Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: Public should get to vote on retirement contracts

Letter by Don C. Pearson, Lakewood on June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am with 81 Comments »
June 8, 2012 9:33 am

Re: “Public unions meet their ultimate employers: Voters” (editorial, 6-7).

I would suggest that, since voters are indeed the employers of public employees, long-term retirement contracts negotiated between the state and/or local governments and public employee unions be submitted to the voters for approval.

These benefit contracts commit the public to large financial liabilities that last for decades. They involve a significant percentage of public debt. The situation is no different from the public debt incurred for bond issues that routinely are voted up or down by the public. Why not let the voters have their say for the indebtedness for which they are burdened by these long-term contracts?

A public vote would eliminate the present situation of employees “negotiating” with politicians whose re-election depends upon the votes of those same employees. The voters who pay the bills should decide if such contracts are appropriate and reasonable. The public employees would have the opportunity to make their case to their real employers, the voters.

Also, it would reduce the fact that politicians now can vote for excessive benefits knowing that the financial problems that result will come due long after they have left office. At present, political accountability is almost non-existent.

Leave a comment Comments → 81
  1. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    This is a great idea. There is no question that the present system, controlled by the democrats, pits politicians and unions against the taxpayers. And, taxpayers are the losers.

    The present system is corrupt and leads to unions hiring the one that they negotiate with and this leads to lavish contracts that are bankrupting WA State.

    Yes, let’s vote on these contracts. These costs are breaking our backs and we will not take it anymore.

    The cycle of life for the unions that helps them elect their own bosses must end. We are sick of sacrificing oter programs so we can have $100,000 cops and teachers.

  2. Gandalf says:

    Or, you can do it the right way and vote out the politicians that cater to the unions, or even better, get rid of collective bargaining completely for public sector employees.

  3. llevrok says:

    The public did get to vote on union pensions in Wisconsin – twice.

  4. Union pensions are part of a COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, a CONTRACT, if you will, that is entered into by BOTH PARTIES.

    Pensions were accepted as pay, thus are protected by law.

    Republicans need to quit ignoring lawful contracts and to stop welching on their agreements.

    Collective bargaining is protected by law.

  5. “We are sick of sacrificing oter programs so we can have $100,000 cops and teachers.”

    First of all – that comment is a lie. Secondly, the person who made the comment enjoys a standard of living from a union contract.

    It’s interesting how, when police officers give their lives we can create tshirts and baseball caps to prove how “patriotic” we are, but if they live, we want to take away the pension THEY PAID INTO.

    The Republican Party has evolved into a sickening group of unethical welchers that pretend to honor our civil servants.

  6. SwordofPerseus says:

    Bad idea. Most people are not even brite enough to read and comprehend simple initiatives, let alone union contract agreements. This idea that we should “vote” on everything is ludicrous, most people who can comprehend don’t have time to properly analyze and evaluate all of the legislature and proposals put forth by state and local governments, that’s why we elect representatives. Which is why you need to study the people running for public office very carefully, to see if they represent your and your ideas.

  7. alindasue says:

    I see two issues with this letter.

    First-
    Much as people make claims of “unions hiring the one that they negotiate with” (as taxedenoughintacoma said), the sum total of all the union members in this state (public workers or private) is still a small minority of the state’s registered voters. Each and every one of those people, even the union presidents, have just as many votes (1) as the rest of the population. There is no way that a union, even if it wanted to, could “hire” any of the legislators – much less the majority needed to approve the union contracts of state employees. The numbers just aren’t there.

    The second issue is related to the first.

    Even if things like retirement benefits were put to a vote, unions would still have to lobby the legislators. The reason: in the last decade an across the board pay raise for teachers was approved by voters and twice the voters approved funding to pay for added training for caregivers. Even though those issues were put to a vote of the people and approved, the money to fund them was never put into the budget. The people can vote all they want on funding pensions, but if the union leaders aren’t there reminding the legislators to budget for it, we’ll still continue to have the same “more than we have money for” issues (e.g. “It’s not in the budget.”) – while the state pays for things like yet another stadium in Seattle or other such nonsense instead.

  8. alindasue says:

    SwordofPerseus said, “This idea that we should “vote” on everything is ludicrous, most people who can comprehend don’t have time to properly analyze and evaluate all of the legislature and proposals put forth by state and local governments, that’s why we elect representatives.”

