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Old    Phatboypimp (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-14-2011, 1:19 PM Reply   
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, unveiled an emergency budget proposal Friday to deal with the state's growing budget woes. Wisconsin has a $137 million deficit this year, and faces a projected $2.9 billion budget shortfall for 2012 and 2013.

Under Walker's plan, public employees would lose all of their collective bargain rights, except a limited negotiation of wages. State workers would also have to contribute more to their pension and health care benefit plans.

Unions erupted in outrage as they learned about Walker's proposal. The Governor told Milwaukee Public Radio that he has briefed the Wisconsin National Guard to prepare them for any worker unrest today.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-14-2011, 2:15 PM Reply   
They should abolish any laws forcing companies to negotiate with unions and invalidate all union contracts.
Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-14-2011, 4:36 PM Reply   
I guess you guys would get rid of the minimum wage while your at it.
Old    Phatboypimp (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-14-2011, 6:25 PM Reply   
I would get rid of the unions in a nano-second along with pensions. They have held coroporations and our governments hostage for too long. I don't think these topics are related in todays world. Minimum wage was drafted to protect all employees - unions only protect themselves and protecting a minimum wage is not the motivation of a union (although that is what the basis of a labor union was). Now they use threats of strikes in order to get insane amounts of benefits for their workers. If you want to know why our balance of trade is so out of whack - ask the unions (auto, steel, etc). It is nearly impossible for a company with majority union employees to become profitable. Bad business.
Old    Rich (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-14-2011, 8:11 PM Reply   
I am going to state first that I am a union member in the building trades. I don't agree with the blanket statement that all unions are bad. The company I work for is extremely profitable, for over 75 years, and has made many people wealthy off the sweat of my back. There are unions in every facet of the economy that use collective bargaining to shift the risks and costs of the working employees healthcare and the uncertainty of future retirement costs from the employer to the unions. I feel that I, and others in different trades and jobs, should be able to make a decent wage considering the heavy, dangerous work many of us do day in and out.

Stating that, I do agree that public employees shouldn't be able to retire on full pension after 20 years. Some cities are paying for two retired employees for every one that is still working. Thats not good math. Although, I don't put all the blame on the people who took what was offered, maybe change isn't bad. I think cities and auto companies thought they would have money forever and decision makers in the past figured this day would never come, or at least not under their watch. Now they blame the unions instead of the decisions made by the managers before them. Tough decisions are ahead for all of us, but every decision is a paycheck for a family.

Lastly, I think its been proven that minimum wage is in big businesses best interest to keep. If you let the market decide on it, that would actually create competition and drive wages up. McDonalds would want the best employees so they would offer a little more than Burger King and so on. In the end my Big Mac would cost 50 cents more. Minimum wage was drafted to protect the poorest wage earners but it has ended up doing the opposite.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-14-2011, 9:01 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeshmoe View Post
I guess you guys would get rid of the minimum wage while your at it.
In a heartbeat. Minimum wage hurts our economy overall but the people it hurts most is those with little marketable skill who would take a minimum wage job.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       02-15-2011, 8:33 AM Reply   
"It is nearly impossible for a company with majority union employees to become profitable."

I guess you have never heard of UPS.
Old    Phatboypimp (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-15-2011, 9:11 AM Reply   
Note that I said nearly impossible.....maybe I was being a little agressive with that comment but I would assume that you don't bring in Union's to become more profitable.
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-15-2011, 10:00 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeshmoe View Post
I guess you guys would get rid of the minimum wage while your at it.
Yes, minimum wage laws cause unemployment, especially for teenagers that simply want to earn some part time money. The 26% teenage unemployment rate means that businesses can't hire people with no skills and teach them a skill on the job because the government has already set the wage at a level above a non-skilled worker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dohboy View Post
Now they blame the unions instead of the decisions made by the managers before them.
Well said. How can you fault an employee, unionized or not, for asking for higher wages and more benefits? If my boss is stupid enough to give me more money than I'm worth, then the company needs to fire that idiot. On the other hand, these employees better be saving their pennies and well aware of the fact that they may be canned at any time.

At the last company I worked for, I was promoted into a different department to do a big project. However, on the day that I started in the new department, they also hired a new boss and the project was killed. For the next two years they had me doing odd jobs way below my pay level just trying to keep me busy. The entire time I was well aware that I was way overpaid and that the hammer could fall at any time. I knew it and accepted it and worked on WakeWorld on the side to prepare myself for possible unemployment. When the hammer finally fell, I left with a smile on my face and thanked the company for all they did for me.

