Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Civil Unions

CSEA owes Mother Nature a debt of gratitude. In fact, they might want sacrifice a goat to mighty Zeus or some equivalent deity for the forecast of the severe thunderstorms that prevented the union from making asses of themselves and the greedy city labor leaders they were foolishly trying to support.

The giant inflatable rat will be tucked away in its satchel, when CSEA launches their quizzical protest of the New York Conference of Mayors meeting this afternoon. Union leaders claim the prediction of high winds and heavy rains prevented them from toting the iconic balloon the Saratoga Springs Hilton, where CSEA members will picket at a conference entitled “municipal budgeting during tough economic times.”

So let’s get this straight: The union that refuses to forgo pay raises and vociferously argued against cutting any City Hall or Public Works jobs to stop the ballooning Saratoga Springs budget was going to inflate a giant rat outside of a conference aimed at making reducing cost burdens so that workers won’t be laid off. Yep. Guess they didn’t think that one out too well, now did they?

Today, the rat and the CSEA cronies that inflate it serve as a constant reminder of the bloated, fetid condition of organized labor as it continues to show how much of a lumbering dinosaur it has become. This is especially the case with the Spa City’s civil service unions, which seem to view themselves as immune to the ongoing economic woes that have and will continue to inflict a burden on the taxpayers. It’s an ironic symbol of the inflexibility the city’s union leaders show when it comes to adapting to dire economic conditions.

And today’s demonstration is no exception. The intended target was obviously Republican Mayor Scott Johnson, who the CSEA is trying to portray as a hard-line union buster more interested in lining the pockets of wealthy law firms during a tough election year. But the whole approach has backfired when Johnson took to the press last week, outlining the atrocious recalcitrance of the unions as city –and state –taxpayers struggle to pay bills.

The city’s demands don’t seem all that unreasonable. Basically, Johnson’s hired ringers are asking the Public Works and City Hall employees union to forgo their annual raises this year, which amounts to a pay boost of about 3 percent. Raises would be boosted to 1.5 percent in 2010 and 2.5 percent in 2011. The unions were also asked pay a $500 annual contribution to their health care costs, an amount that works out to be less than $10 per week; a modest tithe to collect from the 195 workers, half of which receive free health care.

The unions responded with what can only be termed as an insult, considering the financial tumult facing the city and remembering how vehemently they protested to retain all of their jobs last winter. They agreed to waive their salary increase this year, but are demanding bi-annual raised for the next two years. These contractual raises –3 percent in January and 1.5 percent in July –would be given automatically without regard to performance. And no mention of whether they’d help reduce the burden of inflated health care costs that are driving the city’s budget upward at an alarming pace.

Certainly, the unions don’t want to capitulate too much, because they fear they’ll lose negotiating power when contract negotiations start again in 2012. They’re right in a sense. But they’re also not giving any credence to the situation facing the city this year and far into the future of the union contract. The City Council put a dump-truck sized band aid on the budget in the form of raiding the fund balance.

All this seems inconsequential to union sympathizers, who are again looking to boost revenues rather than make concessions. One of these trolls recently chimed in on the Saratogian’s City Desk blog, claiming the paper had unfairly maligned the plight of the unions by publicizing Johnson’s rhetoric.

“[It] would be nice to see you offer possible solutions to these problems instead of consistently being a mouthpiece for certain members of the city council,” chided the anonymous poster. “The unions provided this city council with a plethora of ways to raise revenue such as; a public safety tax added on to each hotel room in the city and a public safety tax added on to a ticket purchased at SPAC. These two revenue generating ideas have been implemented in cities across this state and would generate a tremendous amount of income for the city.”

Right. So to allow the unions cost-of-living increases double the size of most private sector workforces and to arbitrarily lend half the workforce free health care, city officials should consider imposing even more random taxes on the already-overpriced concerts, which aren’t even under the auspices of Saratoga Springs’ government. Sorry, but this sort of palaver is at the root of why the city is in the budgetary condition it’s in today.

Unions have enjoyed a good run in the city and have secured very reasonable conditions for the workers they represent. But to continue this run at infinitum is simply not possible, by any stretch of the imagination, especially when the year-after-year excuse for budgetary increases is the cost of healthcare and contracted raises. Their cost-of-living increase and healthcare benefits have long since outstretched the level of services they provide for the cost. Now is the time for the unions to extend a bit of civility to the city, rather than immediately chanting ‘inflate the rat.’ Their dickering has made them look foolish, greedy and ultimately uncaring about the residents they allegedly serve.

