City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Steven Malanga
Union Power Comes in Many Forms « Back to Story

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Fletch, Only a cop could make that argument with a straight face... I'm not saying cops don't have a dangerous job that deserves fair pay. But they are paid what mortgage bankers of 5 years ago were paid, and look where they are. We can't even cut salaries or force them to retire at 60 or 65 like any other job. Suffolk County was advertising for Arabic speaking cops recently and said your base pay would be 50K, and within 5 years it would be 150K. What private sector job allows you to increase your pay like that? You have to jump from company to company to increase 100K. Even the recruitment, which is cut-throat due to the easy salary increases, is extremely corrupt. The Police union needs to be busted wide open. People will do the job for far less than the salaries now, I guarantee you they would. We are in a depression. They would do the job with a maximum lifetime salary cap of 100k. And if they wan more, they can find a real job.
How about we make a law capping the salaries of the employees that the unions are allowed to represent? I have nothing against the little guy. I have something against unions fighting the keep employees earning what are considered white collar salaries on the public dole.
Fletch F. Fletch June 10, 2011 at 2:15 AM
I agree with this article but want to point out one issue I take with it. Mr. Malanga says, "Big rewards have been common. Police in New York counties, whose unions make heavy use of arbitration, saw their salaries increase by double the state rate of inflation from 1997 to 2007, a Manhattan Institute study found." While I appreciate that Mr. Malanga should cite an example to support his case, I wish he would have used any public sector union other than a police or fire department, as these are the only two public sector unions that *ought* to have unionized protections. Let's face it: the members of these departments face real dangers and equally real - though virtually always unfair and baseless - blame for doing their thankless jobs. I have seen firsthand a lot of government union employees in (ahem) "action" whose lethargy and sloth earn the disrepute with which such unions are tarred; however, I would not include (the vast majority of) police or fire department members among them.