    I just thought that bears repeating.

    It wasn’t two days ago that another letter writer complained about busy people not having the time to read I-1183, which was written in plain English, fully before voting on it. Now this letter writer expects that same voter to read through long employment contracts full of legalese and vote on those too…

    That is why this country was set up as a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC and not a straight democracy. Our founding fathers may have had many flaws, but they weren’t stupid.

  9. If any sector needs a union to protect them, it’s the public employees.
    Just look at what you ‘bosses’ would do to them!

  10. Why not do away with the legislature and require the public to vote on all bills, contracts, etc. With say a 2/3 majority for non-revenue bills and a 90% majority for all revenue bills.

  11. SwordofPerseus says:

    xring-your joking of course? Funny, that’s what that is, funny.

  12. SwordofPerseus says:

    sorry my fingers typed your instead of “you’re”

  13. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Gotta agree with the “nays” here… albeit on very different grounds. Holding votes on every public sector union contract would be impractical and expensive.

    There are Professional Contract Negotiators who offer their services in public sector union contract negotiations. Why not pass legislation requiring all publicly financed jobs in the state – union and non-union – to be negotiated with a third party? Such services could be required to bid for the work on case-by-case basis’, advocate for, and be liable to the taxpayer, only.

    I also like the idea of removing the state’s role as collector of union dues, and allowing currently unionized workers to opt-out and form non-union confederations with which to negotiate wage and benefits packages with such Professional negotiators.

    That would remove the current stench of quid-pro-quo emanating from this and other non-right-to-work state’s union contract negotiations.

  14. “non-union confederations” HA HA HA HA HA ROTFLMAO

    You mean non-union unions?

  15. How is it that Walker found it necessary to outlaw collective bargaining. Did he not think that he had the wherewithal to negotiate with the union seeing as he wasn’t supported by the unions?

    Kinda blows the whole theory that a Republican Governor is better at negotiating with unions.

  16. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Okay, ‘dito, I’ll try to put this into unionista-speak for you:

    form non-union confederations with which to negotiate wage and benefits packages with such Professional negotiators

    I’ll admit that had I used “for the sole purpose of negotiating” rather than “with which to negotiate” it may have been more effective in penetrating the thick. But either way, it’s pretty clear my intention was that non-union workers could cooperate by electing representatives for the sole purpose of negotiating wages and benefits say… every five years. And the standard should be base + merit, not seniority.

    Glad you found that so hiLarryous – we should expect nothing less.

    Oh… and one other thing; the state must also act to establish specific penalties for already-unlawful public employee strikes.

  17. charliebucket says:

    as has been alluded to, why not just get rid of our govt, get rid of duly elected representatives in our democratic republic. while we are at it let’s deregulate everything, bust public unions, eliminate all social programs etc etc and just let us vote on everything?

    Then watch as the USA collapses under the weight of short-sighted self serving ignorance……

  18. Sword – it was pure, undiluted sarcasm.

    Vox – Professional Contract negotiations – I like that idea + a binding arbitration rule + procedures for selecting the negotiator with input from both sides.

    The State’s role in collecting union dues is no different from any other deduction such as for taxes, health and retirement, or savings.

  19. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    We’ll have to “negotiate” a common stance on that, x. Looks like we’re half way there.

  20. alindasue says:

    Vox_clamantis_in_deserto,

    I like the idea of professional contract negotiators that work with the state and the employees’ representatives… but I have to ask:

    Once these contract negotiators are hired by the state, don’t they themselves become public employees?

    kluwer said, “If any sector needs a union to protect them, it’s the public employees.
    Just look at what you ‘bosses’ would do to them!”

    That thought has occurred to me more than once.

  21. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    alindasue,

    You must, like me, suffer mildly from dyslexia. Apparently you skimmed over this:

    “Such services could be required to bid for the work on case-by-case basis’, advocate for, and be liable to the taxpayer, only.”

    In other words, they would be contractors, hired on a bid basis for each individual negotiation, and for the duration of that particular negotiation, only. They would specifically not be “public employees”. Additionally, they would not represent “the state”, per se, but would rather be tasked with representing the taxpayer’s interests, and would have final say on behalf of the state in any wage and benefit negotiations. Also, as contractors, they would bear specific liabilities to the taxpayers.

