Friday, October 28, 2011

More info

As we move forward, people have begun to send me info that has been not freely admited. I had said that there was 1 administrator who was having their retirement contribution picked up by their employer in Darke County. Information receved today shows that there are perhaps close to 10 who have this perk.

This shows a couple of things. First it shows that this abuse of taxpayer money has nothing to do with organized labor but with administrators and elected officials.
The second thing that it confirms is that your legislators haven't been telling you the whole truth.

You don't have to worry about the unions, you might want to check a little higher up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Debate Tonight! Issue 2

There will again be a debate on Issue 2 this evening. It will be aired on all NBC affiliates in the state at 7:00 PM. Locally that would be Channel 2.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

About Unions

People who have never been in a union usually don't know what to think about them. If there is a union in place in the public sector, there is usually a reason for it. In the private sector the same is true but there are totally different paths.

Plumbers, pipe fitters, electricians, carpenters are skilled trades. These skilled trades have apprenticeship programs. A young guy lucky enough to get in an apprenticeship program has a progressively intense course of study along with on the job training to eventually gain his journeyman's card. This says that he has the knowledge about his trade to perform the job with little supervision. The next step is Master.

A lot of times, unions didn't start out as unions. The OEA is a good example of that. It was a professional organization for school teachers. Local groups began affiliating themselves with the OEA and soon were representing these groups in labor negotiations.

There is one thing for sure, no union is an better or worse than the best or worse person in it.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Responding to Faber's Explanation of SB 5.

On Sunday, in County News Online, Sen. Keith Faber gave his explanation of why SB 5 was a good thing. I’m not sure that he’s right so we’ll see if there is a counter point.

In the first paragraph he says that many of us contacted his office to express our opinions and our opinions were noted and he welcomed the many constructive suggestions. S B 5 is needed for the several political subdivisions to be able to deal with the realities of the 2011 economic situation.

What this really means is that anything sent to his office as a criticism wasn’t looked at very closely. He said in his speech that SB 5 is sorely needed, but never gave us hard fast reasons why it was needed. Saying its needed doesn’t make it so Keith, what particular reason prompted this legislation? Bottom line is an empty Corning plant on Martin St, a Fram plant with less than half the employment, Excello plant gone, empty manufacturing buildings in Union City, Ansonia and the rest of the county. Those are some of the reasons that we have an economic problem here in Darke County, not negotiation with public employees. But we’ll give you that one that paying government workers a fair wage is the problem.

SB 5 is about empowering government entities to better manage their workforces and control costs to live within taxpayer’s means. See the above paragraph. You and others let the manufacturing jobs go bye-bye but expect the same level of services with half the paychecks to cover them. That’s the problem, not paying government paychecks.

As for paying 15% of healthcare, that is a negotiated thing that local government subdivisions have negotiated. You’re saying that it needs to be capped. OK we’ll give you that, why didn’t you say that. We can work with that. You think that all employees should pay their share of their own pension. Well we did for years and then some rocket scientist came up with the idea that the employer could pay both sides. No one held a gun to their head; it just meant they gave us a raise without giving us a raise. Both of these tactics put more take home money in our pockets without giving use a raise, my friend. That way the next time the typical 3% raise was offered it was offered on a gross paycheck from three years ago and not what it should have been. We’ll take that too. Continue to give a 1, 2 or 3% raise each year. What you don’t understand is that the total amount of money being paid by each political subdivision will be the same no matter what. If it comes out of my pocket, it was in your pocket first. But we’ll give you that one too.

The next paragraph says that 400,000 Ohioans have lost jobs and have wages and benefits cut because of economic woes. You almost stumbled onto the problem. NO JOBS! Is it the employee’s job to keep their employer hear or yours? The problem of economic woes is NO JOBS. Does Mexico have this problem? Unfortunately the empty buildings on our streets still have to be protected, those laid off workers kids still have to be educated and the problems associated with no jobs and hot tempers during these times still have to be dealt with by law enforcement. Do we pay these folks less money because the state made it so hard for companies to do business here that they left? Not our fault. But you can put the blame on us if you want. We don’t want you guys to have to take responsibility for any of this.

