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  1. #1
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    Default Signaling the END of Collective Bargaining for public safety employees???

    Under a new bill proposed in the Ohio Senate collective bargaining would be eliminated for state workers and reformed for employees of local governments. Layoff procedures and binding arbitration rules for police and firefighters would be drastically changed

    The 476-page bill outlines other numerous changes to the state’s collective bargaining law, including:

    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.


    •Public employers in a deadlock with safety forces would have the option to extend the last collective bargaining agreement for one year rather than go into binding arbitration.


    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.


    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.

    http://www.cleveland.com/open/index....ollective.html


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    Default Budget woes

    With the Federal, state and local governments going through budget woes, these hatchet cuts on public employees are becoming common place.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Wisconsin State Employees are also under attack. With the possibility of contracts being voided, collective bargaining gone, Union dues no longer being employer collected by payroll deduction, annual recertification of the Union, and additional cost sharing for pension and insurance.

    The governor has publicly announced to the media that he has contingency plans in place to mobilize the Wisconsin National Guard to use against State Employees if there are walkouts, or demonstrations.

    Sad and pathetic. Blame the Public Employees for government mismanagement, waste and fraud.
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    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Wisconsin State Employees are also under attack. With the possibility of contracts being voided, collective bargaining gone, Union dues no longer being employer collected by payroll deduction, annual recertification of the Union, and additional cost sharing for pension and insurance.

    The governor has publicly announced to the media that he has contingency plans in place to mobilize the Wisconsin National Guard to use against State Employees if there are walkouts, or demonstrations.

    Sad and pathetic. Blame the Public Employees for government mismanagement, waste and fraud.
    You have got to be kidding me... Pray tell me you are. Going to use the National Guard?

    That is the most insane thing I have heard in a while. I guess we will see where it goes from here.
    Bring enough hose.

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    Wall Street caused the problems.... yet public employees everywhere are being blamed.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    The governor has publicly announced to the media that he has contingency plans in place to mobilize the Wisconsin National Guard to use against State Employees if there are walkouts, or demonstrations.
    This is almost martial law.

    Why am I not surprised of this reaction from someone that was hugely supported by the Chamber of Commerce to the tune of millions of dollars.

    That's not a question.

    That group has made no secret of its desire to destroy collective bargaining and bust unions.
    Last edited by scfire86; 02-14-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.

    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.
    As someone who's always worked under these "conditions", can someone explain to me why exactly is this such an atrocity?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Wall Street caused the problems.... yet public employees everywhere are being blamed.
    This statement couldn't be more true. Their greed caused the reccession and the collaspe of the housing market. And what do our elected officials do, bail them out with our tax dollars so they can get their 7 figure bonuses due to contractual obligations. So if contract law works in the banking world, it should work for public employees the same way. Politicians need to honnor the collective bargaining agreements of public employees and stop catering to the special intrest groups. "We The People".......Yeah Right!!
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.

    So the idea that you actually get paid for what you do and what you accomplish is draconian? I worked in the private sector for almost 30 years before being hired on and it's worked out fine for me. You accomplish more, you get paid more. Not that bad a concept.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.

    Again, you accomplish more, you keep your job. The slug that hasn't taken a class in 10 years and just rides his time on the truck loses his. Makes perfect sense.

    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.

    Wow! 20 %! Most private sector employees would call that a deal.

    Bottom line is public sector employees have had it far better than the private sector for a very long time. Being expected to make concessions and have their jobs treated like most others on the planet in the "new normal" is something that isn't unreasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.

    So the idea that you actually get paid for what you do and what you accomplish is draconian? I worked in the private sector for almost 30 years before being hired on and it's worked out fine for me. You accomplish more, you get paid more. Not that bad a concept.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.

    Again, you accomplish more, you keep your job. The slug that hasn't taken a class in 10 years and just rides his time on the truck loses his. Makes perfect sense.

    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.

    Wow! 20 %! Most private sector employees would call that a deal.

