From the Wall St. Journal:
The Senate is moving closer to passing legislation that would require states to grant public-safety employees, including police, firefighters and emergency medical workers, the right to collectively bargain over hours and wages.
The bill, known as the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, would mainly affect about 20 states that don’t grant collective-bargaining rights statewide for public-safety workers or that prohibit such bargaining. State and municipal associations, as well as business groups, oppose it, saying it will lead to higher labor costs and taxes, at a time of budget deficits.
The bill, backed by at least six Republicans in the Senate, prohibits strikes and leaves to states’ discretion whether to engage in collective bargaining in several areas, including health benefits and pensions.
If the legislation passes and states choose not to grant the minimum collective-bargaining rights outlined in the bill, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees labor-management relations for federal employees, would step in and implement collective-bargaining rights for these workers.
You can bet that once the federal government becomes involved that the states will be over-ruled by a board packed with labor allies. The police and firefighters will soon be receiving the gold-plated benefits of federal employees. It doesn’t matter if the municipalities and states can afford them or not. They will be compelled to raise taxes. We shouldn’t be spreading the budget busting policies of CA, NY, NJ and MA to states’ that haven’t become hostage to the demands of public union yet.
Police and firefighter unions are the biggest advocates of the legislation. “A year after this law passes most of these executives who are fighting it won’t be able to remember what they were scared of,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the 325,000-member National Fraternal Order of Police. He said unions wouldn’t be able to negotiate wages and benefits that governments couldn’t afford.
Yeah right, all these union folks will be looking at what Ed Kelly squeezed out of Boston. A 2.5% raise just for taking a drug test will go national.
The other Republican co-sponsors in the Senate are Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Here’s a look at what Sen. Brown is supporting. This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing. As Gov. Christie is talking about a “day of reckoning”, Sen. Brown is trying to make it worse. The wages and benefits of public employees are already greater than those in the private sector to the point that they are threatening to overwhelm budgets across our country. They should be treated like an epidemic, quarantine them and fix them where they are, don’t let them spread. Has Sen. Brown missed what is happening in Greece, Spain, Britain, Italy? The $50 Billion for public union workers that Bailout Barry begged Congress to pass on Saturday?
Are State Public Pensions Sustainable? Why the Federal Government Should Worry About State Pension Liabilities
Assuming future state contributions fund the full present value of new benefits, many state systems will run out of money in 10-20 years if some attempt is not made to improve the funding of liabilities that have already been accrued. The expected shortfalls raise the possibility that the federal government will be faced with a decision as to whether to bail out states driven to insolvency by their pension programs.
Enough is enough Sen. Brown.