  22. I knew that sooner or later Vox would spin in circular logic so much that falling on one’s keester would be inevitable. “non-union unions” Billiant, Bandito. To the point that Vox had to involk me in the issue to attempt to save face.

    Contracts are only as good as the parties that agree to them and Republicans have demonstrated over and over that their word and signature isn’t worth the hot air and the paper that is signed.

    Aside from the knowledge that it would take voters to comprehend a labor contract, we are dealing with a sector of voters that don’t WANT to be educated.

    State employees PAY INTO pension funds. To listen to parrots like Taxedenough, one would think that someone scoops into a big barrel of cash and hands it out to state employees. Their pay is less than their equals in the private sector and the employee cost of benefits keeps rising every year. They have not taken pay raises and have taken furlough days, which equates to less pay this year than last year. All benefits that result in employer funding were negotiated in lieu of wages, long ago.

    Union wages help pay the wages of every single worker in the state whose company needs a marketplace. Reducing wages reduces the marketplace, thus you have depressions. This is simple economics without fancy triped up words.

    As I enjoyed watching the howling about taxation on liquor, that they voted in for themselves, I can’t sit back and watch their stupidity make a signicicant blow to the market that all workers – union or not – need and enjoy.

  23. Hey…maybe the Koch Brothers could go into the business of supplying contract negotiators for states, then, instead of paying $30 million to fund a governor’s campaign, they can make a profit by providing negotiators that have no intent on negotiating and will provoke an eventual strike, then they can get into the business of providing strike breakers…..and make more money.

  24. concernedtacoma7 says:

    So what’s the solution Larry? Status quo? All levels of govt are going broke due to labor costs.

    Tax increases to find fat pensions are not viable. Stop the spin, at the end of the day the taxpayer is funding that pension.

  25. concernedtacoma7 says:

    What Vox is pointing out is right now no one is representing the taxpayer. The elected official I worried about getting union votes and funding for their next campaign.

  26. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “The elected official I worried about getting union votes and funding for their next campaign.”

    As I have pointed out before, unionized “public” employees – and union members in general – make up only a small minority of the registered voters in this state. Yes, there is a certain amount of publicity and funding for publicity that comes from supporting the various unions, but it really isn’t any more than the dollars that come from any of many other special interest groups or corporations.

    The only real advantage that unions might have in this state is members who are willing to stand up and be the “squeaky wheel” in Olympia during legislative sessions. It doesn’t guarantee politicians’ support, but it does get their attention.

  27. philichi says:

    The whole thing is simple. Just do what Scott Walker has done. Have the state refuse to collect the dues for the Union bosses. That is the end of the cancer.

    The attitude against Public unions is now bad. The WSJ reports that People are now flipping of Firemen in San Diego. Even the private union members are upset with them. The dems will have to find a new group of supporters. This one is going by the wayside very fast.

  28. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Stalker alert.

    Vox had to involk me

    Involk… is that something like a raw egg version of the famous up-side-down margarita?

    Yep, you’re hiLarryous.

    The subject was whether the public should be allowed to vote on public sector union contracts, Larry. If we needed a dissertation on union propaganda we could just check out the AFSCME site.

    And nice perspective on the voting public too, Larry.

    … we are dealing with a sector of voters that don’t WANT to be educated.

    Speak for yourself… if you can.

  29. beerBoy says:

    Love how the cons want direct democracy rather than the representative democracy our Constitution has set up….. Not sure how that is a conservative stance though.

  30. Great letter Don, nothing makes me happier than to listen to the whining and knashing of teeth going on from the liberals. The public has finally began to wake up to the money laundering that’s been going on between the democrats and the unions. I’m luvin’ it!

  31. Great letter, Don. Nothing frosty loves more than cheering for unethical people that violate the contracts that they signed.

    Take your pick Vox –

    in·voke [ in vṓk ] call upon greater power: to call upon a greater power such as God or a spirit for help
    quote something in support: to quote, rely on, or use something such as a law in support of an argument or case
    ask for something: to ask or appeal for something

    Sorry about the typo. Would you like me to haul out your latest faux pas?

    You want to poke at me, but you get upset when I poke at you. Oh yeah, conservative hypocrisy…I forgot.

    concernedtacoma7 says:
    June 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm So what’s the solution Larry? Status quo? All levels of govt are going broke due to labor costs.

