A contract is a contract

Following up on Jon’s post from yesterday, the Seattle P-I joined the Columbian in abusing state employee unions for fighting Gov. Gregoire’s proposed freeze on scheduled wage increases.

Hmm.  Sure, the governor and the editorialists have a point that during hard budget times, everybody should be expected to sacrifice, and it’s just common sense for the unions to consider postponing wage increases if the alternative would be thousands of their members losing their jobs.  But… these wage increases the governor proposes postponing are part of a negotiated, legally binding contract, so shouldn’t the governor have negotiated with unions to roll them back before including them in her budget?

I mean, a contract is a contract, right?  So if the state is willing, able and right to violate the terms of their labor contracts, just because it’s having trouble balancing its budget, shouldn’t it be willing, able and right to violate the terms of other contracts as well?  Surely there are tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to save by trimming a couple percentage points from the cost of contracts with the state’s many vendors and contractors… so why aren’t these on the table?  Why just the union contracts?

Huh.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I think the state should revoke the $3 billion extortion package that Gary Locke negotiated with Boeing to save jobs. I know taxpayer money was promised to the poverty-stricken aerospace company, but these are extraordinary times, and everyone needs to share in the sacrifices.

  2. 2

    Mark The Redneck-Rabbit spews:

    Rabbit, I know it’s difficult, but try not to be a complete fucking idiot.

    NOT ONE PENNY of taxpayer money was given to Boeing. None… Zero…

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Under Republican government you can’t bankrupt medical debt you incurred for surgery your health insurer decided is “experimental” but companies get bankruptcy courts to turn their union contracts into toilet paper almost as fast as they dump their pension promises on taxpayers. The Cold War is over, and Corporate Communism won.

  4. 4

    Rick D. spews:

    Rabbit, I know it’s difficult, but try not to be a complete fucking idiot. ~ Mark the redneck Rabbit

    Now Mark, That is an impossible task for Thumper Humper to accomplish.

    Everyone feels the pain in a down cycle economy, so to hell with the Government employees. Welcome to the real world, Kiddies.
    Unions signify the death of the American work ethic.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Boeing got $3 billion of tax exemptions as a payoff to keep their plant (and jobs) here. (Frankly, I think Locke got sucker-punched on that deal.*) The state didn’t cut spending by $3 billion, did it? So someone else made up that $3 billion of foregone tax collections from Boeing. Call it whatever you want, redneck, but to me that smells like taking money from other taxpayers and giving it to Boeing. Now either pay your gambling debt to Goldy, you fucking welsher, or drag your sorry lying ass off his blog.

    * Anyone who thinks Boeing keeps its plants here out of corporate goodness has rocks in his head! There are good reasons why Boeing doesn’t move those jobs to some fucking shithole right-to-work state. Not being able to find labor with the skills they need in those places, for one. Plus it costs big money to pick up a huge factory and move it clear across the country! Not to mention the disruption of production and the customer ill-will that engenders. Boeing has stayed in Washington for almost 100 years because moving is bad for their business, not because Gary Locke was the only Washington governor who was chuckleheaded enough to let himself be extorted for something they wouldn’t have done anyway.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rickie Dicksucker @4 If you wish to discuss relative IQs, I may bring up the fact I’ve eaten vegetables that were smarter than you.

  7. 7

    Piper Scott spews:

    Sorry, Goldy, but no sale…

    It’s up to the legislature to fund those wage and benefit increases. If there isn’t money, they don’t get funded. That’s the statutory scheme.

    The WFSE and other state employee unions are screwing the pooch with this argument. The budget shortfall (I know you refuse to acknowledge the deficit nature of it) for the next biennium necessitates everyone participate in the pain, including the unions.

    A contract is a contract IF and WHEN the legislature give its final OK. Otherwise, the governor could agree to anything without the representatives of the people having a say in the matter.

    Don’t worry…state workers won’t go hungry – I’ll bet their thermostats are still going to be a lot higher than yours.

    You really should pay closer attention to the collective bargaining scheme in Washington before you offer opinions not based in either fact or law.

    The Piper

  8. 8

    Mark The Redneck-Rabbit spews:

    Rabbit – I just decided not to rob you at gunpoint.

    Have I done you a favor?

    That’s all the state did…

  9. 9

    drool spews:

    It is very unfortunate that the contract came up for renegotiation not long before an election. It makes it seem that the governer is negotiating for votes/support rather than negotiating as a representative of the People of Washington.

