REAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING for WV PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
by One Citizen
FACT: WV does not permit real collective bargaining for any of its public employees unions. Not like Wisconsin.
FACT: WV is the fourth most resource-rich state in the U.S.
FACT: Most of WV’s public employees have gotten the shaft while certain others have taken the elevator*.
Regarding the legality of the pay freeze, a West Virginia Attorney General Opinion, dated July 16, 2008, states that “Because the Govemor’s freeze policy was contained only in a memorandum authored and signed by an employee (Puccio memo dated April 25, 2005), without issuance of an Executive Order by the Governor, it is of questionable authority and effect.”
FACT: WV spends far less per student on education than any of our surrounding states.
FACT: The gatekeepers of West Virginia’s public employees unions never join together to push for legislation which would allow our public employees to legally engage in collective bargaining before accepting a contract.
FACT: Many unions in our surrounding states have had collective bargaining for their public employees for years.
FACT: Before the U.S. has signed onto any international trade agreement over the last 5 decades, it has required all participating countries to permit collective bargaining by their laborers. So to the shame of WV DINOcrat leaders (Puccio, Manchin, Rockefeller, Yost, etc.,) the U.S. obviously respects the rights of 3rd world country laborers far more than West Virginia does its own public employees!
QUESTION: WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Most folks aren’t familiar with contract law and how it applies to public employees unions. So if that’s the case for you, then to get you up to speed really quickly you first need to realize that there are several requirements which are essential to any contract legislation that’s not only effective, but equitable to both parties.
This is essentially where our state DINOCRATS and union leaders have failed our public employees, and our state for so many years.
First of all, the requirement for a public employee union to engage in “collective bargaining” can be extremely detrimental to the union if bad legislation is passed. Just such legislation is what has been introduced for years in the WV legislature, and what I’ve observed is that the same crap draft keeps getting introduced year in and year out apparently without any public employee union or any DINOCRAT legislature ever even half attempting to fix it.
For example, here’s what was regurgitated into the WV House, virtually unchanged from the dozen-or-so last sessions, and here’s its counterpart in the Senate, sponsored by Jack Yost, DINO-Brooke. If you take the time to go back and look, they’re both the same stinkin’ half assed drafts that have died in committee for years.
To anyone even half familiar with contract law these drafts look like whoever authored them was out to destroy the public employees unions from the get-go. To most folks at first reading these drafts might not seem too bad. But passing the legislation as offered out of committe would be like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded pistol for any union advocate. The Strikes Prohibited clause loads the weapon, requiring the Union to submit to binding arbitration under the law aims it straight at the union negotiator, and the hair trigger is the lack of any clause preventing a lock out by the employer.
The reason this combination is a coup-de-gras for the union is because by legally requiring the union to adhere to the outcome of a three judge arbitration panel means that if two of the three decided that the union’s position was untenable, then the union negotiator would be forced to sign to the contract no matter what the rank and file wanted. So all they’re left with is to quit or else elect to continue to work without a contract. In the event that the union members decide on a work slowdown, let’s say, at a school, then the superintendant of a school district could issue a lock out orders by determining the slowdown a wildcat strike, and immediately hire baby sitters to “teach” the kids at the expense of the union. Of course the other problem with that pesky Strikes Prohibited clause is that other unions would be required by law to ignore the picket lines of the locked out employees.
So under the legislation currently proposed, any school board superintendent, and possibly even any right wing school principal could issue a lockdown order for any reason, including just to break the union.
Although the Union is bound by the determination of the arbitration board, their findings would still be subject to the final approval of the WV Legislature, thus shielding elected lawmakers with a political firewall. And if the union members don’t agree with the terms of the contract, they still have no recourse but to either work under the contract they were forced into, or else quit.
My question is, why haven’t any of OUR Public Employee Union “LEADERS” ever considered pushing our too-long DINOCRAT-held statehouse to pass essentially the same collective bargaining legislation that’s served Wisconsin for so many years?
Senator Earl Ray Tomblin personally pockets tax payer dollars by pretending to be Governor of WV. His take-home suddenly jumped to a whoppin’ $150,000 when he should only be getting $20k, plus the per diem he’s allowed in the Senate. He’s also already changed all the stationary, road signs and letters on the doors of all the offices in the state capitol and everything else he can think of.
While dangling a one-time pay bonus to public employees, he brags about the state’s having a $241 million dollar surplus and stuffing his his pockets with cash specifically designated for an elected Governor. How is THAT legal?
SPEAKING OF LEGAL… not all other state employee pay is frozen, only the majority of the LABORING state employees pay is frozen.
Compare your Frozen Pay to the sweet pay raises of white-collar state employees at various state agencies**:
Ted Cheatham 2009 = $142,999.92; 2008 = $140,076.65; 2007 = $134,348
Secretary Ferguson 2009 = $92,291.63; 2008 = $87,291.71; 2007= $82,291.66
Jason Haught 2009 = $79,212; 2008 = $78,006; 2007= $76,080
Gloria Long 2009 = $84,624; 2007= $81,308; 2006 = $80,658
Shelda Martin 2009 = $174,257.76; 2008= $171,873.92; 2007= $133,031.39
Larry Stover 2009 = $74,124; 2008 = $72,990; 2007 = $71,166
Felice Joseph 2009 = $98,610; 2008 = $97,122; 2007 = $94,954
Office of Technology
Kyle Schafer 2009 = $122,653.27; 2008 = $113,241.29
Division of Highways
Marvin Murphy 2009 = $95,736.24; 2008 = $94,207.24; 2007 = =$91,894.24
James Roten Jr. 2009 = $87,929.71; 2008 = $82,706.43; 2007 = $80,460.99
Howard Mullens 2009 = $87,204.24; 2008 = $85,792.24; 2007 = $81,802.74
Fredric Thomas 2009 = $74,698.87; 2008 = $72,606.73; 2007 = $70,666.24
Dennis Runyon 2009 = $72,267.83; 2008 = $65,429.73; 2007 = $64,644.13
Curley Belcher 2009 = $72,713.50; 2008 = $64,246.64
Department of Environmental Protection
Randy Huffman 2009 = $94,999.92; 2008 = $92,408.28; 2007 = $85,000.00
Lisa McClung 2009 = $88,740.00; 2008 = $86,151.48; 2007 = $81,254.00
Thomas Clarke 2009 = $83,232.00; 2008 = $78,259.04; 2007 = $69,550.00
David Vande Linde 2009 = $69,960.00; 2008 = $67,697.00; 2007 = $65,044.00
Scott Mandirola 2009 = $66,768.00; 2008 = $58,892.23; 2007 = $55,558.00
William Timmermeyer 2009 = $60,360.00; 2008 = $57,256.00; 2007 = $51,272.00
Shahid Masood 2008 = $255,511.58; 2007 = $235,561.60
Muhammad Hyder 2009 = $285,938.17; 2008 = $246,606.97; 2007 = $227,388.50
Jawaid Latif 2009 = $240,993.22; 2008 = $224,882.70; 2007 = $199,787.02
** All figures are taken from the total compensation data as listed on the State Auditors website, as compiled by the author at this website
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