Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

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Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:20 pm

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http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/08-4


It’s not about their pay and benefits—it’s about what they do.
by Gerald Friedman

From California to Massachusetts, from Texas to Wisconsin, whether by fiat or through bargaining, state governments would balance their budgets by taking a meat ax to public employee wages, benefits, and jobs. Behind the headlines, the relative strength of public-sector unions has long made them a target for economists and conservatives hostile to all forms of working-class collective action and any regulation of the capitalist marketplace. Labor economist Leo Troy set the tone for many when he warned in 1994 of “A New Society” that was emerging, dominated by unions of public employees and a redistributive state. While market competition had beaten back the threat of private-sector unionism, public employee unions, in his view, had renewed the socialist challenge to free enterprise.

Ideologues like Troy inspired an ongoing attack on public-sector unions to defend America from socialism. When he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, for example, Bob Dole singled out the teachers’ unions for attack. While this was a great applause line, Dole lost the election. This has been the outcome of most of the right’s attack on public-sector workers and unions: applause from the far right and some of the media but little resonance among a public that generally supports public services and those who provide them.

It may be that those who would attack public employees and their unions as sponsors of incipient socialism have learned to conceal their real motives. Instead of attacking public services, they present themselves as advocates for private-sector workers and insist that they only seek to eliminate inequities between private- and public-sector workers. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denounces public-sector unions as creating “two classes of citizens: one that receives rich health and pension benefits, and all the rest who are left to pay for them.”

It is odd to find such touching concern for equity among those who have campaigned relentlessly to widen disparities between rich and poor and between managers and workers. In any case, such equity concerns should be relieved by the growing body of empirical studies showing that public-sector workers are not overpaid compared with private-sector workers. Nor is there evidence that public-sector unions have been diverting national income towards their exorbitant salaries and staffing. State and local taxes took 9% of income in 1990 and 9% in 2007. As a share of national income, state and local employee compensation has fallen since the 1990s despite rising demands on the public sector—to improve education, repair infrastructure, clean up the environment, and provide health care to growing numbers left out of our private health care system.

Privatizing what public employees do is done so at a far greater cost.

Code:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-privatizing-government-doesnt-actually-save-money/2011/09/15/gIQA2rpZUK_blog.html


The theory that the federal government should outsource its operations to private firms usually rests on a simple premise: It saves money. But why should we believe it saves money? Often the argument is made by pointing to salaries for public- and private-sector employees in comparable jobs and noting that the private-sector employees make less. So outsourcing the task to the private worker should be cheaper, right? That’s the theory, at least. But a new study from the Project on Government Oversight suggests that this theory is quite wrong. In many cases, privatizing government turns out to be far more costly.

For its study, POGO decided to do something different than the usual method of comparing public- and private-sector salaries. Instead, the group scrutinized the actual contracts that were awarded to companies for specific tasks and compared them with what it cost the government to do the same job in-house. They looked at 550 contracts — all deemed “fair and reasonable”— for 35 different jobs across government agencies, from auditors and engineers to food inspectors and groundskeepers.

As it turned out, the private contractors cost more in 33 of those 35 jobs. On average, the service contracts paid private employees 83 percent more than the government would pay a federal employee doing the same job (and that’s even taking into account health care benefits, pensions, and so on). There’s a long debate about whether workers in the private sector actually make less than their federal counterparts, but it turns out this is all beside the point. The POGO analysis found that private contractors working with the government make, on average, twice as much as a comparable private-sector worker.

Republicans sure are not aware of ANY ways to bring down the budget.

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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:51 pm

Here is how the game works. Public sector unions pay off Democrat politicians via all the money from dues going to Democrats. Politicians become gov't officials. Gov't officials sign union contracts. Union contracts pay public workers enormous salaries and benefit packages. Union workers pay dues from the contract proceeds.... which are funneled to back to the politicians.... who then become government officials and around we go. Meanwhile, businesses should just sit there and shut up while unions run the show?

