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Switch to Forum Live View Scranton, Pa. city employees (including police) now earning minimum wage
2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 11:49AM #41
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,565

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:30AM, Find1Answer wrote:

Jul 12, 2012 -- 10:21PM, Bodean wrote:


Jul 12, 2012 -- 7:06PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Really?


I don't think the problem is raising taxes.  I think the problem is that the City Government avoided making the hard choice of BUDGET CONSTRAINT until it bit 'em hard in the @ss.


San Bernardino, Stockton, Mammoth Lake, Harrisburg, Boise, and other communities, are all finding that out-of-control spending and lack of foresight in budget planning, have put the citizens they serve at risk.   





Yup .. I think the Public Union is about to be handed its papers.  ALL of the problems are because of public unions.  50% of Long Islands budget goes to pay for UNION perks. .. and they are highest taxes area in the US.




Why are the problems because of public union.    What are the union perks?    The article says that the liabilities are many years  in the making.      Is health insurance a perk.   Is a pension a perk?    


I know that many entities turned the pension money over to Wall Street and many funds were decimated in the crash.    Is this why the pensions are under funded?    Was it the union that held the pension funds or was the city investing the funds.     I guess I want to know specifically how or why a public union is responsible for all the problems in Rhode Island or even Scranton?     just trying to understand this public union argument being responsible for All the problems.   


 


 




From this article paindependent.com/2012/07/3981/:


In the long term, Scranton’s structural problems are a combination of $150 million in debt held either by the city itself or the Scranton Parking Authority, $90 million in unfunded pension obligations and another $15 million that is the result of a contested arbitration ruling by the state Supreme Court last year.


Further complicating matters is a state law that requires municipalities to pay those arbitration awards even when they are in fiscal straits and have no way to pony up.


Here's some info on the arbitration award, which seems to be in regards to the city demanding unions paying more of their health insurance costs thetimes-tribune.com/ruling-over-city-ar....




 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 12:25PM #42
Find1Answer
Posts: 7,355

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:49AM, Girlchristian wrote:

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:30AM, Find1Answer wrote:

Jul 12, 2012 -- 10:21PM, Bodean wrote:


Jul 12, 2012 -- 7:06PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Really?


I don't think the problem is raising taxes.  I think the problem is that the City Government avoided making the hard choice of BUDGET CONSTRAINT until it bit 'em hard in the @ss.


San Bernardino, Stockton, Mammoth Lake, Harrisburg, Boise, and other communities, are all finding that out-of-control spending and lack of foresight in budget planning, have put the citizens they serve at risk.   





Yup .. I think the Public Union is about to be handed its papers.  ALL of the problems are because of public unions.  50% of Long Islands budget goes to pay for UNION perks. .. and they are highest taxes area in the US.




Why are the problems because of public union.    What are the union perks?    The article says that the liabilities are many years  in the making.      Is health insurance a perk.   Is a pension a perk?    


I know that many entities turned the pension money over to Wall Street and many funds were decimated in the crash.    Is this why the pensions are under funded?    Was it the union that held the pension funds or was the city investing the funds.     I guess I want to know specifically how or why a public union is responsible for all the problems in Rhode Island or even Scranton?     just trying to understand this public union argument being responsible for All the problems.   


 


 




From this article paindependent.com/2012/07/3981/:


In the long term, Scranton’s structural problems are a combination of $150 million in debt held either by the city itself or the Scranton Parking Authority, $90 million in unfunded pension obligations and another $15 million that is the result of a contested arbitration ruling by the state Supreme Court last year.


Further complicating matters is a state law that requires municipalities to pay those arbitration awards even when they are in fiscal straits and have no way to pony up.


Here's some info on the arbitration award, which seems to be in regards to the city demanding unions paying more of their health insurance costs thetimes-tribune.com/ruling-over-city-ar....




 


but why is the 90 million unfunded?   and that arbitration liabilty,  what a nightmare.      do all cities have this issue?  all entites that have public union?  is it because of bad investments?  or are pension funds just allowed to accrue and no thought or money is put towards the liability?    are pension paid out based on current employees,  is it just a ponzi scheme?   Maybe cities and state should not even establish a pension fund,  I assume that the employees contribute to that fund as well.     In Scranton they had two catagories one for 401K and another one for pensions.   what is up with that?   This was from the average policemans salary in Scranton link.


I once had 18 years of retirement funds wiped out with a stroke of a pen.   I worked for a private company that had held the majority of retirement funds in house.     When they found out they had broken some tax laws they closed the fund.     the money was always just a number calculated on each employee and was never really there or if it was was used to pay for something else.    The company was paying a self imposed interest on the funds but like I say with a stroke of a pen the figures only,   no real cash in any account.   Is this what is happening to pensions that used to be the American dream or expectation? 

