Identifying a problem is the first step on the path to fixing it. Sort of like a drunk needs to admit his addiction to booze.
In my last post I described the inherent dysfunction of allowing government workers to unionize, and in effect, place their own collective interests ahead of delivering the services they were hired to perform for their bosses – you and I.
What’s needed? First it’s imperative that all new agreements with public unions reflect parity with employment realities in the private sector. This includes paying fair shares in health care and pension contributions. Retirement age must be raised to eliminate early retirement and double dipping bureaucrats. What’s wrong with mandating the age the rest of us can collect Social Security?
Second, let’s remove bureaucrats from negotiating labor contracts and give the responsibility to experienced labor negotiators. Why not? The unions are doing it. This will remove squishy “administrators” bargaining with their “family” members, giving away the store, and often benefiting from the same benefits they confer upon their employees. The taxpayers are in dire need of independent, hard-nosed advocates at the bargaining table.
Third, remove automatic raises based on seniority or simply taking up space.
Fourth, end the ever escalating salary arms race for public employees.
Fifth, eliminate “management” unions. The very type of “professional” folk whose job it is to implement the will of the elected representatives are simply extensions of that authority. Management in the private sector is never unionized. Why should the overseers be represented? The fact is that lots of government managers are not unionized; none of them should be. The gift of huge benefits on managers including retirement at 50 or 55 has created an exodus of middle-aged middle and upper managers who often go to work for other agencies where they can start up a whole new pension!
Finally, look at total compensation as a means of assessing taxpayer support for public employees. This includes health insurance premiums, pension subsidies, and salaries.