    There is nothing wrong with reopening the contract if the union agrees to it…..or they can go with the negotiated contract and suffer the layoffs.

    Roger,

    Before you go shooting your mouth off and spraying carrots, learn something about the aerospace industry. If you noticed, Boeing DID send a bunch of jobs out to right to work states (and other countries) when they outsourced work on the 787. Moving existing lines is a pain. Setting up an new one is painful wherever you do it. It doesn’t have to be in Wa.

    Mark my words: When the 737 is done, the Renton factory will be shut down and the land sold off.

  10. 10

    Rick D. spews:

    The state needs to put the public (in this instance its state citizen’s interests) ahead of the interests of its employees just like every business does in the private sector.

    Piss and moan like the Boeing machinists and you’ll finally, for the short term, you’ll get what you want. Only the company will be looking for an exit strategy which in the end will not only not provide you better benes, wages, etc. it leaves you without a damn job.

    Dumbasses like Thumper Humper just can’t seem to put this in their pea sized brain housing groups to process.

  11. 11

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    Piper is spot-on in his assessment.
    It’s only a deal when the Legislature approves & funds it.
    Why in the world are you soooooo concerned about raises for State Employees in the midst of a recession? That is MicroDot Head thinking…something Blue John would come up with.
    This really shows Goldy’s desire for more & more heavy-handed State & Local government.
    Typical wrong-headed thinking.

    In Montana, Governor Schweitzer (D) told State Employees if they thought he was going to give raises and not lay-off State Employees, then they elected the wrong Governor.
    Schweitzer works for the PEOPLE…not State Employees. State Employees are Public Servants that work for us.
    They have a MNassive Diamond Benefit Package which should be trimmed substantially….instead they have the hutzpah to demand a raise??
    Total Disconnect Goldy…and you are an enabler.
    Grow up and Wise up Goldy.

  12. 12

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    drool & Rick D
    Rog Rabbit is soooooooo disconnected from the private sector, he seems to believe businesses like Boeing owe it to us to stay in Washington and it’s citizens who serve the State Employees! Talk about wrong-headed, lame-brained thinking.
    30 years of mind-numbing, time-wasting, tax dollar sucking as a DSHS Attorney defending atrocious actions by DSHS Nazi’s has ruined the poor bunny.
    It’s hopeless.
    But rest assured that the majority of Washington Citizens expect the State Government to cut expenses…not borrow or raise taxes and would be appalled at the selfish, disconnect of the State Employees Union demanding and suing for raises.
    I hope Gregoire lays off about 10,000 of them to show who is the boss and who works for whom.

    Re; Boeing, Rog doesn’t understand that Unions have crossed the line….and if Washington doesn’t compete, Boeing WILL leave and go to a right-to-work state.

    Rog and his merry band of HA lunatics are looking like that crazy bird, the “darkinere”.
    You know, the bird that flies around in tighter & tighter circles at an accelerating speed until eventually it flies up it’s own ass!

    Perhaps there is a species called the Darkinere Rabbit?? Keep hoppin’ in circles Rog at an accelerating speed and let us know what happens…ok?

    It will be interesting to see if Gregoire is forced by the Courts to give those raises, what she does?
    My guess if she will lay-off a couple thousand more. How will those folks feel…drawing unemployment, while the fatcats get raises.
    Fun to watch.
    The only way to reform government is to take away the money.

  13. 13

    Rick D. spews:

    30 years of mind-numbing, time-wasting, tax dollar sucking as a DSHS Attorney defending atrocious actions by DSHS Nazi’s has ruined the poor bunny. ~ Mr Cynical

    I find it hard to believe that anyone with the low level intelligence demonstrated by Roger Rabbit on these threads could pass the bar exam in the first place. He smells more like a trust fund baby to me. But, in the extremely unlikely event that thumper humper is indeed a loyaaaa ,this joke will be especially aprapos:

    A snake and a rabbit were racing along a pair of intersecting forest pathways one day, when they collided at the intersection. They immediately began to argue with one another as to who was at fault for the mishap.When the snake remarked that he had been blind since birth, and thus should be given additional leeway, the rabbit said that he, too, had been blind since birth. The two animals then forgot about the collision and began commiserating concerning the problems of being blind.

    The snake said that his greatest regret was the loss of his identity. He had never been able to see his reflection in the water, and for that reason did not know exactly what he looked like, or even what he was. The rabbit declared that he had the same problem.

