Posts tagged ‘Public Unions’

June 5, 2012

UPDATED: Wisconsin’s Governor Walker Defeats Union Inspired Recall Effort

by lewwaters

Expectations of a nail biting finish and close race in the Wisconsin recall effort of Republican Governor Scott Walker were quickly dashed this evening as from the first reports after the polls closed, Governor Walker jumped to a commanding lead, 22 points at one stage over Democrat rival, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Within moments of the first reports, Twitter accounts and facebook pages lit up with the exciting news of such a stunning victory for conservatives and Governor Walker, making him the first Governor to survive a recall effort.

Also surviving the union backed recall effort was Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state Senate seats, although one Senate seat remains too close to call in Racine County.

Kleefisch was opposed by Madison firefighter and union president Mahlon Mitchell in the first ever recall of a Lieutenant Governor. Kleefisch happily repeated an often heard chant from the fading Occupy movement heard over the fall and winter, “Now this is what democracy looks like!”

Governor Walker, speaking to an overflow crowd at the same party said, “Tonight we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders that stand up and make the tough decisions,” adding, “Tomorrow is the day after the election and tomorrow we are no longer opponents. We are one as Wisconsinites,” reminding supporters that it will take all working together to continue the improvements seen since he won the Governor’s race last year.

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May 30, 2012

Unions Pump Money Into Annette Cleveland Campaign

by lewwaters

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to see unions already pouring money into 49th Legislative District State Senate candidate, Democrat Annette Cleveland, lobbyist, Democrat activist and regional campaign staffer for US Senator Patty Murray. After all, we know unions always support Democrats, especially public unions, knowing their taxpayer paid benefits, wages and pensions will be protected, whether private sector taxpayers are hurt financially or not.

As is seen in this portion of the first page from her PDC report, unions are her primary donors, along with wife of County Commission candidate. Joe Tanner.

If you don’t realize how unions look to Democrats like Ms. Cleveland for supporting them over the private sector, bear in mind that the 49th Legislative District she hopes to be elected to is in the 4th straight year of double digit unemployment and view the claim made on her behalf by the Washington Public Employees Association PAC below.

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May 5, 2012

West Coast States Rank Poorly on Best/Worst States for Business 2012 List

by lewwaters

The eighth annual Chief Executive’s survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business was recently released and to no surprise, Texas still ranked the number one state for businesses.

California, once the most attractive state for business retains the dubious distinction of being the worst state for business. As stated at ChiefExecutive.net,

“The economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. And its status as the most ruinously contentious place to operate remains undisturbed in eight years. Its unemployment rate, at 10.9 percent, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12 percent of America’s population, California has one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. Each year, the evidence that businesses are leaving California or avoid locating there because of the high cost of doing business due to excessive state taxes and stringent regulations, grows. According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.”

With California ranking the worst, it boggles the mind that either Oregon or Washington would follow their example for dealing with businesses, but that is exactly what both of the Democrat majority held states have done, Washington seeing a drop of 3 ranking positions to number 37 and Oregon gaining their own dubious distinction of the largest one year drop in this year’s ratings, falling from number 33 to number 42, placing them solidly in the 10 Worst States for Business.

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March 7, 2012

How Much Will This Cost Taxpayers?

by lewwaters

Footage from the March 5, 2012 Vancouver, Washington City Council meeting pertaining to the outcome of an unfair labor practice suit brought by the International Association of Fire Fighters local 452.

“CVTV footage, obtained pursuant to the Public Disclosure Act, in no way is intended by CVTV, the City of Vancouver, or Clark County to either promote or oppose any candidate for public office or any ballot proposition.”

Didn’t the city recently have to beg for and received a federal grant in order to reopen and rehire Fire Fighters for Fire Station 6?

And this notice now being read includes the city will “restore the status quo ante by reinstating the wages, hours and working conditions which existed for the employees in the affected bargaining unit prior to the unilateral change in the shift trade policy found unlawful in this order.”

Also, the city will “pay any and all back pay and/or benefits associated with the employer’s adoption of the shift trade policy found unlawful in this order.”

