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Singin' the Union Dues

Union reps fight tooth and nail to protect the jobs of their members, even the incompetents.

"Tea party extremists such as yourself, Mr. Bazzo would rip to pieces every fairly negotiated public employee contract ever agreed upon. However, I am sure that would be just fine with you."

"Mr. Bazzo does not care about decades of legally negotiated contracts. Whatever loophole he and others can find to wiggle out of an agreement they will use."

The two above comments more or less summarize the responses I get when I write about the unaffordable public employee contracts.   "Fairly negotiated" and "legally negotiated" contracts, one term incorrect, the other correct.  Yes, legally negotiated, but only in the perverse system we in New York live under.  However, "Fairly negotiated" no way, no how. There never was and never has been anything fair about negotiations with public unions. The problem is there was never anyone representing the employer, read that the taxpayer.

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jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Oh Francis, are your feelings hurt. Sorry. Notrhing you say is in sync with reality. You and Mr. Bazzo can whine and criticize me all you want yet it is meaningless. You throw out accusations that have no merit. Do you know me Francis? Have we met? Have we conversed? How would you know how much I had to work to EARN my pension? Yet you and Mr. Bazzo have no problem with character assasination, do you? Especially when it is not to one's face. Very brave.of you. You and Mr. Bazzo appear to be frustrated and bitter old men who need to always point the finger at others because you happen to be miserable with your own choices in life. Look in the mirror FRAN. Jeff Meyer St. Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Aidan, then change the law. Very simple. How is one a "scammer" or "taker" when they abide by the law? Can you answer that for me? JM
Ross Revira August 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
To change the overtime provision in the old pension tier would require an amendment to the NY State Constitution. Any changes to a pension using simple legislation can only be made going forward. By that time the cost of retirement benefits will most likely exceed the cost of employees working. "Abiding by the law" a favorite excuse for many in society. If that is where you see yourself than you should feel very comfortable with slave owners because they were within the law. Jim Crow laws were legal. "Don't ask don't tell" and racial segregation in the military were legal. It would seem that abiding by the law has always been a constant excuse for the "takers" in society. As for another excuse by the "takers" is the line "you don't know me". To that I say; "your actions speak louder than your words" and I have no desire to know you. The best example of the pillaging of the taxpayer by a public union official is blogged right here by a law abiding citizen. "Abiding by the law" is the minimum requirement of person in society, I guess that describes many people perfectly. Have a good day .
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Thank you. I am having a good day. Jeff Meyer St.Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
Walden Macnair August 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Ross, The overtime in the pension issue can be solved today. Just stop using overtime to cover your lack of manpower and hire enough people to do the job. This would be a win/win. Overtime along with overtime based pensions would go away and the unions would collect more union dues because they'd have additional members. Seems to me the problem here isn't, "scammers", it's just bad management.
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Walden, the point that is always missed by the brain trusts on the PATCH is that when people earn overtime it is because they work it. It does not magically fall out the sky nor is it a lottery ticket that one finds on the ground. It is worked for and earned. When is most overtime worked? Weekends, holidays, and the busier shifts that's when. I present this question to all; if your job offers you time and a half to work will you work it or will you decline? Most will work. If one chooses a salaried occupation without the availability of overtime then that is your choice. Live with it or find another job. Very simple. Jeff Meyer St.Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
Francis T McVetty August 03, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Walden, it is the "scammers" taking advantage of the poor management! A two prong problem.
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Another fact deprived, ignorant comment from the Bazzo Cheerleading Group LLP. JM St. Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
Watchdog August 03, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Not so fast Walde. The reason for overtime is that cops much time off, usually they take it on weekends, the busiest time. In Clarkstown cops Get 81 days off a year earning they work 179 days out of 365, Hence the overtime.
Watchdog August 03, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Walden, do you know how much time off your cops get? Vacation Sick Personal Bereavement Holidays Here is what we give our cops in Clarkstown and Orangetown  30 vac 24 sick 8 bereavement 12holidays 7 personal In Clarkstown, we know the reasons for overtime. Do you?
Watchdog August 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Does overtime fall magically out of the sky? Well, sometimes it does. If our cops are called in on a holiday, they get double time and are guaranteed 4 hours even if they "work" for onen hour. So it is conceivable that you could be paid for the equivalent of 8 hours even though you worked one hour. That is how overtime could fall out of the sky.
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Not on my old job Walden. I can only speak for myself. JM
Ross Revira August 03, 2012 at 06:39 PM
The point is calculating a pension that is fair to the worker and the taxpayer. Hiring more people will not save a penny. For every new employee there is another person and spouse to cover with health insurance for life (provided they put in 20 years). The cost of the pension itself needs to be paid for. Even calculating the 3% contribution of the employee is a drop in the bucket. A typical cop who works 20 years and will collect his/her pension as much as twice as long or more when they were on the job. If they were to die during their retirement their spouse will continue to collect. Pensions should be calculated on base salary only. In this way pension loading during the last three years of employment does not happen (Yonkers it is the last year). All public employees should contribute to their pensions for the entire length of their employment with a sliding scale for contributions. The new pension tier covers this for all employees except for police and fire, why is that?. Lastly 20 year retirement for police and fire is no longer valid with people working and living longer. Many police and fire departments across the country have eliminated this perk years ago. Common sense for the benefit of all not just the powerful few.
