One of the things that struck me in the report on the meeting was this:
"Steven Steel accused the administration of trying to “bully” council to vote for the contract..."
But, according to several news reports, the audience for this meeting, and this vote in particular, consisted of "hundreds of angry union members..."
Does anyone else see the irony?
But that's not all. Council's action last night is a perfect example of our elected officials' devotion to unions over taxpayers.
Last night, multiple members of council decided that the city needed to go back to the table for more negotiations. They couldn't understand why the administration had declared an impasse if the union still wanted to negotiate.
But their idiocy - and their willingness to cater to and adopt the union position - was in full view.
They were being asked to implement a fact finder's report. And how, exactly, do you end up with a fact finder's report? Well, both sides must declare an impasse and agree to bring in a fact finder.
Obviously, a bunch of current and former union members would know this simple basic fact of negotiations. But they were intentionally ignoring it.
You see, the union, having agreed with the administration that they were at an impasse and needed to bring in a fact finder, decided they didn't like the report that resulted. So now they want more negotiations - after the fact. As a result, council members accused the mayor of not wanting to sit down and bargain. Talk about spin....
The administration is correct in submitting the report for council approval. Council is wrong to not support the administration in this regard. Apparently, they'd rather adopt the union position than do what is right for the taxpayers. But this goes back to what I've said in the past about the symbiotic relationship our elected officials have with the unions:
The public sector unions rely upon agreements negotiated with mayors, governors, etc. They then rely upon votes by elected council members, commissioners, trustees, school board members or legislatures. These same individuals who are actually deciding upon the terms of the contracts are the same people who beg for endorsements from those same unions.
Elected officials seek union endorsements - and the contributions and volunteers that come along with those endorsements. The people making the decision about the compensation and other working terms are often dependent upon the recipients for their elected position.
The taxpayer, the ones the elected officials are supposed to representing, is more often than not left out in the cold - consistently being expected to fork over more money in taxes and fees so the benefits can flow to both sides (government and union).
This is clearly a conflict of interest, but one that is never raised because it would result in the end of the mutually-beneficial arrangement.
So rather than think about the taxpayer, our elected members of council took the union's side in the dispute and insisted that the administration re-open negotiations - all to make the union members - the "angry" union members - happy.
Do you see now why we need to pass Issue 2?