Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: state employees

Jan.
2nd

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: We’re creating a privileged class

Re: The article on state employees’ health insurance deductible dropping to $125 from $250 if they participate in activities to improve their health (TNT, 1-2).

While I applaud the effort to incentivize employees to live healthy, the article points out considerable differences between the private sector and public jobs.

I own a business and have seen, over the last five years, my health-care costs increase an average of 20 percent and my deductibles increase from $500 to now $2,500. If I were offered a plan with a deductible of $250, it would most certainly cost more than $2,000 per

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April
22nd

LOBBYISTS: State agencies lobby the Legislature?

Re: “Lobbying tab $12.9 million – and counting” (TNT, 4-22).

I was not surprised to learn of the amount spent on lobbying our Legislature. I was not surprised that the top lobbying organizations are the Service Employees International Union, the Washington Education Association and the Washington Federation of State Employees. What really surprised me was the fact that state agencies are now lobbying the Legislature.

If the state treasurer can’t understand “some profound issues connected to education finance,” then perhaps we need a new treasurer. If the superintendent of public instruction has to hire a lobbyist to “preserve staff and

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April
10th

PENSIONS: Series not about state workers

The recent series on abuse of pension benefits by government retirees is important (TNT, 4-7), and it deserves a full-blown investigation by the state auditor. I write, however, to expand on a concern expressed by a letter writer (TNT, 4-10).

The boxes describing the series in The News Tribune stated that it was about “the benefits state workers receive.” A person who read the articles knows that this is not true. It leads to an impression that the problem is with the benefits of state workers. In fact, all of those cited in the stories were never state

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June
4th

INSLEE: Would he pander to public worker unions?

Re: “Smallish but rowdy crowd for Democrats” (TNT, 6-3).

Gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee said he will protect Washington state from the “virus from Wisconsin” – a condescending and derogatory term he used to describe the efforts of Wisconsin citizens to bring their state spending under control.

Just how does Inslee propose to protect us from this so-called “virus”? By pandering to the state employee unions at the expense of other citizens in the state?

Feb.
28th

SPENDING: Put an end to sweetheart contracts

Re: “Don’t blame public employee unions” (letter, 2-28).

I concur with the writer that all public employees deserve living wages and benefits. Where the letter writer and I may disagree does not involve this issue.

It involves the ability of public employee unions to support political candidates financially and with campaign labor and to then sit across from these same, now elected and now beholden, lawmakers and negotiate wages and benefits.

In the Jimmy Hoffa Teamster days, these were known as “sweetheart contracts.” I fail to see any public benefit from this arrangement.

Aug.
18th

STATE BUDGET: Reduce unions’ influence

Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Democrats have started contract talks with the state employees’ unions. The state requested that the unions pay a bigger share of their health care and eliminate step pay increases, etc. The unions said no.

The recession has forced the private sector to downsize and reduce the cost of labor while trying to keep customers and clients. It seems the arrogant state unions want to dictate state fiscal policy and preserve a bloated government.

Earlier this year, the state requested the unions to agree to eliminate step increases. The unions said no. The helpless Democrats said

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