REALITY SWEEPS ACROSS MIDDLE AMERICA

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: After years of being over taxed to pay the outrageous salaries, benefits, and pensions of public sector employees, four principled Republican governors decided to turn back the collective bargaining clock and make public-sector and even some private-sector unions responsible to all citizens.

It has taken considerable courage on the part of the governors of Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Idaho to face down angry, vituperative mobs who have attempted to block legislative buildings and intimidate legislators. But, the governors stood firm, for they know that they have the vast majority of the citizens on their side. And those citizens expect their governors to balance state budgets and reign in extortionate unions without imposing ever more burdensome taxes.

In Wisconsin, collective bargaining by public sector workers would be restricted to salaries only, and legislation would require unions to permit members to vote annually about whether they want to remain unionized. In Indiana, proposed new legislation would prohibit unions from collecting union dues. In Ohio, collective bargaining and binding arbitration for public-sector workers would end. Legislation would also permit the hiring of replacement workers during strikes. In Idaho, collective bargaining by teachers would be limited to salaries and benefits. In addition, tenure would be phased out for teachers.

Altogether, governors in the Midwest have taken courageous stands, ones that should stiffen the spines of other governors across the country

expert labor relations advice

THE THREAT OF PUBLIC UNIONS, THE FUTURE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: While the private sector has lost 8-million jobs since 2008, the public sector has added 590,000 jobs during that same period. In addition, federal employees, on average, receive twice the salary and benefits that comparable private sector employees receive.

Public sector unions and congress are the keys that unlocked this Pandora’s box of economic irrationality. Imagine a circle comprising public sector unions, public sector employees, and Democratic members of congress. Each benefits the other. Democratic representatives vote to increase the wages and benefits of public sector employees, and their unions provide the necessary funds for re-election campaigns. Once re-elected, those representatives vote for higher wages and increased benefits for the union members who contributed to their election victories. And so it goes, on and on.

The result, of course, is ever higher deficits, spiraling into the stratosphere of economic irrationality.

And the disaster is not just confined to the federal deficit. The disease has infected state and municipal budgets across the country as well. According to recent estimates, state and city governments have inflated employee benefit liabilities in excess of $3-trillon!

Now with the NLRB firmly in the hands of pro-union ideologues, an agenda is coming into focus of an effort to increase the wages and benefits of private sector employees to match those of government employees. And the NLRB will attempt to do so by making private sector unions, such as the AFL-CIO and SEIU, as powerful as their public sector counterparts. It isn’t enough that public sector unions have egregiously contributed to the possible bankruptcy of governments, their private sector counterparts now want to inject that same virus into the body of Corporate America.

expert labor relations advice