Friday, December 10, 2010

Peoria County and the AFSCME Contract Negotiations

With the Peoria County Board made up of a majority of union members, it always gets a little dicey when it comes to contract talks. The AFSCME, known nationally as one of the most belligerent unions, always demands more and then more. The counties proposal allegedly offers each union member up to 15 days unpaid furlough each month, the county already pays 2/3 of all health insurance, allows up to 11 paid holidays, has a enviable pension plan, extremely generous sick leave, paid personal days and few if any time clocks to punch. If they show proof of working out at an approved health center, like the RiverPlex nearby, they can have their entire monthly bill paid by the taxpayer.

No private company could survive with the generous benefits paid by the county. Yes, I am somewhat resentful as the private sector nationwide receives maybe 40% below someone working in the public taxpayer supported sector.

The union which builds their reputation on protecting their older employees, competent or not, says they "will give them (County) the fight of their lives".

It's not too late to sell Bel-Wood.

You really didn't think that Peoria County would sell Bel-Wood, did you? With around 160 union employees employed there?

I'm ready and able to go back to work if the county needs me. Maybe I could build up my only monthly pension of $116 a month.

My advice to the County Board is too stay with the generous plan proposed. The unemployed in this county would love to have these jobs.


Vonster said...

The majority of commercial employees only have 401k accounts. Guaranteed pensions for civil service workers is a luxury.

Merle Widmer said...

Bob Miller, Managing Director pf Prisma Advisors, has an article in today's JS Spotlight on Ethanol.

He has been in the biofield industry for the last 30 years. His article touts ethanol usage as being one major step forward in getting away from our dependence on foreign oil.

He points out all the advantages of using ethanol never mentioning the word "corn" yet corn ethanol is creating a major problem by raising food costs and polluting the environment.

Nor does he mention that ethanol subsidies adds $.51 per gallon at the pump translating into $8 extra dollars for every 16 gallons you put in your vehicle.

The prospect of a government mandate for gasoline to contain 25%of renewable fuel in 12 years is OK with me as long as it is not subsidized by the taxpayer and uses resources other than corn or soybeans. The constant planting and replanting of our food sources of corn and beans is wearing out the earth but our radical enviromentalist would rather attack easier targets.

If we can send humans to Mars surely we can find better sources for ethanol production rather than corn and soybeans.........!

But than you have the powerful farm and producers lobbys to overcome.

It is absolutely true that fertilizer and pesticides are ruining our water sources and playing havoc with the
Gulf of Mexico.

Sure oil has greatly damaged the gulf but had regulations already in force been enforced much of this pollution would have been avoided. We also have billions of gallons of fossil resources untapped on land in out country from Pennslyvania to Colorada to Alaska.

PCEmployee said...

Wow... you'd think someone with your service record would be more informed before writing such a piece.

You write that the County "allegedly" proposed 15 furlough days per month. This is a fact sir, I have seen and heard this with my own eyes and ears. Please explain how essentially taking away 75% of a worker's income is, in your words "generous".

No one that works for Peoria County expects to get rich doing so. Employees only want to work and be compensated fairly for it. The AFSME bargaining units are only asking that money not be taken away from them. Like the County, most of it's employees live on a tight budget. Even a slight decrease in income greatly effects many of Peoria County's workers families.

In closing it is apparent in reading your biography that you are proud of your 10 years of service, and you should be. I too am proud of my service to Peoria County. I just wish the County and it's governing representatives felt the same way.

Merle Widmer said...

"allows (the employee) the ability to take up to 15 unpaid furlough days per month and the ability to reduce their working hours per week."

This is part of the contract offered the AFSCME according to the JS and the JS "is never wrong". Hm.

Nowhere do I read that an employee MUST take a furlough or reduce their unpaid hours. It appears that any reduction of time and pay is up to the employee.

Pretty simple, if you con't want to work, you don't get paid. But it appears some of our leaders are changing all that and people will get paid for not working. Wow.

As to working on holidays. Someone has to do it and is paid extra for doing it. Some are complaining about not making enough money. Personally, if I needed the money, I'd jump at this overtime extra pay.

Also, when I wasn't satisfied with my job I changed careers.

What am I missing here? How much do you calcuate your pension to be when you retire at 55, young enough to get another job? 50% of people doing the same job you are in the private sector do not have pensions such as do all public employees?????

I don't blame unions for asking "for all they can get". It is up to those who hire and fire to use common sense in negotiations.

Sometimes they do.