52 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO, good to see a new post. I hope all your workouts have given you new zest for life.

Many years ago, the Civil Service employees of City Hall earned some of the lowest salaries in the city. The city council showered them with benefits, lots of vacation time, health care premiums - for life, sick time, personal time etc.

Then came the unions. The union represented the City Hall workers and gave back none of the benefits and then proceeded to negotiate higher and higher salaries.

One of the biggest giveaways of previous city councils -- in the 1980s -- was closing city hall on Saturdays. All employees used to work on Saturday mornings. It was the citizens opportunity to go to city hall and apply for a building permit, get a license, etc without giving up some of their work time during the week. This was a terrible mistake on the part of that city council. In return for not working Saturday morning, the Civil Service employees worked an hour or so extra, one day during the week. Big deal, the union wins again.

As you have explained so well, the union is so accustomed to "getting" and not "giving" that of course they will point the finger at our Mayor. I just hope Mayor Johnson sticks to his guns and doesn't give in to the greed of the union members and their representatives.

10:16 AM  
Blogger muldoonmedia said...

I am just so happy for a new post from you that I don't know what to say!! I was beginning to think that michael and farrah took you with them. welcome back.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Clay Pidgeons said...

The union is a bit ridiculous,I agree, but that should not give Johnson a free pass either. He has spent more money on this REC Center and these high priced lawyers that will hurt us bad for the future. Who do we vote for? Johnson or Kim? Is there anyone else? Meaning any legitimate candidates.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big surprise! Who doesn't know that the oldest city employment patterns are job secuity and complain to those who feed you? Never seems to be an incentive to do more with less or do it today so that we won’t have to come back so often to do it right the next time.

Never met a union worker who didn’t think about his or her entitlments first – complaining about the job and how no one appreciates them.

Get the job – get out with as many benefits as their union reps can muster – screw the taxpayers.

“I plow your streets” “I drive the zamboni” “I fill your potholes” “I patrol our streets” “I’m there when you need me” – Hey Bud, that’s your job! What if we were to say, “We live in the city and pay taxes and keep our stores open on broadway paying our employees more than we take home” – stop holding the people hostage with your 10% service for 90% benefit pay. We can’t afford it. Your unions are bleeding us dry!

So, hat’s off to the Mayor Johnson for having the guts to try and raspberries to the Skipper for dealing with Al-Qada and the Kim for acting as a union rep instead of an elected official. The commissioner who wants to be mayor has no clothes to run on. All that department fat and wasted time pouting and complainnig and no cuts – pathetic. Yup – you guys are the rats all right.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

It’s interesting how the Saratogian is finally getting around to feeling some pulse. Don’t the stories and editorials seem a little edgier? Maybe they have you to thank Horatio -- what do you think?

This post is great. Your last paragraph is measured and to the point. Let’s hope everyone reads it.

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thankful fot the new post too. The picture of the rat is much more pleasing to the eyes than the one of the Riggis "dancing".

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Skipper weren't still carrying a union card he would be looking at the costs of his employees vs contracting the work done by the DPW. Bet contractors would be less expensive on some tasks.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting to see an anti-union post coming from you Ho! Never thought I would see the day.

Welcome back. Hope the Vaca from posting had given you some ferver to post the real crap that is going down.

To the Old Lady!

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the sake of comparison, Warren County employees, tired of seeing their compatriots lose their jobs to layoffs (and increasing their workload), are back at the table, potentially making wage and benefit concessions. Link:
http://www.poststar.com/articles/2009/07/01/news/local/doc4a4a867db2138512986813.txt

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From now on, the RAT will become the symbol of the Greedy Union Worker - just sneaking around to get more cheese. Public Safety can use it in 4th of july parade and the Kim can walk along side it (one last time) -- away from the rest of the council.

Rat = selfish greed = "Where's My Cheese?" = the Kim's next campaign slogan.

11:08 AM  
Blogger NOW. HERE. THIS. said...

The new-found "voice" of the Saratogian Sounds Off in well-written post in a Wednesday blog-

http://saratogacitydesk.blogspot.com/2009/07/union-follow-up.html

The writer seems to share the same opinions voiced by the first seven articulate blog commenters here. But remarkably, Andrew Bernstein is not afraid to sign his name.