Some unions members not only need to have the same attitude, but they might want to stop clamoring for even more money and benefits in the current environment. Drawing attention to the fact that you could be replaced by somebody much cheaper seems to be a poor strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dohboy View Post
Lastly, I think its been proven that minimum wage is in big businesses best interest to keep. If you let the market decide on it, that would actually create competition and drive wages up. McDonalds would want the best employees so they would offer a little more than Burger King and so on. In the end my Big Mac would cost 50 cents more.
That makes very little sense. If the market price for wages is above the minimum wage, as you suggest, then the minimum wage laws will have absolutely no effect on wages. McDonald's and Burger King would already be competing for the best employees at that higher price level. There is nothing to stop them from doing so, which proves that the "real" competitive wage is either at or below minimum wage.

The only possible competition that will be created by the removal of the minimum wage laws is the competition for jobs, which will lower wages below the artificial wage created by the government. This is a healthy thing. That means some businesses (i.e. McDonald's and Burger King) will be able to hire more workers. And since there are unemployed workers out there that would jump at the chance to have a job, even at a wage below minimum wage, you will have higher employment. Employer is happier, worker is happier. Everybody wins. How can you argue with that?
Old    Akadirtbikingdad (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-15-2011, 10:31 AM Reply   
You're all, including Scott Walker, complaining about taking something away from someone who actually is working for a living. Why not cut social programs? You know, taking money someone who draws a check for doing nothing. Better yet, someone who has been suckling on the social t!t for most or all of their life. And how about this: Taking away government assistance from someone who came to this country who has been a drain from day one? Harsh sounding, but why not? To act on the first statement, without acting on the second or third proposal, is a good reason for civil unrest.
Old    Bryan (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       02-15-2011, 10:42 AM Reply   
"I do agree that public employees shouldn't be able to retire on full pension after 20 years. "

this is an extreme and false statement.
Old    Steve McKim (mbsteez)      Join Date: May 2005       02-15-2011, 10:52 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsiderippa View Post
"I do agree that public employees shouldn't be able to retire on full pension after 20 years. "

this is an extreme and false statement.
So he's lying when he says he agrees?
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-15-2011, 10:52 AM Reply   
Union laws are legalized extortion. Besides, if you can't get a job on your own merits, you always minimum wage to fall back on.
Old    Scott (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       02-15-2011, 11:15 AM Reply   
When times are good nobody attacks unions or public employees because they make about the average wage as a private sector job if not less. Once the economy takes a crap people scream because now you have public employees making decent money, actually the same money as before because often raises have to be given back during contract negotiations to stop layoffs.

People need to know that all public employees wages, benefits, and retirement are negotiated and approved by elected officials. Plus when cities, states, and counties hire they post publically the pay benefits and retirement for everyone to see, and anyone can apply that meets the minimum quals.

Everyone employed tries to earn as much as they can right? Unions are no different and shouldn't be scrutinized. I am proudly union and know my job is protected as long as I keep my nose clean and do the right thing. My wife's job is non union and she could be the employee of the month and get canned tomorrow for no reason. If I were an outsider looking at those two options the choice is a no brainer. You won't make quick big money as any union worker, but your job and pay is protected for a cost out of pocket every two weeks (Insurance anyone?). Slow and steady wins the race.

Look at any blog on any online newspaper and those that sit around complaining and moaning all day make the same argument as phatboypimp during the economic downturn. Seems you are trying to instigate a blog war, maybe too much time on your hands? In the current retirement system I am in if I put in 20 years starting at 25 years of age I wouldn't even get 50% of my last year's earnings, so saying you get a full pension after 20 years is not true, other than maybe the military. I need to put in 30 years and even then only get 75%, so I have to hope my body will be good til 35 years in then I get max 90%, if you want to call that full. I don't get stock options to cash in when times are good and invest. I get to work for 30+ years 56 hours a week to retire. I am happy to do so because going in thats what I knew was the deal when I signed on the bottom line.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-15-2011, 11:50 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilidog View Post
When times are good nobody attacks unions or public employees because they make about the average wage as a private sector job if not less. Once the economy takes a crap people scream because now you have public employees making decent money, actually the same money as before because often raises have to be given back during contract negotiations to stop layoffs.
Exactly, when times are bad and tax revenues fall you have to do something about it. So people in the union are protected whereas those not in a union aren't? I don't see the rationale to justify forcing companies to negotiate with unions by law. When revenues go south, the employer needs to have the flexibility to make adjustments.

