My reasons for being in the union aren't tied to vacation plans and station requests...
My reasons for being in the union aren't tied to vacation plans and station requests...
And other demographics tend to vote Republican because those candidates are less likely to do things that are unfavorable for them, like letting the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2% expire.Quote:
Additionally the majority of public employees tend to vote democrat as democrat candidates are less likely to cut government programs.
Something I find interesting about this type of statement is found when you did a little deeper into the matter. I'm a numbers guy and the numbers here tell a story.Quote:
Many politicians will cater to public employee union desires to appease them and garner the coveted votes of their large memberships. Unfortunately even if it means further bankrupting their community.
So... whether or not union dues pay for political campaigns (and I've heard it both ways) the unions have a large influence in government and not always in a good way.
If I recall correctly, Union membership nationally is now something like 10% of the workforce and membership in the public sector was something in the mid 30% range. I don't readily have the figure available, but I'm pretty sure that private sector employment far exceeds that of public sector employment. More than just people who are employed are eligible to vote in local/state/federal elections.
What all this tells me is that if the "taxpayers" feel that the public sector workers are getting "too much" and that they feel that their representative at the negotiation table is not adequately representing their interests, then shouldn't they be able to overcome this "union influence" issue? How can 10% of the workforce truly control the results of an election unless the vast majority of the remaining 90% aren't voting? If that's happening and "union friendly" candidates are being elected or re-elected, is that really the Unions' fault?
The levels of misinformation and utter ignorance on these forums while appalling is not surprising. It actually goes hand in hand with the bull**** that is spewed in the media. AFPD listen real hard. UNLESS YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE THAT IS SERVED BY A UNION FIRE DEPARTMENT, THE IAFF AND THE AFFI DO NOT COST YOU ONE STINKING DIME. The Firefighter pension funds in Illinois are funded LOCALLY. My wages and benefits are paid by the taxpayers of THE COMMUNITY WHERE I AM EMPLOYED. Ok wanna play "gotcha" with me? The UNION fought hard for PSOB which is paid to non-union and volunteer firefighters as well as the big bad union thugs. So I guess the UNION cost YOU AFPD whatever huge amount that is paid out to Illinois firefighters that are killed in the line of duty. What a bunch of ******bags. Jasper you have a right to your opinion but it is pretty easy to say screw the other guy when YOUR collective barganing rights were not touched. I am thankful for the UNION
Jasper, I may have sounded harsh but the door has been thrown open and the horse has left the barn.... They are going to go after Police and Fire next. People like to throw rocks at us FIBS but our state association is respected on BOTH sides of the aisle. I am not sure how it works in other states but here in good ol'Illinois NO ONE is forced to join the union. But the kicker is because of "fair share" (which I would dump in a heartbeat because if you dont want to belong good for you) I still have to represent a non-union employee in matters regarding discipline etc. along with negotiating a contract for them. I say if you dont want to join then you dont enjoy the benefits of membership. I dont really care who or who isnt in the union. Of course I have no say so in the matter and I am thankful eveyone in my small local pays their full way. No other fire service organization has done more to improve the safety and working conditions of ALL firefighters then the IAFF. I will argue that one with anyone all day long. Peace
One more thing Jasper. I know of what you are referring to from 7 years ago. The GWB endorsement was not popular but you also were joined with Local 94. I would like to think people have gotten over that by now. I am not a big fan of the current president but understand why the AFFI endorsed him over Dodd much to the chagrin of the International. BUT...we are still able to decide things at a local level. A right not afforded many other unions. In the last governors race here it came down to choosing someone who supported collective bargaining and someone who as his first act would be to sign an executive order making Illinois a "Right to Work" (lmao at THAT term) and let it play out in court....wasting everyones time and money. Quinn won by 29k votes. The firefighters WERE the difference.
Brothers... three words...
divide and conquer
The MUTTS are doing that to us right now.. just read these forums....
This IS part of the grand plan. First pit public against private, make us the "haves" and everyone else the "have not". Let people believe they should "just be lucky to have a job" while the wealthiest in the country recoup more wealth. Since the 70's the avg middle class income has remained steady while the wealthiest saw their income increase substantially.
Next is to divide the unions, take from them, but not from those and let it be fought among themselves. I think in WI, that aspect may have backfired, because I have seen more union members together than before. A couple months ago we were lucky to get 15 to 20 of our 170ish membership to go to a union meeting. Our last meeting had well over 50 in attendance. I have seen members who are volunteering to help in issues now than they did before.
Let's not forget why there are unions in the first place, to keep a level playing field, to have a fair wage, decent benefits, and the opportunity for a decent retirement after years of dedicated service. We can point fingers all day long about who endorsed who, who's to blame and so on, but the bottom line is that we need to stick together now more than ever. Finger pointing, blame, and animosity is just what the MUTTS want, the past is behind, Mutual Aid has been requested, we can work together despite differences.
For the record, I have skin in this game also. My wife, half of our household income, is a state union employee.
What we can afford is one thing, because as many on here have noted, concessions have been given, negotiations are a two way street, and there is more to balancing budgets than just on the backs of public workers.
It is the same people that are blaming public workers, that don't want the responsibility for their part in the economic mess, Wall St, etc. History has shown we can not spend out of a recession, nor we can just makes cuts to end one, there should be a balance. However, it is ironic how the wealthiest in the country are the biggest complainers when it comes to taxes. Just remember where those big tax breaks went, it wasn't the middle class nor public worker. Besides if we really are all in this together, you would see a balance of spending cuts and to raise revenue. However, what we have from people is "as long as it doesn't affect me".