Bush's "de-Bathification program" eliminated all vestiges of Sunni power in Iraqi society and set the stage for the Sunni insurrection against American occupation and the new Shiite-led government. Bush disbanded the entire Sunni-dominated Iraqi Army and bureaucracy. He didn't change it. He didn't make it more inclusive of Shiites and Kurds. He just disbanded it. It is no accident that two of the top commanders of today's ISIL are former commanders in the Saddam-era Iraqi military.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 3:46PM #43
Bodean
Posts: 9,705

Jul 13, 2012 -- 12:25PM, Find1Answer wrote:

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:49AM, Girlchristian wrote:


Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:30AM, Find1Answer wrote:

Jul 12, 2012 -- 10:21PM, Bodean wrote:


Jul 12, 2012 -- 7:06PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Really?


I don't think the problem is raising taxes.  I think the problem is that the City Government avoided making the hard choice of BUDGET CONSTRAINT until it bit 'em hard in the @ss.


San Bernardino, Stockton, Mammoth Lake, Harrisburg, Boise, and other communities, are all finding that out-of-control spending and lack of foresight in budget planning, have put the citizens they serve at risk.   





Yup .. I think the Public Union is about to be handed its papers.  ALL of the problems are because of public unions.  50% of Long Islands budget goes to pay for UNION perks. .. and they are highest taxes area in the US.




Why are the problems because of public union.    What are the union perks?    The article says that the liabilities are many years  in the making.      Is health insurance a perk.   Is a pension a perk?    


I know that many entities turned the pension money over to Wall Street and many funds were decimated in the crash.    Is this why the pensions are under funded?    Was it the union that held the pension funds or was the city investing the funds.     I guess I want to know specifically how or why a public union is responsible for all the problems in Rhode Island or even Scranton?     just trying to understand this public union argument being responsible for All the problems.   


 


 




From this article paindependent.com/2012/07/3981/:


In the long term, Scranton’s structural problems are a combination of $150 million in debt held either by the city itself or the Scranton Parking Authority, $90 million in unfunded pension obligations and another $15 million that is the result of a contested arbitration ruling by the state Supreme Court last year.


Further complicating matters is a state law that requires municipalities to pay those arbitration awards even when they are in fiscal straits and have no way to pony up.


Here's some info on the arbitration award, which seems to be in regards to the city demanding unions paying more of their health insurance costs thetimes-tribune.com/ruling-over-city-ar....




 




but why is the 90 million unfunded?   and that arbitration liabilty,  what a nightmare.      do all cities have this issue?  all entites that have public union?  is it because of bad investments?  or are pension funds just allowed to accrue and no thought or money is put towards the liability?    are pension paid out based on current employees,  is it just a ponzi scheme?   Maybe cities and state should not even establish a pension fund,  I assume that the employees contribute to that fund as well.     In Scranton they had two catagories one for 401K and another one for pensions.   what is up with that?   This was from the average policemans salary in Scranton link.


I once had 18 years of retirement funds wiped out with a stroke of a pen.   I worked for a private company that had held the majority of retirement funds in house.     When they found out they had broken some tax laws they closed the fund.     the money was always just a number calculated on each employee and was never really there or if it was was used to pay for something else.    The company was paying a self imposed interest on the funds but like I say with a stroke of a pen the figures only,   no real cash in any account.   Is this what is happening to pensions that used to be the American dream or expectation? 





Find .. it's the same scenario as S.S.   .... and your old retirement fund.  The money is there on "paper" .. in "the books" ... but the actualy money doesn't exists.  It's based on "projected income".  Thus they put in such n such project on projected income ... low and behold, projected income isn't what they though it would be ... so now they've all these obligations to pay that were based on a projection .... and they fall short.


Apparently, you haven't been keeping up with the news much.  City after City is finding that their Union Negotiated benefits are unsustainable.  That's why Scott Walker asked the Unions in WI to just pay a measly 12% of so of their Healthcare Cost ... but ... noooooooooooo .. can't do that.  OF course, as I hear it ... they actually agreed to pay it, but the collective bargaining part, which mandated Public Schools to purchase Health Insurance from Union Owned Companies at inflated prices .... the Union wasn't going to go with that.  And the "automatic membership" requirement, funnelling Billions to Public Unions, regardless of whether or not the person wanted to be a member .. also "collectively" bargained ... this is where Public Unions get hurt.  50% of the members have quit.  That tells you there was nothing "collective" about it. .. it was all a small board room full of Union Top Brass ... that's who constituted the "collective".


