Recall is always a possibility

Published 9:45 am Friday, June 15, 2012

To the Editor:

Recall. When most major private sector corporations offered a good healthcare plan, paid holidays, good vacation benefits and a generous retirement plan.

Recall. When municipal employees rarely had parity with private sector corporate benefits packages.

Recall. The quest of municipal employees for parity with private sector corporate companies.

Well guess what? Times have changed.

Today, municipal employees generally have better benefits, with a lucrative retirement plan, fully paid healthcare and paid holidays. They also are allowed to accumulate vacation, and at times, sick pay.

Today most private sector corporate organizations do not offer fully paid health coverage, or retirement and vacation plans that equal what most municipal employees enjoy.

Municipal unions, with heavy bargaining power, hold municipalities to the fire constantly asking for more and more. Early retirement calculations based on the highest salary of the employee with overtime pay calculated into the algorithm of their best and highest annual salaries pushes some retirement benefits close to a full salary annually for life!

Police and Firemen deserve retirement at a younger age. Those jobs require strong, young people.

Other municipal employees do not deserve such an early retirement but they get them. Municipal unions have secured these perks utilizing their bargaining power.

Union contributions support candidates during campaigns and help to get them elected. In return, those same elected leaders give in to that municipal-union bargaining.

Parity is no longer an issue; it’s a baseline negotiating point. If anything, it’s the private sector that is seeking parity now.

That’s what that Wisconsin recall was all about; unbridled municipal-union bargaining power.

I am not anti-union. I am for the worker, but ask yourself this: By reigning in municipal-union bargaining power, we can achieve a better alignment for private sector corporate American employees and municipal employees.

A municipality, that’s us, the taxpayers, need a more realistic position bargaining for sanity in government.

John Murphy