It's the middle class that gets the income taken from them to pay the retirement benefits of public sector. Is it really that unfair that public employees pay more for rising healthcare costs and contribute more to their own retirement? Even though they recognize and accept the financial disaster facing state govt's around the country, the unions see no need for them to be a part of the solution.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by dblboggie on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:15 pm

All public sector unions should should be immediately decertified. They are nothing more than a money laundering machine for Democrats.

It is despicable how obvious this fact is and yet no one in the MSM gives even a sidewards glance at this perfidy. Big shocker that, no?
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:12 pm

TexasBlue wrote:Here is how the game works. Public sector unions pay off Democrat politicians via all the money from dues going to Democrats. Politicians become gov't officials. Gov't officials sign union contracts. Union contracts pay public workers enormous salaries and benefit packages. Union workers pay dues from the contract proceeds.... which are funneled to back to the politicians.... who then become government officials and around we go. Meanwhile, businesses should just sit there and shut up while unions run the show?

It's the middle class that gets the income taken from them to pay the retirement benefits of public sector. Is it really that unfair that public employees pay more for rising healthcare costs and contribute more to their own retirement? Even though they recognize and accept the financial disaster facing state govt's around the country, the unions see no need for them to be a part of the solution.

No, it's quite obvious how the "game" is played.

Since 1980, the pro-rich and globalization of corporations have been the mantra of the right, including abolishing good wages and giving up on health care benefits.

The republicans continue to attack the middle class on wages with a class war fare of raising their taxes while reducing the taxes for the upper 1%.

The workers of this country are TIRED of republicans sending jobs overseas with tax breaks for corporations and their REFUSAL to raise taxes on companies that do that. Reduced taxes and tax subsidies are what the rich and corporations get while the republicans make sure the workers get less benefits, less wages, and fewer jobs.

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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:14 pm

dblboggie wrote:All public sector unions should should be immediately decertified. They are nothing more than a money laundering machine for Democrats.

It is despicable how obvious this fact is and yet no one in the MSM gives even a sidewards glance at this perfidy. Big shocker that, no?

How is that money laundering done? I mean, I remember House Speaker Republican tom DeLay using the RNC to launder money to Texas state legislatures...so show us all how the democrats use the public sector unions to launder money. I think if that were true, they'd be prosecuted by now like DeLay was.

Keeping wages high enough to raise a family sure gets the ire up on the right. You guys are not going to be happy until9 year olds work in mines and earn the 50 cents a day they did in the late 1800's.

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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Mark85la on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:56 pm

Those evil Republicans! lol.
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Birthday : 1985-12-02
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by TexasBlue on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:21 pm

Cookie Parker wrote:No, it's quite obvious how the "game" is played.

Since 1980, the pro-rich and globalization of corporations have been the mantra of the right, including abolishing good wages and giving up on health care benefits.

The republicans continue to attack the middle class on wages with a class war fare of raising their taxes while reducing the taxes for the upper 1%.

Private sector unions are organized against the "might and greed" of ownership. Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed of what? The public? The govt? Govt already has civil service laws that have to be adhered by.



Cookie Parker wrote:The workers of this country are TIRED of republicans sending jobs overseas with tax breaks for corporations and their REFUSAL to raise taxes on companies that do that. Reduced taxes and tax subsidies are what the rich and corporations get while the republicans make sure the workers get less benefits, less wages, and fewer jobs.

You keep blaming the GOP for sending jobs overseas. It's far deeper than that.

And you want to raise taxes on corporations????? That's another recipe for sending even more jobs overseas.

I'm going to have to ask you to stop with accusatory statements like this unless you have real stats to back them up. Real stats would be gov't stats.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:16 am

TexasBlue wrote:
Cookie Parker wrote:No, it's quite obvious how the "game" is played.

Since 1980, the pro-rich and globalization of corporations have been the mantra of the right, including abolishing good wages and giving up on health care benefits.

The republicans continue to attack the middle class on wages with a class war fare of raising their taxes while reducing the taxes for the upper 1%.

Private sector unions are organized against the "might and greed" of ownership. Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed of what? The public? The govt? Govt already has civil service laws that have to be adhered by.



