Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July To All American Workers

Happy Fourth of July to everyone who works for a living, union or non union. We live in the greatest country in the world where we can say what we wish and do whatever we want to do.

We have rights in this country that do not exist in most countries. We should cherish those rights and exercise them as we feel the need.

No American should ever be be intimidated or threatened in retaliation for defending those rights.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sottile: Contract Law Be Damned

Mayor James Sottile has made a deal to have a private hauler pick up recyclables at the curb for 700 homes free of charge in a test run aimed at privatizing the service in the city.

The Civil Service Employees Association, the union representing the majority of city workers opposes the mayor’s plan.

County Waste & Recycling Service of Clifton Park will begin on Aug. 1.

At present, city residents must put out recyclables in separate containers AND THE CITY WORKERS PICK IT ALL UP UNDER THEIR CONTRACT.

Sottile said city workers freed up from collecting recyclables would be able to do other jobs, like collecting yard waste at the curb. He also said the city would use less fuel, and cut its truck maintenance costs.

The mayor said no employees would be laid off as a result of the move.

Troy Ashdown, a shop steward for the Civil Service Employees Association, promises that the union will file a grievance over the matter.

Under its contract with the union, Ashdown said, the city is not allowed to use other workers to do jobs that had been performed by employees who had been laid off in the Department of Public Works, unless the laid-off workers are paid.

“You can’t downsize your workforce and then privatize it or bring in cheap labor without benefits,” said Ashdown, who added that the provisions are spelled out in a contract agreed to by Sottile and the Common Council.

“The CSEA doesn’t run the day-to-day operations of the city, the administration does,” was Sottiles response.

Contract Law will decide this issue. Even a non-expert can agree that when you are a party to a contract - you cannot unilaterally change it - it doesn't work that way.

Alderman Charles Landi, D-Ward 3, said of Civil Service Employees Union “What goes around comes around,” and “This could be the tip of the privatization iceberg.”

Ashdown responded by saying the union is looking forward “to seeing Mr. Landi in court.”

The City of Kingston should either fire their attorney who is giving this mayor contract administration advice or spend the money to send Sottile to a class on contract law himself because this one is a loser for the mayor and his fellow anti-union blowhard and big mouth, Landi.