• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Labor Day Has Become Government Day

    This Labor Day marks a milestone in the history of the U.S. union movement. It is the first Labor Day on which a majority of union members in United States work for the government. In January the Department of Labor reported that union membership in government has overtaken that in the private sector. Three times as many union members work in the Post Office as in the entire domestic auto industry. The face of the union movement is not a worker on the assembly line but a clerk at the DMV.

    This is a dramatic shift for the union movement. The early trade unionists did not believe that unions had a place in government. They believed the purpose of unions was to redistribute business profits from owners to workers … and the government makes no profits.  Not until the 1960s did unionizing government employees become widespread. Now government employees make up 52 percent of all union members.

    So what? Why should Americans care if unions are now dominated by workers who get their paychecks from governments, instead of workers who get their paychecks from private firms? There’s one simple reason: private firms face competition; governments don’t.

    Collective bargaining, the anti-trust exemption at the heart the labor movement’s power, was created to help workers seize their “fair share” of business profits. But if a union ends up extracting a contract from a private firm that eats up too much of the profits, then that firm will be unable to reinvest those resources and will lose out to competitors. But when a union extracts a generous contract from a government, there is no check on that spending. Instead of being forced out by more efficient competitors, the government just raises taxes.

    The shift from private to public sector has fundamentally changed organized labor’s priorities. Unions used to support policies that would help their private sector employers grow. But now that they are largely dependent on the government, the only growth that unions are interested in is the growth of government. So unions push for tax increases across the country. Consider recent union activism:

    Government unions are the backbone of the Obama dependency economy. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize union campaigns, much less those that call for tax increases. At the very least Congress should end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    61 Responses to Morning Bell: Labor Day Has Become Government Day

    1. C LabOUNTY MERRITT I says:

      If more union memebrs work for the government than private industry then "victory" is complete.

      We are now officially a communist country!!!!!

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      UNION Workers make more $$$,

      and have BETTER BENEFITS THAN Non-Union Workers.

      So, WHY is the HF against UNIONS?

      Make that = WHY IS THE HF AGAINST???

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    3. Turner, Massachusett says:

      Labor Day? More like "Oxymoron Day." I thought about buying a GM car but I realized I would be contributing to Obama's re-election campaign that the UAW will be running. I'm not going to buy a GE product either. They should have given GM to ALL Americans with the interest and payoff coming directly to us until the GM employees paid off the loans we gave them and bought it back from us. THEN, the GM stock should have been given to the EMPLOYEES and not some band of crooks like the UAW! Obama has built in a system of syphoning off payola from the production of corporations.

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      During the Cold War, communist countries like the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, Cuba, Ethiopia,

      Romania, Albania, the People's Republic of China, and Yugoslavia, routinely celebrated May Day. By the end of the Cold War, instead of celebrating May Day, they were calling Mayday. We have to remember that.

    5. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      Unions were formed to protect the workers from abuse by business owners, they made wages fair, hours were regulated with proper time off. This was to assure workers safety as well as that they were paid on a regular basis so that their families prospered. Back in early days businesses owned their employees, they usually provided housing, most was uninhabitabal, wages were scant and goods were bought from the company store on a chit. In the long run the workers couldn't leave they owed more than they had made. Just listen to a song by Burl Ives, "I owe my soul to the company store" today is different, the unions now figure they owe your soul, only it's to tell you how to vote and to control the rest of us. I lived Union when my husband was alive, back then it was for us, now it's for them, the Union bosses.

    6. Brad Kelley, Severna says:

      Government workers, on average, earn 40 percent more than their private sector counterparts, are far less productive, yet receive far more benefits. In fact, productivity is discouraged in government jobs. Less productivity equals the need for more money. More money means bigger budgets, better offices and more raises. See?

      Do less, pay more and whine at every opportunity.

    7. Hal, Ohio says:

      I think now is the time to replace State, County, Federal Governments with 401K plans instead of the traditional retirements plans. All Holidays should be unpaid. If we want to have paid holidays this adjust their pay according.

      All elected officials should not receive a retirement from the Government. If you want to serve 40 years working for the Government, a 401K will suffice.

      My question is if you belong to a union why should you receive a cost of living increase as well as step increases.

      If you work for the government there should be no strikes.

