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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:59 PM

What Union Leaders Really Think; Jackson Healthcare Union Faces Widespread Layoffs

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In a breath of both arrogance and honesty please consider What Union Leaders Really Think.

Today’s NY Post reveals a moment of honesty from a NY union official.
Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley says that, regardless of the faltering economy, a no-raise new contract is unacceptable.

And to hell with the public.

"I'm not running a popularity contest here," Mesley said. "If I'm the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I'm very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership."

Mesley added: "As the president of the local, I will not accept 'zeroes.' If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it."
In the real world, when bubbles pop and markets contract, everyone has to take a haircut. In the world of politicians and unions, political muscle wins, regardless of economic circumstance.
Here's more from the NY Post
Witness the transit workers' recent arbitration-approved 11.5 percent wage and benefits hike -- even as the state and the MTA are practically broke.

Or the howls that came last summer from the police and firefighters unions when Gov. Paterson vetoed the annual reauthorization of higher pension benefits for new employees.

The message? Sacrifice is for suckers -- not unionized government employees.

Thus do taxpayers end up working longer and harder to pay for the guaranteed salaries and plush benefits of union members.

Mesley admits that he understands that. He just doesn't care.
Complete War

I understand completely. Unions want complete war and they have got it. Victory is the complete annihilation of every public union in the country.

If you are a taxpayer, not in any union, and you do not protest such greed and arrogance you are begging to be taxed to death.

The attitude of Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley is actually the norm for union leaders. I am delighted he was stupid enough to say what he did on the record. His comments ought to be on the lips of very city council in the country.

Jackson Health System Deep In The Hole

Jackson Health System, one of Florida's largest employers, is deep in the hole to the tune of $200 million, 20-25% of its budget. Massive layoffs are coming unless something gives.

Please consider Jackson healthcare union: Widespread layoffs expected.
Jackson Health System's union for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals is warning members that it expects to be notified of widespread layoffs at a 20-minute meeting starting at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday.

The public hospital system, with 12,000 employees, is one of the largest employers in South Florida. About 4,500 are members of the SEIU. Another 5,000 -- mostly hospital support and office staff -- belong to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Facing a deficit of over $200 million this fiscal year, Jackson Chief Executive Eneida Roldan said she needs to cut 20 to 25 percent of the budget.

Local 1991 President Martha Baker said she was willing to work with Roldan and had offered a partnership to get between $50 million and $70 million in new money out of Washington.

Christopher Bayer, acting chief financial officer, told The Herald last week that he expects Jackson to be down to six or eight days of cash on hand in March and the system will be unable to make payroll in May unless drastic cuts are made.
Union Offers Partnership

Hello Martha Baker. Your plan is to form a partnership to get money out of Washington? By May? You need to check into the mental health unit of the hospital.

Even if there was money coming from D.C. it will not solve Jackson Health System's long term problems. It is clear the problem is pension benefits and union salaries.

If the union does not want layoffs, then all it has to do is reduce salaries and benefits at the top end and eliminate defined benefit plans for new hires. If the unions do that, then they are entitled to ask the non-union administrators to do the same.

Not a single job need be lost, but they will.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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