One might think that a salary of $111,000 negotiating contracts for teachers was more than ample pay, especially when teachers themselves have been forced to make contract concessions. Yet, One would be wrong. Greedy negotiators walked off the job even though 80% of the workers make over $111,000 a year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Teachers union has labor trouble of its own

Ohio’s largest teachers union is having labor problems of its own.

Labor-relations consultants, who help local teachers unions negotiate contracts with school districts, and other employees of the Ohio Education Association walked off the job this morning.

Most of the 110 striking workers – all members of the OEA’s Professional Staff Union – earn more than $100,000 a year, according to reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. For instance, labor-relations consultants – who make up about 80 percent of the striking workers – were paid an average salary of $111,350 in 2009.

That is about $10,000 more than the average Ohio school-district superintendent made last school year, and more than double what the average teacher made, according to the state statistics.

The appropriate response from the Teacher’s unions would be to fire the negotiators, thereby saving $12 million dollars a year.

Anyone making over $100,000 and goes on strike in this environment deserves to lose their job, their home, and their lifestyle.

Salem Oregon At Double-Dip Risk

Please consider Analysts: Salem at risk for double-dip recession

According to the economists, Salem is one of 22 U.S. cities at risk for a double-dip recession. There are 76,000 state employees in Oregon and 21,500 of them work in Salem. That’s almost a third of the entire state government workforce in the capital city.

At Saigon Restaurant, which caters to state employees, business started getting bad about a year ago. The owners say business has dropped off by 70 percent. In fact, they say they are no longer able to pay their bills.

“Very, very worried right now,” said owner Hien Tran.

There were few patrons at the restaurant during the noon lunch hour Tuesday. Things are so bad for the owners of Saigon they have lost their home and have been forced to live with their son.

They don’t have to go far to realize they are not alone. The Quiznos next door shut down six months ago.

Nickeled to Death by Bus Union

Oregon Live reports Trimet and taxpayers: Bus riders’ dismay grows one nickel at a time

It’s only a nickel. The latest fare increase from TriMet won’t bankrupt anyone, not even the job seekers, college students and low-wage workers who make up a big portion of the Portland metro transit agency’s ridership.

But frustration grows a nickel at a time. One more fare increase, another canceled bus route, a longer wait at the stop between buses — it all adds up. The disquiet builds until, seemingly without warning, a nickel becomes a last straw.

TriMet is at that point now, as it raises fares and angles for more tax money before getting its labor costs under control. The transit agency shouldn’t be surprised by Wednesday’s rally against the new fare hikes and service cuts — and it certainly shouldn’t be shocked if voters reject the transit agency’s bond measure this fall.

TriMet wants voters to approve a $125 million bond measure in November to replace old buses and improve bus stops.

TriMet’s health care costs for transit operators continue to spiral unchecked. Out of 171 transit agencies surveyed last year, TriMet boasted the fourth highest insurance premiums in the country. Transit operators pay none of their $2,200 monthly premium, no deductible and token copays. Benefits for dependents and former workers are plush and far beyond the norm, even for public employees.

Abolish Tri-Met

It is time to send Tri-Met packing.

The correct response is to put the bus contract out to bid and take the lowest offer. It is absurd for bus drivers to have $2,200 per month health care costs at public expense. Bear in mind that pension costs are on top of that.

It’s no wonder Oregon is falling apart.

Schwarzenegger Targets Pensions

The Sacramento Bee reports Schwarzenegger targets pensions in budget press conference

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger left little doubt today that cutting state employee pensions remains one of his top priorities in budget negotiations. He is demanding that lawmakers roll back pension guarantees for future state hires as a condition to signing the budget.

“The question we have to ask ourselves is, is it pensions or is it parks?” he said today in a budget press conference. “Is it pensions or higher education? Is it pensions or child care? And the list goes on and on, because that’s where the money comes from. Those are the areas where we are taking this money because of the pensions.”

“They are giving it to pensions, to the public employee unions,” he said, apparently referring to Democrats. “They are taking the money away from those poor people. They are taking away the money from higher education. They are taking away the money from parks, from all of those things, so we have to make those cuts.”

While I welcome this stance from Schwarzenegger, it is a stance 3 years late in coming.

California Budget Impasse in Third Month

Bloomberg reports California Republicans Block Budget Plan Proposed by Democrats

Republicans in the California Legislature blocked passage of a budget sought by Democrats who want to close a $19.1 billion deficit with higher taxes and less spending cuts than preferred by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The budget bill failed on a 50-25 Assembly vote today. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The Democrats’ centerpiece proposals are higher income taxes, a lower sales tax, a new levy on oil production, an increase in vehicle-registration fees and a suspension of corporate tax breaks. Those changes all require separate bills that weren’t voted on today.

Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, has said he may need to issue IOUs to pay bills for the second straight year if the impasse goes deep into September.

Assembly Democrats earlier rejected a competing budget plan proposed by Schwarzenegger and Republicans that sought to eliminate the state’s main welfare program for families.

Budget passage by legislative supermajority votes is written into the state constitution. While Democrats have majorities in both chambers, they are short of the two-thirds level by two votes in the Senate and five in the Assembly.

Republicans should hold out, forever if necessary.

Whitman Leads Brown in California Governor Race

Bloomberg reports Union-Led Group Halts Ads Attacking Whitman in California Race

A union-funded group that spent almost $9 million on negative advertising targeting Meg Whitman, the Republican running for governor in California, has suspended its campaign, designed to help Democrat Jerry Brown.

The ads were halted because Brown, the state attorney general, has kept competitive with Whitman, a billionaire who has dug into her personal fortune to finance her campaign, according to members of the group.

One ad accused Whitman of raising fees and creating “huge losses from failed mergers” while chief executive officer of EBay Inc.

“It’s rock-solid proof that there is seamless coordination between what is essentially the same political organization: Jerry Brown and the government unions that control him,” Andrea Rivera, a Whitman campaign spokeswoman, said by e-mail.

Whitman is supported by 48 percent of likely voters in the November election, an 8 percentage-point lead over Brown, according to a survey by Rasmussen Reports released on Aug. 26. A poll released July 7 by Field Research Corp. showed the two candidates in a “virtual tie.”

“On a return-on-investment basis, she hasn’t done well,” said Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Firefighters and one of the leaders of the Working Families group.

Indications

The dropped union funded ads are indicative of one or more things.

  • The union group is out of money
  • The ads are backfiring
  • Both of the above

All You Need To Know

The way to access how to vote in any election is to look at the candidate endorsed by labor and vote the other way.

No matter how much one likes or dislikes Meg Whitman, she is going to do a far better job than socialist Jerry Brown whose primary interests are to pander to public unions and raise your taxes.

Mush for Brains

If you intend to vote for Brown, you or your family are members of a public union, you are on welfare, you work for the state, or you have mush for brains.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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