Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Leading Edge

Fiscal reality dictates that there will soon be a reckoning for public sector unions. Mish has a post entitled "Inspired Reader Stands Up To Union Mobs" which contains this speech given by a citizen at an Albany, NY city council meeting:

Reader "Justin" put his neck on the line by his actions. To understand what "Justin" is riled about please see What Union Leaders Really Think.

Today’s NY Post reveals a moment of honesty from a NY union official.

Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley says that, regardless of the faltering economy, a no-raise new contract is unacceptable.

And to hell with the public.

"I'm not running a popularity contest here," Mesley said. "If I'm the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I'm very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership."

Mesley added: "As the president of the local, I will not accept 'zeroes.' If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it."

Standing Up To Union Thugs

It takes courage to stand up to thugs, especially organized mobs. But that is what "Justin" did. Here is an Email from Justin.


I've been a long time reader and fan of yours and I recently took your advice last night as I publicly protested the remarks of Chris Mesley to the Albany City Common Council. I know you're busy but I thought you might enjoy some of my comments.

Justin's Speech

Good evening Madame President and council members.

When Chris Mesley became a police officer he swore an oath to act in a manner befitting a police officer; to act with honesty, courtesy, and regard for the welfare of others. This week, Mr. Mesley broke that oath and spit in the face of Albany and its citizens.

He received national attention when he went on the record saying, quote, "If I'm the bad guy to the average citizen...and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I'm very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership".

Ladies and gentleman, if you are a taxpayer in this city and you do not protest the blatant arrogance of Chris Mesley, then you are asking to be taxed to death.

What he said should not come as a surprise to anyone. Public sector unions have held nothing but contempt for the average citizen for years; Chris was just the only one to say it openly. I, for one, am glad he said it though, as the public spotlight is now shining brightly on him and the unions.

As the New York Post goes on to say, taxpayers will, quote, "end up working longer and harder to pay for the guaranteed salaries and plush benefits of union members. Mesley admits he understands that. He just doesn't care".

Well, unlike Mesley, I do care and I'm here to represent the interests of taxpayers in this city. As such, we demand that the city of Albany offer to refuse pay increases to all Council 82 union members.

If they don't like it or feel they are underpaid, as they so claim, then let them leave. I'm sure they will find plenty of work in the private sector, since it's just bursting with high income jobs and benefits.

Just give you an idea of how underpaid Chris is, I did some digging. According to publicly available figures, Chris Mesley's salary for 2009 was $70,289. Reports from the Times Union in 2008 speculated that his wages as union leader were an additional $30,000 or more. All in all, Chris Mesley is almost certainly in the six figure range at a time when the median salary for a household in Albany is $33,000. Yes, you heard that correctly. Chris Mesley is making 3 times or more the median salary and is complaining that he might not get a raise. To add insult to injury,

Chris does not even live in the city of Albany, the city he has sworn to protect and serve.

The sense of entitlement of Chris Mesley and, all those who think alike, has led to the pilfering of state and city coffers. They are like leeches, sucking the taxpayers dry, and that's an insult to leeches. At least leeches know when to let go.

As representatives of the taxpayers of the city of Albany, I expect each and every one of you to respond to the belligerent comments made by Mr. Mesley, and act in the interest of the public. The unions, which were once created to protect the citizens, have now become the very thing that terrorizes them. They have become the new "gangs of New York", and, as Mayor Philip Hone perfectly summarized 170 years ago, they "patrol the streets making night hideous and insulting all who are not strong enough to defend themselves."

The time has come for private sector workers to stand up and demand fair representation in a world where the political muscling of public unions has unjustly prevailed. Public union officers cannot serve in the best interests of the public while simultaneously serving the interests of their union.

And, apropos of all this we have via Instapundit:

CHANGE: Pew Poll: Favorability Ratings of Labor Unions Fall Sharply. “Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions while about as many (42%) express an unfavorable opinion. In January 2007, a clear majority (58%) had a favorable view of unions while just 31% had an unfavorable impression.”

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