-Kyle York

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Sarcasm said...

I say give these hard working chaps everything they ask for. If they don't plow my streets I can't get to work. SHAME, SHAME! I KNOW YOUR NAME!

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is particularly resonant because we just had our version of "inflate the rat" in Rhode Island: the fire fighters held a picket, keeping Joe Biden and a large number of Obama people from attending the National Mayors Conference. These guys shit all over an event that was not only to serve as a forum for mayors attending from all over the country, but importantly for us locals, to bring a national spotlight to a state that is struggling at the very bottom. Here is a link to the Providence Journal story, and pay particular attention to the reader feedback at the bottom. Populist rage is back in fashion.

http://newsblog.projo.com/2009/06/ready-3.html

Note to Union mafioso... it will be awfully lonely when you drive away all the citizens who once supported you. If you claim to be Americans with AMERICAN VALUES, then you shouldn't make socialist style demands. And please come to Rhode Island, where we are currently enjoying a 12% unemployment rate, our health care and public education sucks,and high taxes drive away any new business. Fight for one of our remaining positions in the "lucrative" sectors of non-profit and state/municipal jobs.

Keep up the good fight!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kind of funny none of you have asked for the commissioners, deputies and executive assistants to give up their perks:free health care and the best parts each unions contracts that they have opted to take advantage of. Or the fact that if they survive for 10 years they get free health care for their families for the rest of their lives, while city emloyees at least have to work for theirs until they are eligible to retire. Haven't seen a commissioner step up and say we are not going to take these benefits and our deputies won't either so we can lead by example in these trying times.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Union workers, now that's an oxymoron. I have no problem paying people fairly for a job well done, but it's time the union officials see the light and understand the money just isn't there to continue the gravy train. As for actually performing work, they apparently have forgotten how to find my street since it is rarely plowed in the winter, the brush is hardly ever picked up, and my taxes go up, up, and up.

It's time for something to give, such as layoffs, no raises, and for the unions to pay a reasonable portion of their health insurance.
Let these coddled municipal workers go to the private sector if they don't like their city jobs and find out how the real world compensates its workers and what is demanded of them in return.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:59 Not defending the unionized city workers, but if your street isn't plowed and yard waste not picked up, then that's an issue with the supervision in city hall.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:45 am
I didn't see any deputies or commissioners out on the street, demanding raises.

Hey, we now have two people running for DPW commish. One used to chase dogs and one who cooks dogs. Which one do we want?

We want the one who will will hound the unions until he is dog-tired. Somebody who won't take any of their sh*t.

Good boy, woof.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They aren't demanding raises because they already have it better then anyone else

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that if you called City Hall, 587-3550, EX2561 and told them that you have not been plowed or your yard stuff has not been picked up, it would not happen again. From Mat to September everything has to be in a container, you could turn it on it side when it rains, it can get pretty heavy when it is filled with rain water. Skip is in his office 7 or 8 hr. a day, infact he has only one day off since Jan. 2008 and it is only a part time job. So if you don't call it is our own fault.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who else is running for DPW?

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12.34 - Skip being in his office 7-8 hrs a day doesen't seem to be getting the DPW costs down. Perhaps he should spend some additional time, maybe 12 hrs with 4 of those visiting his peoples job sites to see if they can be more productive.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The deputy runs the day to day. In the CASE OF DPW Pat is out on the road. The cost is down almost 1 million less, with 9 people less.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Clay Pidgeons said...

The flowers are over rated in this city anyways. Glad to see they cut back on that expense. The 4th celebration and REC Center project wouldbe another nice cut if Ivins and Johnson wake up.

7:45 AM  
Blogger NOW. HERE. THIS. said...

I confess- I worked two seasons with the DPW Flower Crew. Tough, dirty, crazed-drivers-miss-you-by-inches work. I believe EVERY DPW member works hard. I believe Skip works hard...and SMART. Stop to admire the new City Hall doors, NO COST thanks to Skip.

But if DPW salaries won't DROP, JOBS must be CUT.

As an aside- Commissioner McTygue was out and working City Streets every day. Literally. All day the DPW radios cackled with HIS calls about problems needing attention, ASAP. He'd stop at work sites and check status and progress and yeah, he'd kick butt. THEN... he went to the office.