    Seeing a way that they could help each other, the rabbit proposed that one feel the other from head to toe, and then try to describe what the other animal was.The snake agreed, and started by winding himself around the rabbit. After a few moments, he announced,
    “You’ve got very soft, fuzzy fur, long ears, big rear feet, and a little fuzzy ball for a tail. I think that you must be a bunny rabbit!”

    The rabbit was much relieved to find his identity, and proceeded to return the favor to the snake. After feeling about the snake’s body for a few minutes, he asserted,
    “Well, you’re scaly, you’re slimy, you’ve got beady little eyes, you squirm and slither all the time, and you’ve got a forked tongue. I think you’re a lawyer!”

  14. 14

    YLB spews:

    LMAO!! We got a total wingut circle jerk going here with the nuttiest of the nuttiest slumming here from (un)SP.

    We got a bet welsher, a little dumbass, a right wing KLOWN and a crack piper.

    In their world, the bidness operator (mostly wingnut leaning of course) always get their cut and the people who do the work ALWAYS get the shaft!

  15. 15

    spews:

    Yesterday’s TNT carried a letter to the editor from a union member, complaining that the union leadership was being shortsighted in complaining about the raises.

    Yes, there is a binding contract, and yes, the union could stick to its guns and insist on the raises. But should they?

    There are just so many dollars in the budget, and if each employee gets more of them, then there will have to be less employees.

    One good thing about having a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature is that we have some (all too limited) assurance that those dollars won’t be taken from the employees and spent on gold-plated junkets to sexual playgrounds in Thailand.

    But the fact remains that state employees are a huge percentage of the budget, and that budget is shrinking.

    It is also unfortunately true that the larger unions often start with the attitude that their wants come first, and trying to pay for them is the state’s problem.

    Certainly, outside contracts should also be considered and renegotiated. Times are hard, and everyone gets to feel some of the pinch.

    But in these times, the unions are going to have to make a choice. More jobs, but less pay, or more pay, but less jobs.

    And the “less jobs” answer carries some additional baggage. Less jobs means more folks relying on government for help. More folks relying on government means less money for other government functions, and therefore, less jobs.

    We Democrats tend to fall into two distinct categories. Those that think that the money trough is bottomless, and those that know it is not.

    (Republicans just grab the grandkid’s VISA card and don’t worry about the bill.)

    Those of us that know it is not bottomless try to make the best use of those dollars, so they will help the most people.

    That’s what the Governor is doing, and she’s showing considerably courage in doing it against the wishes of some of her strongest supporters.

  16. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “Rabbit – I just decided not to rob you at gunpoint. Have I done you a favor?”

    No, I’m sure it was a business decision.

  17. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 State employees have always known that politicians are all the same. That’s why they have a union.

  18. 18

    ivan spews:

    Rick D. @ 4 says:

    “Unions signify the death of the american work ethic.”

    We won World War 2, built an interstate highway system and the nuclear power industry, and put an astronaut on the moon with union labor, you worthless lying sack of shit.

  19. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 “One good thing about having a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature is that we have some (all too limited) assurance that those dollars won’t be taken from the employees and spent on gold-plated junkets to sexual playgrounds in Thailand.”

    The bad thing about it is the state has a long history of taking money from state employees as punishment for not striking and giving it to teachers as a reward for striking. Democrats have been the foremost practitioners of this.

    The bottom line, John, is that labor markets are competitive and when you don’t pay the help they go elsewhere. The state has always been a low-paying employer compared to federal and local government entities, and large private employers. And then state employees listen to Republican legislators who spout off saying things like state workers should be paid minimum wage. Guess what happens? The good ones leave, the state has chronic morale problems and high employee turnover, which results in high training costs and error rates, and the quality of state services suffers. You get what you pay for.

    The problem has always been that politicians spread the available resources too thinly because they yield to the temptation to provide as many services as possible to as many constituencies as possible in order to get more votes. Instead of doing essential things well, they try to do too many things, and end up doing all of them badly because everything is underfunded.

    Like I said, you get what you pay for. The solution is NOT financially sticking it to state employees for the umpteenth time. They’ve had it stuck to them too many times already. The solution is to close tax loopholes and make the undertaxed segments of the population pay their fair share so this state can have the services it needs and the people who provide those services can be fairly paid for their work. State workers are tired of having budgets balanced on their backs, and when they finally get fed up and leave, they never come back. Ask any state manager what his turnover is and how long the new people stay. The job I retired from 5 years ago has already turned over twice and currently has been vacant for more than a year. They can’t keep anyone in that position, and the last time it was advertised no one applied for it. Consequently, the work I used to do has to be spread over staff who don’t have the legal training and experience it requires and already have too much work, and either isn’t been done at all or is being done wrong. In my case, I was better off to retire than keep working, because I get more money from my pension and social security than the job pays. And you think the solution to the state’s budget problem is another state employee pay freeze? If you’re gonna do that, then teacher pay should be frozen, too.

