It is so funny to watch an outspoken man like Rahm Emanuel, twist around when the shoe is on the other foot.
Pro-union and supposedly pro-teacher Emanuel really turned on the teacher's union in Chicago, to stop them in their tracks. He even threatened to call their strike illegal and asked for an injunction to return them to their classrooms. Amazing! Why is it that pro-union types want everyone else to pay high union wages, but not them selves?
I grew up in a very liberal, pro-union household. My parents owned a heating and air conditioning business. They had as many as five mechanics at any one time. One day, the mechanics all got together and demanded a pay raise, travel time and vacations. My parents let them all go in the next three months.
Nancy Pelosi, and her husband own golf courses in California. They have many grounds keepers and other employees. One day, they all demanded to be represented by a union. I'm not sure of the time period, but soon afterward, they were all let go. Yes, the same Nancy Pelosi who takes millions from unions to work the agenda in Washington in their favor.
Here in Pennsylvania, we have thousands of state employees. Many of them do some very hard jobs like road work and teaching. I have no doubt that many of these state employees are struggling to pay their bills in this economy.
Those of us who work in the private sector appreciate the hard work that these workers do. We understand that much of the work is monotonous, and much goes un-appreciated. It would be great if we all had exciting, stress free, high paying jobs. We do not. Public employees are protected by state hiring and firing rules. It is difficult to fire a state employee without extremely gross misconduct. I don't believe that anyone wishes to take these benefits away from state employees.
Nonetheless, it is becoming harder and harder to justify wage increases and pension benefits. States, across the country are getting close to bankruptcy. A big factor in their financial stress is the pension benefits. With people living longer, pensions are growing. No one wishes harm upon the state employees, but we simply can not afford to pay them more than we make ourselves. It was revealed that the Chicago teachers, on average, make between $72,000 and $76,000 depending on which side you believe. This is some 30 thousand more than the average worker in Chicago.
Unions have every right to exist as dictated in the Railway Union Act. The intent of this act was to stop the abuses imposed by greedy coal mine and railway owners. It was not intended to allow state employee unions to hold taxpayers hostage, to get ridiculous demands like less than 36 hour work weeks (like the teachers in Chicago), and no accountability.
If our state is to survive the financial mess that it is in, it is going to have to put up a stone wall to stop aggressive public unions.
David Paul Snyder of Franklin Township is the flight training program manager for two Israeli business jets. He is a former pilot for Pan Am and is the former chairman of the Bucks County Airport Authority.