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!