    Bottom line is public sector employees have had it far better than the private sector for a very long time. Being expected to make concessions and have their jobs treated like most others on the planet in the "new normal" is something that isn't unreasonable.
    Well you make our arguments for us then. WE as public employees do not get paid more than the public sector. We chose the jobs that we have, part of the reason was for the security of it. You are also under the misguided impression that we would be able to get better raises this way. The idea that they are proposing in Ohio and other states would dismantle the entire system as we know it. They would be able to layoff the ones that are not their favorites. They would be able to do the same thing with raises, etc. Collective bargaining is for the good of all. They want to completely destroy everything that so many have worked to put in place for years. One of the things they are also proposing is to eliminate the ability to use arbitration. This would effectively allow the Cities to drag out negotiations indefinitely. Wake up, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If it happens in Ohio, which was listed as one of 8 states that have good solvent pension systems, then what will happen in the other states. This is a huge issue that could effect everyone.
    Jason Brooks
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    Well you make our arguments for us then. WE as public employees do not get paid more than the public sector. We chose the jobs that we have, part of the reason was for the security of it. You are also under the misguided impression that we would be able to get better raises this way. The idea that they are proposing in Ohio and other states would dismantle the entire system as we know it. They would be able to layoff the ones that are not their favorites. They would be able to do the same thing with raises, etc. Collective bargaining is for the good of all. They want to completely destroy everything that so many have worked to put in place for years. One of the things they are also proposing is to eliminate the ability to use arbitration. This would effectively allow the Cities to drag out negotiations indefinitely. Wake up, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If it happens in Ohio, which was listed as one of 8 states that have good solvent pension systems, then what will happen in the other states. This is a huge issue that could effect everyone.
    Not going to get into an argument but to say that most firefighters are paid less than the public sector v. hours actually worked is ridiculous, and you know it. The amount of downtime, and yes, paid sleep time in most departments simply destroys that arrangement. The same can be said about the schedule which provides opportunities for another job that most private sector employees simply don't have.

    Down here we have civil service, which is basically crap. It demands that promotions are by seniority, not test scores or performance. It limits the amount we to contribute into our pensions, which right now is killing small departments budgets as we contribute 9%, and the departments are contributing over 23%. It dictates procedures for firing and suspensions that makes it very difficult for a department to fire anyone without jumping through 20 hoops even if there is more than sufficient just cause.

    Even though I work under it as a paid member, I hate it. Basically it protects the slugs and handcuffs the departments.

  12. #12
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not going to get into an argument but to say that most firefighters are paid less than the public sector v. hours actually worked is ridiculous, and you know it. The amount of downtime, and yes, paid sleep time in most departments simply destroys that arrangement. The same can be said about the schedule which provides opportunities for another job that most private sector employees simply don't have.
    What opportunities? In case you're not aware, the three platoon schedule was devised to save money.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Down here we have civil service, which is basically crap. It demands that promotions are by seniority, not test scores or performance. It limits the amount we to contribute into our pensions, which right now is killing small departments budgets as we contribute 9%, and the departments are contributing over 23%. It dictates procedures for firing and suspensions that makes it very difficult for a department to fire anyone without jumping through 20 hoops even if there is more than sufficient just cause.
    Which is a good thing. Before civil service, government jobs were handed out to cronies. Cronyism was so bad prior to reform that one enraged individual assassinated a US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Even though I work under it as a paid member, I hate it. Basically it protects the slugs and handcuffs the departments.
    Please spare us your victimization. You don't do the work of professionals now. You've stated it repeatedly.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    This begins and ends with politicians...not with Wall St. (who does have plenty of bad actors).

    Government and the social welfare structure is bankrupting us. The problem for the pols is the revenues aren't sufficient to fund their vote buying schemes by funding all sorts of BS giveaways to this constituency or that one that do nothing to contribute to economy or to our communities.

