www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Overpaid/Underworked Government

Internal Revenue Service Cupid Dance 2010
Internal Revenue Service employees and the Cupid Dance
  • Bureaucrats - wasting our national treasure on expensive/needless programs and foreign giveaways
  • Government employee unions - a public conflict of interest
  • Government debt - state and federal debt as of FY 2014 is not sustainable
  • Taxes - too high at all levels of government with little or no return-on-investment to the citizenry

 

 

"I have no time for public sector unions."
- Denver talkshow host Peter Boyles,
commenting on teachers unions (08:34am on KNUS radio, 08-20-2014)

 

Government Employee Unions - a public conflict of interest!

Protesters at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio - February 2011 Don't get me wrong, I take a very dim view of the huge concentration of wealth and power that's taken place in our society over the past three or four decades that I've been an adult. Nevertheless, two wrongs don't make a right - overpaid public-sector unions don't have a right to strap the American taxpayer for so little EVA (Economic Value Added, i.e., lots of pay and benefits, compared to the private sector, for miniscule output). In early 2011 this theme became popular when Wisconsin, and other states, attempted to rein-in their gigantic deficits by controlling or eliminating collective bargaining in the public sector. I, myself, publicly addressed the issue nearly three decades ago but it was at a time when the economy was relatively strong and jobs were plentiful. Despite that era's prosperity it was clear to me, and others, that the huge burden public sector unions were placing on government entities was simply unsustainable. So, in 2011, during the Great Recession, our economic chickens came home to roost...
Anyway, what it amounts to is that inefficient, overpaid, underworked, and often times corrupt - fire fighters, police, street workers, teachers, college professors, administrators, and a whole host of others on the government payroll have taken more than they'll ever give back. In private industry it wouldn't raise much concern because an inefficient business would simply succumb to competition (take, for example, the various car companies and their unions that went under at around the time of the millennium). However, in the world of government employment there are no such checks and balances - unionized government workers demand more and more while regular working people are required to endure higher taxes, poorer service, and a diminished quality of life.

During the Great Recession of 2008 - 2011 things started coming to a head as local and state governments found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy while their employee unions continued demanding more than what the people could afford. In Wisconsin and other bankrupt states union thugs rolled out in force to squeeze more and more from government coughers that had simply run dry. In response, I created this page (and related domain names) as a way of not only fighting back but also to set the record straight. Having held jobs in various municipal and federal agencies, myself, I had witnessed firsthand the corruption capable of government employees and their unions. But, all of the blame can't be placed on just the unions themselves - we mustn't forget that it was the elected officials and government bureaucrats that continually caved-in to union demands at the public's expense. Why? Because many of those running for office were financed and supported by the unions - a horribly corrupt system that perpetuated itself at the expense of the rest of us - a definite conflict of interest!

Yes, I know that in the times before unions people (and, sadly, children) were grossly overworked and underpaid throughout large segments of our economy. But, that was many decades ago - since then countless laws have been enacted that guarantee a minimum wage, safe and healthy working conditions, and overtime for anything over a 40 hour work week. So, why would a union be needed - especially in government employment?? With hard work and determination we can ban together to eliminate the stranglehold government employees and their unions have on the American taxpayer - our economy can simply afford nothing less...

- Roger J. Wendell
Grand Junction, Colorado
March 2011

Public Sector Unions:

 

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COloraod Statewide Ironworkers (Erector) Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Roger J. Wendell - 04-20-1979 Yes, I have belonged to unions in the past! And, I do believe that working people need/deserve good paying jobs with benefits commensurable to the skills and value they bring to the marketplace - not only because it's the right thing to do but because our entire society benefits from a more equitable distribution of wealth. However, with the exception of the Ironworkers (see photo at left - back in '79 they were a hardworking, honorable bunch) the other unions I belonged to encouraged sloth, protected our worst workers, contributed part of my dues to political campaigns I didn't believe in - all while lining the pockets of stewards, local officers and business agents.

Well, who decides when a teacher, police officer, administrator, or other public-sector employee is overpaid or underworked? Answer: The marketplace! You know something is amiss when, even during an "up" economy, the line of qualified applicants for a government job goes out the door. Almost without exception, announcements for government job vacancies are met with more applications than the hiring office can handle. Do you think that's because the pay is too low or the work too hard? Why is there always so much interest in a government job? The average worker and taxpayer can't long afford the largess unions have forced on them - it's time for a change!

