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Bill Gives Public Workers Clout

Harry Guerrilla

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Action Looms on a Bargaining Bill - WSJ.com

The Senate is moving closer to passing legislation that would require states to grant public-safety employees, including police, firefighters and emergency medical workers, the right to collectively bargain over hours and wages.

The bill, known as the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, would mainly affect about 20 states that don't grant collective-bargaining rights statewide for public-safety workers or that prohibit such bargaining. State and municipal associations, as well as business groups, oppose it, saying it will lead to higher labor costs and taxes, at a time of budget deficits.

The bill, backed by at least six Republicans in the Senate, prohibits strikes and leaves to states' discretion whether to engage in collective bargaining in several areas, including health benefits and pensions.
I think this is wrong on so many levels.

First, the feds don't have the authority to force localities to allow unionization of locally funded public service workers.

Secondly, these unions will be forced on all people, even those who don't want to be a member of a union.
Can we say, freedom of association?

Last, states and cities are already suffering from budget woes, we shouldn't be doing things that make it more difficult for them to fund their needs.
 

lizzie

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I agree with your take on the issue completely. This is just the trend we are seeing in this country toward making everyone's life guaranteed by the federal government. It's just another nail in the coffin of our country's survial.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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I agree with your take on the issue completely. This is just the trend we are seeing in this country toward making everyone's life guaranteed by the federal government. It's just another nail in the coffin of our country's survial.
Unions here have become nothing more than an extension of the partnership between big business and big government.
 

Mell

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Employees already negotiate about their hours and wages with companies. I suppose, what would change if this bill was passed is that they could do it collectively. It might be a good thing, because the wages secrecy many/most companies have, leaves too much room for gender, race... discrimination. If everybody knows what their colleagues are getting payed, they would be able to assess if the company pays more for more and better work, of if there is a gender, race... factor involved.
 

Ikari

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Unions here have become nothing more than an extension of the partnership between big business and big government.
In essence, yes. Fundamentally I don't really have a problem with unions. People have the right to contract and when they go to find a job they should be more than free to debate the terms of that contract. Unions merely aggregate that over the work force of a business and allows them clout when bargaining for contract. However, the system became well corrupted and no longer serves the same folk it was designed to serve.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Employees already negotiate about their hours and wages with companies. I suppose, what would change if this bill was passed is that they could do it collectively. It might be a good thing, because the wages secrecy many/most companies have, leaves too much room for gender, race... discrimination. If everybody knows what their colleagues are getting payed, they would be able to assess if the company pays more for more and better work, of if there is a gender, race... factor involved.
This is only for state and local public service workers, firefighters, emt's and police officers.

States and cities regulate whether or not they allow them to unionize because they are mostly or only funded by those areas.
For the federal government to step in means they need to pony up the cash to help pay for it.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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In essence, yes. Fundamentally I don't really have a problem with unions. People have the right to contract and when they go to find a job they should be more than free to debate the terms of that contract. Unions merely aggregate that over the work force of a business and allows them clout when bargaining for contract. However, the system became well corrupted and no longer serves the same folk it was designed to serve.
I generally agree with the exception that no one should be forced to join a union to get a job.
Whenever a work place is unionized, you are usually left with 2 choices, join or quit.

An individual should be able to privately contract with the employer, outside of the union.
 

lizzie

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Employees already negotiate about their hours and wages with companies. I suppose, what would change if this bill was passed is that they could do it collectively. It might be a good thing, because the wages secrecy many/most companies have, leaves too much room for gender, race... discrimination.
You're right, if taking the bill and results at face value. What will happen, though, is that the federal taxpayer will become responsible for the pensions and benefits of all these public employees down the road. What we have happening in this country is absolutely financially unsustainable, and this measure will make it much worse. Over here in the States, if you are a municipal employee, it's a pretty good deal. You can work 20-25 years, then retire with a nice pension and bennies, while you are still young enough to start a second career. That sounds fine and good until enough people have worked their way through the system, then the pensions can't be afforded for all the retirees, and the federal government will end up funding these pensions. We have an increasing percentage of citizens who are working for various public and government entities. These entities are not producing anything- they are strictly a cost to the citizens.
 

jujuman13

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Unions here have become nothing more than an extension of the partnership between big business and big government.
Actually the above should read 'Unions here have become nothing more than an extension of the partnership between big business and Socialist big government.'
 

joergan

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Someone at the awful NY Times must have heard you people:

Payback Time - In Budget Crisis, States Take Aim at Pension Costs - NYTimes.com

In Budget Crisis, States Take Aim at Pension Costs
By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Published: June 19, 2010

Many states are acknowledging this year that they have promised pensions they cannot afford and are cutting once-sacrosanct benefits, to appease taxpayers and attack budget deficits.

Gov. Pat Quinn said an overhaul would save Illinois’s pension system $300 million in its first year. But the fund is weakened.

Illinois raised its retirement age to 67, the highest of any state, and capped public pensions at $106,800 a year. Arizona, New York, Missouri and Mississippi will make people work more years to earn pensions. Virginia is requiring employees to pay into the state pension fund for the first time. New Jersey will not give anyone pension credit unless they work at least 32 hours a week.
 
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