I seldom agree with Liberals .. but I agree wholeheartedly with FDR ... Public Unions are a conflict of interests. There should be a constitutional amendment added to the US Constituttion that there is to be no Public Unions. .. they are a conflict of interests.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 5:40PM #44
MMarcoe
Posts: 17,262

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:49AM, Girlchristian wrote:


Further complicating matters is a state law that requires municipalities to pay those arbitration awards even when they are in fiscal straits and have no way to pony up.





I wonder how cities are supposed to pay up if they have no way to. Sell their first-borns?

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 5:42PM #45
MMarcoe
Posts: 17,262

Jul 13, 2012 -- 12:25PM, Find1Answer wrote:

Jul 13, 2012 -- 11:49AM, Girlchristian wrote:


but why is the 90 million unfunded?  





In many cases, it's a privilege given to public union members in lieu of raised salaries. Raised salaries are obvious, but unfunded liabilities are not.


It's easy to give out an unfunded liability because your generation doesn't have to deal with any problems that it causes; only your kids' and your kids' kids' generations do.


It's insanity.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 8:08PM #46
Find1Answer
Posts: 7,355

It sounds like poor business practice.   That is like me purchasing product on credit with no intention of paying the vendor.   how long would my vendors keep sending me product?  I would be out of business in 3 months.      So the union negotiated salary and benefits and the city agreed but the city administration never put funds in a retirement portfolio. or lost value in the crash.       From what I can see rank and file public workers are not receiving a large pension,   it is not outsized.        I do not see how the unions are to blame for unfunded pension liabilities when the city failed to fund.


I understand Bo's other points on the forced membership and other problems he listed but I do not see how negotiated salaries and benefits are a problem made by the union.    especially in the case of Scranton where salaries and benefits combined is $56,000.    Even w ithout a union what was Scranton willing to offer police departments.       What should we pay  public workers?   should they be offered health care insurance and pensions upon retirement?      



Bush's "de-Bathification program" eliminated all vestiges of Sunni power in Iraqi society and set the stage for the Sunni insurrection against American occupation and the new Shiite-led government. Bush disbanded the entire Sunni-dominated Iraqi Army and bureaucracy. He didn't change it. He didn't make it more inclusive of Shiites and Kurds. He just disbanded it. It is no accident that two of the top commanders of today's ISIL are former commanders in the Saddam-era Iraqi military.
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2012 - 8:55AM #47
Marcion
Posts: 2,883

I grew up in NE Pa and those poor bastards have my sympathy. Ever since King Coal petered out that area has been struggling economically. I sometimes wonder who pissed off the witch doctor.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2012 - 9:47AM #48
Bodean
Posts: 9,705

Jul 13, 2012 -- 8:08PM, Find1Answer wrote:


 


I understand Bo's other points on the forced membership and other problems he listed but I do not see how negotiated salaries and benefits are a problem made by the union.





WI is the perfect example Find.


OK .. the Unions negotiated healthcare benefits.  The negotiations included several things .. 1) how much each employee would pay and how much the state would pay. .. but 2) WHO they would buy from ... that being, a Union Owned Health Insurance Company that charged 3x the normal amount.


You questioned "automatic membership"?  This means that if you are hired as a public employee, you are automatically enrolled in the Union, and the Union Dues are automatically taken out of your check and paid to the Unions.  Since Walker eliminated this, half of the employees have quit the Union.  I don't see how anyone can come to any conclusion other than this negotiated perk was purely for the Unions' benefit, and had nothing to do with workers rights or conditions. ... or for that matter, an individuals right to decide if they even wanted to be a member.


SO .. now look at Scranton.  I won't pretend to know all the details, but it's been reported that the Health Insurance Bill is 15 Million.  Cutting the entire Police Force [81 officers] would cut only 3.4 million, so you can see, the issue is not the labor cost.


Also adding to the pain is arbitration awards resulting from law suits filed by the Union.


Quite simply put, this is a situation where the UNION is demanding X and Y, and the city just does not have the money to pay it.  The Union won't work with the city, because to do that would decrease the Union's take.  Their answer is to come up with some sort of back payment plan ... ie., we're going to get ours come hell or high water.


This is yet another one of those cases where the CITIZENS RIGHTS are in a position to challenge the UNIONS RIGHTS.  Being as the Citizens are the one's who pay, their demand and rights come first.  In fact, the UNION exists at the taxpayers pleasure.  The Tax Payers have the right to dissolve the Unions participation entirely. .. or else, just move away leaving the Union, as well as the City of Scranton, with nothing.


This all comes down to what FDR was saying.  The Government serves the people.  When you put the government in a position of serving the interest of the people and the interests of the Unions, you have a conflict of interests, because it divides and pits the population against itself.

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