Union leaders as well as some lawmakers took turns bashing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for “privatizing” and “downsizing” human services while at the same time calling for him to throttle back plans to continue closing disability centers, psychiatric hospitals and prisons.
“Keep your hands off our state workers,” Saratoga-area GOP Assemblyman Jim Tedesco said at a Wednesday rally attended by members of the Public Employees Federation, Civil Service Employees Association and NYSCOPBA, all of which represent workers at the targeted facilities.
CSEA President Danny Donohue, whose union is still upset over the governor’s institution of a less-costly Tier 6 retirement plan almost two years ago, took the rhetoric even farther, ridiculing as “bull___” the idea that Cuomo did everything he could to keep General Electric from closing an upstate plant late last year.
“Today should be the hue and cry for the governor,” Donohue said. ” … We the people of this state are sick and tired of being had by this moron.”
Okay, CSEA didn't endorse Cuomo last time around and they got screwed badly in negotiations with Cuomo, so it's not a surprise to see them take a harsh attitude toward Cuomo.
But guess who else showed up at the Bash Cuomo event?
“I don’t want to hear anymore that you can be replaced by someone that doesn’t have your skills or experience,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. (PEF is an affiliate of the national teachers union.)
Weingarten did offer a conciliatory note toward the governor, saying “he and I grew up in politics together. … I always believe in redemption.”
Ah, Randi Weingarten, trying to thread the middle as always, wanting to make her members think she's taking a strong stand with Cuomo, yet still winking and nodding to Cuomo that it's just "politics."
I for one am not fooled with Weingarten's presence at the rally.
She'll still sell her members out in a heartbeat - whether it's PEF members or AFT members.
Still, it's interesting that she's feeling pressured enough to show up at the sort of thing where other union leaders are calling Cuomo a "moron" and a "monkey."
Given how Cuomo has made it very clear that he is willing to break the unions as the state looks to "downsize" its human services facilities, shifting some work to non-unionized worker, Weingarten ought to be concerned and fighting this governor with everything she has.
But the reality is, she's too busy sitting on Cuomo Commissions to really take a tough stance against Cuomo - this is all just another Randi Dog and Pony Show.