Middle-class, working Americans are under attack like never before. We're in the fight of our lives against the rich and powerful who want to take even more for themselves while leaving the rest of us to fight over the scraps. Some here in New York are using the budget problem as an opportunity to scapegoat public employees and blame us for a mess we did nothing to create. They are attacking our jobs, benefits and pensions and attempting to pit public and private sector workers against each other.
CSEA members need to know the facts and be able to fight back with the truth wherever misinformation is being spread.
Since public workers are prohibited from striking, Triborough levels the field in negotiations, preventing employers from unilaterally changing terms and conditions of employment if a contract has expired.
Triborough merely continues the terms of an expired contract while the parties negotiate a new one. It does not give workers raises.
Without Triborough employers could wait until a contract expires and then simply impose new terms.
While New York's financial problems are very real, the fact is public service workers did not create them.
We're not the enemy! Nurses, snowplow operators and school lunch ladies are not responsible for our state's fiscal circumstances.
Many public service workers do the jobs no one else wants to do, working in prisons or facilities for the mentally disabled or out in extreme weather.
Many public service workers are shift workers who go to work when most people are going to sleep and many cannot make plans for the weekends because their days off might be Tuesdays and Thursdays.
While working Americans continue to struggle, Wall Street is recording record profits. Profits of $27.6 billion made 2010 Wall Street's most profitable year ever with the exception of 2009, when it benefited from bailout money and low interest rates.
Public and private sector workers shouldn't be fighting each other. We should be fighting TOGETHER against our common enemy -- those who condone tax cuts for millionaires while sending the rest of us into a race for the bottom.