  20. 20

    correctnotright spews:

    @15: so a contract should be renoegoatiated when….anhone fells like it. but state employees should just take salary cuts…because the economy is bad. Of course, when they negaotiated the contract the economy was…not so bad.

    Maybe a contract should acatully be honored by both parties…what a novel idea!

  21. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 “One good thing about having a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature is that we have some (all too limited) assurance that those dollars won’t be taken from the employees and spent on gold-plated junkets to sexual playgrounds in Thailand.”

    The bad thing about it is the state has a long history of taking money from state employees as punishment for not striking and giving it to teachers as a reward for striking. Democrats have been the foremost practitioners of this.

    The bottom line, John, is that labor markets are competitive and when you don’t pay the help they go elsewhere. The state has always been a low-paying employer compared to federal and local government entities, and large private employers. And then state employees listen to Republican legislators who spout off saying things like state workers should be paid minimum wage. Guess what happens? The good ones leave, the state has chronic morale problems and high employee turnover, which results in high training costs and error rates, and the quality of state services suffers. You get what you pay for.

    The problem has always been that politicians spread the available resources too thinly because they yield to the temptation to provide as many services as possible to as many constituencies as possible in order to get more votes. Instead of doing essential things well, they try to do too many things, and end up doing all of them badly because everything is underfunded.

    Like I said, you get what you pay for. The solution is NOT financially sticking it to state employees for the umpteenth time. They’ve had it stuck to them too many times already. The solution is to close tax loopholes and make the undertaxed segments of the population pay their fair share so this state can have the services it needs and the people who provide those services can be fairly paid for their work. State workers are tired of having budgets balanced on their backs, and when they finally get fed up and leave, they never come back. Ask any state manager what his turnover is and how long the new people stay. The job I retired from 5 years ago has already turned over twice and currently has been vacant for more than a year.

  22. 22

    keepitsimple spews:

    Unions,they drive the prices up and we can’t afford the product……Then exactly what do they do for the union worker.Nuthin. You starve on strike,You can lose everything you have worked for. You pay dues so they can tell you when and where you can work, There might be a job when you get laid off.Who benifits, the union. The safety issues in this country can be settled now by OSHA.I don’t want to see anyone lose thier job.But government and unions have taken advantage of the American worker long enough.If we are doing the same job as union personel why shouldn’t we make the same money? Then we could afford the products that union personel produce? Just a question?

  23. 23

    Rick D. spews:

    We won World War 2, built an interstate highway system and the nuclear power industry, and put an astronaut on the moon with union labor, you worthless lying sack of shit. ~Ivan the deplorable

    Still living in the past there, Ivan? going back 40 years doesn’t seem very progressive to me,lad.
    Just ask the big 3 how beneficial the unions have been.

  24. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @21 (continued) In my case, I’m retired because I make more money from my pension and social security than the job pays. And because they can’t hire a lawyer to replace me, the work I did either doesn’t get done at all or is spread over other staff who don’t have the legal qualifications to do it, and therefore don’t do it right. This also takes their time away from the work they were hired to do, which means that work is done badly or not at all, too. There’s a domino effect. When you try to pay people below market, everything begins falling apart on you.

    When you’re facing a shrinking budget, you have to do what private companies do: You do less. You eliminate departments, close offices, and terminate employees. You decide what you can afford to keep and use your remaining resources to do those things well. That’s how it should be done.

  25. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 When Alaska Airlines got rid of their union baggage handlers and outsourced their work to a cut-wage contractor who hired gang members, complaints about thefts and lost baggage soared. Oh, and did Alaska pass the resulting labor cost savings on to customers by lowering fares? I’ll let you figure that out. Actually, they probably didn’t save any money at all, it probably costs them more after paying the baggage claims, even before factoring in lost business. I wouldn’t fly on Alaska for anything. You couldn’t pay me to fly on that airline. Eventually they won’t have any customers and there won’t be an airline.

  26. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “Just ask the big 3 how beneficial the unions have been.”

    Well, we now live in the low-wage economy that Republicans thought was paradise, and I see the Big 3 and the entire banking industry going to Congress with tin cups asking for taxpayer money to keep them out of bankruptcy court. So, Ricky Dumbass, let me ask you this: How is union-busting working for ya?