      If you work for the government and you are caught breading the law, embezzlement, corruption, you should not be able to received the government share of the pension costs. If you a charged with a crime you should not be able to receive your pay pending the investigation. It should be charged against your accrued vacation, sick etc.

      We have to stop the corruption.

      Legislaters should lose all their benefits. including jailtime like the US Military UCMJ.

      If you are a legislator or federal employee and you do not pay your income taxes. You are fired and prosecuted like Wesley Shipes and others.

      Clean up the government and the rest will follow, State County and City should be treated the same way. If play with the system you pay the system back. with interest.

    8. Shawn, B'ham, A says:

      More incentive for the hard working to work harder….. yeah right.

      Tax tree farmers for Hazardous Waste Removal… all that CO2.

      If at first you don't secede, try try again.

    9. Cindy Morris says:

      Where is all the very necessary attention on the violations of rights in this country by government organizations such as CPS/DFS in every State? People do not even know this is going on – and they should. What will be next? Where is our Protection? Where is the media on this?

      From the Family Rights Association:

      "The relationship between any government and its citizens is, and has always been, at best, ADVERSARIAL: individual Rights are inversely proportional to government power. The more power the government has, the fewer Rights you have. Government can't grow in size or power except at the cost of our individual Rights and freedom.

      The founding fathers also realized that all governments seek to expand their powers and are therefore driven to diminish their citizen's Rights. Hence, the Constitution was written to both limit government and maximize our individual Rights.

      In truth, the American Constitution is essentially an anti-government document.

      The Constitution's principle purpose is not simply to specify our individual Rights, but to shield us from the single organization that will always pose the greatest threat to those Rights: our own government. That's why we have three branches of government, checks and balances, elections every two years, the opportunity to call constitutional conventions, the Right to jury trials, and the Right to keep and bear arms – each political mechanism was designed to empower the public to restrict government and thereby to protect the people against government's inevitable urge to tyranny.

      If the principle enemy of any people is their own government, and if the principle defender of the American people is the American Constitution, then it follows that the first enemy of our government is our Constitution. Government understands this conflict, but tries to conceal it from the public by claiming to be the only interpreter and protector of the Constitution."

      *****************************

      "As has been documented in evidence books submitted to Congress, the

      problems which keep children “in foster care “limbo”“ are the use of science fraud by mental health and social work practitioner used as “experts” in the child protection system, systematic falsification of evidence and records by caseworkers, and organized crime feeding off the numerous federal fund programs connected to the child protection system. (For details see the following Congressional Evidence Books: (1) COMPENDIUM OF DOCUMENTATION OF ORGANIZED CRIME METHODS AND PROCEDURES INTEGRATED INTO STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES THROUGH STATE AND FEDERAL CHILD PROTECTION, MENTAL HEALTH, AND SOCIAL WORK SYSTEMS." James Roger Brown (File size 3.6 MB)
      http://www.thesociologycenter.com/EvidenceBooks/C
      http://www.thesociologycenter.com/EvidenceBooks/F

    10. ANA says:

      I think we could do with fewer unions and none for government workers. They are capable of getting steal what they want with the help of a union. Oh, and Ii am a union member – but out of necessity.

    11. Robert, North Richla says:

      These are getting better every day. All of the points in the article are factual – and point to the complete failure of the republican party to bring us smaller government, lower taxes and more individual liberty. Things they have promised to accomplish for the last 32 years – and have failed. Prince John and his merry

      [emasculated] men will not make our government one dime smaller. So I will not WASTE my vote anymore on republicans.

    12. Gary, Texas says:

      This is truly a sad day for our country. This is usually found in communist/socialist countries. We have thanks to the Obama administration have become a 3rd world socialist country. The vote in November is critical to turn around this country. It is truly time to take out the trash.

    13. Marsh Overstedt; Ove says:

      When I was coming of age in Detroit — based on the experiences of many of my friends — I felt unions (especially the UAW) were a threat to my freedom. Now I believe they're a threat to everyone's freedom everywhere in America.

    14. Sam Marra, Monongahe says:

      It must be noted that since taxpayers pay government salaries, and government employees use their taxpayer salaries to pay union dues, we the American taxpayers fund government unions.