    They have two choices, take money from productive union laborers who provide a service in exchange for compensation promised them in open and lawful contractual negotiations, or reduce the money they flush down the toilet to the unproductive, slackers, parasites that will vote for whomever can send them the biggest govt. check.

    They refuse to confront the multiple layers of waste and inefficiency at all levels of government that have failed to return any positive results for the money we've ****ed away. (Dept of Ed., HUD...etc.)

    Wall St. didn't distort the housing market, that was done by a series of Presidents and congresses along with plenty of state legislators and even the Federal Reserve and their easy money policies. Liquidity went to were the biggest and safest returns could be obtained. With explicit and implicit govt backstops....much of that money ended up in housing. When they subsidize something...you will always get more of it.

    This was only made worse by govt subsiding and encouraging homeownership and various organizations shaking down banks using BS claims of racial discrimination charges as a means to get more money funneled to their cause.

    The politicians want to make a boogie man out of Wall St. (which doesn't make much sense when all the facts are looked at) so they must move on to make another foil for their scams and we've become it.

    They can easily demonize union labor...they can't as easily demonize a woman who is a multi-generational welfare recipient who has been taught how to take everything from the system and place the burden of numerous out of wedlock children on the state.

    This is where we are today. The pols are playing people like fiddles...educate yourselves or be led to slaughter.

    FTM-PTB

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    While merit pay works in the private sector, to a degree (see millions of employees unhappy with their co-workers), the public sector will never be able to transition to it for many good reasons:

    1. Cronyism, nepotism and favorites have long been hallmarks of the public sector in places and levels where Union's were not allowed. The Utopian view that we can all play fair is downright ignorant to the way the world works. While there is some truth to CBA's resulting in the "lowest common denominator", nothing says that the LCD can't be the very high level of professionalism and work ethic that prevails in many places.

    2. Merit pay can only save money where they actually anticipate giving out increases/bonuses to less than 100% of the workforce. This immediately disenfranchises a portion of the employees. Unhappy workers are less productive workers. So many public employee's give far more time and effort than contractually bound, but a step such as proposed will force them to do the absolute minimum they're recognized for. Those members who are viewed as kissing azz will be ostracized at best.

    3.When you start trying to take money out of my wallet and food off my families table our relationship will change. This goes for all levels and employee/co worker relations as well. We all have suck-ups and brown nosers, but when that starts to really harm others ability to make a living, watch out.

    4. Stuff that was outside of work rules becomes standard fare. Suddenly on slow days we can pick up trash in our first due, if we want to be be considered for increases.

    5. The public sector has rarely paid employees nearly what the private sector offered. My career ladder will never put me in a position to make CEO money. We've accepted never getting bonuses for Christmas, no profit sharing, no trips, company cars, etc. What we have is some financial stability with a livable wage and retirement plan that is far less hazardous than folks in the private sector who gamble their pensions for that high pay out in the end. There's never been a day that I though, maybe I wouldn't have to work doing something in retirement. BTW, public pension funds that exclude members from Social Security save the taxpayers money, not cost more.

    So go ahead, support this and see where we are in 10-20 years. When you take away the reasons most of us consider a career in the public sector, you'll get the lower test scorers on your engines and medic units. You'll be forced to work with those who choose not to excel on their own, as their just another employee like everyone else on the highway in the morning. I've worked many years in the private sector and will again, but don't pretend for a minute that there isn't jealously, posturing, and employees out to see others fail, to advance their own status and get that all important merit raise. While the public sector has issues with these things too, it far better controlled by CBA's, not the employer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.


    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.
    I'm with NM.. I'm not seeing the pending disaster written in the above. Obviously the devil is in the details, but having a merit-based salary increase could be a good thing for the high-performers. You work hard, you get a bigger raise.. you slack off you get a minimal or no raise. As long as the merit-pool and steps are written into the contract it should benefit both sides.
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    Forum Member Jonnee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.

    So the idea that you actually get paid for what you do and what you accomplish is draconian? I worked in the private sector for almost 30 years before being hired on and it's worked out fine for me. You accomplish more, you get paid more. Not that bad a concept.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered.

