Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How Union Contracts Get Covered In The Media

From the ever municipal union-friendly NY Post:

A day after the MTA offered its workers a new contract with retroactive pay, Mayor de Blasio insisted the deal doesn’t set a precedent for the city’s ongoing negotiations with its unions.

“We have a very different reality here — we have our fiscal circumstances. We have a separate history in terms of labor relations than that which state and MTA has,” the mayor said Friday at a press conference in Brooklyn.

“So we’re going to do things our own way with our partners in municipal labor.”

Chuck Brecher, research director at the Citizens Budget Commission, agreed that the proposed MTA deal — an 8 percent raise spread over five years — doesn’t directly impact the mayor’s options.

“He doesn’t have to be bound by any other model, and to the extent there’s been pattern bargaining, the pattern is usually what’s happened to other city unions rather than state,” Brecher said.

He estimated that if the city were to follow in the MTA’s footsteps the tab this year would run about $3.5 billion — and that doesn’t even include teachers-union demands for retroactive pay dating back to 2009.

The mayor has said previously there’s no way the city could afford to pay full retroactive pay to all 152 unions that have been working under expired contracts.

Ah, but when the state pattern was the old CSEA contract of 4% over 5 years, with three years of zeroes and health care concessions, that's when the editorial boards thought de Blasio should follow the state pattern (even though, as this Post article points out, pattern bargaining is relegated to what happens in city contracts, not state contracts.)

Funny how that is.

Even funnier is how the the MTA/TWU 100 deal is being talked about as if it's some grand giveaway, even though, as NYC Educator points out here, the MTA contract actually leaves TWU 100 workers a little bit behind inflation, so it's not that swell a deal at all.

Sure, the TWU contract is better than the CSEA contract pattern that came before, but it's still not replete with a "bunch of new goodies" as the Post's resident Ayn Randian specialist Nicole Gelinas says it is.

Somehow we've gotten to this point in American culture where any contract that pays union workers just below the rate of inflation, doesn't shove too many onerous work rules on them, and only nails them with a half percent in health care concessions is "full of goodies."

Meanwhile on Wall Street, the criminals at Bank of America and Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase continue to lose money hand over fist due to bad bets and/or criminal penalties lodged by the feds for fraudulent activity and yet, they still keep paying themselves more money.

Funny how that it is too.
Can't wait to see the Nicole Gelinas piece criticizing that.

Oh, right - that's the "free market".

You know, the one with the Too Big To Fail banks who took all those government bailouts after nearly taking the world economy to total collapse.


  1. Once again RBE, I love you. Tell us over and over because plenty of people are not getting what is going on here. How much has to be grabbed, taken, and stolen for us to rise up?

    1. Good question. Not sure we'll see the uprising in my lifetime. I was hoping Occupy would be it, but the plutocrats quickly smeared that movement in their media and crushed it with their police.

  2. You are right, but how bad will things get as this snowballs into feudalism? I believe that Obama was the man because his color was seen as a way to keep a certain segment of the population mollified and out of the streets.

    There has to be bloodshed for this to be overturned. Not because I want it, but because history has demonstrated it.
    Look to the western European governments that have taken power away from their kings. Their society's are the most democratic and caring of their citizens.