      Therefore, the American taxpayer should have a say in how government unions spend their money especially to insure that waste, fraud and abuse are taken into account (-:/.

    15. Paul , S D says:

      Union`s out lived their usefulness decade`s ago.Now they and big government need to fade away.

    16. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Prohibiting Unionization of all levels of government workers should be included in the Conservative Republican ("reform America" ) platform. Severe term limits, dismantling of the many vote-generating give-away programs and special perquisites for politicians, overall less spending and less taxes, resigning from the UN, and impeachment of any and all who are elected and violate their oath to uphold, defend and govern by the Constitution. There needs to be an end to stupid political correctness and the muslimization of America. Religions are good as long as they preach "love thy neighbor" along with "love thy God". These items on the agenda would go a long way to taking back America!

    17. Jim Payne, Frankston says:

      But there is another, even more blazing reason why the Civil Service Unions are such an important drag on our economy; With their union respresentives right there helping the sorry, lazy, counterproductive A$$E$, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to fire one of them!! There have been ten times more conscientious supervisors fired because they tried to fire a lazy, no good, incompetent union government worker than the other way around. The most common way to get rid of one of these scumbags is to promote him out of your organization–and then take the chance that you MAY get a replacement that will, at least come to work. Then, before you know it, the non-producers are in the supervisory positions–but they still don't have to know anything or do anything because their supervisers got to where they are the same way. And these are those who now run our government. I know–I fought that tank full of fat sharks for 13 years and was ALWAYS in trouble because I let them know what they really were.

    18. KLIMAX Baltimore, Ma says:

      As your article states Unions have changed from the assembly line worker to the clerk at the court house !! I belong to a Union that represents construction workers in a specific trade and have become very disillusioned with the Union and how it does not protect it's workers !!! The only thing they are interested in is dues and this has become a problem with all the construction trade Unions Money, Money, Money, that is their main interest !!

      The main reason the Unions that represent the people who work in the hospitality industry want the Illegal aliens to become citizens of the USA is more members paying dues and donating to their PAC organizations so they can influence the National Elections !!! They don't care about the people as individuals they only want their Money, and a lot of it !!!!

      If we want the Country to remain "FOR THE PEOPLE" the Unions must be limited to representing their rank and file members and stay out of the elections with their millions of dollars looking to sway the outcome of local and national elections !!!

    19. Gordon Johnson says:

      Thanks for the facts on "Government Day" not for the people,

      just for the Unions—totally disgusting. Liked the comparison to

      the "entire domestic auto industry" — better known as PRIVATE

      Enterprise, what use to make this country great before the

      un-democratic elite socialist thugs took over 20 months ago.

      Will be voting for non-socialists, for sure!! It's jobs birdbrain.

    20. Tom Lynn, MA says:

      Good article, but the recommendation at the end, "At the very least Congress should end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues." seems pretty lame. Why not go for ending government unions?

    21. richards lyon says:

      We must recognize that we have child's mind in the guise of a man as our President. The usual growing child is in the process of discovering and developing EMPATHY as he relates to those around. The growing child "dithers" as he experiments with the process of learning how things are done, recognizing, hopefully,the common sense of mentors. The child is by nature narcissistic, and can remain so, unless firmly guided by love, almost always of family origin. Without this guidance, we have a President who is narcissistic. Without EMPATHY he appears strong and confident, unaware of the real world around him. Sadly, at mid-life it is too late to learn to learn. So, events will continue as his handlers tell him what next to do.

    22. Richard Anderson, La says:

      What America needs is a President with backbone that will repeal the Kennedy Union authorization for Government workers.

      Free the American tax payers from the Marxis Union thugs.

    23. Richard Conquest, Lu says:

      A timely comment. You do not want to end up like the UK. In the socialist areas of the country more than 60% of GDP is accounted for by the public sector. As we have lost manufacturing jobs, 'public administration' has increased relentlessly. With this have come serious fiscal deficits and an increasingly unsustainable standard of living. Greece is simply more advanced in the process of state dependency. But most of Europe is heading that way. The big financial rewards, pensions etc are in the wealth consuming public sector and not in the wealth creating private sector. And reversing these trends…..Where are you Mrs Thatcher ?

      And nowhere is this more true than in the kleptocratic culture of Brussels.

