Pension rules are stacked in favor of the unions

This weekend, Randy Schultz of the Palm Beach Post Editorial Board has cast a bright light on the time bomb of public employee pensions in Florida, and shown them for what they are – an unsustainable boon to the unions at taxpayer expense, enabled by the Tallahassee legislators at the urging of the unions, in many cases tying the hands of local officials when they attempt to bargain in good faith.

Read the editorial HERE

In the editorial, Mr. Schultz describes the showdown that is coming and gets at the root of the problem:

…”Politics explains much of this financial problem. Police and firefighter unions have much clout at the local level and in Tallahassee. State fire and police pension laws are stacked in favor of the unions. One example: Governments don’t just have to meet an overall standard for benefits; governments must meet all of nearly two dozen standards. Twice in the past 11 years, at the unions’ urging, the Legislature has ordered cities and counties to sweeten police and fire pensions. This year, the Legislature rejected a request to exclude overtime in pension calculations. A state law that applies only to Palm Beach County gives sheriff’s deputies annual “step-up” pay raises.” …

He points out that many of the cities in Palm Beach county are seeking innovative ways to get control of a critical problem and end some of the worst practices. It is time for the Legislature to back the cities.

TAB believes that public employee pensions, along with other attributes of the lucrative contracts for the Police and Fire unions have arranged for themselves are the most harmful aspects of the county budget. While the cities struggle with their unions, what is the county doing to reign in the excessive compensation paid to Fire/Rescue and PBSO? Not much that we can see.

Responding to the statement by a former head of the PBA who said that West Palm Beach cannot “..ram something down (the unions) throat …”, Mr. Schultz ended his editorial with:

In fact, public safety unions have been ramming a lot down the throats of Florida’s cities. And now the cities are choking.

Well said!


One Response to “Pension rules are stacked in favor of the unions”
  1. J. Nunez says:

    The problem is that unions have the power to control politicians because their jobs (politician’s jobs) depend a great deal on the union’s support at election time. So, if you were a politician whose main concern is to keep your job (very few politicians are really interested in our well being but in themselves) why will you vote against any proposal coming from those who may or may NOT support you at the next election date?

    Union leaders, representatives, administrators and such, should be forbidden from participating in politics at all (except maybe in lobbying for particular laws that they wanted to be approved). They especially should be forbidden from supporting or endorsing any political candidate or party.

    Tough decision… I know. Impossible to pass a law like this… probably. But you do that and you will see how fast they lose they grip on our “throats”. Maybe then we will be able to breath again…

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