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Not in Wisconsin only

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by wireguy, Jun 6, 2012.

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  1. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Not just Wisconsin: California portends bad news for public-sector unions
    by David Harsanyi
    06/06/2012


    While most of the nation’s attention was focused on Wisconsin’s recall elections, other local governments were taking important steps toward breaking free of public-sector unions, as well. Scott Walker’s victory shows us that, despite all the noise, unions are in decline in traditionally Democrat-leaning Midwestern states. But, in some ways, two local elections in California may portend even bigger things for the reformists.

    When you’re looking for public-sector union carnage, there is no better place than California, a solidly Democratic state where pension-plan funding for government employees is more than $500 billion in the red. Gov. Jerry Brown’s tepid 12-point pension reform plan hasn’t gone anywhere in the state legislature, but two of the state’s — and country’s — biggest cities dealt unions major setbacks Tuesday.

    In San Diego, payments into the public-employee retirement fund went from $43 million to $231.2 million — or 20 percent of city’s general fund – in little over a decade. So it’s not surprising that two reform proposals easily won over voters.

    Proposition A prohibits San Diego from using union-only “Project Labor Agreements” – which force the city to accept prevailing union wages and health care coverage — to be instituted on municipal construction contracts, opening up competitive bidding and saving the city millions. Voters approved the measure, even though California’s Brown recently signed a bill that would deny any state construction funds to a city that bans union friendly agreements.

    Proposition B will reform city pensions plans by moving all city employers (except for police officers) from defined benefit plans to an effective 401(k) akin to those in the private sector. It also calls for initiating a five-year freeze on the portion of union salaries used to calculate future pension payouts. At last count, around 70 percent of voters supported Proposition B.

    It is estimated that the plan would save the city nearly $1 billion over 30 years.

    Not surprisingly, unions — champions of “democracy” — launched a legal challenge against Proposition B even before any San Diegan had an opportunity to vote on the matter. Courts ruled that the measure could be litigated after the election, so expect it to be tied up in courts for a while.

    Then there is the case of San Jose, where pension payments jumped from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million, or 27 percent of the general fund budget.

    It’s also a city where Democrats solidly outnumber Republicans. Yet, a Democrat Mayor, Chuck Reed, and an 8-3 Democrat majority in the city council championed a reform labor measure. Reed claimed it was his “No. 1 priority because it’s the biggest problem we face. It’s a problem that threatens to our ability to remain a city and provide services to our people.”

    In this city, police and firefighters are given lavish retirement plans that should be the envy of public-employees everywhere. “Our police and firefighters will earn more in retirement than they did when they were working,” Reed once explained.

    As in San Diego, pension reform passed easily here.

    Measure B institutes a program that makes the current beneficiary pay up to 16 percent of their salaries to extend their retirement plan or, surrender that plan and move to one that provides benefits in line with the private sector. It also limits retirement benefits for future hires by requiring them to pay half the cost of a pension, it also suspends pension raises for up to five years when the city declares a fiscal crisis and it will discontinue “bonus” pension checks for retirees, among other things.

    Yolanda Cruz, president of the Municipal Employees’ Federation, the city’s largest union, said that the passage was “an unfortunate way to spend taxpayer money fighting it in court because we will definitely take it there. Taxpayer money would be better used getting services back.”

    Unions may know a lot about the unfortunate spending of taxpayer money, but though all these initiatives will end up in courtrooms — so much for “Power to the People!” — the mood of voters is unmistakable.
     
  2. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Time for the unions to disappear...

    Curt
    [​IMG]
     
  3. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    That was a big win and will hurt Obama.... People are finally coming out of the gas
     
  4. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    It's just simple math.
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The Progressive spending agenda is on the ground gasping for air. The thought of having people who just happen to work in the public sector become some sort of elite class with a much easier life due to the fantastic benefits is repugnant to folks who have to pay their way.

    Good union workers all over the country are having their pensions and part or all of their health care costs deducted from their pay check.

    So the folks who tried to make this a "union" VS "non-union" battle got their asses handed to them. And rightly so.It only takes about 3 minutes of reading to figure it out.

    Link provided one more time.

    HM
     
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    The people have spoken. HMB
     
  7. kgun_shooter

    kgun_shooter Member

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    I usually don't chime in on these political threads but I can't keep my mouth shut this time. If Walker and all these other politicians are so quick to cut public union benefits then I say the politicians benefits and pay should also be cut. This is why I hate politics! It's two-faced, the same people who are passing laws to cut workers benefits turn around and give themselves raises and better benefits! I have no opinion on unions, I do believe that they have done good for all of us, like the 40 hour work week, etc. But my opinion on politicians is that they have been given a free ride too long and their deceptiveness has went too far! We need to get rid of all of them and start over. Just my opinion.
     
  8. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    kgun, that is a Washington DC problem you describe. I don't believe our state legislators are overpaid. If you think otherwise let me know. The problem as previously stated was lifetime free health care and outrageous pension benefits while all the peons had it tough.

    Now, in Wisconsin we had a bus driver in Madison making $150,000.00 a year.

    I really have to say that needed fixing.

    here is info:

    State Government Employee Salaries

    Current Official


    Governor $137,092[4] Scott Walker


    Lieutenant Governor $72,394 Rebecca Kleefisch


    Secretary of State $65,079 Douglas Lafollette


    Attorney General $133,033 J.B. Van Hollen

    Treasurer $65,079 Kurt Schuller


    this does not seem excessive to me.

    The Supreme court, however, all make about 150K.


