Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

NY Governor on public sector unions: “They thumb their nose at the public’s face”

Watching Governor Paterson try to fix New York State’s budget deficit is painful. Under extreme financial burdens, Paterson arrived in office with his hands already tied by financial guarantees. As he proposes ways to close the $7.5 billion budget gap, Paterson is becoming increasingly upset with public sector unions. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Reports:

“[Paterson] was less understanding toward public employee unions. “Some people act as if they’re not supposed to take any sacrifice at all,” he said.  “There are those who are so self-absorbed … that they thumb their nose at the public’s face.” A representative from one of the state’s largest unions said when Paterson addresses the growing number of temporary employees in the state work force, it will talk about other issues. “The governor loses more and more credibility with us every day,” said Stephen Madarasz, director of communications for CSEA [Local 1000 AFSCME]”

Hopefully Gov. Paterson isn’t doing his job based on his “credibility” with unions.  But the New York Times editorial reports that his relationship with the state’s unions is, unsurprisingly, complicated:

Mr. Paterson — who is eager to be re-elected — apparently made a deal with state workers’ unions that if they would agree to a less-costly pension plan for new employees, he would not let anyone go until next year. The new pension plan was needed, but Mayor Bloomberg is right that it is unfair for city workers to bear the burden now for Governor Paterson’s deal.

New York City is also billions of dollars in the hole–and Mayor Bloomberg is furious to say the least.  Maybe he should take a long, heard look at the public sector unions. They are worth getting upset over.

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