See decision here

UPDATE: A reporter with the Columbian says of their not covering this, “I didn’t write about this because after researching the issue behind it, I found the back pay issue was a negligible amount of money, and the shift change issue was so insider baseball that it wasn’t worth it”

August 15, 2011

More Wa. State Lawmakers Request Salary Cuts, But…

by lewwaters

Since word was first received that state legislators in Olympia could voluntarily reduce their wage by 3%, matching the cut they voted in for many state workers, only one Republican was included in the initial 4 that signed on, Ann Rivers of the 18th legislative district.

Much has been said to claim Democrats, who slowly sign on to the wage cut in more numbers than Republicans are who actually care about taxpayers. On the surface, that claim appears true since it appears numbers wise, Democrats still outnumber Republicans in signing on to the measure.

Besides the fact that Democrats continue to hold the majority on both houses, outnumbering elected Republicans, two points have come out showing that Democrats really don’t care more for taxpayers in these economically depressed times.

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March 14, 2011

Your Public Sector Unions at Work

by lewwaters

Andrew Klavan, from PJTV illustrates what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pointed out in 1937 when he said of public unions,

“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”

Public Unions need to accept their fair share of the sacrifice and carry their fair share of the burden. Asking them to help us weather this ongoing economic downturn is not “union-busting,” unless they continue to refuse to accept their fair share like you and I must.

March 12, 2011

Public Union Thuggery Headed to Washington State?

by lewwaters

Like Wisconsin, Washington State faces a multi-Billion dollar budget deficit and is constitutionally required to balance the budget. Past efforts have come up short and although balanced on paper, have resulted in the deficit gap just being kicked down the road to be dealt with later.

Later has arrived and even governor Gregoire is calling for drastic cuts in areas she doesn’t agree with. But, difficult decisions must be made in order to avoid slipping into bankruptcy.

Democrat Representative of the 49th legislative district, Jim Moeller continues to create ways to take more money from citizens in the state, showing his unwillingness to cut out wasteful spending, which has gotten us into this budgetary crisis. One such example would be his tax we all dubbed the ‘candy & soda tax’ that heaped taxes on some candy bars and other comfort products. It was easily thrown out by voters in the November 2010 election, after we succeeded in having his legislation put before voters.

One area of concern that has been the subject of calls to be dealt with by taxpayers is public union benefits and wages, often that are much more generous than those a private sector counter-part. A report issued by the State Auditor’s Office in December 2010 shows that the State’s Unfunded Liabilities are a Whopping $24.1 Billion, a significant portion of which is union pensions.

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February 26, 2011

Public Unions Rally in Olympia to Continue the Rape of Struggling Taxpayers

by lewwaters

It didn’t take long for the public union machine to rally the troops and bus in their rioters to disrupt Freedom Foundation’s rally to show support for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, attempting to deny free speech to those whose desire it is to feed and clothe their own families in Washington State.

As the words of President Roosevelt warned us back in 1937 when he said, “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” and “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees,” public unions would become a pariah on our nation.

From knocking down a smaller woman to homophobic outbursts, many union members have shown they have no sense of serving the public and only wish to gouge an already struggling populace in their greedy quest for more. From wanting lavish facilities, higher wages, fully paid for benefits and less working hours, union bosses have brainwashed too many public union members into forgetting who it is that pays their paychecks.

Cries of “corporate greed” are laughable coming from public union members, unless you consider a struggling or unemployed taxpayer a greedy corporation.

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February 22, 2011

We Were Warned on Public Unions

by lewwaters

As the economy continues sliding deeper into the morass we have seen the last years, few can say they haven’t also noticed the friction with public employee unions, especially in regards to the militancy on display in Wisconsin over Governor Walker’s stand in regards to the unions.

Locally, in Clark County Washington, a much lesser degree of friction has been seen with public employee unions negotiating their new contracts, with citizens already struggling calling upon the unions to accept paying more of their health insurance premiums and some even suggesting a pay cut, commensurate with that the private sector has been hit with.

