By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: February 13, 2011
Governors and mayors facing large deficits have set their sights on a relatively new target — the soaring expense of health benefits for millions of retired state and local workers.
As they contend with growing budget deficits and higher pension costs, some mayors are complaining that their outlays for retiree health benefits are rising by 20 percent a year — a result of the wave of retirements of baby boomers and longer life expectancies on top of the double-digit rate of health care inflation. MORE
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Public-Sector Squeeze: Nationwide effort to blame public employees for economic crisis (TruthOut)
By: Max Fraad-Wolff and Richard D. Wolff
A national campaign is now fully launched to make local, public-sector employees pick up a major share of the costs of the economic crisis. Years of rising spending and falling revenue have carved a path of destruction through federal, state and local budgets. Deficits and debts have mounted, eroding taxpayer support for government spending in general and for public employees particularly. In response to deep economic pains in middle-class communities, major efforts are under way, from California to Maine, to balance budgets through major cuts in services, wages, benefits and employment.
Read more at TruthOut.com >>
The Shameful Attack on Public Employees
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to support them. That was where he lost his life. Eventually Memphis heard the grievances of its sanitation workers. And in subsequent years millions of public employees across the nation have benefited from the job protections they’ve earned. (TO READ THE WHOLE OPINION ARTICLE - CLICK HERE)
Champions of the Middle Class
Can organized labor lead a movement to restore broad economic security? It's hard to imagine who else will.
Robert Kuttner (The American Prospect)
The labor movement has long been a potent force for promoting a broad economic middle. Though no longer centered in auto and steel factories, unions continue to offer lower-income Americans a path into the middle class--just ask a newly organized janitor, hotel worker, security guard, hospital paraprofessional, home-care worker, or warehouse, call-center, or food-service employee. In 2003, the Economic Policy Institute found that the wage premium for unionized jobs relative to comparable jobs is about 20 percent, and union workers are far more likely to have decent health and pension benefits as well as a voice at work. Unions are also the single most powerful lobby for good social legislation such as Social Security, Medicare, and college aid, helping anchor the middle class generally. READ MORE (CLICK HERE)