    24. Ken says:

      Screw the unions! It's time the stinking people in this country grew a backbone and stood up to these greedy and envious, lying and cheating socialist pigs. Politicians in this country act like swine … so maybe they are.

      As for your "approval and moderation" I don't expect this go go through, and I don't much give a damn right now, because nothing in this country is going to change anyway. When the R's get control (and they will) they will play the same damn game they've been playing since I got involved, and thats to simply move left a little slower. The D's play hardball and the R's are nothing but mush. To hell with them all.

    25. Concerned, - NC says:

      Another 'cost' to the private sector is 'mob' influence 'cost' for union workers. Any idea how much of an impact these 'hidden fees' drive up the cost of private sector business?

    26. Willine Evans, Anthe says:

      It is a growing concern for me to learn that the unions have pushed their way into the lives of workers well beyond the original intent of unions to help be a voice between employee's and their employer's for both to have a prospreious and healthy work enviroment. They have bullied their way into areas that they have no business overseeing. An example is tenure in our higher education arena's where a bad teacher can lay claim to priviledges and entitlements where in the real world.. they would be fired on grounds for cause. Out local city, county and state union backed workers have successfully put into place entitlements based on less than acturate formulars that in no society can be sustain and lead to bankrupcy in sizemic portions. The union bosses have filled their pockets with the good life on the backs of the union workers. Makes one wonder when the individual union worker is going to wake up not from a pretty American dream but to the american nightmare that they have been a party too for years. In my opinion the American employer has not done the most harm to the individual union worker, those honors for the most part go to the Union Bosses and the political elected officials whose means to an end rule. It's time for the American Worker and American Employer's to look at a new way of implementing work place guidelines that are common sense respectful measures.

    27. Frank, Marrero, LA.7 says:

      I am a past Union President of Local R5-190 at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair in New Orleans. Never, and I mean never, in the almost two years I was the Union President, did I ever approach or tell ANY employee that they HAD to become "DUES paying" Union members! All this Union bullshit about ALL workers must be "DUES Paying" Union members is just that, BULLSHIT! It is the right of every individual person to decide whether or not they want to become a Union member! This MANDATORY DUES PAYING is bullshit!!! I am appalled at what these unions are attempting to do!

      The USURPING BASTARD has got to go and go NOW! He has proven beyond a SHADOW of a Doubt, that he doesn't give a damn about America or the American people! All his actions and speeches are either for the MUSLIMS, the Unions, and his fellow CORRUPT, APPOINTED members of his cabinet, along with Reid and Pelosi! He has done nothing for America or the American people except to keep losing American jobs, belittle us to foreign governments (apologizing for America and for WHAT?), bowing to a Saudi King and in general selling-out the United States of America! Even this BASTARDS own wife stated in one of her speeches to the people of Kenya, that she was PROUD of her husband and his home country of, "KENYA"! When is this SOB going to be NOT ONLY IMPEACHED; but after his IMPEACHMENT, the BASTARD should be put on trial for TREASON, FRAUD and CONSPIRACY against both the Unoted States and the American people! I also believe his wife, Pelosi, Reid, Holder and the "B" Clinton should also be tried for, at the very least AIDING and ABETTING a CRIMINAL! If not Treason, FRAUD and CONSPIRACY!

      The American people are finally waking-up to the fact that this USURPING BASTARD IS DESTROYING OUR AMERICA and unfortunately, our GOD DAMN Senators and Congressmen are sitting on their fat asses watching this unfold!

    28. Greyhawk says:

      This article is telling the truth. Government worker unions are worthless and they do great harm in the government workplace. For example, if a government worker does not do his or her job, and is basically lazy, and a non-union supervisor or even a union supervisor, has to reprimand the lazy worker, the lazy worker will go to the union, and in 9 out of 10 cases, the Lazy Worker will win and continue to be the lazy a-hole he or she was to begin with.

      And, this is just one sort of abuse you see in government worker unions.

      In the old days of labor movements, the union laborers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. policed themselves and worthless workers or incompetent workers lost their union cards and affilliations. In government unions, they could care less about competence or workmanship. All they care about is numbers which represent power and control, and the government unions are one of the major reasons government is so incompetent and actually does more harm than good in any situation they are involved in.

    29. J.R. Absher, Truth o says:

      FYI: To his credit, New Mexico's lame duck Gov. Bill Richardson vetoed the so-called "food tax" on March 25.

    30. Warren Lyckman Hills says:

      Unions destroyed the Amarican auto industry, the American steel industry, the American clothing manufacturing industry, the small appliance business, and much other American industries and we celebrate them. Why?

    31. Lanny Valentine, Dav says:

      We need to have right to work laws in all states, secret ballot voting and no card checks. With the price of benefits and wages going up for the public sector at a percentage no business could sustain this needs to be stopped now before each and every city, county and state is completely bankrupt with no chance of getting back on track.

    32. Russell Sebring Fl. says:

      ?The only way to bring balance back to the political system is to challenge the

      constitutionality of laws that favor one group over another.

      There is such a howl about the separation of church and state, but those same howlers demand the government be compassionate (a bailiwick of churches) to the extreme. These howlers want government to provide everything from cradle to grave, day care, school lunches unemployment compensation, subsidies housing, sports stadiums for overpriced athletes etc.

      It’s not the compassion but who provides it that is of concerns. Human nature what it is, and our affinity to help the poor or to get something for nothing fall prey to the sweet talk of the despots.

      Why do we have debt? The amount of service depends on the amount of goods. The only way to exceed the ratio of goods to service is debt. Governments are nothing but services. Governments are a monopoly. Like the utilities that were monopolies, they were controlled by public service commissions. Government is a monopoly and is supposed to be controlled by the constitution. Unions have been exempted from the monopoly laws. Unions of government emploees should be considered a monopoly and be under the control of a commission.

      To handle all these programs requires an increase in the size of government. The larger the government the greater the chance of the government to become tyrannical.

    33. maryanne Bell says:

      we need to disband the unions. today it is all about power , bribes and compete disregard for the american people it is time to take our beautiful country back!!!!!!!!GOD BLESS AMERICA

    34. J. Guidry, Battlefie says:

      Unions no longer serve the purpose for which they were founded. This has been true for a good many years. Now the unions are only interested in enriching the leaders of the unions. The unions almost put the American auto industry out of business, they still might. As pointed out in the article, when the unions get to the point of making demands on a company which no longer allows that company to be competitive, the company will go under due to lack of business. When the company folds, the workers no longer have jobs. A real no brainer. I find that most union workers I have met have a problem realizing this fact of business. Somehow, their union leaders are credited by the union workers with knowing more about running a business than the business owners. Many, if not most, of the union leaders have never been in business, sort of like our president, yet have all the knowledge they need to know what business can afford to pay their employees. I consider union workers to be, at best, ignorant of the facts of what it takes to run a business competently. Sort of like our president and his crew.

      Be glad when they are gone.

    35. Kevin Allen says:

      Get your facts straite. Your entire article is full of missleading (Lies) statements.

    36. Dave O'Connor says:

      I suppose we could create a commission to review this, ala Wall Street. Maybe using the stimulus money, laid-off workers from the Census, Acorn and The Cabinet could establish an NGO (that is with all the union benefits). And apart from bevies of bureaucrats, whatever could be more wealth enhancing than a government sponsored Non-Government Organization.

    37. José Cassais says:

      Here´s samples of an article I have translated using Google Translator, from Portuguese to English, and I haven´t edited it very much. If you could understand, it's the same question. The article is by Fernando Mello, in the weekly magazine "Veja".

      (…)

      Since 2003, when Lula came to power, his followers have accelerated the achievement of operation key posts in the state which, incidentally, had already been disciplined followed by previous governments without the alarms sounded. Of the forty most coveted positions of government, the supporters of Lula and the PT members occupy 22. In these stations they control annual budgets, which, together, come to 870 billion reals. This represents one quarter of gross domestic product of Brazil. Ie that 25% of national wealth is under the direct administration of party cadres, and connected to unions and unions, all committed to a program lasting power.

      (…)

      With the completion of the 1219 special positions of "Superior Direction and Advice," the famous "DAS 5 and 6", governments form what one might call "hard core" of the administration. Before Lula and the PT, these positions were occupied in part by political indication, since most posts were reserved for specialists of recognized technical expertise. In the government of Lula, 45% of these jobs were given to union members, and among them, 82% are affiliated with the PT. (…) Treat the state as if the party is a donation that few rulers give themselves as happily as Lula has done in more than seven years of government. (…) The workers started to act as disguised employees: although officially they perform their public duties and their remuneration is paid by the state (that is, by all taxpayers), are dedicated to meet tactical and strategic goals set by leaders of his acronym.

      (…)

      A cross-checks performed by Veja showed that 6045 high-level federal employees have joined the PT since the beginning of the Lula government. Seven in ten of those believers had fueled his career and, recently, have been elevated to positions of leadership or received some sort of promotion. (…) "The institutions of state became subservient to the interests of the PT administration – not the rest of the population,"(…).

    38. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      The quasi-mandatory payroll deduction for union dues was wrong when it was enacted and remains wrong to this day.

      The idea that chosen politicians can, for this mid-term election, tap into a Union grab bag in excess of $100million of these very dues is obscene in addition to being immoral. It flies in the face of everything our Republic stands for.

      I have always felt that unions have no place in Government. Their purpose, as noted more than once above, was and continues to be, a "fair" distribution of the profits to Capital(owners) and Labor(workers).

      In closing, an excellent article.

    39. LDW in Carolina says:

      Why would the unions not target government workers?Unions represent the communist takeover of America, not to mention killing the economy. I work for a contractor to a large telephone company that I will not name. these men average working 3 or 4 hours a day and spend the rest of their time sitting in their truck. I have asked them aproximately how much they make a hour, which is something they don't like to talk about. They answer about $50.00 an hour counting benifits. Now remenber they work on the average 3 or 4 hours a day. they hate the contractors because they feel we are taking their work because we are willing to work MUCH cheaper. You tell me whats wrong with this picture?

    40. Pingback: Unions Use Your Tax Dollars To Lobby For Higher Taxes | Smoke Break

    41. James, Michigan says:

      So wait conservatives are pissed because their legislation made this mess or we just blamin Obama some more

    42. Janet, New Jersey says:

      You mention the 1960 as the start of unionization in the public sector–what was going on then–a little thing call the Viet Nam War. I remember guys having disucssions in the student union of my university talking about changing their major to education so they could get a deferral from the draft by going into teaching–hummm–that doesn't pay much–how can a guy raise a family on a teacher's salary??? I believe it was around that same time period (mid 60's) Congress changed the law & allowed unionization of teachers & public workers. It's been all uphill in public sector salaries since then. Somehow, we need to re-trace those steps and limit the power of or get unions out of the public sector..

    43. B Kay Milton Temecul says:

      Hello,

      Now only because I've been a teacher for decades and have been involved in this union stuff for my entire professional life, but watched my monthly pay diminished by state retirement and medicare without fail, do I dare respond to this article. The subject of teacher pensions has been a partial story presented to the public by the media to anger the people toward the present party who supports the unions. All of this is done for political purposes. And I, for one, am angry, very angry! I'm mad at Fox News for not presenting the true picture as how teachers, firemen, and policemen pay into their retirement funds. I'm furious with Glenn Beck for demonstrating on the chalkboard how many firemen it would take to pay for one fireman retired without explaining how their system is designed. I may be wrong which program on Fox, the Host on "Money Rocks" infuriates me when he continues to compare the Bell scandal to teachers and unions!

      As a first year teacher, I began paying state retirement, medicare, state and federal taxes and union dues (local, state, and national) from my monthly paycheck from Magnolia School District in 1969-1970. Since my yearly salary wasn't very much, of course, withholdings were relative. Now the district matches what I paid in during my employment there as long as I don't withdraw the money AND it's suppose to be drawing interest. But if you do draw the money out then the match the district paid is lost. Now this is the part I'm confused about. If I saved all the money that left my paycheck for 36 years and believe me by the last year before retirement it was around $570.00 monthly matched drawing interest or not matched, wouldn't the amount be a million plus.