    They can’t be going broke because of giving away tax base to businesses on the promise that if the moon, the stars and Uranus align, they’ll be job creators? Naw…never happens, does it?

    Since you are such a genius, FrankBurns, why don’t you tell us how a government employee becomes vested in a pension program and what that means in terms of legal rights. I’ll be waiting to make you look like an absolute fool, as if you needed help.

    No wonder Romney and his crew were so good at bankrupting companies, they only know one side of the balance sheet.

  32. truthbusterguy says:

    Question for the flaming liberals that post here. Who is the CEO of the largest right to work/open shop company in the world?……..obama

    You all defend collective bargaining and collection of dues by government but the federal government outlawed both practices in 1978 when Jimmy Carter signed the Civil Service Reform act.

    How can you defend collective bargaining for state workers when it was outlawed for the federal workers 34 years ago? Also the same retirement plan you are all defending ended for federal workers in 1985. Federal workers are very happy and treated well and 90% don’t pay useless union dues to union thug bosses.

  33. Since Vox want’s to bring up typos, let’s hear the excuse for deliberately misquoting President Obama:

    Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:
    June 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm “Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things.”
    Barack Hussein 0bama
    Canton Ohio
    October 27, 2008

    The True Quote:
    “Look – we’ve tried it John McCain’s way. We’ve tried it George Bush’s way. Deep down, Senator McCain knows that, which is why his campaign said that “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” That’s why he’s spending these last weeks calling me every name in the book. Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things.”

    You know, it’s one thing to hit the wrong key or even misspell a word. It’s another to post a deliberate lie in hopes that no one will research it and call you on your excrement.

  34. We’ll now return to our regularly scheduled thread:

    Employers enter into contracts with bargaining groups. They have a legal obligation to fulfill their side of the contract.

    Conservatives seem to think that they don’t have to fulfill obligations.

  35. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Hey Larry, should the military be allowed to unionize?

  36. beerBoy says:

    Hey ct7 – should the military be privatized? We sure could use more Haliburton services like bad water or electrocuting showers. And it is great to be paying for Xe(nee Blackwater) mercs who are completely out of our control!

  37. I’m anxiously waiting for concerned’s response to beerBoy… Don’t forget that with military privatization all the health care, housing, and retirement would go by the wayside.

  38. Bandito says:

    The first amendment gives Americans the right to organize and form a union. The public sector is no exception. Neither is the military.

  39. “Then watch as the USA collapses under the weight of short-sighted self serving ignorance……”

    No need to wait, it already has! And for further proof of what the right wants for the nation just look to Europe! Austerity and spending cuts have ruined the UK, Greece, France and others.
    Now the right wants that here…..because for some reason they think it will work if we just try it enough times! (Like tax cuts!)

  40. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Geez Larry, lighten up, I thought the typo was funny. What, you didn’t appreciate my comeback? Buy a sense of humor

    Now, ignoring the fact that the mods seem to be giving you a pass for committing two board offenses here:
    1) reposting an edited for effect version of a post by another commenter, and from a different thread, and
    2) posting something that’s completely off-topic to boot
    perhaps you could remind us of where the “lie” is?

    Your “lie” is a lie – pretty sad.

    I think it’s pretty hiLarryous that you have to post something out of context, and leave out text from the post in question to prove… what? That I took a quote out of context (which connection only the most robustly dense among us could make)?

    Add hypocrite – again.

    Really Larry, the I’ll Have Another not having a shot at the Triple Crown has me “upset”. You? LMAO!

    Desperater and desperater.

  41. philichi says:

    Larry, you seem to be caught up with contracts. I am with you. Sadly in the middle of really hard times, contracts are no longer honored. The budgets of most large cities and states are now in huge trouble. Years ago we used to talk about GM as a healthcare and retirement company. When you bought a Chevy, 100% of the funds went to those 2 programs. Though the President takes great pride in bailing out GM, they actually stepped all over the senior loan debt holders. They didn’t fix anything. they just kept the company alive to die later. the stock has gone from 35 to 20s in a bull market.

    We are now in the same issue around the rest of the country. There is limited money to actually do services anymore. Have you seen the pot holes in Tacoma? There will be a vote in California to raise taxes. The full outcome will go to pensions. Do you really think that Californians will vote yes on this?

