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Old 11-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
Jim in CT
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IL unions get offered 14.5% raise, go on strike

Imagine if your employer offered you (1) a 14.5% pay raise, and (2) to pay for 90% of the cost of yoru health insurance. Imagine being offered that, and choosing to reject it, and then to go on strike.

That's what the public sector unions did in one Illinois county.

These unions have come a long way sice the coal mining days, when unions actually served a defensible purpose.

What selfless public servents.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...y-raise-offer/
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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Now is the time to can them all , and hire all new people. Unions served a purpose at one time. That time has passed.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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"A government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust" James Madison

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Old 11-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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How long is the offered contract? Many times there are more things than wages at issue, however most times that all we hear about.

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Old 11-19-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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How long is the offered contract? Many times there are more things than wages at issue, however most times that all we hear about.
+

I don't know the answer to that question. I'd respond by asking, why do public servants deserve the security of a contract, when no one in the public they claim to serve, has that luxury?
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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what if the employees are being paid at a current level that is 30% lower than in neighboring counties?

Not everything is black and white.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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+

I don't know the answer to that question. I'd respond by asking, why do public servants deserve the security of a contract, when no one in the public they claim to serve, has that luxury?
Because they are union. Individual employees do not have the ability to negotiate on their own regardless of performance etc. Regardless of how good a current deal is, it's only value is for how long the contract is offered. I am not a huge fan of unions but in some areas it is helpful. Currently public work force is full of nepotism and politics. Can you imagine how bad it would be if managers were allowed to spend public money with out contractual boundaries. I realize the system isn't perfect but it's better than having individual managers handing out raises carte Blanche to brothers sisters etc. With little recourse.

I also understand the unions perspective because in this day and age with so much of our manufacturing base etc. Being sent over seas there are few jobs left for the middle class American worker. It is a difficult balance. More and more private companies are contracting out former skilled labor jobs at a reduction to the bottom line but losing in quality and customer service.

Look at the cable company for example. How often does your cable TV signal degrade or go out completely? How often do you lose electrical or telephone service for no reason? One industry works almost exclusively with contractors the others have trained employees that maintain the service and know the trade inside an out.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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Because they are union. Individual employees do not have the ability to negotiate on their own regardless of performance etc. Regardless of how good a current deal is, it's only value is for how long the contract is offered. I am not a huge fan of unions but in some areas it is helpful. Currently public work force is full of nepotism and politics. Can you imagine how bad it would be if managers were allowed to spend public money with out contractual boundaries. I realize the system isn't perfect but it's better than having individual managers handing out raises carte Blanche to brothers sisters etc. With little recourse.

I also understand the unions perspective because in this day and age with so much of our manufacturing base etc. Being sent over seas there are few jobs left for the middle class American worker. It is a difficult balance. More and more private companies are contracting out former skilled labor jobs at a reduction to the bottom line but losing in quality and customer service.

Look at the cable company for example. How often does your cable TV signal degrade or go out completely? How often do you lose electrical or telephone service for no reason? One industry works almost exclusively with contractors the others have trained employees that maintain the service and know the trade inside an out.
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"Individual employees do not have the ability to negotiate on their own regardless of performance etc"

Because they are union. Get rid of the union, let them negotiate individually, the way everyone else does.

"Currently public work force is full of nepotism and politics. "

Individual negotiating works for the private sector, which for now at least, is larger than the public saector. There is no reason why the public sector cannot work in the same model.

"With little recourse. "

Then fix that as well. In the real world, if somene is pumping money to a friend or relative who is not deserving, they get fired.

"there are few jobs left for the middle class American worker"

There are LESS middle class jhobs for those who don't go to college, I'll grant you that. There are plenty of middle class jhobs for those who work hard and make goiod decisions. You bring up manufacturing, that's private sector. This article was about public sector unions. In the past, unions were necesary to save employees from life-threatening working conditions. We don't have that anymore, not in the same scale. In the public sector, the union's boss is "us". "We" aren't trying to have those people killed in work accidents.

I see you failed to mention the financial impact that union contracts have on the towns and states that are impacted...namely, unfunded liabilities for retirement and healthcare benefits that can never, ever be paid for. We all see that some places are declaring bankruptcy, forcing municipalities to slash poension payments (see Central Falls, RI).

You tell me, how does THAT help the union members.