  27. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What these conservative jackasses still haven’t figured out is that if workers aren’t paid anything their businesses won’t have any customers.

  28. 28

    2cents spews:

    @23

    The Big Three are suffering from gross mismanagement. The unions negotiated those pensions and wages. Blaming the unions is another right wing misdirection. The trouble with management is when they become removed from reality. Most of the CEO’s wouldn’t know what to do if they had to drive their own cars, much less ride in their companies vehicles. The laziest workers at the auto companies are managers who get bonuses for bringing their companies to the brink of bankruptcy.

    Governor Gregoire negotiated with the unions for those wages in good faith and she should have included that in her budget. If the Legislature decides not to fund that, it should be up to them to remove it. Now it seems like a $600 million dollar election gimmick.

  29. 29

    Piper Scott spews:

    @14…YippeeLilBoy…

    Instead of ralphing rhetorical wretch, why don’t you disprove what I’ve written?

    Go ahead…make my day.

    Thing is, all you have to offer is intellectually undigestable offal – there are no facts, no reasoning, no synthesis of experience and thought, which are things about which you have zero credibility or history

    Tell me…how many years were you in the second grade? Or are you yet?

    And what is it that you do to put bread on the table? Aside from being a public mooch?

    Really…let us all know your bona fides and your gravitas – or did you flush them down the toidy when last you went?

    The Piper

  30. 30

    Rick D. spews:

    Bottom line is: Unions killed the big 3 and will inevitably kill Boeing (at least as far as the NW is concerned).

    Watch and see.

    @ 29 ~ YLB doesn’t have 2 brain cells to rub together, so don’t expect too much from that troll.

  31. 31

    spews:

    Shitty product and lack of foresight killed the big 3. The workers can only make the cars they’re told to make, and it’s not on them that their managers didn’t see $4.00 gas coming.

    Piper @7 gets it partially right. A piece of any contract negotiation is the belief that the two sides at the table have the ability to make decisions for the sides that they’re speaking for, and if Gregoire’s negotiating team didn’t think they could get the agreed upon raises through the legislature then they never should have left the table with a tentative agreement done. I think that the WFSE’s relief here shouldn’t be a lawsuit, but rather an unfair labor practice. At the very least, the state should be charged with returning to the table.

  32. 32

    Piper Scott spews:

    @31…Ryan…

    Well, duh! Return to the table…at least as far as Ferry System unions are concerned, that’s what the MEC statute provides.

    But bottoming an unfair labor practice on the inability to predict changed economic conditions is like introducing a faulty crystal ball into evidence.

    The net, net, net…the unions and their member must tighten their belts like everyone else, and the gov and her minions in OFM have egg on their faces for dumb, not unfair, bargaining.

    The Piper

  33. 33

    YLB spews:

    So funny that the Southern dipshit Senators wanted wage concessions from the UAW. Why?

    Because southern workers were benefiting too much from the foreign auto makers forced to keep pace with UAW wages.

    Imagine that. Southern politicians working to shaft their own voters. Only one way they could do that – they knew they could get away with it. Too many voters in thrall to the siren song of right wing bullshit from Limbaugh, Faux News and all the rest.

    Great world we live in.

  34. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 WFSE’s lawsuit isn’t going anywhere because the courts won’t order the Legislature to cough up the money. It’s a separation of powers thing.

  35. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 Piper, piper, piper … a contract is a contract … and as an ex-lawyer, you know that.

    But I can’t say that I’m surprised by your attitude. We already know that constitutional rights are a flexible concept where Republicans are concerned, so it’s hardly a shock that their contracts are no good, too.

    As a former government bureaucrat, I know very well what it takes to have a civilization. Bureaucrats! Human nature being what it is, laws aren’t self-enforcing, and we’d be nothing more than savages without law enforcers. That was my job — enforcing the law.

    Well, I know the answer to making Republicans honor their contractual promises — if they don’t, burn their fucking factories down, take their wives and children as hostages, and if that doesn’t persuade ‘em then tie a large rock to them and thrown ‘em off a ferry!*

    * Just kidding! Hey, don’t worry pukes, I’m just playin’ with ya! What people should do when you welsh on your promises is hire ME to enforce your contracts! As a skilled and capable lawyer, I can make your life so fucking miserable you’ll be more than happy to pay up when I get through with you!