    Again, you accomplish more, you keep your job. The slug that hasn't taken a class in 10 years and just rides his time on the truck loses his. Makes perfect sense.

    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.

    Wow! 20 %! Most private sector employees would call that a deal.

    Bottom line is public sector employees have had it far better than the private sector for a very long time. Being expected to make concessions and have their jobs treated like most others on the planet in the "new normal" is something that isn't unreasonable.


    Just another statement from a citizen who wanted to be a fireman but all he could do was to join a fledging department and stand out in the yard and fan the flames.

    Just another statement by you, like those of scarecrow who doesn't knot nothing about the operations of a major fire department.

  17. #17
    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    •State workers’ salary schedules and step increases would be eliminated, and pay would be based on merit.
    I currently work under a system where there is no salary schedule and/or step increases. It is currently based on what my employer wants to give me. That equals 0% per year for my work, and my all my co-workers. Funny how that works. Guess we don't do enough to acutally "merit" a raise. As a result the FD pretty much gets what it pays for, the bare minimum. We do our job on the street but for the most part we aren't sticking our neck out to help the FD.

    •Length of service could not be the only factor in layoffs. Efficiency and quality of performance also could be considered. Same thing occurs here all ready. You can read this as the most expensive employees for a position will be eliminated in order to reduce payroll.


    •Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premium.
    We all ready do this and it is quite common place around here. Really our only compliant is that the county doesn't shop around for better deals on health insurance.
    I work in Georgia, a right to work state. You can read that as a right to fire your *** for anything at anytime state. The above is common place around here. The union is not powerless, but is significantly reduced. Our only true recourse is through politics, it doesn't all ways work out (almost never). To give an example of how a system with no pay schedule or step increase works, check this out. I've been on the department for 6 1/2 years, I've been a Sergeant for 2 1/2 years. I make less than probably 30-40% of the firefighters. We have some Sgt.'s making more than Captains. The pay scale is all out of wack. To top it all off the Chief can give any raise amount up to 15% for each promotion. It is possible for a firefighter to be on less time than me, get promoted to sgt. and get a raise putting his salary over mine. All at the whim of the Chief.

    Anyone that thinks a public safety employee in a right to work state is better off is a moron. There is no recourse to correct practices that work to pit employees against each other. There is no voice of the employee. We are drowned out by management who is only looking to secure their jobs for as long as possible. I'd kill for a CBA here, literally. I have a list. To have a say in what our working, pay, and benefit conditions are would go a long way to making our department better.

  18. #18
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    Government and the social welfare structure is bankrupting us. The problem for the pols is the revenues aren't sufficient to fund their vote buying schemes by funding all sorts of BS giveaways to this constituency or that one that do nothing to contribute to economy or to our communities.
    You do realize that Government includes the FD.

    And to folks like this new Governor of Wisconsin, he's not differentiating.

    I could go on about the housing crisis was the direct of actions by the financial boys who exploited a good thing and left others to hold the bag when it collapsed. That's a story for another day. Just know that public servants are viewed as the cause of all evils and those pointing fingers view public safety folks as the worst of the bunch. Especially at the local government level where public safety is the majority of just about any local government budget.
    Last edited by scfire86; 02-14-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlcooke3 View Post
    I work in Georgia, a right to work state. You can read that as a right to fire your *** for anything at anytime state. The above is common place around here. The union is not powerless, but is significantly reduced. Our only true recourse is through politics, it doesn't all ways work out (almost never). To give an example of how a system with no pay schedule or step increase works, check this out. I've been on the department for 6 1/2 years, I've been a Sergeant for 2 1/2 years. I make less than probably 30-40% of the firefighters. We have some Sgt.'s making more than Captains. The pay scale is all out of wack. To top it all off the Chief can give any raise amount up to 15% for each promotion. It is possible for a firefighter to be on less time than me, get promoted to sgt. and get a raise putting his salary over mine. All at the whim of the Chief.