Here's how public unions work, and I am not wrong here. Unions give big money to politicians. Those same politicians then, once in office, get to decide what level of benefits to reward the unions (their benefactors) with. Politicians like to stay in office, so they give the unions whatever they ask for. Fast forward to today, when the demographic trsunami called "the Baby Boomers" causes the pyramid to collapse. Municipalties go bankrupt. Retirees get benefits slashed. Taxpayers see huge spikes in tax rates.

The politicians don't care, because they retired and moved to Florida. The union bosses don't care, because they retired and moved to Grand Cayman.

Our kids get stuck with the bill.

It makes no sense, none at all, for public servants to receive benefits that dwarf what's available to the public they serve. And any 9 year-old sees the conflict of interest that exists when the politicians who decide on union benefits, only got elected with backing from that same union, and who are therefore beholden to that union.
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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what if the employees are being paid at a current level that is 30% lower than in neighboring counties?

.
If that's the case, if the public decides to pay wages that are lower than the average....than the folks in that town live with the consequences, that they may get fewer, or less qualified, candidates. That's fair, and it's exactly what happens in the private sector.

That's why I cannot stand unions in the public sector. In the private sector, if a company wants to give its employees insane benefits, that does not impact me at all, unless I freely choose to purchase the product or service of that company. It's very easy for me to avoid those consequences.

Not so in the public sector. If the police union or teachers union in my town gives huge campaign contributions to politicians who reward them with insane pay, I cannot choose not to pay my property taxes. I am forced to fund those benefits, or they take my house and put me in jail.

And that's the rub. No company in the private sector could ever survive while offering these benefits, because no one would choose to pick up the price tag. In the case of public unions, those people take from us, with force of law, that which no one would ever freely choose to pay for.

What could be less democratic than that?
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #10
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Look I feel in the past 100 years unions are the best thing to happen for the American Middle Class( one could argue unions created the middle class) unions are also the worst thing to happen to the American Middle Class.

Unions elevated the American worker to a comfortable living wage. They went too far in the manufacturing industry bankrupting The auto industry and pushing most of the jobs overseas. Killing entire towns states etc.

However public unions are in place they are not going away. Municipalities have the ability to negotiate as they should. If they come to an impasse there will be a strike lockout what ever. One side will cave and there will be concessions. The public union may be holding back due to length of contract etc.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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Look I feel in the past 100 years unions are the best thing to happen for the American Middle Class( one could argue unions created the middle class) unions are also the worst thing to happen to the American Middle Class.

Unions elevated the American worker to a comfortable living wage. They went too far in the manufacturing industry bankrupting The auto industry and pushing most of the jobs overseas. Killing entire towns states etc.

However public unions are in place they are not going away. Municipalities have the ability to negotiate as they should. If they come to an impasse there will be a strike lockout what ever. One side will cave and there will be concessions. The public union may be holding back due to length of contract etc.
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I'll grant you that there was a time when unions did a tremendous amount of good. That was a long time ago. As you said, in the long run, they also priced themselves right out of existence, except in the public sector.

Today, public unions are doing a tremendous amount of economic damage in many places. You still haven't touched on that.

"public unions are in place they are not going away."

Tell that to the teachers in Wisconsin (of all places, Wisconsin!). Public opinion is turning rapidly against public unions. They may go away when people open their eyes and see just how much of their future earnings have been confiscated by the unions.

"If they come to an impasse there will be a strike lockout what ever"

Wrong. In many places (everywhere in CT), when they cannot agree, there is something called "binding arbitration", where a neutral third party comes in and makes the final decision. This could not be less democratic. The guy who has the ultimate say, the arbitrator, is not an elected official, therefore he isn't accountable to me, I cannot vote him out of office, yet he single-handedly decides what my property taxes will be.

And when there are strikes, the union has all the leverage, because those on strike may be responsible for public safety, or teaching our kids. It's completely imnmoral for those people to strike over cheap healkthcare and the right to fatten their already bloated pensions with overtime.

You also failed to mention the inevitable conflict of interest that occurs when public labor unions give huge campaign money to the same politicians who then decide what benefits to award the union.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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they should head North to Canada me thinks
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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They went too far in the manufacturing industry bankrupting The auto industry and pushing most of the jobs overseas. Killing entire towns states etc.
Unions were only part of the equation.
Cheap crappy products.
Greedy executives.
Inability to accept the same garbage they'd been schleping on the public was 10-15-20 years behind their European and Asian competitors.