Why should your job be protected? If you lose your job, you update your resume and go hunting. Just like everyone else not in a union.
Old    Bryan (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       02-15-2011, 11:58 AM Reply   
steve, scott should have just cleared it up for you. nice way to twist my post, i should have made it clear witch part of the statement i was referencing when i said it was false. obviously he can agree with who or whatever he wants. but what he is agreeing with, 20 year full pension, is a false statement. meaning nobody can retire after 20 years with "full pension"
Old    McGavin (Shooter)      Join Date: Apr 2010       02-15-2011, 12:01 PM Reply   
Itís funny how easily the people are swayed into thinking that public employees are the enemy. Iím a public employee and a member of an association (not a union). I worked very hard to qualify for my current position and have an education. My job is difficult and involves risk, yet people now feel I should make minimum wage. My city has laid off staff and I have taken a pay cut (22% to be exact).

I pay into the California Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and can tell you that no public employee is retiring with a full pension after 20 years. It takes 30 to 40 years to max a retirement and very few people younger than 25 are hired in my line of work. Cities didn't even need to pay into our retirement prior to the recession because PERS was actually "super funded". Cities were warned this would not always be the case and advised to "save for a rainy day". Unfortunately very few cities did.

Public employees are not to blame for our countries financial issues. First you have the greed of the banks that got us into this mess in the first place. In return they all received bailouts, bonuses and/or severance pay. Then you have years of wasteful spending by politicians including earmarks and the government assistance that Wakeboarddad mentioned. Itís too bad may of you are not smart enough to realize this is just a tactic by politicians to shift blame.

I compare it to the story of the ant and the grasshopper. While my real-estate and banker friends were all driving new Mercedes and making a ton of money, I took the conservative route and made an honest wage. Now that these markets have come to reality, the same people look at me and want what I have. Eventually they will return to scamming the system while driving another new Mercedes.

The best part is that this thread was started by a guy with a boat that I will NEVER be able to afford. (How much does a fully loaded X-Star cost?) He probably even posted his comment from a work computer.
Old    Scott (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       02-15-2011, 12:39 PM Reply   
Quote:
Why should your job be protected? If you lose your job, you update your resume and go hunting. Just like everyone else not in a union.
John, if in your field you could have that protection would it not be a smart decision to do so? Granted it comes with a cost, which some choose to avoid to take the chance and keep the $$. It all comes down to individual choices in life. I could easily opt out of my union, keep the money and put it toward something else but I am taking a gamble there....
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-15-2011, 1:34 PM Reply   
Unions have turned from being a solution to being a problem. They've outlived their usefulness.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-15-2011, 1:50 PM Reply   
I'm not saying that it's not a smart decision on the part of the person choosing to be in a union. I'm saying that we shouldn't have laws that force companies and govt to negotiate with unions. If you could get welfare it would be a smart decision to get it. That doesn't mean it's a smart decision to give it to you. If you are a lawyer it's a smart decision to lobby for laws that force people to use lawyers. etc... if you know what I mean.
Old    Rich (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-15-2011, 3:10 PM Reply   
I stand corrected and apologize for my lack of knowledge on public employee pensions. It sounds very much inline with my retirement package. Its easy to be confused or mislead on the topic.
I agree with Scott on decisions to be union or non-union. I have worked both and the decision to join a union was based on training, safety and retirement. Working for a local union gives me access to a number of shops I can work for but all my retirement goes to and is paid out of that union. I don't have to switch pensions or 401Ks around. There is stability in that for my family.
Old    Scott (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       02-15-2011, 4:09 PM Reply   
John I get what you're saying, as far as I know in my field a private corporation could come in and bump us out much like has been done in parts of Arizona and other parts of the country, especially if you work for a special district. I don't know that the district I work for is forced to stay with our Local. Rich you hit it on the head, it's all about stability for the family. I loved the idea that was flying around a few months back about drug testing all who recieve welfare, if you don't pass the illegal drug test you don't get your check much like a real job. Problem is that kids would suffer from this policy, the parents would still steal to get their drugs before they steal for clothes and food for their kids....
Old    Brett W (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-16-2011, 7:44 AM Reply   
There's always a lot of talk about pensions and how good or bad they are. One thing I don't see most people doing is figuring in how much a pension works into their pay package.

For those on a 401k, I'd say most companies contribute 6 to 10% of a person's salary each year, on top of whatever the employee contributes. Some of this would be matching, as long as someone has half the brain needed to contribute at least what's needed for 100% matching.

With a pension, you just need to figure out what the % of your salary is that the employer would have to contribute, along with average rates of return and life expectancy to get that guaranteed pension payment when retired. Even for those only getting 50% after 20 years (it should definitely not be any more than that), I think you'll see a pretty generous contribution on the part of the employer.

Personally, I think pension figures should be worked out like above and shown with employee compensation so everyone has a better and much idea of how much people are really being paid.

Employees can always save more via an IRA and/or ROTH IRA if they want more retirement money - like the rest of us.

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