    44. B Kay Milton Temecul says:

      Hello,

      Now only because I've been a teacher for decades and have been involved in this union stuff for my entire professional life, but watched my monthly pay diminished by state retirement and medicare without fail, do I dare respond to this article. The subject of teacher pensions has been a partial story presented to the public by the media to anger the people toward the present party who supports the unions. All of this is done for political purposes. And I, for one, am angry, very angry! I'm mad at Fox News for not presenting the true picture as how teachers, firemen, and policemen pay into their retirement funds. I'm furious with Glenn Beck for demonstrating on the chalkboard how many firemen it would take to pay for one fireman retired without explaining how their system is designed. I may be wrong which program on Fox, the Host on "Money Rocks" infuriates me when he continues to compare the Bell scandal to teachers and unions!

      As a first year teacher, I began paying state retirement, medicare, state and federal taxes and union dues (local, state, and national) from my monthly paycheck with Magnolia School District in 1969-1970. Since my yearly salary wasn't very much, of course, withholdings were relative. Now the district always matches what is paid in during employment as long as money isn't withdrawn. The money on account is suppose to be drawing interest. But if you do draw the money out then the match the district paid is lost. Since I'm teaching like a 'mad hatter' busily destroying my private life, like the majority of teachers I'm clueless about the activities with investments. Now this is the part I'm confused about. If I saved all the money that left my paycheck for 36 years and believe me by the last year before retirement it was around $570.00 monthly matched drawing interest or not matched, wouldn't the amount be a million plus. Enough said!!

    45. Pingback: Happy Labor Day or is it really Happy Government Day? «

    46. West Texan says:

      I'm afraid you're right James, U.S. Labor unions have helped change the face of federal government to that of socialists workers of America. Hope all those wide eyed votes for Obama have enjoyed the "HOPE" and "CHANGE" they believed would magically happen. NOT! Europeans tragically fell victim to such nonsense in the 1930s.

    47. Curtis Conway, Buffa says:

      The advent of the government union-worker is a step in establishing a class system. It suggests that some are 'more equal' than others. As a practical matter a government union-worker, in a capitalist economy, is an oxymoron. If you work for the government, you are by definition a servant of the people. So how can you have greater pay, privilege, facility, at less effort (in many cases), where you risk nothing, and expect a reward? Government does not, and cannot create wealth, but has a capacity for creating a climate to create wealth and unlock the potential in the economy through business friendly policies. On a basic level, monies dedicated to government workers are monies taken out of the economy, except perhaps for consumption purposes after payday. Any government worker is, by definition, a drain on the economic system. Today, that equation is upside down, and has created a drain on the economy that is . . . in EPA terms . . . unsustainable, and accelerating in the wrong direction. In fact many a federal government workers duplicate the same function that exists in most every state. Departments of Education, Transportation, OSHA, EPA, and in some cases FEMA, fall into the duplicative category. Why have a law passed by congress, then ratified and implemented by all the states, and continue to have a huge federal bureaucracy layered over state implemented functions. Only governments find this reasonable, and we can no longer afford it. All businesses would go broke conducting operations this way, and it defies logic. The unbalance of union pension funds (gov/non-gov all inclusive) is one element that is destroying our economy at its very fabric. This cannot continue . . . or the system will come down.

    48. Pingback: Happy Labor Day 2010 | Asian Conservatives

    49. Pingback: Everything I’m Not: {Part Eleven; Masked Behind A Smile} | Heavy Down Comforter

    50. George Coglrove, VA says:

      "But when a union extracts a generous contract from a government, there is no check on that spending. Instead of being forced out by more efficient competitors, the government just raises taxes."

      Couple that with the recent reports of extreemly high federal pay – are we really shocked? The thing is, we are loosing ground in the private sector every day. The private sector is what pays for government. The government is in debt over its eyeballs. Are the uinions really understanding what they are doing? And is the public trust in unions properly placed? I don't mind unions or employee associations. What bothers me is that these unions get "closed shop" privaleges. It would be nice to have federal legislation that forced unions to compete for employees. Image the government or any business that had multiple employee associations representing their workforce. Also imagine in this employee body a group of self represented employees. Now after this kind of competition, imagine what body ends up the furthest ahead. I suspect with all the labor laws in place and private market employee services available, the best relationship will be between the employee and the employer – direct. The employees will keep all of their cash to boot.

    51. Lin Hodges - Chesape says:

      The public unions will bankrupt the taxpayers that are forced to fund them. How can we stop or slow them down!!

