Re: “Pierce council grudgingly ratifies worker pay hikes” (TNT, 7-21).
Here’s a situation where both Democrats and Republicans on the County Council and presumably the Pierce County executive are not in favor of these pay hikes. It’s obvious why they oppose the hikes, so it’s embarrassing having to vote yes.
We’re all hurting. Because the county executive branch can negotiate contracts without any council member guidance, our elected representatives’ hands are tied. Although every member did not want to vote yes to the pay hikes, enough had to vote yes in order to avoid a lawsuit.
A lawsuit would surely follow, since a down vote would amount to a breach of contract between Pierce County and employee unions.
Here’s a thought: I bet a significant number of union members don’t want a pay raise either. Along with their neighbors, they get it: It’s not the right time for increased pay.
Union leadership could take the lead in this and do the right thing. Union members could refuse the pay raise. What a positive message that would make to their neighbors.