Face it, American cars are garbage. The only thing we seem to get right are full sized trucks.

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Old 11-21-2013, 07:12 AM   #14
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Unions were only part of the equation.
Cheap crappy products.
Greedy executives.
Inability to accept the same garbage they'd been schleping on the public was 10-15-20 years behind their European and Asian competitors.

Face it, American cars are garbage. The only thing we seem to get right are full sized trucks.
Valid point. But also at one point in time it cost less to have the vehicles produced by less expensive foreign labor while still paying for Americans to not work.

Not to mention the same Asian vehicles are being assembled in the US quite successfully in open shops.

US auto manufacturers had this country by the short hairs for ever if they just did their jobs. During the years that we fell behind. Design was an issue but fit and finish were major problems as well.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #15
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one could argue unions created the middle class

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huh??
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:22 AM   #16
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huh??
I presume (could be wrong) that he means unions provided one potential path to a middle class existence, especially for those who didn't go to college. There was a time when a high school graduate could go to the auto plant, and if he worked enough hours, could carve out a middle-class lifestyle. And much of that was thanks to the unions.

In my opinion, saying that effect was a good thing, is awfully short-sighted. It worked out well for the generation that's just older than the Baby Boomers, who rode that wave and never had to suffer the consequences. It's not working out so well for everyone who came after them, nor is it working out so well for those just about to retire, who will never know for sure if/when the pension checks will stop coming because the company is bankrupt.

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Old 11-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #17
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huh??
In modern times post industrial revolution. Prior to unions the common man was not getting anywhere.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:01 AM   #18
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In modern times post industrial revolution. Prior to unions the common man was not getting anywhere.
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But what about today? Are today's 'common men' better off thanks to unions? I'm not sure how you could say yes. Far fewer jobs, and if you are lucky enough to make it to retirement, you will never be able to rest easy that your pension is safe. The pension isn't safe, because even labor unions are governed by this one rule...you cannot have more than there is. It took them too long to accept that, and in the case of public unions going on strike rather trhan accepting a 15% raise and practically-free healthcare, they still haven't accepted it.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #19
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In modern times post industrial revolution. Prior to unions the common man was not getting anywhere.
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The industrial revolution and capitalism tremendously improved the life of "the common man." It moved him out of the poverty of the aristocratic class system where he was stuck in mostly rural subsistence of poor health, short life, lack of mobility or improvement, into an overall improvement of all those conditions.

The market has always been the only method "the common man" could improve his lot. The market was the key element to bringing freedom and higher standards of living to "the common man." It is still the only viable method to maintain the best life for "the common man."--even in the so-called post industrial revolution.

The common man was "getting somewhere" during and after the industrial revolution due mainly through the market's ability to get him there. Unions may have helped him to get improved working conditions, which were improving anyway, and which were one of the greatest benefits of the industrial revolution and free market capitalism. As far as wages go, they were already higher in industries than elsewhere before unions were formed. The union demands only consistently escalated the cost of labor which had to be passed on to consumers and which were a part of the inflationary spiral that has existed since the New Deal.

Unions were not the reason for the "rise of the middle class." That rise was due to market capitalism and its empowerment of the consumer and individual entrepreneurs. Unions were the beneficiaries, not the propagators, of the rise of the middle class and the wealth created by the capitalistic market. The wealth first had to be created before there was any meaning for union existence. And there had to be an appreciable size to a business for the union to make demands. There are no unions for mom and pop stores. At the most basic levels where competition is most crucial for existence, unions would only be destructive. It is at the more secure levels, such as large corporations, and now, especially so, governments, that unions are "relevant." And it is in government where they are the most destructive.

If anything, in this post-post industrial revolution era the large conglomerate unions are an important part of a socio-political revolution. A revolution that is destroying "the middle class" and attempting to bring about an egalitarian society which discards capitalism, market forces, and even individual freedom. They were given their power by government intervention and mandate, and their main implementation is not for the benefit of the worker within his corporation, but the broader political power to destroy market forces in favor of a non-competitive, homogenous, and centralized, and yeah, Marxist, economy. They are making the idea of the "common man" one of meaning a humanity which is completely common.

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Old 11-23-2013, 07:33 AM   #20
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US auto manufacturers had this country by the short hairs for ever if they just did their jobs. During the years that we fell behind. Design was an issue but fit and finish were major problems as well.
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Design, performance, fit & finish have ALWAYS been issues.

