In a scene that I expect to play out in every city across the country, Unions won’t reopen talks in Moorestown New Jersey.

Township officials expressed frustration that several unions representing Moorestown government workers have not agreed to reopen contract negotiations.

Last month, township council asked the unions to consider making wage and health benefit concessions this year even though they have contracts that continue through 2012 and guarantee annual pay raises of 3.75 percent.

At Monday night’s council meeting, Township Manager Christopher Schultz disclosed to the public the specifics of council proposals to the unions — a wage freeze and a payroll contribution to health care benefits to help cut costs to the township.

As of Monday night’s deadline to respond, township officials said none of the unions had agreed to reopen negotiations.

“It’s more than frustrating,” said Councilman Greg Gallo. “It’s irresponsible and it shows tremendous shortsightedness and, frankly, I think it shows a disrespect to the taxpayers and to council to not even enter into a conversation. We respect the fact that they have existing contracts, but the world has changed and we are living in extraordinary times.”

“The membership has decided not to open up the contract at this time, but we understand the township is facing economic pressure,” said CWA local President Adam Leibtag.

For the current contract reached in August 2008, he said the union made concessions that included an increase from $10 to $15 in doctor’s visit co-pays.

Blatant Union Arrogance

It is the height of arrogance and stupidity to brag about concessions like a $5 increase in copays made in 2008. Councilman Greg Gallo hits the nail on the head with “It’s irresponsible and it shows tremendous shortsightedness and, frankly, I think it shows a disrespect to the taxpayers and to council to not even enter into a conversation.”

I am thankful for that shortsightedness actually. Cities will be forced to realize what leaches unions are.

The correct solution, and the only solution is to get rid of union pestilence. That is easy to accomplish by privatizing every job, including the fire and police departments, the latter to the sheriffs association.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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