Why unions suck

NY State began its new fiscal year on April first with a budget shortfall of $9B. Governor David Patterson called for the state employee unions to forgo a 4% salary increase to help the beleaguered state close the gap. (story here from Reuters)

(Reuters) – New York state’s Governor on Thursday asked public sector unions to forgo pay raises to help the state close a $9 billion budget deficit but the unions rejected the request.

The scheduled 4 percent pay rise was set to go into effect on Thursday and is on top of a 9 percent raise in the last three years, Governor David Paterson said.

He reminded unions that in the past two years, more than 300,000 New Yorkers have lost jobs and nearly 9 percent of workers are unemployed.

“I do not believe that, at a time when more than 300,000 of the hard-working New Yorkers who pay our salaries are out of a job, it is fair to continue the status quo with one segment of the workforce,” Paterson said in a statement. “We are in the midst of an extraordinary fiscal and economic crisis.”

How did the unions respond? “UP YOURS!”

The Civil Service Employees Association, representing about 300,000 public sector employees across the state, said Paterson had no credibility to make the request on pay.

“The governor was on radio this morning talking about how Wall Street bonuses have brought in less money than anticipated because banks used a tax loophole of paying in stock options instead of cash,” said CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz.

“In the next breath, he calls on state employee unions for concessions .. it’s insulting,” he added.

New York’s other main public sector union, the Public Employees Federation, said it would not reopen pay talks.

“Paterson put it out to the public but we have not been in discussions, he hasn’t approached us and we will not reopen our contract,” said Darcy Wells, a spokeswoman for the union.

The private sector has taken huge hits but the public unions refuse to share the pain. Too bad lame duck Patterson won’t grow a pair and follow the lead of NJ Governor Chris Christie. (more here) The taxpayers of NY deserve better…

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