It was a brief blip that American automobiles were 'desired', but how much of that had to do with availability? Sure muscle cars had their day but there wasn't really anything anyone else in the world was making like that at the time. Euros etc. were interested in going to work, not investing in an oil company to keep their cars going. But the muscle cars did what? Go really fast in a straight line aaaaand that was about it.

Right now there isn't a single american (or asian as far as im concerned) car that can touch the gf's Jetta TDi as far as a true combination of comfort, performance, AND economy in its size and class. Comfy car, sport mode with all that torque and you can slam down the country roads, and at 70 on cruise control you're tr#^&#^&#^&#^&#^&g along at around 43-44mpg. About the only thing better that I know of offhand is an Audi A3 TDi, which is basically the same car with more leather slightly lighter and stiffer ride.

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Old 11-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #21
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Yup
I am selling my suburban and looking for a yetta
the best car ever??? Hahahahaha

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Old 11-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #22
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Yup
I am selling my suburban and looking for a yetta
the best car ever??? Hahahahaha
Dig the sand out of your vag.

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Face it, American cars are garbage. The only thing we seem to get right are full sized trucks.
I would have taken you for a Ford man anyhow, you need as much bling as possible.

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Old 12-01-2013, 07:57 PM   #23
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Here's how public unions work, and I am not wrong here. Unions give big money to politicians. Those same politicians then, once in office, get to decide what level of benefits to reward the unions (their benefactors) with. Politicians like to stay in office, so they give the unions whatever they ask for. Fast forward to today, when the demographic trsunami called "the Baby Boomers" causes the pyramid to collapse. Municipalties go bankrupt. Retirees get benefits slashed. Taxpayers see huge spikes in tax rates.
/QUOTE]
Ask the Boston Police, and Boston Fire Department how that works, Mayor Menino a Democrat backed by Unions gave them all the shaft , they are not allowed to strike , and have been working for years without raises or a contract. After they finally agreed to Arbitration, the City didn't like what the cops had won, and ware trying not to pay it.

Unions aren't the only ones to blame for the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country. Business owners, and Wall Street demand more money in their pockets, therefore they move things over seas where the Average call center worker in India makes about $2 per hour. Do you know of anyone in America who could live on that? There is plenty of blame to go around for everyone.

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:58 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=TheSpecialist;1023288]
Quote:

Ask the Boston Police, and Boston Fire Department how that works, Mayor Menino a Democrat backed by Unions gave them all the shaft , they are not allowed to strike , and have been working for years without raises or a contract. After they finally agreed to Arbitration, the City didn't like what the cops had won, and ware trying not to pay it.

Unions aren't the only ones to blame for the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country. Business owners, and Wall Street demand more money in their pockets, therefore they move things over seas where the Average call center worker in India makes about $2 per hour. Do you know of anyone in America who could live on that? There is plenty of blame to go around for everyone.
"they (police and firemen) are not allowed to strike "

Good. There is no earthly reason why police or firemen should ever be allowed to strike. If they strike, that puts everyone at risk, and that's not acceptable, ever.

"There is plenty of blame to go around for everyone"

It's not all the unions fault, you are correct there. The globalization of the economy had a lot to do with it.

How is Boston's budget looking these days? Good or bad? Is there "plenty of blame to go around", or is it largely because the city has astronimical union obligations that can never, ever be paid for?
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:45 PM   #25
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L
Here is what I mean by plenty of blame to go around. You had people, managers, Mayors, Selectmen giving everything under the sun to public employees for years. Times were prosperous, no one saw what the future held. Now thirty or more years later, these things like pensions, exorbitant medical costs, pension calculation formulas are catching up to them, it's understandable that things need to change. But it's not fair that someone that has 15 or 20 years of service, has his or her benefits ripped out from under them, or because the municipality was run poorly they shouldn't get raises.

If you worked for a company for 20 years, non union, and you came into work one day and the boss said, "Jim I am sorry your pension is being frozen, we are making you pay 10% more for your healthcare, cutting back holidays from 7 to 5, and by the way no raise this year" What would you do? I know I would quietly start looking for another job. I see this happening now a days. Many of my college educated friends, have about 5-9 year longevity at jobs before they change to a different company or job type.

