Thursday, September 15, 2011

CSEA’s Representation Still Equals Benefit Protection

Monroe County Employees are on
the job working without a contract!
As the County continues an effort to stall any chance of the workforce getting a fair agreement this year by once again entering a frivolous charge against CSEA with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), CSEA as our union continues to protect your benefits, especially your health insurance benefits both for working members as well as protecting benefits for members when they retire.

The County’s new charge is that the Union Negotiating Team has made new proposals to the Fact-finder that were previously not discussed in any of the two and a half years of talks both sides have had or in any of the two tentative agreements that the membership has rejected. On the contrary, the proposals sent by CSEA are only modifications of subjects that have been previously discussed and although, it only causes a continued stall of the process, the County’s argument once again will be nulled by the State and CSEA will continue the Fact-finding process that has a great probability of showing that the Union proposals will be substantiated especially for the economic times we all have endured.

Another major piece the County is using to stall negotiations is that they are not willing to come away from is the issue of your health insurance benefits. They have a mis-guided belief that to maintain the benefit of having health insurance (something you actually work for) should cost you more by increasing your percentage of the premium drastically. What they forget to realize is that if you have to pay an exorbitant amount for the health insurance, than it is really not a benefit to you as it decreases any gain you might achieve with a fair wage increase. That the County has this ill-conceived idea that the workforce will ever agree to this concession illustrates their position to continue to delay any real possible agreement, even more so when two prior agreements that did not include this extremely negative proposal did not pass.

“We are doing what needs to be done, the only thing standing between higher health insurance costs and the current rates we benefit from is CSEA”, said CSEA Unit 7400 President Cris Zaffuto. She added, “Fighting the good fight, our union is protecting our benefits and we’re still working 24/7 to secure a positive future for all”.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Study Confirms “Privatization Is a Recipe for Disaster”

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) was stunned to learn today that the United States government has spent billions of dollars hiring contractors rather than government employees. According to a study released today by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the federal government spends approximately $320 billion a year on contractors.
“In the wake of the worst recession in our lifetime, federal, state and local governments should not be doling out billions of dollars to private contractors to perform services that can be done more efficiently and at lower cost by public workers,” stated AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “Privatization has always been a recipe for disaster. This study confirms what AFSCME and its allies have been saying time and time again; privatizing services leads to cost overruns and in most cases a lower quality of services.”

The POGO report comes after months of criticism and brow beating by Republicans who claim that outsourcing and contracting is more cost efficient than hiring federal workers. Their claim, that hiring federal workers is too expensive with salary and benefits combined, was refuted by POGO that showed contractors in computer engineering and human resource management earn $120,000 to $130,000 more on an annual basis.

“The only ones benefiting from privatization are the private companies and the campaign coffers of the politicians who push for privatization. Study after study shows that privatization does not deliver the savings for taxpayers promised by its proponents. Public accountability is lost and contractors take advantage of the system to profit at the expense of the public,” added McEntee.

The full study can be viewed here:


“As public services are shifted to the private sector, we move from an open accountable system to a shadow government easily subject to manipulation. Instead of hiring friends, donors and lobbyists, the federal government should look to talented workers who are out of work, maybe then we could eliminate the waste, balance the budget and get our economy moving again,” concluded McEntee.