Letters to the Editor

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SPENDING: Don’t blame public employee unions

Letter by Linda L. Higgins, Tacoma on Feb. 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm | 11 Comments »
February 21, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: “Easier to give away that to take back” (letter, 2-20).

I take issue with the claim that public employee unions and politicians who support them are a main contributor toward bankruptcy at all levels of government. This is another version of placing blame on public employees for government budget woes.

I am a member of a public employee union (Washington Education Association), and I make no apology for my pay or benefits. Public employee unions have supported living wages and benefits for all public workers – teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, social workers and others. I don’t understand why some people think public workers are less deserving of these than private sector workers.

Blaming public employees and unions reflects hostility toward the public sector that can be heard regularly on right-wing talk radio and other conservative media outlets. Unfortunately, this diverts attention away from the real causes of government shortfalls, which are reprehensible behavior of some people in the corporate world and financial services and an unfair tax code.

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