    Anyone that thinks a public safety employee in a right to work state is better off is a moron. There is no recourse to correct practices that work to pit employees against each other. There is no voice of the employee. We are drowned out by management who is only looking to secure their jobs for as long as possible. I'd kill for a CBA here, literally. I have a list. To have a say in what our working, pay, and benefit conditions are would go a long way to making our department better.
    Thanks for that. Martin Luther King had a great line about the term "right to work."

    "It provides no rights, and absolutely no works."

    Or something to that effect.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    While merit pay works in the private sector, to a degree (see millions of employees unhappy with their co-workers), the public sector will never be able to transition to it for many good reasons:

    1. Cronyism, nepotism and favorites have long been hallmarks of the public sector in places and levels where Union's were not allowed. The Utopian view that we can all play fair is downright ignorant to the way the world works. While there is some truth to CBA's resulting in the "lowest common denominator", nothing says that the LCD can't be the very high level of professionalism and work ethic that prevails in many places.

    2. Merit pay can only save money where they actually anticipate giving out increases/bonuses to less than 100% of the workforce. This immediately disenfranchises a portion of the employees. Unhappy workers are less productive workers. So many public employee's give far more time and effort than contractually bound, but a step such as proposed will force them to do the absolute minimum they're recognized for. Those members who are viewed as kissing azz will be ostracized at best.

    3.When you start trying to take money out of my wallet and food off my families table our relationship will change. This goes for all levels and employee/co worker relations as well. We all have suck-ups and brown nosers, but when that starts to really harm others ability to make a living, watch out.

    4. Stuff that was outside of work rules becomes standard fare. Suddenly on slow days we can pick up trash in our first due, if we want to be be considered for increases.

    5. The public sector has rarely paid employees nearly what the private sector offered. My career ladder will never put me in a position to make CEO money. We've accepted never getting bonuses for Christmas, no profit sharing, no trips, company cars, etc. What we have is some financial stability with a livable wage and retirement plan that is far less hazardous than folks in the private sector who gamble their pensions for that high pay out in the end. There's never been a day that I though, maybe I wouldn't have to work doing something in retirement. BTW, public pension funds that exclude members from Social Security save the taxpayers money, not cost more.

    So go ahead, support this and see where we are in 10-20 years. When you take away the reasons most of us consider a career in the public sector, you'll get the lower test scorers on your engines and medic units. You'll be forced to work with those who choose not to excel on their own, as their just another employee like everyone else on the highway in the morning. I've worked many years in the private sector and will again, but don't pretend for a minute that there isn't jealously, posturing, and employees out to see others fail, to advance their own status and get that all important merit raise. While the public sector has issues with these things too, it far better controlled by CBA's, not the employer.
    There are some other major differences between us and the private sector I think you overlooked.

    1. Minimal to no job portablity-

    The reason the private sector can do what they do to a large degree is that their employees in most industries can move anywhere in the country at anytime and bargain for lateral insertion into a new company at same or better wages with numerous benefits.

    Even though I have what is probably an above average resume for the average fireman, expierence, training, varriety of departments...etc. There is no place in this country that will take me as a lateral transfer into their Department and provide me seniority towards rank and in pension, same or better pay, benefits and work hours.

    The skills we have don't always translate across municipalities:
    An accountant largely uses the same skills in Montana that one would use in Georgia. However a community in Iowa I doubt is all that interested in my training and skills for how to vent flat roofs, operating off a standpipe, using the life-saving rope off a 6 story tenement...etc. Whereas we don't care that you have fire officer I certification and EMT and it does nothing for us.

    2. Also we don't get a slew of benefits that the private sector gets...quarterly and/or year end bonuses, moving expenses to take a new job, company car or gas allowance, we don't get company credit cards and put "lunch on the company" occasionally. We also don't have open expense accounts for reimbursement through out the year. We don't have flexible schedules that others have.."I'm taking off early today for sallys doctors appt...etc."

    FTM-PTB

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