Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: public employees

Jan.
15th

PENSIONS: No comparison of state, Boeing workers

Re: “401(k)s, not pensions, says senator” (TNT, 1-14).

As a state employee, I read with interest the story about state Sen. Doug Ericksen’s proposal to eliminate state pensions and offer $10,000 to employees who convert to a 401(k). He says, “If it’s good enough for Boeing, it should be good enough for the employees of Washington state.”

I would like some more information:

• Would the state’s contribution be based on a machinist’s pay or on my current pay?

• Would the state provide a match plus 10 percent of my pay initially and 4 percent long term?

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Dec.
17th

UNIONS: State workers donate while sacrificing

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

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Dec.
12th

TNT: Pro-Republican editorial reveals editoral board bias

Re: “A healthy check on Democratic power in Olympia” (editorial, 12-11).

The editorial regarding the power swap in the state Senate was a great example at how disconnected The News Tribune has become.

We’ve all read the constant undermining of unions by this paper, so that’s no surprise. Now the editorial board is trying to tell us that the voters don’t really know what they want, that it’s a good thing when elected officials decide to pursue their own agenda instead of the wishes of their electorate.

The ends obviously justify the means for TNT editors, at least when

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April
20th

GSA: Why pay bonuses to government workers?

When the General Services Administration scandal broke, I wasn’t surprised to learn that government employees had been wasting taxpayers’ money, but I was astounded to learn that many of them were given bonuses while doing so.

In the private sector, bonuses are given if employees perform so well that their contributions lead to profits for their employers. However, if decisions made by employees cause companies to spend as much or more than they take in year after year, that is a a sure and certain path to bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, virtually all governmental entities at all levels spend as much if

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March
6th

JOBS: Less attitude, please, from public workers

A few months ago I was in my favorite coffee shop in Fircrest, when the topic of conversation turned to employment in the private sector versus working in a government job. I made the statement that my advice to younger workers is to try to get a government job, if possible. Everyone in the coffee shop agreed with me.

The government is clearly a better place to be than working in a similar job in the private world. I remember seeing a piece on one of the business channels reporting that a recent survey found that government employees make about

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March
6th

PUBLIC SERVICE: Commenters lack facts to support opinions

It continues to amaze me why some of your readers’ comments insist on revealing their ill-gotten opinions against public service employees and their union-based benefits and retirement contributions. These opinions and comments belong to the rumor mill where they started.

I have been a public service employee for more than 20 years. Here are the real facts:
My employer negotiates my salary and benefits with my union representatives based on
my agreement to adjust my wage in trade for benefits. My union pension is contributed in whole by my dues. It does not cost taxpayers one cent.

Why

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May
23rd

SALARIES: Pay statistics seem skewed

Re: “Public pay: Going up, up, up” (TNT, 5-22).

This article gives misinformation about private employment.

If you read the fine print, the data analysis was done by The News Tribune. No other information was given. What was the sample size and were the samples randomly selected? What was the proportion of the population? What is the hypothesis you are testing?

The statistics are incomplete and skewed. It is not fair reporting to a reader population who may not understand statistics.

I do not agree with the journalist’s results that private-sector workers make between $34,569 and $39,537 when you have

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Feb.
18th

UNIONS: Public workers feel entitled to excessive salaries and benefits

The one high point of the nation’s downturn is the public worker unrest in many cities and states. What we are seeing in Wisconsin will soon be going on in most other states, including our own.

Public workers have leveraged their strength to carefully and strategically finance campaigns over the last several decades. They have engineered environments that have caused them to be overpaid and underworked. Imagine it, they have hand-picked the people to negotiate with for years.

Now the show is over. As the economy has slowed down, excessive revenues from an over-leveraged society has normalized. As the

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