1. Government officials have NO OBLIGATION (absolutely zero obligation) to deliver anything they give away to public sector labor unions in the bargaining process, including but not limited to: wages, benefits, working conditions, hours of work, overtime, seniority rights, job descriptions, representation, special memorandums of agreement, incentives, waivers, pension plans, perks, special privileges, retirement benefits, management’s rights, etc. etc. Instead, 100% of the obligation to deliver what government officials give away to public sector (government) unions falls on the shoulders of American taxpayers, even though taxpayers are not present during negotiations, they have no knowledge of what is transpiring and have no say or input into the bargaining process. There is no difference between union-government bargaining and a scenario where two hungry vultures (one union business agent, plus one government bargaining representative) and a hamster (uninformed taxpayer) are voting on what to have for dinner.
2. When bargaining with public sector unions there is a built-in incentive for government officials to ‘give-away-the-bank.’ How? Government officials know quite well that the more they give away to the unions in bargaining, then the more they (the government officials) will receive as well. Based on their responsibilities, employees working in supervision and management always earn equal to or significantly more compensation than hourly paid workers, in the general work force. In the case of government decision makers assigned to the bargaining process and their ability to vastly improving their own compensation and benefits, its merely an issue of salary administration and ‘Free Money.’
“The sorriest day of a man’s life is when he sits down and begins thinking about how he can get something for nothing.” – Thomas Jefferson
3. The myth, in both public sector and private sector management, that if employees are overcompensated enough they will work harder and no longer have to be managed competently. Initially, this appears to be a desirable arrangement because employees are certainly in favor of being inappropriately overcompensated and supervisors are in favor of what they believe to be easier jobs by not having to manage workers professionally and successfully. In reality, in cases where employees are incongruently overcompensated, supervisors quickly learn that workers are not going to quit regardless of how poorly they are treated. As a result, and as a matter of expediency, supervisors grow more dictatorial, while workers grow more resentful and less productive because of neglect, mistreatment and verbal abuse. Emotions soon seep into the work environment and eventually, this becomes an ongoing battle between the two angry factions (public sector union workers and non-union government supervisors). Taxpayers are not present and therefore, they are oblivious to the problem. Union bosses, of course, are throwing gasoline on the fire because the hotter the fire becomes the more the workers feel they need the union to protect them. This scenario is nothing more than a recipe for anger, distrust, inefficiency, waste, cover-ups, duplicity, poor quality, rework, confrontation and failure.
4. Unions are predicated on brute force, intimidation and the threat of destruction, (much Communism, Marxism and Islam). Unions are not predicated on civility, nor are they based on rational analysis. Consider too the monopoly which public sector unions and public service workers hold on taxpayers, since these jobs cannot be relocated to foreign countries, which is often the case when jobs become noncompetitive in the private sector.
5. The labor movement in America began in the railroad, manufacturing and mining industries. In it’s early stages the two primary justifications for support of private sector unions was the need to protect worker’s safety and respect worker’s length of service (seniority rights). Naturally, a serious consideration for fair and competitive wages came in a very close third place on the list of justifications. Bilking taxpayers into bankruptcy, loss of freedom and socialist oppression was never on anyone’s list of justifications for private sector unions. At the time, of course, the very thought of public sector unions was unconscionable.
6. Throughout the entire 234 year history of America up to and including today, neither labor unions or public sector workers have ever been granted the legal right to bargain collectively by Congress, the Supreme Court or the People of The United States.
7. The obvious fact that labor unions should be illegal in the public sector is not only recognized by millions today and conveyed in writing in the “Wagner Act” of 1935, it was also clearly communicated by the patron saint of the American labor movement 73 years ago. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a man of forceful determination and a patrician with liberal progressive beliefs. Although he had a lock on labor’s vote, he expressed warning about public sector unions. In a letter he wrote to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937, Roosevelt reasoned:
Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for officials to bind the employer The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives ”
In his letter Roosevelt goes on to say, Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people This obligation is paramount A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent to prevent or obstruct Government Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government is unthinkable and intolerable.
To grasp this in historical context, Congress enacted the landmark National Labor Relations Act (“Wagner Act”) in 1935, considered to be the Magna Carta of the American labor movement. It specifically excluded federal, state and local public service employees. It created the National Labor Relations Board to enforce the rights of labor. Private sector employers were legally obligated to bargain collectively with their employees. In 1937 in a Senate speech, Roosevelt stated, “The denial or observance of this right (collective bargaining) means the difference between despotism and democracy.”
Again, “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt in his letter to the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937.
8. Unions snuck into government representation through the backdoor. In 1958, New York City Democratic Mayor Robert Wagner signed an executive order for the City of New York allowing civil workers to unionize. It was an obvious bribe in exchange for union support and appeal to union voters. Wagner was told that city workers would be a large enough constituency to guarantee his re-election.
This opened up the floodgates around the country as other Democratic legislators followed Wagners poor judgment. In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to make the lethal mistake of granting public workers the dangerous weapon of collective bargaining – for taxpayer’s money (‘Free Money’ – from the government’s perspective).
9. Presidential Executive Orders, as well as state and federal regulations issued by hundreds of governmental departments and agencies, are rapidly eroding The Constitution of The United States and destroying America. In 1962, in a political move exhibiting inconceivably bad judgment, one Democrat essentially granted labor unions and public service employees access to the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the wallets of trusting, naive, preoccupied citizens. Sadly, and much to the detriment of the Nation, with Executive Order 10988, President John F. Kennedy gave federal employees the golden ticket to collective bargaining for taxpayer’s ‘Free Money’ in January 1962.
10. Greed is insatiable. Once again, much like Communism, Marxism, despotic socialists governments around the world (i.e., North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, etc.) and Islam, if not held in check by a balance of power, man made laws, public oversight, a free market economy or brute force, BOTH PRIVATE SECTOR AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS ARE INSATIABLE!
March 8, 2011
Steven C. Ronilo
Submitted to the Federal Observer for publication by the author.