Watchdog August 03, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Jeff, how many days did you get off a year? Did you get extra time off as a nnion leader? Vacation Personal Sick Holidays Bereavement
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Watchdog, i was my union president for about 11 years. I never received any extra days off nor did I receive one penny of a stipend. I would still gladly do it again because it is what I believe in. I truly wish all occupations were unionized and provided health insurance and pensions with job protection. Jeff Meyer St.Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Yes, the public employee is oh so powerful. LOL. Jeff Meyer St.Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
Watchdog August 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM
How many days off did you get? See above list.
Ross Revira August 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM
So presumptuous, public unions not you personally, that goes without saying. What sane person does not want health insurance and a pension? The question is who should pay for it?
jeff meyer August 03, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Wanting a good job is not enough. Labor must stay organized and focused. Labor must focus on the common welfare of all workers and not the individual. Good wages, health care, pensions and job protection come through organized labor. Whether through the public or private sector the purpose of organized labor is that every worker will be rewarded for his or her labor. Unions prevent the exploitation of the worker. Right to work patsies such as yourself Rose and the entire Bazzo Cheerleading Group LLP. will never understand this. So be it. "The best social program is a good job" FDR.......and yes JFK did correct his flaw on collective bargaining for public employees. Have a pleasant evening. Jeff Meyer St. Pete/Tuckahoe,NY
Ross Revira August 03, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Is this the Twilight Zone and we are back in the 1930's. Where have I heard that expression " not the individual" before comrade? Spoken from someone who never had to worry about making a payroll or signing the front of a check or like a 10 year old who thinks there is a money tree in the back yard. Your are right about unions preventing the exploitation of the worker by the company because they exploit them first.
Heron August 05, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I think I MAY know you Anthony Bazzo. Were you in the class of 1973 of Lakeland High School/Walter Panas High School? (our class split). Just curious. If so, I totally knew you in high school.
Watchdog August 05, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Very dramatic...but not very realistic or accurate when 86% of the job is traffic related. They have more time off with their families than 99% of the folks who are not cops and in an emergency they are 5 minutes away from home even when they are " on the job". It is really sad that the cops have no regard at all for the plight of Senior Citizens who built the Town. One grateful spouse of a retiree told me to " move if you cannot afford it" Nice.
Anthony J. Bazzo August 05, 2012 at 02:36 PM
It tis I. Thoough from the comments you may not want to say you knoiw me out oloud. Yet as I use my real nmae, you do not, so I do not know who you are. a.b.
Anthony J. Bazzo August 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM
It tis I. Thoough from the comments you may not want to say you know me out loud. Yet as I use my real name, you do not, so I do not know who you are. a.b.
Walden Macnair August 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
If you do the math you'll find that you need 5.3 full time employees to cover any post 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If you hire four or even five you'll be left with open shifts that you have to backfill and therein lies the problem. There are other answers to eliminate overtime but they need to be negotiated. Use of part time reserve officers paid per-diem is a possibility or simply hiring enough officers is another. You can bark at the moon if you'd like but until management takes the bull by the horns nothing good will happen.
Aidan August 05, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Walden, we've got two different issues here. The first is whether or not over-time should be added to the base salary for purposes of pension calculation. Second, should more folks be hired to cover any shift short-fall. I would suspect that most folks, at times, do appreciate OT possibilities ... in order to ram up their take-home pay. I'd certainly take that route. However, that does not automatically mean that those earning should be part of a pension calculation as they are now. That's the next step the state needs to take. To separate these two. Workers should be entitled to a reasonable pension ... one that includes some employee contribution and an end-result that is not subject to arbitrary changes. Whether widespread or not, there is abuse ... and the public wants it curtailed. And I don't think that is an entirely unreasonable request at all.
Aidan August 05, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Mr. Bazzo, I'm not in total agreement with you, but you certainly have the right to present a case that many think has merit. And those on the other side of the issue feel certain that laws and past practice are on their side. There's gotta be a middle ground. There always is. But that all seems lost in recent years. Everyone is so dug in we're all thisclose to paralysis. There is nothing that cannot be resolved fairly.
Clarkstown life August 05, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Dog.......you are so doom and gloom......a real joy to be around.....
Ross Revira August 05, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Past practices were instituted at a time when China and India were riding only bicycles for transportation. Providing health care,a defined benefit pension and lifetime job security is what everyone desires. Unfortunately the world has changed and one only has to look at Europe to see where the US is headed. Taxing the so-called rich at 100% will not bring in enough money to sustain our present path. Close to 50% of all Americans are receiving some form of government check. Social Security In 1940, there were 42 workers per retiree. In 1950, the ratio was 16-to-1. In 2010, there were 2.8 workers per retiree, and within 40 years, it’s projected that there will be just two workers per retiree. At the present rate, as the population ages and life expectancies continue to rise, the system will not be able to sustain itself into the future without major reform. America was not built by the government doling out money, but by individuals working harder and smarter to better the lives of them self and their family. It would seem the only people left with the American dream are the illegal aliens who come here for that very same reason. I hope we can wake up before it is all gone.
Heron August 08, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Wow. You're right. I don't like to use my real name. Anyway, I had a good impression of you and it's nice to see that you're here. I remember that you had no hesitation about expressing yourself. And you still don't.

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