    HM
     
  9. kgun_shooter

    kgun_shooter Member

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    halfmile,

    Do these politicians is Wisconsin get lifetime health care? Do they get a lifetime pension? If so why? Especially if they only have one term. So who is going to decide what is a reasonable salary? In one note you think that a bus driver making $150,000 is too much but a governor making $140,000 is o.k. Personally I think both are way overpaid. At least the bus driver isn't taking campaign contributions and lining his pocket with other money. I bet most of the politicians out there are getting a heck of lot more money than their salary.

    Personally I believe that all this crap is just rhetoric, the politicians have to blame their mess on someone, so now let's blame the unions. Who's going to be blamed next after the unions are done away with. They are very good at keeping people confused so to take the blame off themselves. Just my opinion.
     
  10. guinner16

    guinner16 TS Member

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    So your average General Motors worker makes more money than Wisconsin's Secretary of State and Treasurer. Take into consideration this is with no or little educational background. Lets also not forget these are companies which can't even sustain themselves, not that the states can either. My last job, I didn't like the pay, benefits, or the environment, so I looked for and found a new job. Now I am grateful for the pay, benefits, and work environment, all of which don't compare to a GM factory worker. I think when unions are used properly, they are a great benefit to our society. I have a problem when they become spoiled brats/bullies and are getting way too much pay and benefits than is deserved. Unions make the claim they are there to provide fair wages, and a safe work environment. Apprently for years the union thought a job bank benefit created a fair and safe work environment.
     
  11. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I have to say Scott Walker has a lot more responsibility than the CEO of a Wall Street Investment bank or General Motors or GE, Check their salaries once.

    Now, the real kicker.

    Union: National Education AssociationMembership: 3.2 millionAssets: $216 million The NEA, representing most of the nation’s teachers, has 31 headquarters officers and employees who earn over $200,000. The president, Dennis Van Roekel, received $397,721 in salary and benefits. .


    Union: Service Employees International Union Membership: 1.8 millionAssets: $187 million The SEIU, whose membership has increased in recent years, has been organizing hospital, home care and nursing home workers, along with local and state government employees, janitors and security officers. The union has nine headquarters officers and employees who earn over $200,000. The former president, Andy Stern, was paid $306,388 in salary and benefits from the union in 2009.

    Union: United Food & Commercial WorkersMembership: 1.3 million Assets: $157 million The UFCW, whose members work in meatpacking, food processing and retail grocery stores, has 17 headquarters officers and employees who earn over $200,000. The president, Joseph T. Hansen, received $360,737 in pay and benefits in 2009. Of the $1.9 million the union donated to political candidates over the past two years, 99 percent of it went to Democrats. The union drew criticism from members in 2004 for paying outgoing president Douglas Dority $709,000 in salary and benefits and for keeping retired officers on the payroll with six-figure salaries. At the time, more than 250 UFCW employees across the country were being paid more than $100,000.


    Union: International Brotherhood of TeamstersMembership: 1.3 millionAssets: $175 millionThe Teamsters, whose origins date to the horse- and mule-team drivers of the late 1800s, represents truck drivers and a wide array of blue-collar and government workers. Eight headquarters officers and employees received more than $200,000 in 2009.The president, James P. Hoffa, was paid $362,869 in pay and benefits.

    Union: American Federation of State, County & Municipal EmployeesMembership: 1.5 millionAssets: $97 millionAFSCME, one of the fastest growing unions in the United States, was founded in Wisconsin almost 80 years ago. At union headquarters in Washington, 10 officers and employees receive more than $200,000 a year. Gerald McEntee, who was first elected union president in 1981, was paid $479,328 in salary and benefits in 2009. Over the past decade, his salary has increased at almost 4 percent a year.

    Union: Laborers’ International Union of North AmericaMembership: 633,000 Assets: $134 millionThe Laborers represent mostly construction workers in 500 locals in the U.S. The headquarters in Washington has 18 officers and employees who earn more than $200,000 a year, including 11 who earn more than $300,000. Terence O’Sullivan, union president since 2000, received $618,000 in salary and benefits in 2009.

    Union: American Federation of TeachersMembership: 887,000Assets: $115 millionAFT is the smaller of the two teacher unions and also represents school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, health care professionals and state and municipal employees. At AFT’s headquarters in Washington, nine officers and employees earn more than $200,000 a year. Randi Weingarten, who was elected president in 2008, received $428,284 in salary and benefits.

    Union: International Brotherhood of Electrical WorkersMembership: 685,000Assets: $482 millionIBEW represents electricians, linemen and other public utility employees, along with some computer, telecommunications and broadcasting workers. Sixteen of the IBEW’s officers and employees in Washington earned more than $200,000 in 2009. Edwin D. Hill, the union president since 2001, received $375,767 in pay and benefits.


    Union: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace WorkersMembership: 613,000Assets: $147 millionIAM, which grew out of a secret meeting of 19 machinists in a Georgia rail yard in 1888, represents machinists and aerospace workers in over 200 industries. At the union’s Maryland headquarters near Washington, 34 officers and employees earn over $200,000 in salary and benefits. Robert Buffenbarger, who became president in 1997, received $284,975.


    Union: United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of AmericaMembership: 538,000Assets: $1.2 billionThe UAW, founded in 1935 by automobile plant workers, currently represents workers at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, along with workers in the aerospace and agriculture industries. None of the officers or employees at the UAW headquarters in Detroit earn over $200,000 a year. Ronald Gettelfinger, who resigned as UAW president in 2010, was paid $173,065 in salary and benefits.

    ALL of these unions gave political contributions in the millions. ALL gave more than 95 percent to Democrats.

    Of course, if you can throw a football you don't have to concern yourself with all that stuff.

    HM
     
  12. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    The tax-paying public is tired of paying for public employee benefits they cannot afford for themselves.
     
  13. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Keep paying those dues, morons.
     
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