I don't mean the police and fire contracts - I mean with businesses who do business with the city and have existing contracts. For example, did you go to the office supply person and renegotiate with him? Maybe you could have had him lower the price of paper by 25%. You know the answer to that one. What about the oil company? The gasoline stations? The electrical power company?
What about every other business who has contracts with the city? Of course you didn't - you wouldn't even consider that and neither would they.
No - you go after labor. They are the easy target. They also can take the heat off of you and your fellow Alderman. It's the unions, you say - they won't give anything back.
Not saying they couldn't or wouldn't do their share IF it would make a difference. In the case of the CSEA - they couldn't make a dent. So - to your untrained eye - they were unreasonable and you bash them. You are wrong.
Opening the contract would have a longer lasting and more devestating effect on bargaining for decades and possibly forever. It is not their fault the jobs are being lost - it's yours. You and the Alderman got your end of the bargain during contract negotiations. Concessions were made in bargaining and increases in employee health costs were had in return for a pay raise. Now you can't balance your books and you come to the well. You take the easy road.
You claim the union doesn't care for its members - you're wrong. The union is thinking AHEAD for the good of ALL of the members. Fortunately, they had the entire membership in mind when they considered this situation - not just the 14 you point to. If the gap could have been reached they would have done what they could have. They proved that with last years budget.
What you wanted from the CSEA this year was - excuse my french - equivilent to pissing up a rope - know what I mean?
Making up $1.2 million was impossible. So that being the case, they had a choice - insist on the contract staying intact or allow themselves to be whored out forever and during EVERY CONTRACT from now on.
So ease up on the CSEA - they hated losing those jobs more than you ever did. They did the right thing in the BIG PICTURE though. In comparison, so did the police and firefighters. The difference was those two unions goal was possible and reachable.
One message to the CSEA - you guys should be looking to bring back Ashdown next election. It's only gonna get worse from here boys and girls. You need somebody whose been around and who will stand up and be counted.