While there have been some small concessions on their part, nowhere near to the degree private sector employees have faced, there are still demands for wage increases, less working hours, more vacation time and such.

Needless to say, this isn’t setting well with much of the private sector.

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February 9, 2011

Union Boss: “People Who Want to Control Federal Spending Are Mentally Retarded”

by lewwaters

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees picketed outside the Capitol demanding more taxpayer dollars for their salaries. AFP caught up with union boss John Gage of AFGE who told them that those who want to control federal spending are “mentally retarded.”

Wasn’t the lady calling for “Money Now” at a teachers rally last year also crying for more money?

A Professional Protester?

RemoveGage.com

January 4, 2011

Vancouver Unions Ready to Gouge City & Taxpayers

by lewwaters

A year and a half ago I was applauding the Vancouver Firefighters Union over their declining a wage increase, seeing the economy slipping further into recession. Comments left on my blog back then informed me the “sacrifice” wasn’t as altruistic as I assumed.

If there was need of any further proof of that we see it today as we are informed that Vancouver and two unions stalled on contracts. The “two unions” are the Police Command and Firefighter unions who will not agree to the city’s offer and instead, are demanding hefty wage increases, even though our economy has not improved and in fact, has worsened since the firefighters made their “concession” to a wage freeze in July 2009.

At issue today is the Fire Suppression Unit, IAFF Local 452 holding out for an “8.2% wage increase for contract year 2010 with another 2% COLA in contract year 2011. In addition, they want a 10% longevity pay for over 25 years service, payoffs of unused sick leaves and a reduction in number of hours worked in a week.”

We also see the Police Command Unit, OPEIU Local 11 holding out for “Commanders pay 10% above a Lieutenants Pay, and a Lieutenant’s pay 22.4% above a Sergeants’ pay” in both contract years.

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December 15, 2010

Clark County Commissioners to Turn Down Wage and Car Allowance Increase

by lewwaters

No doubt reacting to a public outrage rarely seen today, all 3 County Commissioners, Steve Stuart, Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke have announced today that they will not accept the scheduled wage and car allowance increase mentioned HERE

The Columbian has the announcement HERE

Of note, after the increase was announced yesterday, over 100 comments have been posted on the papers website. Not one in support of the increase.

Citizens from all over the political spectrum, usually disagreeing on everything, came together in opposition and from what I hear, the county commissioners phone lines were lit up all day.

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December 7, 2010

Open Letter To Clark County Commissioners

by lewwaters

I was able appear before the Clark County Commissioners, Wednesday Dec 8 to state the following in person. If you have anything additional to say to our County Commission, feel free to contact them at boardcom@clark.wa.gov

Good morning commissioners

My name is Lew Waters and I am one of those who would be paying the increased property tax, should you pass it. While a 1% increase might seem minimal, once added to other proposed increases we homeowners will face, it will add up to more than we should have to bear.

As I understand it, a major area of expense for Clark County is in health care insurance premiums. That is an expense we all bear, but apparently some of us must bear more than others. I say that because I understand the county pays 100% of the premiums for public union employees.

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November 24, 2010

Should State Collective Bargaining Agreements be Declared Moot?

by lewwaters

An interesting concept that I doubt would fly in Washington State, but I would like to see it pursued.

Right off the bat I can see a big problem not only in implementing this, but in getting Democrats in Olympia to agree that a revenue crisis exists to even declare the contract moot.

I wouldn’t mind seeing union powers curtailed somewhat, especially during a revenue crisis as we are currently experiencing, but unless we have leadership willing to take a stand against the public unions, it will never happen.

Zarelli has had his own problems in the past and will undoubtedly receive much grief over this proposal, it comes with the territory. Maybe he isn’t the best one to come forward with it, but regardless, it is an idea worth discussing.

Washington State Senate Republicans have a website, Reset Washington where they also have a poll posted showing currently some 93% of respondents agree with this proposal.

Will the Democrats join in with anything short of stripping the poor and underprivileged of their assistance in favor of protecting unions, which hold some 70% of our budget hostage?