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MIAMI-DADE: 2 Public Unions Want Taxpayers to Pay More and Reject Labor Contracts

Posted by FactReal on October 4, 2011

When will politicians understand that the exorbitant lifetime pensions and benefits given to public unions are destroying city budgets and homeowners? These pensions are paid in large part by taxpayers who are denied a seat at the negotiation table.

These politicians timidly ask from the unions 3% or 4% concessions when instead they ought to be looking for ways to get rid of the multimillion-dollar lifetime pensions given to public employees. For example, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez stands to collect approximately $5 million during his lifetime for his work as a city fire fighter. (Plus other pensions for his work as Commissioner and Mayor). Then there is the Miami police officer who will receive $3.7 million in base pension. These are not exceptions – but the rule.

Unions love their multimillion-dollar lifetime pensions and benefits. This is why unions are fiercely fighting against any cuts. They don’t care if homeowners have to lose their houses when they cannot pay the property taxes. The media report on the sad story of unions facing cuts, but they fail to tell us the TOTAL amount taxpayers are on the hook for the LIFETIME pensions and benefits of ALL public union employees.

The politicians are intimidated. The media are enablers. The unions feel empowered and behave like brats:

2 union groups reject Miami-Dade labor contracts

The Miami Herald reported on Sep. 29, 2011:
Miami-Dade’s supervisors and professional employees rejected labor contracts Thursday, the first two of the county’s 10 bargaining units to act on proposed concessions under the county’s lean new budget, which takes effect Saturday.The action of the two groups, who may be the most closely aligned to the administration, could signal trouble ahead from the eight other union groups, including water and sewer workers and police officers.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez has pledged to begin layoffs on Nov. 1, if new contracts aren’t in place. The administration says the tough stance is required to stay within budget.

Gimenez is pressing for $239 million in givebacks, or savings, from county workers in the face of lower county revenue. Last week, Miami-Dade Commissioners approved a $6.14-billion budget for the new fiscal year, reversing an unpopular property-tax rate hike they had approved last year.

Union leaders had urged workers to approve the tentative contracts, which, among other things, called for relinquishing recent 3 percent pay raises, giving up merit and longevity pay increases, and taking 11 furlough days – the equivalent of a 4 percent pay cut. The proposal also calls for them to continue making a contribution to health care benefits equal to 5 percent of pretax pay.

“We’ll go back to the table and continue to negotiate and we’ll most likely go to impasse,’’ said Greg Blackman, president of the Government Supervisors Association of Florida OPEIU, Local 100, which represents 4,800 supervisory and professional county employees in two bargaining units.

The county has about 27,000 employees. Some 2,000 non-union employees already have been required to take comparable reductions. […]

The county has proposed an 8 percent pay cuts for workers, but has allowed various unions to craft their own proposals for achieving cost savings. […]

The Dade Police Benevolent Association, representing county police officers, has been the most vocal in arguing against budget cuts.

PBA president John Rivera said a lengthy negotiating session Wednesday between the union and county was fruitless.

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One Response to “MIAMI-DADE: 2 Public Unions Want Taxpayers to Pay More and Reject Labor Contracts”

  1. […] ● Public unions’ exorbitant lifetime pensions are destroying city budgets and homeowners ● Public employees retiring in luxury on the back of tax payers ● The teachers union and other […]

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