The term "demand" sounds like you're saying "give this to me or else!". The term "request" sounds like you're asking "can you give this to me?".
Saying "union demands" creates the impression of an adversarial process whereby one side is forcefully "taking" from the other. For the most part, that really isn't the case on most issues, but letting the public think that the unions are the "bad guys" plays better for the employer.
That's right, they don't. That's not their role. The check & balance for government fiscal responsibility comes in part internally (executive vs legislative branches) and also from the taxpayers. If the government isn't spending responsibly, then you replace the people running the government.Quote:
2. While the NY Times article points out that private businesses must remain profitable or everyone will be unemployed, the same driving force keeps managers inline. In the public sector a manager, boss, chief, whatever is generally a very protected position. Without the performance incentive, the manager can abuse their power for years, playing favorites through the ole boy's network, nepotism, bullishness, etc. People in power often get greedy, it's part of human nature that unfortunately exists. Enter the Union that maintains the checks and balances. The upper level management too often is too busy or can't be bothered with dealing with employee issues, so if it doesn't get them in trouble they steer clear.
The union doesn't maintain government fiscal responsibility (checks and balances).
Actually, he isn't the one inserting envy into this matter and it most certainly has a place in the debate.Quote:
4. Right or wrong, some wages are based on what other fields make. For example, years ago our city couldn't get anyone to work at the landfill/recycling station (dump). They literally had to pay the guy who checks windshield stickers at the dump more than a starting FF/Paramedic! Next the city manager and councilors look at pay throughout and can't imagine how their clerks, office help, firefighters, medics, and cops are paid less than a guy that literally sits in a booth all day and waves at people who have dump stickers on their cars. No fighting for raises, they were practically giving them away. You wonder why you pay more for food in restaurants or at the grocery store? The market changes, fuel increases, and the help demands a raise (Minimum Wage hike). Now would you be happy if the stock boy at the local market made more than you with a degree and thousands of training hours?
Municipalities can pay their employees whatever they need to in order to retain qulified ones as long as they operate within their budget. It's when they pay more than what the normal market would bear and then cry about being broke that is the issue here.
What the stock boy makes at the local market is none of my business. That is an arrangement between him and his employer, no one else. You're inserting envy into this debate and it has no place here. Now if I was forced to shop at that store and pay their inflated prices to enable them to overpay thier employees then we'd have an issue.
As has been repeatedly pointed out, there really wasn't that much concern regarding public employees while the economy has been good. Now that things have been bad for a while and the public sector is down there's all kinds of concern.
I'll admit that there are some "excesses" and "abuses" out there, but what is happening is the conservative side is basically instigating infighting among the middle class. Comparatively, the public sector worker has taken less of a hit than the private sector worker. There's reason why this has been the case. Although government should be (fiscally) run like a business, the fact is it's not a business and therefore can't always act like a business.
Instead of addressing the reasons why our governments are "broke", like reckless spending on "non-essential pet projects", raiding of pension funds, failure to pay into pension funds, corruption, etc., it's much easier to misdirect and point the finger at the employees and their wages/benefits that now seem "outrageous" compared to where many in the private sector have now fallen to.
I don't believe that envy is the sole motivator in the push for "reform" and being more fiscally responsible, but it most certainly is "fanning the flames".
I know there has been a lot of discussion here in LA, even before the downturn, regarding both the number of state employees (4x the southern average) and the number of supervisors in state government. There has also been discussions about the pay sclaes of some of the positions.
Police and fire have had few problems in this area. In fact, the residents of Bossier City actually voted a tax increase 2 years ago to prevent additonal fire and police layoffs after they had been cut (the cuts remained in place but further cuts were avoided). A couple of years before that the city actually raised firefighter pay with little resident opposistion.
There is some, but very little resentment to what fire and police make in our area, which includes both the cities and rural fire districts.
Again, there are states where the state negiaotors, who are supposed represent the people, actually were quite happy to meet the demands of state employees rather than fight them tooth and nail, which was, by the way, their duties as the gaurdians of taxpayer money. Part of the reason was that the state employees represented a large political force, and yes, a large source of campaign funding that they felt it was better to appease and keep inthier political stable as compared to fighting and potentially alleniating. This was certainly the case in my home state.
I will not comment on other areas, but I have read about the abuses, and have seen some of the post-overtime and "detail" salary numbers, and can understand why some of the citizens feel the way they do.
Friends against friends, neighbors against neighbors, co-workers against co-workers, and the worst of all family members against family members...The Right has been quite successful in using the tactic that failed the communists. They said they would never have to attack us militarily because we would destroy ourselves from within...They were right but they would never have guessed it would go down in this manner.
The middle class, WE build this country, WE keep it running, WE keep it safe, and we do most of the living and dying to make it all happen. For what? Really? FOR WHAT? So the puppet masters can control, mess with, rearrange our lives at a whim. I am damn tired of being pulled right, then left, then hard right, then hard left, for nothing other than stupid ****ing political games that never seem to truly benefit the masses. the rich get richer and the middle class gets poorer. NOW part of the middle class says bring it on lets hurt part of our own...BRILLIANT.
Honestly, I have long considered myself an Independent. I have picked and chosen candidates for their records and their campaign promises. I have voted for both Republicans (fortunately I saw through walkers lies and did not vote for him) and Democrats. The Republicans don't realize what they have started, they have started the biggest and best recruiting drive for the Democratic party ever. They have awakened the masses.