 

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Teachers Unions

Teachers Unions Bully
Mike Rosen by Mike Rosen during the 10 O'clock hour of
his October 18, 2011 Jefferson County School
Board election show on KHOW, 850 AM, Denver:
"The teacher unions exist primarily for the purpose of advancing the interests of the members of the teacher union. It's not for the children. The children are incidental. Any labor union works to advance the cause of its rank and file dues paying members. Another thing labor unions do, is avoid any competition among its membership [Rosen's emphasis]. That's why labor unions like to be compensated on a contractual basis, based on not performance, but seniority. And public education is no different. If there's a need for layoffs, in a public school, union bumping is the way it works under the contract. That is, the people with the most seniority, regardless of their performance and their ability, they keep their jobs. The least senior members, who have tenure are the ones that get laid off. The ones without tenure are obviously the first to go."

 

Teachers Strike Public teachers and their unions have been taking too much from taxpayers for too long. Despite worsening student achievement teachers and their unions continue demanding more pay even though there are long (very long) lines of qualified candidates anytime a teaching job becomes vacant here in Colorado. The mentality of teachers and their unions was put on full display when dozens of teaches walked off the job (called-in "sick" or took leave) at Conifer and Standley Lake high schools on September 20, 2014. These Jefferson County schools had to cancel classes because teachers were upset about a new pay model that's based on performance.

Although the Jefferson County Education Association (the teachers union) sent out a statement that said it did not organize the protests it was no secret there were plans for an organized action as teachers are upset over the new pay-for-performance requirements. Interesting to note, too, that on the day of the illegal walkout the Jefferson County Education Association's website, at the top of the main page, still stated, "Our mission is to serve as the active voice of our members; promote quality and equity in public schools; expand and protect the rights and interests of our members; and advocate human, civil and economic rights for all." [Ed. Note: The union doesn't mention much about student achievement, taxpayer rights, or school choice!]

 

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Postal Unions

Although the Postal Service was near financial collapse in 2011-2012, their unions wouldn't
give an inch and management remained petrified with indecision and inability. In early 2011
both parties negotiated yet another no-layoff clause despite plummeting volumes and huge
debt - obviously the strategy of both parties was to seek another taxpayer bailout without
efficiency improvements or planning for the future.

 

The following letter was posted here with permission:

 

Roger Freed Letter to the Editor APWU Mountaineer - 12-22-2008
(Click on this image for a larger view of the original letter)
Letters to the Editor
Postal Union,                                                                                                                         Dec. 22, 2008
Denver, Colorado

Greetings!

So, you guys now have to lay off employees. Well good. Working as a casual at three different facilities in Denver I never saw such laziness, disregard for duty, backstabbing and phoniness in my life in an organization. Half the people who work for the Post Office deserve to lose their jobs. I've seen Union reps who strut around the premises when they should be working instead act like Mafia goons trying to intimidate managers.

As a casual I often got treated like crap and often worked while my union co-worker screwed around or slept. Maybe some of you will have to go out and get real jobs and really have to work for a change. This is not to disparage those who really do have to work hard at their jobs like a lot of the Vietnamese I saw working the night shift or the mail carriers.

What goes around comes around. I'll be glad to see some or your boys get it.
Remember to use the Internet - it's bringing the Post Office to its knees one e-mail at a time.

Roger Freed
Roger Freed
Fairbanks, AK 99709

 

The Mountaineer
American Postal Workers Union
Denver Metro Area Local
Winter 2009, p. 2

Postal Employee Sleeping On Duty - 12-05-2007
Postal employee sleeping on duty
Mr. Freed,                                                                                                                         January 14, 2009

In response to your letter dated December 22, your attack on this union is unwarranted and hateful. It appears you have no understanding of what it means to carry a union card. It means when one of us is attacked, we all are being attacked. My union card also symbolizes a level of commitment to work for better pay and benefits, as well as dignity and respect on the job. It appears you don't know anything about that. As the second largest employer in the United States, your opinion of a couple co-workers in the plant doesn't reflect the entire force. Postal workers are a part of the fabric of every American community and according to the American public, the United States Postal Service was rated the most trusted government agency for the third year in a row. With the economy mired in crisis and the Postal Service facing the most serious challenges in its history, the American Postal Workers Union intends to pursue an ambitious legislative agenda in order to protect our hard won rights and benefits. And, if I may correct your message, to date, there has not been a layoff in the history of the United States Postal Service.

Being a union member requires our determination to speak to our nations [sic] leaders about issues that are important to postal employees and working families. Just like it was in the 1940's, it will be the collective voices of working men and women who will lead this nation to its rightful leadership role in the world we live in.

You don't have to join a union to participate in the movement to change the direction of this country. Call up the Alaska AFL-CIO and join their "working America" program and stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow Americans. Be a part of the change and stop hating.

In solidarity,
Gary L. Scott, President
Denver Metro Area Local

 

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