This time, from Politico's "Pols turn on labor unions." And this time, what I consider to be the most clear pronouncement of the truth:
The new focus on public workers is the product of a perfect storm of anti-labor factors.
First are the very real financial obligations imposed by their salaries, health benefits and—especially—their traditional, defined-benefit pension plans, which have been sweetened over the years in many states by legislators eager for the support of politically-powerful unions. This is particularly true in the northern and western states that allow public workers to organize. A recent study from the Pew Center on the States found that states are short $1 trillion toward the $3.35 trillion in pension, health care and other retirement benefits states have promised their current and retired workers, the product of a combination of political decisions and the recent recession.
But the immediate cause of the new spotlight on public sector unions is the collapse in tax revenues that came with the 2008 Wall Street crash, something that union leaders bitterly note is not their fault. [emphasis added]In Pepper Pike, there is a great deal of debate over how to prioritize and right-size the salaries and benefits of our employees, given our needs, our desires and our revenues - including both our affluence and our losses. And that is why I am anxious for the finance review committee composed of seven residents and a council liaison to provide information and its recommendations based on that information to the City.