And now to the myths:

Myth: SB 5 will hurt the middle class.

You say that SB 5 will empower the middle class by restoring the ability of local governments to control their budgets. What rock have you been living under? They’ve always had that ability, unless they gave it away. Making it sound like teachers, firefighters and police officers stand over the negotiating table with a 50 caliber machine gun sort of makes me mad. You’re trying to tell me that you can legislate intelligence into a mayor, city manager, or school board office. If that happens this will truly be a landmark piece of legislation. You say that this will give the public sector some of the same tools the private sector enjoys. That’s good, except that it will still be the public sector and you can do things in the private sector that you can’t do in the public sector.

Myth: This is a politically motivated reform that would “strip away collective bargaining.”

What kind of an answer is that? Have you ever sat in negotiations? I have and they certainly weren’t one sided. Preserving managements rights, indeed, as a matter of fact almost any union contract I’ve ever read or helped right has the first section defining management’s rights. If they didn’t have them they weren’t bright enough to keep them because they had them in the beginning. But, we’ll give you that one. There probably were some unscrupulous school teachers out there who, with the aid of that 50 caliber machine gun, took those rights away from a school board. In my town, the city pays an outside negotiator to make sure that doesn’t happen. It costs them over $100,000 per negotiation. If they lost some of their rights, I think we can see whose fault it is. (Let’s see $100,000 divided by 100 employees = $1000 raise for everyone). But, we’ll give you that one. Those folks got to make a living too don’t they?

Myth: This bill was “rammed through” and the unions and Democrats could not participate.

Since when is this a Democrat/Republican thing? I’m a registered Republican and I sure don’t feel like I had a say so in it. Because even though you were very forth coming in attending the town hall meetings, you didn’t listen to us because Kasich said he wanted it and you guys were going to deliver. You missed the boat Keith, it wasn’t supposed to be a D/R thing it was supposed to be for all Ohioans but we’ll surely give you that one. You finally called it what it was. I watched the debate on PBS and two very articulate gentlemen got up right before you and you didn’t listen to a thing that they said. Oh, that’s right they were Democrats. This wasn’t their bill anyway was it? Like I said, you got one right. We’ll give you that one.

Myth: The Senate has exempted themselves and their staff from the provisions of this bill.

No brainer, why wouldn’t you. Do as I say and not as I do. Both of my sons were pages in the house and senate. I couldn’t have given them a better education. Nuff said! You need to understand something; I worked for a school system, a municipality and the State of Ohio and paid my full share of my retirement and my hospitalization for over 35 years. Why don’t you make a list and publish it of all of these people who are getting this good deal. I’ll bet it’s a long one. Didn’t happen here in Greenville, doubt if it did in Celina either, probably on the Eastern side of the state. You know, Mark Dann, Traficant, that bunch. We’ll look for that list.

Myth: Senate Bill 5 will cut teachers’ salaries in half or lower teachers’ salaries to $17,300.

Was this myth something you dreamed up or did it actually have an author? First of all, what person would be a school teacher for that money? Second, the public already has the right to know where their money is going. It’s public money. Salaries are public record or did you not know that? Don’t tell people that they are getting something that they already have. Having intelligent negotiators to deal with multimillion dollar companies is the only thing that will allow us to have an edge in getting jobs back here. That and a legislature willing to pass laws that are industry friendly.

So here’s the deal. I’m going to keep this list real close and in four years we’ll see if it worked. Too short, OK we’ll wait 8 years. I don’t want to press you because I know how it works at Broad and High. The greatest take away I got from all of this is that I now know that you don’t understand negotiation. There was certainly none at the town hall meeting because nothing was changed when we left. But, we’ll give you that one too. No sense clouding the issue.