In the private sector there are many big profitable companies that stick it to their employees, union, and non union. They started using the Bank collapse as an excuse, even though they were still profitable. Unions, still have a place in society, to make peoples live better. It's how municipalities deal with public sector unions that needs to change. Instead of taking from tenured employees, change all of the benefits that need changing for new hires, and scale back the benefits of tenured employees over time..

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #26
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I forgot to mention. I work for a multi billion dollar corporation. We had a contract expire a couple of years ago. Our corporation has many entities or divisions. When I started in this company 18 years ago they funneled profit from our side of the house to another side of the house that wasn't profitable but was an up and coming thing. Now the shoe has reversed a little, our side is not as profitable as it was, but the other side make BILLIONS. We have a product that everyone wants but they refuse to move profit back to us to invest in the new product. They refused to bargain in good faith, in other words they threw out the old contract, and wrote their own new contract. Usually the sides pick some stuff in the contract they want changed and they negotiate back and forth, the company didn't want that, they wanted to write a whole new contract their way. We went on strike, they panicked because they had a ton of work that we do, and no one who could do it. After two weeks they begged us to come back, they would negotiate everything would be great. Most of us wanted to stay out, we had them over a barrel, get the contract done then go back, but we went back reluctantly. It took over a year for a new contract to get done. In the end we all had to pay roughly 40-70 per week more for health insurance, we lost a couple of holidays, we lost a portion of our tuition reimbursement, we got o raise for the first year, no retroactive check for the second partial year and the second year raise didn't go into effect like normal, it went into effect after the contract was ratified. So we ended up losing pay, roughly a dollar an hour, and our medical plan goes up every year, our raises over the 4 years of the contract add up to 12 percent, 3 percent a year, normal for any job out there,union or not. My wife works for a non profit and her raises average 2 1/2 -3 percent so we are reaping in the dough. If we had no union, most of the employees would be gone, and they would have contractors, or $10 an hour workers. Yet this corporation makes Billions of Dollars in profit every year..

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Old 12-03-2013, 04:19 AM   #27
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I forgot to mention. I work for a multi billion dollar corporation. We had a contract expire a couple of years ago. Our corporation has many entities or divisions. When I started in this company 18 years ago they funneled profit from our side of the house to another side of the house that wasn't profitable but was an up and coming thing. Now the shoe has reversed a little, our side is not as profitable as it was, but the other side make BILLIONS. We have a product that everyone wants but they refuse to move profit back to us to invest in the new product. They refused to bargain in good faith, in other words they threw out the old contract, and wrote their own new contract. Usually the sides pick some stuff in the contract they want changed and they negotiate back and forth, the company didn't want that, they wanted to write a whole new contract their way. We went on strike, they panicked because they had a ton of work that we do, and no one who could do it. After two weeks they begged us to come back, they would negotiate everything would be great. Most of us wanted to stay out, we had them over a barrel, get the contract done then go back, but we went back reluctantly. It took over a year for a new contract to get done. In the end we all had to pay roughly 40-70 per week more for health insurance, we lost a couple of holidays, we lost a portion of our tuition reimbursement, we got o raise for the first year, no retroactive check for the second partial year and the second year raise didn't go into effect like normal, it went into effect after the contract was ratified. So we ended up losing pay, roughly a dollar an hour, and our medical plan goes up every year, our raises over the 4 years of the contract add up to 12 percent, 3 percent a year, normal for any job out there,union or not. My wife works for a non profit and her raises average 2 1/2 -3 percent so we are reaping in the dough. If we had no union, most of the employees would be gone, and they would have contractors, or $10 an hour workers. Yet this corporation makes Billions of Dollars in profit every year..
wait.....the evil multi billion dollar corporation "begged" you to come back to work and then you got screwed in the final contract negotiations?....sounds like you need a better union...they screwed you

Indian Call Center workers BTW, make about 3 times the average wage in India and the jobs are highly sought after for a number of reasons, so while an American might not be able to live on the wages that are paid in "many" parts of the world recognizing that there are differences in standards of living and costs, many of the jobs that Americans create overseas improve the lives of many people...you do know that there are foreign companies that create jobs in the US as well and employ Americans, it's just not always as attractive to set up shop here....
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:30 AM   #28
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L
Here is what I mean by plenty of blame to go around. You had people, managers, Mayors, Selectmen giving everything under the sun to public employees for years. Times were prosperous, no one saw what the future held. Now thirty or more years later, these things like pensions, exorbitant medical costs, pension calculation formulas are catching up to them, it's understandable that things need to change. But it's not fair that someone that has 15 or 20 years of service, has his or her benefits ripped out from under them, or because the municipality was run poorly they shouldn't get raises.

