Monday, October 13, 2014

Way to Go Unions

No really, I'm not being facetious here.  It's not often I'm in the corner with a public union, but at today's Finance & Personnel Committee - Budget Hearings. The union rep for AFSCME District Council 48, Ken Wischer, made a great point on city personnel and looks to have persuaded the committee and representatives of the mayor to make a change in the upcoming budget.

As weird as this might sound we're talking tree stumps. Ken brought up the point that in 2012 the council approved $240,000 for a ONE time expenditure for outside contractors toward stump removal. The next year it was combined with tree planting for the ONE time total of $400,000. That amount was added to the storm water fee. In 2014 the amount of this ONE time expenditure $200,000 and this years ONE time request was for $360,000.

As is often the concern of conservatives ONE time expenditures are very rarely ONE time.

One of the reasons the city is behind in stump removal is that they've shrunk the work force. So to catch up the ONE time expenditure was approved.

It was brought up that the reason for the change to privatize stump removal is fringe benefits of city workers.  Ken brought up that with Act 10 those costs are no longer the same and the city should re-look at the costs of new hires compared to what was the norm three years ago.

After a honest and thoughtful back and forth between Committee chair Nic Kovac, Ken Wischer and the representatives of mayor it seems a fair compromise may be reached.

As long as it saves the city money I'm all for it.

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