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TACOMA: Unfair picture given of union pay

Letter by Anna C Noll, Tacoma on Jan. 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm | No Comments »
January 31, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: “City union pay, up 13; non-union, 0. How come?” (editorial, 1-27),

As a Tacoma Public Utilities union employee, I must object to the extremely biased presentation of the wage situation with the city’s unions and non-represented employees.

I do not know anyone who has received a 13 percent raise over the past five years. I can only imagine that you were given that figure because one or two unions were so grossly underpaid in the Class and Comp study that the city administration undertook that their salaries had to be raised by 20 percent or more to reach market, thus giving all the unions a skewed average of 13 percent.

I belong to IBEW local 483, and we just finished extremely drawn-out and painful negotiations with management for a mere 1.8 percent. We feel lucky to have gotten that, considering the discourteous and insulting treatment that was shown our team. So 13 percent? That’s pure distortion.

Some important information that was omitted is that many of the non-union people who have suffered so according to TPU Director Bill Gaines and City Manager T.C. Broadnax are management and are the highest paid employees in city government, Gaines ranking No. 1 at over $300,000.

And this is something that the general public should know: Non-union employees of a certain pay scale, not even managers, can work only two hours a day and call that a full day’s work. They don’t have to use vacation, sick leave, nothing.

It must be because they work all that overtime that we union scamps get paid time and a half for. Right.

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