  42. Oh Voxie…now you lied again. I didn’t edit your post one word. It was a copy and paste verbatim. You like to poke at people but don’t like it when you get poked back.

    Welcome to the game.

    Truthbuster – you and Vox make a pair. Try taking a look at the Civil Service Reform Act:

    “Under the “rank-in-the-person” provision of the act, agency heads can move career senior executives into any position for which they are qualified. One provision of the act was the abolishment of the United States Civil Service Commission and the creation of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) and the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). OPM primarily provides management guidance to the various agencies of the executive branch and issues regulations that control federal human resources. FLRA oversees the rights of federal employees to form collective bargaining units (unions) and to engage in collective bargaining with agencies. MSPB conducts studies of the federal civil service and mainly hears the appeals of federal employees who are disciplined or otherwise separated from their positions. This act was an effort to replace incompetent officials.

    There is nothing about outlawing collective bargaining and in fact there is a board to oversee bargaining units and actions.

    Much like Vox you make up what you want to hear. I can’t wait for you to claim I misquoted you.

  43. philichi – what do all your FOX talking points have to do with honoring a contract that was signed by both parties? NOTHING. Pot holes in Tacoma (which will never go away, as adults know) having nothing to do with contracts.

    If you own a “business” and you need more money, you raise more money. The oil companies have shown the way. Raise prices. The beef industry has shown the way. Raise prices.

    For all the talk you clowns do about “running a country like a business” you sure as hell don’t know the answer to raising more money.

  44. The military IS unionized, so to speak. What do the troops do if given an order that they know is wrong or illegal? There is a provision for that. Collective bargaining is no different.

    The problem with union haters is that they know so little about what a union actually does and they get their information from other union haters.

  45. beerBoy says:

    so philichi – how did you feel about AIG, et al giving out huge bonuses with taxpayer money because they were contractually obligated to?

  46. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Vox_clamantis_in_deserto
    JUNE 2, 2012 AT 9:17 PM
    “Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things.”

    Barack Hussein 0bama
    Canton Ohio
    October 27, 2008

    Uh-huh. Which is it 0bama fans; a lesson learned well, or business as usual for the 0ne?

    Okay, so we know Larry doesn’t “get” a lot – we can excuse his thickness. But to leave out text and context while accusing someone else of doing exactly what he himself is doing is beyond his normal level of false virtue; it’s his full-foliage hypocrisy on parade.

    As if we haven’t seen that parade before.

    Larry, you’re really lousy at “gotcha” too. Kindly try sticking to the topic. I’m not going to play your juvenile little games this weekend.

  47. SwordofPerseus says:

    Truthalludesmeguy-Obama is not the CEO of the Civil Service Employees in the same terms as private business. He has the power to appoint but congress has to approve all major appointees and disperses the pay…sadly all of you right wing wackos seem to be completely clueless as to civics. Not surprising by the way you vote though.

  48. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Frida- deflecting to the Iraq war was odd, but here we go.

    Why did/does the govt outsource some functions? Who did/does Xe support?

    Outsource during war- many functions, usually logistical, are outsourced as a cost/manpower saving measure. Temporary contracted labor does not incur the lifelong costs to govt as a servicemember does.

    Can we outsource all military functions? Of course not. A standing army exists to fight wars and act as a deterrent. If the contracted ‘mercs’ were full time in the rear acting as that deterrent, it would defeat the purpose of the original cost savings.

    This was a childish deflection that has nothing to do with unions (except it shows private enterprise/capitalism as yet another positive asset for the Nation).

  49. “Outsource during war- many functions, usually logistical, are outsourced as a cost/manpower saving measure.”

    180 degrees from realty since it cost nearly 3 times as much!
    I have to laugh at you ct7, do you do this on purpose or are you really this wrong all the time?

  50. took14theteam says:

    ehill, c’mon, Message/Messenger. I know you can do it…..

  51. ““Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things.”

    Nice job of cherry-picking a quote out of context.

  52. took14theteam says:

    ehill…

    you need to scold kluwer.

    c’mon, Message/Messenger. I know you can do it…..