One Sunday when he was "off-duty" I met him as he came across a nest of aggressive bees at the Park's Casino. We set up security barricades, he called in Extiminators... and he awaited their arrival... because he was HANDS ON and PASSIONATE about our City.

So let fly with your mud and littany of his many "misdeeds." But do not EVER doubt that the man was ON the STREETS and very HANDS-ON.

EASY WITTY COME-BACKS-

"Yeah, we're BETTER OFF with ONE Mctygue 'ON THE STREETS!' Let's go for TWO!!!"

"Hands-ON???? He was more like HANDS-in-THE COFFERS!!!!"

"Kyle-the-Flower-Boy and Tommy-the-Tulip! What a pair of losers!!!"

"Gimme a break- He put the FAT in Public Works."

-Kyle York
Work's Good

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Ron Kim's Weight Loss Coach said...

How about this money saving idea?

Figure out a way to capture all the hot air emanating from Ron Kim and use it heat every city owned building for one year.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wreck center
Wreck center
Wreck center
No cuts in the REC buget. Anyone reviewed that?
Remeber the REC is NOT
Little League
Pop Warner
Little Miss Softball

The Rec is a wreck!!!
Why are we not looking there

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It election time. If you have been watching, DPW is 9 workers short than 2007 and almost 1 million less than 2007. To9mmy really didn't do much, the roads are a mess, City buildings are falling apart, look at the drink Hall, The Casino, the handing cap wall is a mess and has been for a few years, and parts of the ceiling are falling, the senior center, which he had a grant for and Tommy still didn't do the work there. All of this can be proven. Walk around and look at the buildings, talk to the Senior Center people. I think we are way better off with Scirocco, he has done alot with little money.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, here we go...

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.. It was all Tom's fault. HOw long before people stop saying it?

Must be an election year.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Clay Pidgeons said...

Sounds like Kyle York purposely started the McTygue bash parade this time.
Why wasn't the Recreation Department cut? Terricola is certainly overpaid considering her lack of knowledge of the needs of our community sports programs. I was over there a few weeks back and noticed they have probably 2 or 3 people they don't need on staff.
The wreck center is a big waste.
They are planning on adding 6 more people to run the place. How much will that cost? I don't see Johnson doing anything about that.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:33 Please recheck your facts. The Rec Dept budget was cut probably to a greater percentage than public safety and public works

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:23 The Rec Dept is not adding any new staff for the new buidling. If any dept. is, it would be DPW. The union is hard at work. Six people to clean the rec center, outrageous!

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Crash Banderkoot said...

i think the police union should keep their mouths shut...they don't do work, only reactive work not proactive...oh isn't proactive how real criminals get caught? yeah! isn't the job to be proactive and stop people like regular scoflaws...don't belive what i say? check out every corvette without a front license plate...if they take liberties like those how many are driving drunk? besides it is right out in the open just check the inspection sticker or registration...oh i forgot they need thier eyes open for those to be caught.

if they can't work why do they just drive around...let the tourist drive like idiots ...passing in the break down lane...not stop at the red light,just a lok and go is all you can expect...oh i forgot again "police work" is an oxymoron!

Where is our commissioner Ron sunglasses making sure we get out tax dollars worth before he goes to bat for the union and give them more of what they don't earn1

1:46 PM  
Blogger NOW. HERE. THIS. said...

Clay BirdMan-

My comments were in response to 5:31 AM. I admire Skip. But for hands-on roll-up-the-sleeves labor, Deputy Pat Design and Commissioner McTygue were worth every penny. They did the WORK without DELAY.

That's my only point.

The "Bash Parade" is always on the march. But not ONE of them ever stood beside the Commissioner as he directed crews to work better and faster... ALL because he knew the gear and the ground.

That's all.
I apologize for implying anything more. If he is Bernie Madoff, y'all can take him down.

But it's MY personal observation, MY tribute to a man who walked in MY shoes. And HE focused on results. Yeah Clay, for you as well.

-Kyle York
Public. Works.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Savoy Brown said...

