pension checks.  Pension benefit costs to the city had tripled over a decade, at a time when revenue had only risen 20%.  As a result, the City of San Jose had budget deficits for ten years in a row, all because of the cost of municipal employees.  Voters approved bond issues for a police substation and four new library branches, and they were built -- but never opened, because the City's budget was too strained to staff them.

        The article that Ms. Althouse quotes says "the Bureau of Labor Statistics said state and local workers averaged $26.85 in wages an hour", which corresponds to a pay of $55,848.00 annually. That figure is more than the median household income in the U.S., more than twice the median individual income in the U.S..  The bloated benefits come on top of the fifty-six large per annum, and we haven't even begun to discuss "double dipping."

        The fact is, over the past fifty years, govt. employees have had their wages and benefits go up faster than inflation, and faster than the average in the private sector.  So cut the crap, lefties, please?

John Stodder said...

I think the "bold, imaginative" leadership's first move is going to be some kind of giant inflatable rat. That's what the academic meant.

Next: Sabotage.

Unions don't do givebacks voluntarily as any actual student of the labor movement would know. They are waiting for a bailout, or for the taxpayers to come to their senses and "take out those sons of bitches."

There is, of course, an opportunity for an equitable solution which leaves most workers still in a better situation than most of us in the private sector. But the unions, institutionally, can't go there, never have, never will. It's the story of the scorpion.

John Lynch said...

In case this video hasn't been posted yet.

PatCA said...

Leslyn, you are wrong that "it is untrue" that 80% of union dues go to political donations. The union rep in sworn testimony in our case asserted just that, and the judge reduced our non-member fees to 80% of what they were previously.

I know you're going to throw a bunch of links and quibbles at that statement, so rather than assert the 80% for every union, I will just say that a huge preponderance of the collected fees go to politicians.

And I see no reason that most govt workers need to be unionized, except to lock in the steady stream of money back to the pols "donated" by a privileged class of employees.

And I would imagine you are against privileged classes.

leslyn said...

PatCA, you said,

"Upwards of 80% of those dues go right back to the pols who "negotiated" their pay."

I'm confused. This statement says dues go to those who "negotiate" "pay." Your last post says the dues go to politicians. Which is it? I'm not counting union stewards and officials who are directly involved in employer-employee negotiations as "politicians." Are you?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

three in 10 workers who have what those in the business call a DB plan these days.

DB programs in the private sector frequently bear little or no resemblance to traditional pension plans like those enjoyed by public sector employess. They are typically not bottomless lifetime pension benefits.

leslyn said...

Bushman,

Explain please. How are the private defined benefit plans different? Saying they are "typically not bottomless lifetime pension benefits" is not information, IMO.

What is a "traditional pension plan like those enjoyed by public employees"? All I know is Wisconsin, and that is a hybrid plan.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

leslyn, I've only worked for one company during my 25 year professional career that offered what was call a "defined benefit" plan. This amounted to a yearly contribution that equaled 3% of my yearly salary. The contribution would cease when employment was terminated. There were no additional contributions once the worker retired. The plan was discontinued during the economic downturn in 2009.

PatCA said...

leslyn, in public employment the unions "negotiate" with the legislature for pay increases for employees. They in turn receive campaign donations from the unions.

I think you know that and are just being difficult, so have a good day.

leslyn said...

Bushman,

"This amounted to a yearly contribution that equaled 3% of my yearly salary. The contribution would cease when employment was terminated. There were no additional contributions once the worker retired."

Aren't all plans like this? My Wisconsin plan is. How would an employer continue making contributions for someone who is no longer employed, or after they retire?

leslyn said...

leslyn, "in public employment the unions "negotiate" with the legislature for pay increases for employees. They in turn receive campaign donations from the unions." "They" presumably meaning legislators.

Maybe they negotiate differently in California.

I think you are just a sloppy writer who prefers not to be accountable for it and enjoys gratuitous snide remarks. So back atcha.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Aren't all plans like this?

No. Some pension plans pay a percentage of salary earned during an employee's peak earning years. These payments continue for the lifetime of the employee. Sometimes the payments continue for the life of the spouse should the employee die first.

leslyn said...

Bushman,

Sorry, I wasn't clear. "The contribution would cease when employment was terminated. There were no additional contributions once the worker retired."

I was referring to contributions, not payments.

PatCA said...

leslyn, where does the money come to pay public employees in your state, and where does it go? Who negotiates pay increases for public employees?