Stuff No One has asked about SB 5

Joe Cogliano had an excellent article in the Dayton Business News and published here on CountyNewsOnLine. He cited some good figures that are probably pretty accurate and noted that a state of Ohio worker’s salary was about 33% higher than the average worker here in the Buckeye State.

He also talked about those guys in California making $800,000 as a city manager which is ludicrous. But I’m not so worried about that and I’ll tell you why.

Not Joe Cogliano, not John Kasich, not any senators or congressmen anywhere has asked the question, “How did that happen”? Everyone I’ve ever known has a boss of some kind. If those dudes in California, the most bankrupt state in the Union had the guts to stand up and say, “I need $800,000 to do my job”. Where was the dude or dudes or dudettes to say ----- “WHY?”

Most supervisors at the state level make between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. That’s because the state decided that it would probably be a good idea to pay them more than the labor force. Makes good sense and gives a person something to shoot for, or it would seem.

So we’re back to Kasich saying that the Unions caused the supervisors in state government to get high pay I suppose. I’ve asked this question about a 1000 times now. When is someone going to ask the Who got it, where did it happen, why did it happen, and how did it happen questions. There has been a writing frenzy about all of the money problems and a lot of people have pointed their fingers at what they thought was the problem, but till now we don’t have one solid example in Ohio of the stuff Kasich has said is happening.

And it looks like we’ll never find out because SB 5 is going to take care of the problem so there won’t be any need to dig any deeper on the subject.

As for me, I think living in California must be pretty good. If you can work in a place that doesn’t have any money and still take home $800,000, it has to be a good place. Since his town must be able to manufacture money, maybe he should have taken Arnold’s place.

Thoughts on SB 5

Jeff Bell, a Dayton Business Journal contributor, says that half of Ohio Voters disapprove of the way Gov. Kasich is handling things. Not much of a surprise! The fury that he has stirred over SB 5 has brought people together from both sides of the aisle as well as management and labor. Kasich was able to buffalo a lot of people into believing that there was a problem without ever giving anyone a shred of evidence that it actually was happening. So here we are and half of the people don’t like him. Here’s the deal. HE DOESN’T CARE! He had his mind made up long before he was even nominated, exactly what he would do if he was elected. He brought up something that he knew was a sore spot and led a bunch of otherwise good legislators down the yellow brick road. Unfortunately, if he goes down, some of them are bound to go down with him.

A whole bunch of registered voters don’t like the way the budget is being handled because it calls for deep cuts in education funding. Ever since Gov. Taft, the education governor, was in office and before, the Supreme Court has admonished the administration to get a viable way to fund schools so that all are funded equally and sufficiently. In these tough economic times it seems that this should be on the front burner. If the court ordered you or I to do something like that and three generations later it wasn’t done, I’m thinking we would probably be in line for a contempt of court proceeding. But here’s the deal. HE DOESN’T CARE.

The governor’s approval rating is a couple points higher than it was but once again, he didn’t come here to win a popularity contest. The fact that there is strong feelings about the repeal of SB 5 only says that there are a lot of people out there who are asking the same question that I’ve been asking. Where did all of this alleged bad stuff happen? People aren’t stupid even though a lot of politicians think otherwise. It makes little difference which party a person is either. The general public is getting pretty good at seeing through someone like Kasich. They just need to start doing it right before they enter the voting booth instead of six months after coming out.

These intelligent people overwhelmingly agreed that limiting collective bargaining wasn’t needed to balance the budget. One need only spend a few hours outside any state office building and ask workers leaving the building what the biggest problem is. They will overwhelmingly tell you “mismanagement” and massive boondoggles of red tape. I can’t understand why Mr. Kasich doesn’t get on Under Cover Boss. He sure could find out the real problem if he really wants to. But that might prove him wrong. Can’t have that. It’s the bad state of Ohio employees and other public employees causing the problem and that’s that.