  53. Larry seems to think that a contract signed by democrats on both sides of the bargaining table have some sort of validity. When government representatives sign a contract with a union that they are in bed with, how is that considered valid? Let the public vote on these matters and see how far they get. Now, once again children, stop your whining and pick up your marbles and go home. hahahaha…

  54. “you need to scold kluwer”

    1. Nice use of the “but all the other kids are doing it” excuse. What are you, eight?

    2. Sockpuppets usually jump in when the hand gets in trouble.

  55. Outsource during war- many functions, usually logistical, are outsourced as a cost/manpower saving measure.

    Provide some evidence that outsourced services during war are cheaper. Everything I have read indicates that Xe mercs are paid FAR, FAR better that regular military salaries. And…..Haliburton services (when they actually work) are filled with so much fraudulent billing that the accountants can’t even determine how much they cost.

    I will give you the “manpower saving measure” aspect. Without Haliburton and Xe the Administration(s) would not have enough boots to go to war(s) with – even with multiple rotations, disallowing military retirements, and overuse of the National Guard in international theaters. The all-volunteer army doesn’t garner enough volunteers to fight on so many fronts – we would have to bring back the draft, and the Administration(s) don’t want to risk a Vietnam-type blowback on their warmongering policies.

  56. Vox, your “contract negotiators’ idea is interesting. During the time I headed a state agency in Texas we tried a similar approach. Most state agencies in that state are independent organizations, headed by a board of directors appointed by the governors on staggered terms. Texas is about as “at will” hiring as you can get legally in this country.

    There was a classification system, and state agencies placed positions on the scale based on their own studies. Instead of doing our own study, we contracted with a private company that did such for private businesses. We were shocked when they recommended levels about 25%-40% higher than we had ever paid.

    So we hired another company and they recommended a range even higher than the first. We knew we could never support such an increase, so an average 10% increase was approved by our board, but the legislature then punished us and reduced our appropriations by the amount of raise we had given employees.

    I have read studies in many states that showed the same thing. If you base salary and benefits on the private sector, state employees always get a big increase.

    During my time as an executive in a state agency in Washington, I did conclude that the combined benefits of state employees, including retirement, medical and wages, were about as close to the private sector as any state I’d looked at. However, if you only look at reducing one element, like retirement, then you have to look at raising salaries so employees can invest and save for retirement on their own, and raising salaries is something conservatives really get even more riled up about than retirement.

  57. menopaws says:

    It is a good idea–but let’s carry it further….I own stock in several companies—I should be able to vote about all those “golden” parachutes” that are given to CEO’s……..And, be able to overrule the Board when they give out this money, right????
    That is the trap of this kind of logic……..My $$$$ pay their salaries in the public sector, but as employees, they have the same right as a private CEO to negiotate their packages………and even if I own part of the company……my input means nothing………We need to stand back for this and not just react—it is easy to make this whole issue a major problem and solve it stupidly………Fewer and fewer people want to work for government these days–the salaries are lower than work in the private sector….the benefit package is the only incentive to fill some of these crucial jobs……so, before we start slashing, we need to think about those essential jobs in government that might go vacant…….Reality bites………

  58. “frosty says:
    June 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm Larry seems to think that a contract signed by democrats on both sides of the bargaining table have some sort of validity.”

    Labor contracts are not about partisan politics. They are a legal binding contract signed by two parties. Conservatives are trying to ignore contracts in the private sector also. Are you saying the CEOs of companies that signed them were “Democrats” and now are changing?

    There is also the issue that many of the bargaining unit could be Republicans who see the value of collective bargaining. Not all Republicans are stupid.

  59. ehill…can you believe that Vox is actually continuing to incriminate itself with a faux quote attached to Obama?

    Sometimes one should give up and admit the falsehood.

    Reminds me of a blogstress in Olympia.

  60. Maybe the public should get to vote on the social security retirement, disability and survivor benefits paid? How about the employment contracts with employees? How about everything? It sounds like some people want micro management of every facet of government revenue and spending. Government by mob mentality.

  61. aJ desperately attempts to paint my post as partisan by ignoring the “s” I put at the end of Administration(s).

    The sexual innuendo he implies about Obama’s quote about his wife doing push-ups “she went all the way down” is just sophomoric humor.

  62. “Q- Did MIchelle “go all the way down”?

    Does your wife?