    52. Drew Page, IL says:

      First we vote out the liberals and "progressives this November. Second, we vote out Obama in 2012. Third we vote to de-certify the unions in government.

      Of course unionized public sector workers will vote to increase taxes every time they can. When they get a 5% pay raise, they pay their 25% to 30% taxes on the raise and geyt a net increase of 3.5% to 4.0% in take-home pay, all at taxpayer expense. It has been said that the average federal government worker salary is approximately $70,000. A 5% raise amounts to an annual increase of $3,500 gross, or $2,450 to $2,800 net. And the government doesn't layoff their union workers.

      As pointed out in the article, when union demands get excessive they can make employers uncompetitive with other employers. This winds up killing the goose that laid the golden egg. You wonder why the auto industry, the steel industry and the garment industries went belly-up? You wonder why businesses are moving overseas? You wonder why state and local governments are going broke?

      Compound the high salaries, 'Cadillac' benefit plans and outrageously high pension benefits these public sector employees have awarded themselves, with the fact that government keeps creating more "boards" and "commissions" so that they can put their family members, friends and political campaign contributors into these jobs as committee members and commission members and it is no wonder that state and local government units are broke and in debt. Yet, this kind of thing continues to go on and on. This government thievery must be stopped.

    53. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 9.7.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    54. KC - New Mexico says:

      Yea New Mexico – • Unions lobbied the state’s legislature to raise taxes to deal with its budget deficit. The union got its wish, but it was not the wealthy who paid. This is DISGUSTING!!!! As a citizen, just try to get something done if it involves the local, county, state, or federal government in this great state. No wonder they now call us North Mexico instead of NM. We are a santuary for the illegals, we give them drivers licenses, feed them, house them, educate them, and medicate them for free. Less than 50% in NM pay taxes and the government unions want a raise! How stupid is this????

      Heritage – we need your help in turning this democratic stupid state into a republican state that gets things done!

    55. Jason, Fort Worth, T says:

      I resigned from my local after 29 years of dues contributions, due to the fact they give my hard earned money to PAC, political action committees, to line the pockets of politicians I would never support on election day. The democrats my UA father voted for no longer exist.

    56. Bobbie says:

      B. Kay you stated: I’m mad at Fox News for not presenting the true picture as how teachers, firemen, and policemen pay into their retirement funds.

      The responsible private sector did that when they could afford to and you're forgetting one thing.

      I’m furious with Glenn Beck for demonstrating on the chalkboard how many firemen it would take to pay for one fireman retired without explaining how their system is designed. How is it designed?

      Whatever matches your funds is coming out of the tax payers earned income. What the private sector owner matches with his employee is taken from the owners business not the tax payers.

      Unions are an unnecessary increase burden to the private sector. Highly unethical when obligating the private sector for more money because government has an unlimited budget. Business owners don't do this and business owners are held accountable. Teachers should take their position in the private sector and police and firefighters should always get efficient pay and do with their money their freedom of choice to do with it.. No GOVERNMENT UNIONS needed. Just admits how derelict government is!

      I respect your position as well as the police and firefighters… just taking a few more things into account.

      Because government labor is nothing more then taking away from the private sector, they shouldn't be considered allowance to this day-off. Hope those who get the time, had a good one. Traffic is wonderful when you work on government holidays…

    57. Pingback: Labor Day has become Government Day

    58. Rich in Delaware says:

      OK…I know this may be far fetched but here it is… Remember the civilian ARMY that Obama talked about way back when? It is going to be bigger and better then our military. Well folks he is talking about the UNIONS. At a drop of a hat he could call to order all 12 million union workers to make up his Army. That's who we are going to have to deal with when Obama tries to really take over this country. You mark my words!! So much for Labor Day as it used to be.

    59. Al from Fl says:

      Let's face it, there's not much to celebrate at this time in our history when it comes to the unions and labor in this country. The labor unions seem to concentrate on national politics and it is a one sided democrat party approach and their leaders sound like Marxists. There was a time when a union meant something to the working family as they provided a field leveling negotiation presence at work. But their interest was also for the community in which the company was located. That's no longer true. The major unions, today, are a negative force rather than a force for the good of the working person and our country.

    60. Mike, Chicago says:

      Unions have gone from helping people in this country to hurting them.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×