Cookie Parker wrote:The workers of this country are TIRED of republicans sending jobs overseas with tax breaks for corporations and their REFUSAL to raise taxes on companies that do that. Reduced taxes and tax subsidies are what the rich and corporations get while the republicans make sure the workers get less benefits, less wages, and fewer jobs.

You keep blaming the GOP for sending jobs overseas. It's far deeper than that.

And you want to raise taxes on corporations????? That's another recipe for sending even more jobs overseas.

I'm going to have to ask you to stop with accusatory statements like this unless you have real stats to back them up. Real stats would be gov't stats.

The greed of budget cuts needed because corporations just got a boat load of money and tax cuts. WI comes to mind.

Walker gave the Koch Brothers industries tax cuts and then tax breaks and now wants to do away with WI jobs and collective bargaining for ALL employees...not just the public sector.


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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by TexasBlue on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:57 am

Cookie Parker wrote:The greed of budget cuts needed because corporations just got a boat load of money and tax cuts. WI comes to mind.

Corporations don't pay taxes. We pay the corporate tax. If they get "tax cuts", then the consumer benefits. Try again.


Cookie Parker wrote:Walker gave the Koch Brothers industries tax cuts and then tax breaks and now wants to do away with WI jobs and collective bargaining for ALL employees...not just the public sector.

Funny thing how you paint this picture.... but Obama was funded by Goldman Sachs (you know the people who got 13 billion directly from the gov't). I notice you seem to ignore the fact that Obama has appointed multiple people from Goldman Sachs around him. Lobbyists that worked for Goldman Sachs like Rham Emanuel, and many others. How much did the Koch brothers receive in bailout/”stimulus” money? I don’t think I’ve seen their names attached to any of that money.

Four of the top six Wisconsin contributors to the 2010 elections were labor unions, with the state's teachers union giving $119,342 and the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees spending $83,888. The teachers union gave 96 percent of its money to Democrats, while Wisconsin AFSCME gave the Dems every penny.

Govt unions spent $573,868 on Wisconsin's 2010 elections (almost all of it going to Dems) while gov't employees spent another half million, with most going to the Dems. See? It goes both ways. The more you drag things like this into a discussion, the more I will find things that will even the field.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by TexasBlue on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:59 am

Factbox: Several states beyond Wisconsin mull union limits

Reuters
Mar 10, 2011


Wisconsin's state Assembly on Thursday approved restrictions on collective bargaining rights of state and local government unions, which has become a test of the national political and economic clout of the labor movement.

Public unions have the right to collectively bargain in about 30 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In some states in the South and West, public employees do not have the right to collectively bargain, and in Virginia and Texas it is illegal to enter into a formal bargaining relationship with the public sector.

The following are nine states where curbs on union power are under consideration:

* WISCONSIN: After a bitter three-week battle that saw Senate Democrats flee the state to prevent a quorum and block a vote, Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker won a key part of his proposal to curb union rights. Republicans split off the legislation's spending provisions and voted only on the union bargaining limits -- a strategy that did not require Democrats show up to create a quorum. The bill was approved by the Republican-controlled State Assembly.

The new legislation includes the most controversial sections of the union proposal, which limits public sector union bargaining to wages, and only up to the rate of inflation. The state would no longer collect union dues from paychecks, and members must vote each year to stay in the union. It requires public workers to pay more for health insurance and pension plans. Local police, fire and state patrol would be exempted from the changes.

* OHIO: Ohio's bill goes farther than Wisconsin's, prohibiting collective bargaining for 42,000 state workers plus 19,500 college system workers. For local governments, bargaining with unions representing some 300,000 workers including police, firefighters, and public school teachers, the bill takes healthcare and some other benefits out of the negotiating process. It denies them the right to strike.

The bill passed the Senate March 1. The Ohio House of Representatives will hold at least one more week of hearings on the bill, according to the spokesman for Republican speaker William G. Batchelder. A date for a vote has not been set. Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich has said he supports the measure.