  36. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 I’ve got a feeling those low-wage southern workers eventually will tire of voting for GOP politicians who keep their wages down. Wait and see, they’ll come back to the Democrats, and they’ll join unions, when they figure out that voting Republican means not being able to feed their kids so that some rich bastard who doesn’t give a rap about them can add another private jet to his aircraft stable.

  37. 38

    Piper Scott spews:

    @36…RR…

    You take 1,000 words to say what most people can in ten. But most people also have the good sense not to say such stupid stuff.

    The gov cannot bind the legislature. Something about seperation of powers…

    The unions know full well that not getting wage increases funded is always a distinct possibility. Their feigned outrage, then, is too clever by half and smacks of rank hypocrisy.

    Since you admit that you are nothing more than a base and craven partisan hack without regard for the truth or anything more than saying whatever it takes to get your side to win, why would anyone ever take your word for even the time of day?

    Your level of intellectual honesty is measured in negative numbers. A shill is a shill is a shill…

    And you commit the ultimate communication sin: you are boring.

    The Piper

  38. 39

    drool spews:

    Gawd, I’m going to have to agree with Roger. When there was a recent strike at my place of employment (I’ll let you guess where) all of a sudden things began to disappear when replacement janitors were brought in. Multiple instances desks having things taken.

    You frequently get what you pay for.

    When calculating compensation working for the state the bennies need to get rolled into the euquation too. Not a lot of folks are getting pensions these days.

  39. 40

    spews:

    But bottoming an unfair labor practice on the inability to predict changed economic conditions is like introducing a faulty crystal ball into evidence.

    The net, net, net…the unions and their member must tighten their belts like everyone else, and the gov and her minions in OFM have egg on their faces for dumb, not unfair, bargaining.

    Dumb is unfair. When you agree to a contract you don’t get to later on go “Oops! We’re a bunch of screw-ups!”

    Understand that I come at this from a teacher’s union perspective, where I’ve been the lead negotiator for my local. It’s understood that the school board always could say no, but the faith that we have is that the superintendent or their designee will negotiate a contract that the board will approve. If they don’t, it’s their failure, not mine.

  40. 41

    mark spews:

    State employees with their lavish retirements and benefits being paid for by taxpayers who cant afford the same for their families is a recipe for an uprising of monumental proportions.

  41. 42

    spews:

    Correctnotright:

    The unions have a choice right now. Stick to their guns and get the raise, but some of their members lose their jobs at a time when jobs are getting scarce, or forego raises, perhaps get some other concession and keep more jobs.

    There are only so many dollars available right now, and if each worker gets more of them, then there will have to be less workers. Simple math. Some folks will have to lose their jobs if the raise goes through.

    Simple math.

    Roger

    Quite so. The state must pay competitive wages or people will leave and seek better jobs.

    When those jobs are available. They aren’t right now. There is a glut of well trained folks on the job market right now.

    The union is absolutely within its rights on insisting on the raises, and will probably win in a court fight. But should it fight this now?

    Long-term state employees, the ones least likely to leave in any case, will get their raises, while newer hires are laid off.

    The people laid off will have difficulty finding work in this economy, and these are the folks that are the next generation of workers.

    State services will suffer, due to lack of personnel, just at the time those services are most needed.

    And eventually new folks will have to be hired to fill those positions.

    Once the economy finally improves, the state will have to go through the trouble and expense of hiring and training new folks, as at least some of the folks laid off will have found new jobs by then, and it can be assumed that the job market will also have improved.

    I’m making the case for keeping more workers, and foregoing the raises until the economy improves.

    The union should get concessions about job security in return for concessions about the raises.

    Additionally, the raises should simply be postponed, not eliminated. As the economy improves, your argument about folks leaving for greener pastures will take on more weight, as there will be good jobs opening in the private sector for folks to move into.

    The economy is lousy right now, all over the country. One way or another, workers are going to feel some pain. The question we have before us is whether that pain will be spread around so that everyone feels a pinch, or concentrated so that some folks lose everything.

    Prices aren’t going up right now. Housing prices and gas prices are actually dropping. The buying power of the employees’ dollars seems to be holding steady or even improving a bit.

    So which should it be? Get the raises now, and let some folks lose their jobs, or forego the raises and more folks keep their jobs, while saving the state money on rehiring and retraining, which will eventually free up more money for those raises?

    The money pot has a bottom. We’re there, and we don’t have the ability to do both.

