The problem with collective bargaining for public employees is that, unlike privately employed workers, they don’t bargain with the boss (taxpayers). Certainly collective bargaining should not be denied, but there needs to be a non-government representative of the people – someone not on the government payroll – as the representative of the people’s money. Unlike project appropriations or program funding, payroll and benefits go directly into the pockets of a small sector of the population and their government supervisors have no accountablilty to shareholders nor do they face looming bankruptcy if they fail to make a profit. Public workers rally behind claims that “people doing the same work in the private sector make more”. And I’m sure they can go out a find some who do. I’m equally sure there are just as many or more who do not. And it’s not all about money. The private sector competes for jobs and raises, so things like tenure for terrible teachers just doesn’t make sense to those of us who would fire them and hire someone competent to replace them. The point is that the unions have the rest of us by the proverbial short-hairs while our supposed representatives raise their own salaries, enjoy benefits that we have never heard of, and seem to have no problem caving in to union demands – reasonable or unreasonable. No one should be denied rights, but no one should be in a position of undue leverage either. I hope there can be found some middle ground.
Or PUBLIC! I can spell, I just can’t type..