Hey! Crash Gordon! What do you call grabbing Schnectady,Troy, New York City and New Jersey infiltrators that are trying to run drugs through our town before they set up shop? I would call that preventive work. Did you ever wonder why there isn't much crime to speak of? That's because they stop it before it happens. They don't have the luxury to brag about what they are doing or it would cost them their investigation. Not like McTygue used to brag about how beautiful the flowers are. I would rather be safe than worry about being pretty.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last night at the council meeting the kim pouted and fidgeted in his seat complaining about something to do with the VLT revenue stream that he once had positioned for kastlekim claiming now that future VLT revenue is foolish.
instead of making some real cuts in his bloated department spending and feeling the concerns of the taxpyers he instead voted to pass the budget amendments insuring the public a whopping tax increase next year.
he mumbled something about blaming all this on the form of government.
it was only yesterday he saddled up with keehn's kohorts to change the charter so that he could push spending without responsibility.
remember in november, that nothing say's waste, disruption, out of touch, failometer and runaway spending like the kim.
can't say much for dpw either. now was the time to cut fat not services. duhh, it's an election year!
the ivans is afraid of the brown shirts.
it's no wonder franck is running unapposed.
it only gets better.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We here about Tommy because He is costing us money, 300,000 fine from the DEC, when we can least aford it. They are not done with us yet. Skip has been out on the road plenty of times Kyle where were you. You have never worked with Skip, have you Kyle. Tommy also had alot of money to work with, we are now in a recession. Tommy is the persons who hire all of the people in DPW, good , bad, not Skip. Skip has appointments most of every day, who do you think should be doing that if Skip where out on the road every day.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

I worked with Skip last year for the July 4 event. HIS quick action allowed us to have an American flag on the Main Music Stage at the Casino.

I have looked to the future with Skip and hope to contribute money and marketing skills to a community-funded restoration of the City Hall clock tower.

There is an invaluable knowledge that comes from pounding pavement. There is an immense burden that goes with running a large staff with a large budget.

That said, please respect these writers, this community, and please sober up enough to clarify--

"Tommy is the persons who hire all of the people in DPW, good , bad, not Skip."

-Kyle York
Worked with Skip. And Tom. And Pat.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Kyle I think you would make a good candidate for Comm of Public Works.
How can we convince you to run?

Michael

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

Great picture of Mayor Johnson - a fashion emergency if I ever saw one!

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The woman who lost her job in Public Safety is now complaining about the Mayor. The Mayor says she isn't qualified to be making statements about him.

Why can't empployees just do their jobs.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

I like to think what it would be like to serve the City, to serve my neighbors, to work with a community that believes in the Ballot as much as the Blog.

But for want of Public Participation, our leaders have handed us a budget we'll regret... even as the Unions rejoice. It was unfortunate that the many articulate and informed people writing here couldn't come down to City Hall for The Vote.

John Franck has convinced me that I owe more in taxes, our civil disagreement now is how MUCH. But what I do NOT disagree with is his view of where this community is headed- A "catastrophe."

Strong word. And absolutely spot-on.

I believe in my responsibility to serve the community. But I'd crash and burn here, where Job #1 is to serve the Unions.

-Kyle York
Catastrophe Springs

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle
Everyone in government says that 95% of the budget is payroll and benefits. So, the task is simple.

Either raise taxes to pay for raise after raise after raise (with no accountability for performance -- or lack thereof) or.........get rid of the slackers, make each department leaner with accountability, and get tougher.

Think you are up to the task?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Mr. Kondo Kyle is willing to pay his fair share of the property taxes, then he can have his fair share of the say. Mr. ‘not in my back yard’ has such a big mouth when it comes to ‘other’s backyards’ and how the city should work for his utopia that it is nauseating to listen to his blather about everything under the sun except the subject at hand. It’s time for Kyle to invest in some heavy central nervous system depressants.

Anonymously,

Get Help/It’s not all Good.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

10:12

When cutting the payroll, Commissioner Ivins made a good run at Solution A-- Give each Department a "target," but leave it to the "expert" Council member to do the hard work with his senior staff, Union and otherwise.

Unfortunately we learned Solution A can't work with Council members more beholden to their Employees than the Electorate. Each shrugs and says "Can't be done" as "their people" massed in the pews transform the honored 1871 Chamber into a frenzied 1930 Beer Hall.

I'd opt for Solution B, a forgotten relic from the 80's-- Zero-Based budgeting. Every Department starts with zero dollars. Then tell the Finance Commissioner...and THE PEOPLE... what is needed, why, and for how much?

Last year's budget is Old News. Demand that the Council do the kind of Hard Work every citizen does when shopping for a week's worth of groceries, gas, and gummy bears.

