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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

State workers refuse to give up raises

From the Eagle Tribune;

State workers refuse to give up raises

CONCORD (AP) — State workers are balking at giving up promised raises scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Gov. John Lynch wants state workers to defer a 5.5 percent pay increase to help close a $75 million to $90 million shortfall in this year's budget. He estimates the raise will save about $7 million.

Lynch and lawmakers have taken a series of steps to deal with a decline in revenues, but need the permission of about 15,000 rank-and-file workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to defer their raises. They don't need permission from about 5,000 non-union workers.

House Speaker Terie Norelli and Senate President Sylvia Larsen had held next Wednesday open for lawmakers to meet and pass the necessary law to defer the raises, but they announced there's no deal with the unions so there will be no session.

Lynch said he favors deferring all pay increases, but if that isn't possible would like to defer the nonunion raises. Legislative leaders don't want to act unless it affects everyone equally.


Anonymous said...

this is the problem with government workers.

Anonymous said...

It was the union workers who refused to give up their raises, not all state workers.

Anonymous said...

it is ALWAYS the union workers!

Mutual aid said...

Why should the union workers give up their raises? They gave up certain concessions during negotiations to get the raises; are those concessions going to be given back to them if they give up the raise? No. Even when the economy is surging, government workers fight tooth and nail to get a decent cost of living adjustment. If the workers give up their raise this year, will the state give them 10 or 15 percent when the economy turns around? I don't think so, the employees will be right where they always are, fighting tooth and nail.

When the economy is strong, is the town or state willing to pay more of the employees benefits, or contribute more to their retirement? The answer is no. In fact, when the economy was strong, the municipalities paid LESS into the retirement fund then they were mandated to do. That is why the NHRS is in the spot that it is in. The employees continued to pay their share, but the municipalities held back, and gambled on investment returns to make up for what they were not contributing. And guess who had to rescue the fund; thats right the employees, by giving up certain benefits that were promised to them when they were hired. Funny how when it happened at ENRON there was such public outcry, but when you change it to government workers, they should be the first ones on the chopping block.

Thank God for unions. The great equalizer between the public employee and the ungrateful public which they serve. I will shut up now with one last statement: if government employment is so great, pick up an application, many cities and towns are hiring.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who has a job should be glad they do and not be greedy, especially those who rely on public money. The taxpayer cannot pay your raise if they aren't getting one and no, we won't see 10 or 15% next year to make up for it. The private sector doesn't use unions and we don't have anyone protecting us. I think it's terrible that they refuse to give them up, but I'm not surprised.

Anonymous said...

MA Toll Takers package worth $65,000 - $70,000.

Boston Globe Dec 11,2008

Layoff notices have been sent to 20 toll collectors at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in the first wave of staff reductions as the beleaguered agency tries to reduce its ranks by 100.

"This is the first step," Executive Director Alan LeBovidge said this morning after an authority board meeting in Boston. "We are in negotiations with the unions to [cut 100 positions], but this is the first step."

Plans for the layoffs were first announced in September. The goal is to cut about a quarter of the toll taker workforce over the next 12 to 18 months for a savings of $10 million. Ultimately, the authority plans to reduce the total number of toll takers from 440 to 150, as it tries to mitigate its large financial debt, which it estimates to be between $70 million and $100 million this fiscal year.

This first round of layoffs was on a voluntary basis, LeBovidge said. The 20 toll collectors had base salaries of roughly $53,000. Including benefits, each layoff will save the Turnpike $65,000 to $70,000 for a total of $1.4 million.

Anonymous said...

government workers not only reap higher pay than their private sector counterparts they have outrageous benefits.

All of which are paid by the taxpayers. Remember that!

Anonymous said...

Let's be serious. The reason why the public sector has unions is because it needs to fight for better wages, benefits, and conditions. The private sector is not as unionized because it does not need to fight for such. Maybe if taxpayers weren't so stingy then union members would not need to fight for higher wages. I know I sure as hell wouldn't be able to deal with the public. Those people deserve raises!

Anonymous said...

You cant be serious?

$68,000 for a toll taker?

$ 86,000 for an admin assist to mass port mgr.

$65,000 for a police Lt. in Atkinson?

$125,000 for a school psychologist?

Plus extraordinary holidays, time off, and benefits not available to any in the private sector!