UK Provides Example To U.S. - Public Sector Unions Drain Taxpayers

Posted by Brian
Private vs. Public Sector Unions
The union protests in Wisconsin only gave us a glimpse of what is to come in the U.S. in the battle between unions and private, non-union workers.  Up to this point, the debate has focused on unions. But there needs to be a distinction made between unions in the private sector and those that negotiate with government. 
Private sector unions have collective bargaining, health care plans, retirement plans through programs such as 401K's and stock options, and help ensure that workers have safe work conditions and competitive pay. 
Public sector unions, on the other hand, were originally put in place to ensure fairness in the workplace to identify discrimination in hiring, identifying cases of favoritism, harrassment cases, and workplace safety.  In federal jobs, collective bargaining by the unions is prohibited as wages and benefits are mandated by Congress. It is at the state level that collective bargaining has gotten out of control.
Why the difference in how public and private sector unions should operate?  Unions that negotiate with private companies and corporations bargain with company CEO's or boards that are responsible for the overall financial health of the company or corporation.  In addition, they are negotiating with money that belongs to that company or shareholders, some of whom may be employees of the company.  It is in the interest of both that the company remain profitable and healthy.  Failing to do so hurts both the management and the union employees.  Pay and benefit demands that bankrupt the company put all of them out of work.
Public sector unions that have collective bargaining are an entirely different beast.  First, and foremost: who do public sector unions (like SEIU) represent?  Their members are "public servants".  That is, they work for and are paid by the taxpayers.  Any pay and benefits they receive are collected through state income, sales, property, automobile, and other taxes.  In theory, they are negotiating with state representatives at the state capital. But in reality they are negotiating against the taxpayers of the state.  Since they are negotiating with politicians, the system is rife with corruption in the form of "sweetheart" deals in pay and benefits, in exchange for union support and money to keep those same politicians in power.  Unions spend huge amounts of their member's dues on campaign contributions, million dollar ad blitzes and other political dealings.  As a result, pay and benefits for public sector union members have dwarfed those of the private sector.  They are literally to the point of bringing states to their financial knees.  Politicians have cut these deals with the knowledge that they can, and will, raise taxes on the citizens of the state.

The looming problem is that taxpayers can't afford coughing up any more of their hard-earned income to government because their politicians have finally killed the golden goose.  Public sector union leaders have now taken to calling the public "selfish" as taxpayers have begun to fight back against high taxes and runaway government spending as we are seeing with the Tea Party.
The U.S. would do well to pay attention to what is happening in the U.K  We may be looking ourselves in the mirror.

Public sector pay soaring 'out of control'

Public sector workers receive almost 50% more in pay and pensions than their counterparts in private companies, as state wages spiral “hugely out of control”, a report has found.
10:00PM BST 08 May 2011
Government employees have increased their advantage over workers in the private sector since the start of the recession, with higher pay rises, more generous pensions and better holiday deals.

In every region of the UK except Yorkshire, the gap in pay between public and private employees widened between 2008 and 2010, with the largest gulf in Wales and the North-West, according to the study from the think-tank, Policy Exchange.

Only at the very top of the scale, where the highest earners include bankers, footballers and television stars, do private sector salaries outstrip those in the state professions.
READ MORE HERE--->  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8501369/Public-sector-pay-soaring-out-of-control.html

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