By ART CHANCE
“We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.” Samuel Gompers, President, American Federation of Labor (1919)
I can do wordy and pedantic with the best of them, but I’m going to try to make this short and maybe not so sweet.
The goons with the AFL-CIO are warning the members of the House Majority to shut up and vote against a $5,500 statutory Permanent Fund Dividend and energy assistance payment because it might cause the plebes to have unrealistic expectations. What arrogance.
Those of us who know a bit about State government know there are four rackets who believe that all the General Fund revenue of the State belongs to them: unionized State employees, the education racket, the welfare racket, and the healthcare racket. The plebes can get any scraps that are left over.
The State government has about 16,000 unionized employees, and all but a few hundred correctional officers are in AFL-CIO-affiliated unions. Those unions have a legal duty to represent the employees in their bargaining units in matters of wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.
Now the goons who are supposed to represent those employees are telling their chattel in the Legislature to vote against the statutory Permanent Fund Dividend and the energy stipend. Remember, these goons are supposed to work to improve the wages of the employees they represent.
The average wage of a State employee is around $75,000 per year. The statutory Permanent Fund dividend and the energy stipend is $5,500. That PFD and stipend represents about a 7% wage increase for an average employee. If you’re a $30,000 per year clerk or other entry-level employee, the ones who could most use the money, it is over twice that percentage wage increase.
So, in order to assure their control over the Operating Budget and the votes of the state representatives they own, the union goons are ordering the chattel representatives to vote against giving the employees they represent a significant raise.
I was a part of negotiating every State employee labor agreement between 1987 and 2006. The most money I or anybody who worked with or for me ever put on the table in those years was the 6.5% I offered the Marine Engineers to buy back some serious restrictions on management rights that the Sheffield Administration had given them years before.
In order to maintain their power over their chattel legislators, and maybe cow some wavering ones, the union goons have ordered the union-owned members of the Legislature to refuse to give even their own members the largest raise State employees have ever seen.
Power corrupts. Were I still a State employee I might have a serious issue with my union; whose side are they on?
Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon.