Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Forget the PROMOTION - I'm Stickin With The Union!

Acting Newburgh City Manager Richard Herbek has hired former deputy chief Michael Vatter to assume the job of Fire Chief of City of Newburgh. He will start is new job on November 2, 2009.

Vatter retired in 2000 after working more than 20 years for Newburgh in the Fire Department.

The former Chief, Christopher Barrett retired in the beginning of September. That left an opening for many of the current Fire Fighters to fill.

The job has been vacant since.

Why you ask? Why would NOT ONE of the Fire Fighters apply for or accept an offer to apply for the Chief position??

Even the Departments Assistant Chiefs all turned down the chance to apply.



This PROVES something - There's POWER in THE UNION.


Anonymous said...

You are correct, the union offers much more job protection. Now if the unions can keep that in mind when they childishly complain about salaries and benefits being offered to appointed positions that can taken away when the political situation changes, it would provide the unions with a little more credibility.

I am not talking about the big six figure salaries given to political cronies, I oppose that just like most everyone else. I am talking about positions that pay half of that.

Bullhorner said...

Sounds like you have a union ax to grind that has nothing to do with your blog entry.

I can smell 'em a mile away.

Anonymous said...

Greetings bullhorner, my nose is working well on 12:42s comment too! Lets face it, the best place to be covered out there in the working world is within a union. Without union protection MOST of the time ,management will take advantage of workers at every opertunity. I never really recieved a fair shake in the private sector UNTIL I joined a union.

Anonymous said...

I do have a bit of an axe to grind with unions. I have been in unions and have had to deal with them from the outside. My experience with them have never been positive. Inside a union I have found myself working harder having to carry the weight of others who rely on union protection to keep their jobs undeservedly safe. From the outside I have found unions operating just like management they so often disparage. Those with connections get jobs in union shops discriminating against those who don't have a well placed relative and better jobs are again given those with connections not because they are more deserving. Don't even get me started on people refusing to work, although they are still getting paid, because something is not in their job description and for some convenient reason the person with that responsibility is not available.

Unions can provide useful services, but too often they become a crutch allowing people to do less then their job.

Bullhorner said...

What you described is a lack of MANAGEMENT to address a lazy worker. Don't play the old worn out tune that the unions just protect the lazy guys - thats bullshit.

The lazy ones are a pain in the ass to the union too. It is managements job to discipline. Problem is they go after the wrong ones most of the time.

You better read the firedepartment story again and realize its intent - to show that people passed over a promotion to keep working under a contract. That was the main point of the story - not your sad sack experience that is obviously a personal issue.

Anonymous said...

I have been aware of the Fire Department story for quite some time. I just have a different take on it. Are you suggesting that the FD Chief by part of the union?

I'll play any tune I like, worn out or otherwise. It only seems worn out because it is such a common occurence. If the lazy ones are a pain to the union as well, why does the union protect them? I have seen people fired by management, with nods by all the union members around them, only to see the union take up their greivance and then have the slackers returned to work with all the back pay they missed.

You have completely missed the point of my original comment however. There are trade offs to everything and union members have their contract collectively bargained, giving up the ability to bargain for individual perks and in exchange one of the things they receive is more job security. When they learn that others not in the union , often in management, have bargained on their own to receive compensation that the union is not receiving the childish complaining begins.

A classic example of this happened in Ulster County. County managers were receiving the flex plan and the CSEA tirelessly complained about how unfair it was, making the argument that everyone should receive the same benefits. (As a little sidelight it has to be mentioned that the CSEA had no problem in the past giving up benefits for future employees as long as the people currently in the union had their current level of benefits grandfathered in, just a touch of hyprocrisy there). There was no recognition by the union that county manager's jobs were much less secure and could be lost at the whim of whatever politician was leading the county at the time. The union ended up winning and the county managers lost their flex plan. So, other then a childish sense of satisfaction that they were able to make someone receive less money, how did that improve their own lives?