Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: State workers donate while sacrificing

Letter by Brendan W. Williams, Olympia on Dec. 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm with No Comments »
December 18, 2012 1:32 pm

Re: “Public unions have a choice: Save pay – or jobs” (editorial, 12-17).

I was disappointed by the editorial’s tone. It lumped local and state government workers together in referencing “very generous compensation,” yet the state workforce has shrunk 11.2 percent since 2008 and remaining workers are amidst a 3 percent salary reduction that came after 10 unpaid furlough days.

These cuts have occurred even as major private-sector employers, such as Boeing and Microsoft, have given pay increases.

Rather than rebuke state workers, let’s applaud them for doing their part to sacrifice while remaining generous. In 2011, through the Combined Fund Drive alone, state workers donated $5.3 million to charities.

For 2013-15, pay cuts may not continue, but workers here will not see the pay increases that, say, Republican Gov. Chris Christie agreed to for New Jersey’s state workers. Further, they face ever-escalating health care costs and the anxiety of a no-new-taxes state government’s need to better fund education, which will require robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Editorial opprobrium on top of all this is just piling on.

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