"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AFSCME calls state contract proposal ‘unacceptable’

Our state employees union, AFSCME, is in the negotiation process on a new contract. You can read the unions side here, http://www.workdayminnesota.org/index.php?news_6_4010

According to this union website,

Specifically, AFSCME proposes:

  • • Raising revenue through fair taxes
  • • Eliminating pet projects, such as JOBZ, that waste money and don't work
  • • Eliminating outsourcing and other costly corporate giveaways
  • • Eliminating extra layers of management and political appointees

AFSCME said the state’s demands include:

  • • Reduce wages 1.5 percent in the first year
  • • Reduce wages another 1.5 percent in the second year
  • • Eliminate step increases
  • • Force frontline workers to take unpaid leave
  • • Eliminate the employer’s matching contribution to deferred compensation
  • • Restrict payment of shift differentials

The state also is seeking to cut health care benefits through higher premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, the union said.

Less than one fourth of Minnesota's work force is union. But they expect us to pay higher taxes so that they can be better off than the rest of us.

From what I understand, government workers, on average, make $25.00 per hour plus great benefits while public sector workers make $19.00 on average and are lucky to get benefits. Why do they deserve any better than the rest of us? In my opinion they don't. Notice that AFSCME demands, "Raising revenue through fair taxes."

When I ran for state representative last year I was interviewed by the AFL-CIO. During this interview I was asked by AFSCME representatives if I would work to restore previous cuts to local government aid and of course I replied no. I was then lectured on how LGA provides funding for our cities and the employees that keep them running. Example were snow plow drivers, public works employees and personnel necessary to the running of our cities. I replied that I live in West Saint Paul and we do just fine on what we get. My street is plowed before I head out the door each day. I left with the impression that their big concern was to expand their ranks rather than worry about city services.

Here is another one of their demands, "Eliminating outsourcing and other costly corporate giveaways." What do they mean by costly corporate giveaways? I understand the outsourcing, they want it done by their union rank and file rather than anything being done by the public sector through a bidding process which would benefit the taxpayers.

I am an admirer of Teddy Roosevelt. He mediated the United Mine Workers strike and they got a forty hour work week and a ten percent pay raise. He was also the recipient of an assassination attempt for opposing unions such as AFSCME within our government. I have worked for good employers and a few terrible ones in my lifetime. I have seen the need for union representation on occasion and I believe in the rights of the people to form or join a union.

Often times while I am driving across the Lafayette Bridge in the morning heading into St Paul I see a bumper sticker that says, "Living with less in the land of Pawlenty." Those who have such bumper stickers are heading to work at a government building such as the DNR or the PCA.

If AFSCME decides to strike, I will be organizing a counter-strike and urging the governor to privatize the majority of our government. Having been unemployed since the first of the year, I will be the first in line to apply for one of those new openings. Just think about the possibilities, the democrats could take responsibility for it and tell us how many jobs they created!


Don Lee said...

AFSCME is also doing what unions often do - try to influence how the organization is organized and run.

This may be appropriate with a factory, where the union is a major stakeholder in the enterprise and its future. In this case, it strikes me as the tail wagging the dog, and doing a little extortion with the taxpayers.

Bill Jungbauer said...

Funny you should put it that way. A couple of years ago I posted an article titled "A dog chasing it's tail" by Phil Krinkie. It provides a short history of LGA. I was questioned by the AFSCME representatives about why I included a copy of that article with the AFL-CIO questionaire.

Anonymous said...

So, instead of getting a union for yourself and your neighbors to better your conditions, you'd rather tear down other workers.

Great, but isn't that sort of how we got here in the first place? Now, we're at the 'when they came for me, there's was no one left' stage, huh?

It'd be more productive to focus on getting everyone else health care and decent wages, than focus on cutting someone else's.

Bill Jungbauer said...

Oh Boy! Another "Anonymous comment. What bravery! LOL

I tried to get a union at one shop I worked at but a fellow coworker snitched on me. So I went through a year of hell at work. But that is old news.

My point is that everyone is paying the price for the conditions of our economy, but our government employees expect to be insulated from these hard economic times on the backs of the taxpayers while being compensated at a higher rate than seventy five percent of the population. That makes me think of the term "prevailing wage." Maybe they should be paid the real prevailing wage. That which the general public makes.

As for universal health care, that is another step towards socialism in our country. When I was out campaigning last summer I met a couple from Canada. They had a lot to say about health care there. She had waited nine months for knee surgery. When it was performed the doctor went in blind without an MRI. Her cousin cut the end of a finger off and when he went to the hospital he was told that he had to drive two hours to the next hospital because they were not equipped to treat him there. Manitoba medical sends cancer patients to North Dakota for treatment because they are not equipped to treat cancer patients. This was told to me by a reputable, well educated couple whose word I respect. I would like to suggest that you start looking at the facts and think for yourself instead of taking the word of the socialist democrats.