it's not fair??...is it fair that taxpayers should continue to pay pensions, benefits and raises to people who, through their unions worked to elect "people, managers, Mayors, Selectmen giving everything under the sun to public employees for years"....sounds like they made their own bed, they should do what many Americans are doing...get a part time job....the poorly run municipality is broke many times over....the "someone with 15-20 years of service" has "benefitted" during that entire time thanks to the "people, managers, Mayors, Selectmen giving everything under the sun to public employees for years" was that "fair"?

It's how municipalities deal with public sector unions that needs to change. Instead of taking from tenured employees, change all of the benefits that need changing for new hires, and scale back the benefits of tenured employees over time..

it's not the new hires benefits that are grossly unfunded(yet)...it's the tenured employees....have ya noticed/observed what happens when you try to "scale back" benefits?....did ya miss the whole Wisconsin thing??.....it can be done...but please go back and understand how difficult it is and how uncooperative the benefiters can be...great isn't it?...you get to participate in the pillaging for years and then cry that it's "unfair" when the tipping point is finally reached....benefits(entitlements) without responsibility(except to the sugar daddy at voting time).....pretty much where we're at....

If you worked for a company for 20 years, non union, and you came into work one day and the boss said, "Jim I am sorry your pension is being frozen, we are making you pay 10% more for your healthcare, cutting back holidays from 7 to 5, and by the way no raise this year" What would you do? I know I would quietly start looking for another job. I see this happening now a days. ..
yes...it's called reality

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Old 12-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #29
Jim in CT
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Originally Posted by TheSpecialist View Post
L
Here is what I mean by plenty of blame to go around. You had people, managers, Mayors, Selectmen giving everything under the sun to public employees for years. Times were prosperous, no one saw what the future held. Now thirty or more years later, these things like pensions, exorbitant medical costs, pension calculation formulas are catching up to them, it's understandable that things need to change. But it's not fair that someone that has 15 or 20 years of service, has his or her benefits ripped out from under them, or because the municipality was run poorly they shouldn't get raises.

If you worked for a company for 20 years, non union, and you came into work one day and the boss said, "Jim I am sorry your pension is being frozen, we are making you pay 10% more for your healthcare, cutting back holidays from 7 to 5, and by the way no raise this year" What would you do? I know I would quietly start looking for another job. I see this happening now a days. Many of my college educated friends, have about 5-9 year longevity at jobs before they change to a different company or job type.

In the private sector there are many big profitable companies that stick it to their employees, union, and non union. They started using the Bank collapse as an excuse, even though they were still profitable. Unions, still have a place in society, to make peoples live better. It's how municipalities deal with public sector unions that needs to change. Instead of taking from tenured employees, change all of the benefits that need changing for new hires, and scale back the benefits of tenured employees over time..
You make many, MANY good points. Here is one i disagree with...

" Times were prosperous, no one saw what the future held"

Actuaries have been saying, for 50 years, that the entitlement programs cannot survive the Baby Boomer generation. They have been saying that for 50 years. Union officials ignore that because they want to get rich off union dues. Politicians ignore that because they like to get re-elected, and need union campaign donations.

Just last year, Paul Ryan had a proposal to modify Medicare. How did the liberals respond? By making comercials that showed Ryan pushing a wheelchair-bound old lady off a cliff.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #30
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L
.

If you worked for a company for 20 years, non union, and you came into work one day and the boss said, "Jim I am sorry your pension is being frozen, we are making you pay 10% more for your healthcare, cutting back holidays from 7 to 5, and by the way no raise this year" What would you do? .
That's EXACTLY, and I mean EXACTLY, what happened to the private sector in the 1990's. And what did they do? They acdepted it for what it was. They didn't like it, but they accepted it. They didn't bitch, didn't go on strike, we didn't occupy wall street. We lived with it. Those in public sector unions need to do the same thing, and be grateful that they held onto their luxuries for 20 years longer than everyone else.

That sucks, but it's better than the alternative, which ius slashing pension payments for current retitees. If you think that can't happen, look up Central Falls Rhode Island. And they will soon be doing that in Detroit. In 15 years, it will be more common. Why? Because you can't have more than there is. It's that simple.
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