From the little we know, I can think of a few expenses that... well, I'm certain they can EASILY be justified in a Zero-Based powerpoint presentation--

* VISITORS/OPEN SPACE/HISTORY CZAR???- Here's a $52G a year job that went unfilled until 2007, the burden promptly stripped of the Visitors' Center work. For 52G, nothing done or said about Historical 66 Franklin or 23 Greenfield. The Employee HAS been making inventory of trees, saying “This envisions also consulting with the major utilities and crafting a protocol on routine maintenance and trimming in the public right of way.”
We're PAYING $52G for THAT?

* OFFER OVERTIME TO HIGHEST EARNERS???- A new Officer is earning less and may really NEED the help of overtime hours supervising a barricade for a Broadway parade. But today, the OT assignment trickles DOWN the payroll cascade, from top to bottom.
Can we RETHINK this and DO the MATH?

* EMPLOYEES CONTRIBUTE 0% TO HEALTH INSURANCE???- That's kinda' rare in the Private sector... just might be a reason for that.
How about a 15% contribution, the PITTANCE of a standard restaurant TIP?

You get the idea- Leaner, tougher.
Each Commissioner/Deputy is obligated to create a line-item budget and to explain/defend it a Public Hearings. It's hard work, it's transparent, and it might bring these educated bloggers to grill the Council in the white-hot public spotlight.

I'd pay good money to see that.

-Kyle York
The Zero Czar

1:20 PM  
Anonymous No more non saratoga kids said...

Hey if city jobs are so great they should at least protect them for kids that were born and raised in saratoga springs. Half of the workers in the city are from other parts of the area and manipulate their way into jobs here. Civil service should at least make workers live here for ten years or look at high school transcripts and verify they were in the city school district. Time to stop this bad trend!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Kyle,

Brilliant suggestions. I would endorse everyone of them. The OT, unfortunately, is a policy written into the police contract, which Kommissar Kim refuses to release to the public because he's too busy fighting for open government.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Some union contracts in the manufacturering sector stipulate that overtime hours be offered in an equalized manor across a supervisors group. With the supervisor responsible for making sure this happens, they are conscious of who works what hours of overtime, maybe manageing it better. And also they are accountable to management for the hours of OT worked.

In the case of the SSPD, for example, each shift leader would be responsible and held accountable for the equalization of OT offers.

Supervisory people along with management should not get OT pay.

This method would prevent the senior people from getting all the OT and make supervision more responsible for cost of overtime.

Michael

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle
Yes that 52G job at the Visitor's Center (er, that's where LJB's SUPPOSED to be working)
would be a terrific slash in the budget, I mean, how difficult is it to count trees? Probably about as difficult as SHOWING UP at work at least once or twice a week.
Oh, excuse me, he does a lot of his WORK from home.
YEah, right....
He's been getting away with it for many, many years.
Why change now?

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

I would bet that the "Open Space" or "Preservation" people would be more than happy to count the city's trees as a volunteer project. At least lead the project as a school science project.

They could also include the lands purchased for open space. There might be a revenue stream there from a log sale. At minimum the boundries of thes lands need marking so that people using them don't trespass on the neighboring prroperties.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle, are you 100% percent certain Saratoga Springs city employees (DPW, Police and Fire) do not contribute to health insurance premiums?

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Anon 2:15 PM-

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2009/jun/28/629_rally

"In the city’s final offer to the union... the city would require employees who don’t currently pay anything toward their health insurance premiums to contribute $500 a year."

The reporter for this story is Tatiana Zarnowski. Her reputation for accuracy is impeccable.

Like you 2:15, I find it hard to separate fact from propaganda in this town. It would be nice if we had a wee bit more transparency around here. UNION money is OUR money so I say give us a webcast of the negotiating. But do NOT open the DOORS or the Union All-Stars will skulk around the table, baseball bats in hand like DeNiro's "Al Capone." But a family-friendly G-Rated webcast would be nice.

Oh, can we maybe see a copy of the Rules and Regulations that govern the Officers we pay to follow?

Sometimes I get this feeling that some Commissioners think they work for their Department, not the few dozen folk who turn out to vote every 2 years. Could it be?

-Kyle York
100% Certain

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

York,

your 100% wrong. ALL firefighters pay towards their health insurance. $520 minimum with most paying upto 20%.

6:51 AM  

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