  63. averageJoseph says:

    Obama made the innuendo… arts… and the prez has reached a new low.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ekZ7wW_Tbc

  64. averageJoseph says:

    Oh… and you didn’t answer any of the questions… arts.

  65. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    2. Sockpuppets usually jump in when the hand gets in trouble.

    Ooooooohh the ironyyyyy.

  66. arts? I referred to you as “aJ”. What is your deal?

    As anyone with reading comprehension skills should be able to understand – I am critical of the Obama Administration for continuing/expanding the Bush policies that include the use of Haliburton/Xe.

    But then…you knew that….you are just using feigned obtuseness to drive home a partisan point.

    And, Obama’s quote
    “I want to thank my wonderful friend who accepts a little bit of teasing about Michelle beating her in pushups — (laughter) — but I think she claims Michelle didn’t go all the way down. (Laughter.) That’s what I heard. I just want to set the record straight — Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well. (Laughter.) So she shouldn’t feel bad.”

    You may choose to interpret this as an intentional double entendre – I don’t.

    But you decided to include it in a post that had nothing to do with push-ups or marital relationships so your intent was clearly an attempt at sophomoric humor.

  67. averageJoseph says:

    Last time I used your moniker initials my post was “waiting moderation”… besides, how many times have you done the same thing unprovoked.
    You’re still proving you’re great at shoveling it out to others but very thin skinned when it’s shoveled your way.
    ….
    I interpreted it exactly the same way the majority of the GLBSTG’ers did… b.

  68. averageJoseph says:

    Oh, and speaking of sophomoric humor… who said this???

    “Governor Butch Otter (his name seems like a gay bestiality porn star)”

  69. averageJoseph says:

    Here ya go b… 2 days ago from another thread… as I stated, unprovoked.

    June 9, 2012 at 6:25 am “Kooky that Jimm thinks…”

    high-gas-prices-bring-call-for-investigation/

  70. Dude – you seriously need to take a chill pill.

    Since it is the name that I first introduced to you by, I used it as it feels more like I am referring to the person I have known on these boards for several years than “averageJoseph”. I don’t use it with any malice or attempt to put you down. However, If you take offense to my use of “Jimm” to refer to you I won’t use it anymore.

    Your use of “arts” is in reference to a screen name I used for a very short time a long time ago. I may be wrong but I sense that you only use it as an attempt at a “gotcha”.

  71. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Bb- yes, some contracted labor is higher. But the bulk of the contracted employees oversees are not American. They are South American or African. How much do you think they get paid?

  72. anotherID2remember says:

    Unions in the public sector is not a protected right. Ask the FAA if you are unclear in this area.

    Union contracts do not hold up in cases of potential bankruptcy. The financial truth of many states and small local governments.

  73. concernedtacoma7, intereesting. Could you provide any further info or link to the US government using contract labor from SA or Africa in Afghanistan or Iraq?

  74. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Tuddo-

    http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2009/0306/p04s02-woaf.html

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_private_contractor_deaths_in_Iraq

    Those are mobile links but you can convert them or google it.

    As you can see from the casualties, most of the ‘dangerous’ jobs were held by westerners.

    But even highly paid US contractors can be cheaper. They are hired for a limited time. The career costs of a servicemember is huge (training, retirement, medical, etc). With contractors the costs are one time. Also, the assist in keeping the standing army smaller.

  75. The career costs of a servicemember is huge (training, retirement, medical, etc).

    Since Xe recruits former US military for their mercs I don’t see any savings there.

  76. concerned, thanks. The links worked fine on my PC.

  77. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Bb- I can see you cannot comprehend the economic basics of temp, contracted labor vs full time employee. You need to figure that one out on your own. Go talk to an Econ prof at your school.

    Last, you have no idea what the contracted security actually does. Sitting in your classroom you will never understand.

  78. averageJoseph says:

    LOL… nice excuse making bB. Like I said, you sure can shovel it.

  79. Larry, A contract signed by two parties, both of which are liberals is about as valid as a three dollar bill and you know it. It may be “legal” in the sense that it’s a formal agreement, but when two crooks sign an agreement to scratch each other’s back, a reasonable person might just doubt the sincerity of it. Try again.

  80. “besides, how many times have you done the same thing unprovoked”

    Waaaaaah … but but but they started it!

  81. Italics off

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