  42. 44

    K spews:

    There is a reasonable arguement that times have changed. How many foresaw the downturn and got out of the market? Now that we acknowledge the changed condition, the contracts can and should be reconsidered. As one who will absorb the impact, I believe King County’s solution is a reasonable one. Salaries are increased by the cost of living, 4.88%. Most employees (me too) then get furloughed for ten days amd most of the increase is taken back. But in the future, when things are better, salaries will be back.

  43. 45

    Blue John spews:

    If the state is going to reneg on the union contracts, are they also going to short change the other contracts they have with other suppliers and vendors? Is everyone going to feel the pain, or will it just be the unions?

    You corporate conservatives sure hate unions, yet it’s usually management that is the one making the stupid decisions that ruin the company. For example: How’s that electric car we developed over a decade ago doing?

  44. 46

    Piper Scott spews:

    @45…BJ…

    Before you spout on things of which you are ignorant, go read all the state statutes on collective bargaining and the funding process for those types of agreements.

    There has been no reneging on contracts since the legislature has yet to fund them. Remember…it’s not corporate conservatives who will recommended against funding increases, nor will it be corporate conservatives who vote not to fund them.

    A Democrat governor has done that in the first instance, and a Democrat legislature will do it in the latter.

    While it does take two to tango – management bears responsibility for agreeing to unsustainable wages, hours, and conditions – where is it written that union members get a free pass? Don’t they have a responsibility to share in fixing the financial problems they helped create?

    Your “pity me, I’m so poor and downtrodden” rings hollow, and taxpayers ain’t buyin’ it

    The Piper

  45. 47

    Blue John spews:

    You are missing the point of the story, as usual. Why is it the unions who always have to take the hit, “houldn’t it be willing, able and right to violate the terms of other contracts as well? ”
    You corporate conservative only want to kill unions. You hate America and living wages.

  46. 49

    Piper Scott spews:

    @47…BJ…

    As usual, you fail to grasp the facts and the larger picture.

    WFSE not only claims it has an absolute right to the negotiated wage increses, which it does not per Washingon law, but it also lobbied the gov not to lay off any of its members, claiming that the best economic stimulus is full employment and higher wages for state workers despite layoffs and hard times in the private sector.

    In other words, WFSE is demanding, “Give us more and let us avoid any inconvenience – as for the others? Let them eat cake.”

    Arrogance, greed, intellectual sophistry, and an appalling indifference to their role as servants of the people, not their masters, characterizes WFSE.

    It’s inconceivable that anyone of good conscience and intellectual honesty would defend this behavior and thinking.

    That the gov was dumb enough to allow wage increase packages to be negotiated rather than bargaining across the board cuts in both wages and benefits in the face of the now nearly $6 billion budgetary shortfall is one thing. She deserves all the criticism that comes her way for that stupid stunt.

    But for WFSE, or any other union representing state employees, to figuratively give the taxpaing public the finger with threats and demands serves to prove that union thuggery is alive, well, living in the public sector, and needs to be rooted out and destroyed.

    The ham handed behavior of WFSE is doing a great job of causing even usually reliable liberal voices such as the Seattle P-I to jump on that bandwagon.

    Incredibly stupid…

    The Piper

  47. 50

    WeBentOverTheGOP spews:

    The right wing trolls rarely get so riled up as they do when unions are mentioned. I always marvel at the right’s ability to generically attack people who’s primary sin is that they want a decent wage and fair treatment in return for their labor.

    Of course what is really bugging the right wing fools is the fact that they pushed their anti-worker, anti-union bullshit throughout the entire election and guess what – IT DIDN’T WORK! On Nov 4 we bent over the GOP and fucked them in the ass. We REJECTED Rossi and his foolish, insane bullshit. We REJECTED the GOP line against the worker. We REJECTED every single thing the right wing assholes say they believe.

    So how humiliating must it be for these toads? They have to face the fact that each and every thing they believe about unions is wrong – at least as far as a majority of their fellow citizens is concerned. They’ve been beaten like a drum. They don’t matter. They are irrelevant. They are useless. They are nothing.

  48. 51

    keepitsimple spews:

    You Mr. Bent Over are a nasty person.Your vocabulary is Filthy.And most of the time you make no sense,You can say what you want, Which I am sure you will. But I always thought educated Americans learned better english than the nastiness you spew like sour milk from a sour stomach. Maybe you are just a sour person.Every person has an opinion and they do matter. We are as important as you are.Don’t stay bent over to long as I have noticed on this blog there is alot of animal abuse going on and they might mistake you for one since you act like one.According to you,You already know what happens,So don’t linger long in that position. Cya Mr. Bent Over

  49. 53

    keepitsimple spews:

    @ 52 Looks like the kids are just not safe any where. Maybe its because this kind of stuff doesn’t know if it is republican or democrat.Your right they are filthy nasty people.

