Monday, September 28, 2009

Unions Bankrupt Another City

Atlanta is facing yet further financial woes due to the hefty pension plans they approved for it's employees including police and firefighters. You have to read way down in the story to discover that these are all union employees.

I knew it from living around here, but I was curious if the newspaper would disclose it. In a portion of the country that has very few unions, government workers are the one group that are. It is also another example of how governments exempt themselves from the laws they pass and impose on the rest of us.

Atlanta city workers do not pay into Social Security, since the law that created Social Security allowed local governments to opt out of the plan.

The part that really got my attention however was this nugget.
One sergeant, who recently retired at age 56 with 27.5 years on the force, is now getting $61,000 annually. When he dies, his spouse will get the checks — 75 percent of his pay — until she dies.

It is just another case of boy did I choose the wrong profession. For comparison I retired from the Army after 22 years. My retired pay is about 1/5 of his. My question is, how much money was he making when he was working?

There are a number reasons cited in the article as to why paying these pensions, which now amounts to about 17% of the city's operating budget, but the biggest one seems to be that the unions moved in election years to get their increases, and politicians being the spineless single cell organisms that they are approved them to ensure votes.
Rick Anderson, [Mayor]Franklin’s former CFO, now retired in Florida, said via e-mail that the City Council “caved in to pressure from employee unions in an election year [both 2001 and 2005 had city elections] ... In the final analysis, no one had the gumption to just say ‘No’ to what employees wanted.

You know you don't have to ask, but I figured Iw ould tell you anyway, yes like most major metropolitian cities Atlanta has been under Democratic rule for decades. Wake up and smell the coffee people.

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