THC was very intrigued by the pretty tone deaf stance taken by representatives of the Service Employees International Union Local 1000 on salary negotiations, per this article in the Times-Standard earlier this week: 414 State workers in Humboldt eye Dec. 5 walkout
According to the article, union president Yvonne Walker is taking a hold-the-state-ransom approach to securing a contract that “respects our work and values the services we provide to all Californians.” Walker goes on to say that the state has failed to budge from its opening proposal regarding wages for state workers with no explanation or justification.”
Of course, depending on how you look at it, the states proposal of giving SEIU-represented state employees a 12% raise over 4 years is pretty darned generous. The catch for the SEIU is a 3.5% increase in employee contributions towards their own pensions.
THC has been over the crisis facing federal, state and local governments when it comes to the looming and ever-worsening pension crisis many times. It strikes us as completely disingenuous that the union would draw a line in the sand when the current state of pension plan funding is so dire. Even a 3.5% increase in employee contributions won’t fix the situation, but it would do a little to reduce the pressure on tax payers to continue funding the pension packages worth millions that many public employees enjoy.
With all that in mind, it seems that the state doesn’t need to proffer much explanation to the union for their proposal – despite the way the union seems intent on spinning the situation, there just isn’t enough money to continue the current and extremely generous method in which pensions are doled out. Suggesting that the public needs to continue shouldering an unfair burden in paying out public employees underscores one thing – the union, and the people it represents, generally don’t give a damn about the “service” they provide to Californians. They just want more money for themselves, and they also don’t give a damn of the crippling effect on state and local economies and governments.
The common denominator with pension plans for public employees at all levels is this: the financial burden rests squarely on the tax-payer to compensate for the overly-generous pension plans given to public employees, and those same employees aren’t willing to pay their fair-share.
Of course, if things shake out at the state level the same way they do at the local level, well…suffice it to say that we’ll all have to get used to the fact that we’re carrying a bunch of retirees who often make a lot more in retirement than we do while actually working.