    A partial list of democratic pedophiles

    Democratic State Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau, South Dakota accused of fondling a male page. http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01966.html

    Carl Stanley McGee, 38, prominent gay activist, assistant secretary for policy and planning and top aid to democrat governor Deval Patrick of Massachuttsettes, accused of sexually assaulting a 15 year old boy in a steam room at a Florida resort. http://www.bostonherald.com/ne.....id=1072114

    Bernard Vincent Ward, former chief legislative aide to Senator Barbara Boxer, self proclaimed “Lion of the Left” on bay area radio, admitted transgressions too numerous to mention. http://prosites-prs.homestead.com/ward_new.pdf

    Davidson County Democratic Party Chairman Rodney Mullins resigned Thursday morning amid child pornography allegations, according to press secretary Jean Carter Wilson of the Davidson County Democratic Party. http://nashvillefiles.com/blog.....00808.html

    Former Democrat Boston city councilor David Scondras is facing charges for attempting to lure a teenage boy over the Internet. Investigators said Scondras had several sexually explicit email exchanges with someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy. http://wbztv.com/topstories/Fo.....82093.html

    Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, is a former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU from 2002 to 2005. On February 23, 2007, Rust-Tierney was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography on June 1, 2007.[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Rust-Tierney

    Andrew Douglas Reed, 53, a North Carolina Democrat activist plead guilty to a page-long list of counts of 2nd-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Court records in the Asheville, N.C., case said he admitted that he would “record, develop and duplicate material containing a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.” http://www.worldnetdaily.com/n.....E_ID=53070 Scott W. Ballo, a long-time spokesman for various Democratic political campaigns and a former communications director for the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, was arraigned today in Marion County Circuit Court on two charges of encouraging child sex abuse (both misdemeanors) and one charge of official misconduct (also a misdemeanor), according to the court clerk’s office. The charges relate to pornography allegedly found on Ballo’s work computer when he was employed by the economic and community development department, according to a person familiar with the case. http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?p=9905

    Mel Reynolds, House of Representatives (D-Il) convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography resulting from a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Reynolds

    Gary Studds Studds was a central figure in the 1983 Congressional page sex scandal, when he and Representative Dan Crane were censured by the House of Representatives for separate sexual relationships with minors — in Studds’ case, a 1973 sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male congressional page.

    John wayne gacy,Need I say more ok then,
    Right before he left office Bill Clinton pardoned convicted child molester Mel Reynolds. All part of the record of the Clintons “helping” children.

  50. 54

    rhp6033 spews:

    Drool @ 9: Actually, the 787 out-sourcing by Boeing pretty much proves Roger’s point. They tried to out-source both production and engineering to outfits like Alenia/Vought Aerospace (production facilities in N. Carolina, I believe). But MOST of their current production problems are coming from that source, and since Vought OWNED the drawings, changes couldn’t be made easily. Boeing has had to go in and re-do most of the work done by Vought, and even has gone back in and purchased back much of the facilities, drawings, and contracts from them – losing all the profit they could have made from out-sourcing, and then losing even more to boot. They Boeing guy who was first assigned to implement this out-sourcing program eventually lost his job because it wasn’t working, but admitted publically shortly thereafter that there is no way Boeing would try to do it again.

    Boeing currently is looking at sending Union labor out to N. Carolina to try to teach the people there how to do the work right, but the Union workers aren’t exactly in the mood to volunteer for the job. Opinions range from “Why should I train them to take my job away from me
    “, to “Serves them right”.

    Oh, and as far as labor contracts go – anybody ever seen an employer volunteer to re-negotiate a contract in the union’s favor when times are good? Nope, it doesn’t happen. The employer can be rolling in dough, but if the workers ask for some, they will be told to wait until the contract comes up for renewal, some two or three years later. By then the economy will be in worse shape, the employer hopes, so they can ask the union for give-backs, instead of wage increases. Or, they can promise future benefits in lieu of current wage increases or benefits, which the employer figures will either be somebody else’s problem to deliver (like the American car manufacturers), or they figure can be subject to another give-back later in a future contract renewal, or if all else fails it can be discharged in bankruptcy.

    So why should the workers volunteer to cut their wages and benefits during bad times, when they know those cuts will become permanant one way or another? A smart union negotiator will get the most he can up front, because there’s no guarantee for tomorrow.