* IDAHO: The Idaho state legislature has approved a bill to limit collective bargaining by public school teachers. The measure restricts collective bargaining to salaries and benefits, removing from negotiations such provisions as class sizes, teacher workload and promotions. Republican Governor Butch Otter was expected to sign it into law quickly.

* IOWA: The state House of Representatives is debating a bill curbing collective bargaining rights for public workers that was passed by the labor committee. The bill would exclude health insurance from the scope of collective bargaining, along with other changes. Democrats who control the Senate said they do not intend to bring the bill up for debate.

* MICHIGAN: Both chambers of the Michigan legislature have approved measures to give the state emergency powers to break union contracts to revive failing schools and cities. There are slight differences between the bills passed by the two chambers which must be reconciled. New Republican Governor Rick Snyder has said he supports the measure.

* INDIANA: Republican state lawmakers are pushing several measures that curb organized labor influence. The state Senate passed a bill that will narrow the scope of public school teachers' collective bargaining rights. The measure still needs to be approved by the state House, but House Democrats have left the state to deny votes on bills they say restrict workers' rights. One bill would create a state-wide school voucher system.

* NEW HAMPSHIRE: A right-to-work bill that refers only to public sector workers prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join labor unions. It also says that no public employee union is required to represent employees who elect not to join or pay dues. It passed the House and next goes to the Senate. Both legislative bodies have Republican majorities, but Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has said he does not support the bill.

* KANSAS: The Kansas House has passed a bill that would outlaw employee payroll deductions for union dues and political action committees.

* TENNESSEE: A Republican-backed state bill would end teachers' rights to negotiate their working conditions with boards of education through collective bargaining. The bill has passed through the Senate Education Committee.

* OTHER STATES: Limits on public worker collective bargaining have been introduced in several other states as of last week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. These include Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska and Arizona.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:22 pm

Here is how the game works. Public sector unions pay off Democrat politicians via all the money from dues going to Democrats. Politicians become gov't officials. Gov't officials sign union contracts. Union contracts pay public workers enormous salaries and benefit packages. Union workers pay dues from the contract proceeds.... which are funneled to back to the politicians.... who then become government officials and around we go. Meanwhile, businesses should just sit there and shut up while unions run the show?

Your ignorance of Federal Election Law is showing.
Union DUES cannot, by law, be used for contributing to political candidates of ANY party.
Most Unions have "political contribution funds" that are entirely VOLUNTARY on the part of the union rank and file.
They also have committees (elected by the rank and file) to determine how such funds are disbursed.
If the bulk of Union political contributions go to Democratic candidates, that is because they are the candidates who support the Unions right to exist.
Your argument against Unions appears to be that they negotiate better pay and benefit packages for their members.
Perhaps, instead of being jealous, you should JOIN a Union and present a united front to your employer.

The people who are really "stealing" your tax money are the corporate CEOs who gave themselves obscenely huge bonuses out of the (tax payers) Government Bail-out money.


Mac

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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by TexasBlue on Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Technically, it is illegal for a union to take money from your paycheck and donate it to a PAC or political campaign without the union members written authorization. That said, it's still being done:

http://www.nrtw.org/d/illegalpac.htm

Recently, the Federal Election Commission has audited some well-known national union PACs to see if they had written authorizations from employees for the contributions the PACs were receiving. The results were astonishing. One national union PAC, according to the FEC audit, could not produce written authorizations for 93% of PAC contributions the FEC examined. Another national union PAC was unable to show authorizations for at least 67% of the contributions the FEC examined. This suggests a widespread problem: union PACs are making political contributions to federal candidates with employees' money taken without their written authorizations.

So while it's not legal, it's being done.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Public-Sector Workers Under Attack

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:02 pm

Employers cannot deduct money from a person's paycheck without their permission.
(Or an order from a legal authority like the IRS, or a court ordered garnishment.)
Do corporations get WRITTEN permission from all of their stock-holders before making political contributions?
That money rightfully BELONGS to the stock-holders.

If an employer withholds money from your paycheck without permission, they are stealing from you.


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