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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:
I don't believe pensions and healthcare are just for the super rich. If you work hard and play by the rules you deserve decent pay, vacation time, health benefits and a retirement.


Super rich? Hyperbole is another big problem in these debates. I'd say 99% of the non-union workers in the middle class don't get a pension and have to pay SIGNIFICANTLY more for healthcare. I work in the healthcare industry and have to pay 8.5% of my paycheck for healthcare. I also have to contribute to a 401k because I have no pension. The problem I have is the labeling of "concessions" by unions that aren't really concessions. I used to have a pension years ago, but due to tough times it has been eliminated. I also used to get free heathcare being in the industry. Don't tell me concessions have been made. When there are no more pensions for unions and they're taking almost 10% of your paycheck for healthcare, come talk to me about concessions.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 14:19
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:

If workers are slacking off and not doing their job that is a management problem. There is no union contract in the country that prohibits management from firing a worker who refuses to work or who performs poorly at their job. You can message me off list (or on here) the clause in your contract that prohibits management from firing workers because it would be a first for me.

Unions are not perfect as with everything there will be negatives and bad personal experiences....but unions are necessary. Even a bad union is better than no union.


Of course the contract doesn't prohibit firing, but I do think the union throws every possible roadblock in the way - even when the worker's own peers privately agree this a person who should be cut loose. And, then there are those workers who've made an art of doing just enough to avoid getting written up. As for a bad union being better than no union, on that I'll respectfully disagree with you.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 14:10
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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JadedJC wrote:
Mathias: I admire your idealism about unions, and I used to think much the same way you did. I have been part of a union at various stages of my career and my own views have shifted toward the negative based on personal experience. I am currently in a union, even though I didn't vote to join one this last go-around, but hey it's the will of the majority. I accept that and duly let them take dues out of each paycheck (yet another 'tax'). However, I have very mixed feelings about being in a union. On the one had, I appreciate the union's efforts at collective bargaining and its attempts to ensure that the company follows a consistent set of rules. On the other hand, the biggest downside I see to the union is that its most active members and biggest cheerleaders also tend to be the biggest slackers and most incompetent workers. The union culture, more often than not, stifles meritocracy because it appears more interested in protecting the lazy and inept. The end result is an office full of clock watchers and whiners where few take pride in their work. And I work in the private sector - I can only imagine how much worse it is in the public sector, where the performance bar is set much lower.


I have been a union member since 1988 and have worked in two different unionized facilities. I've been a plant chief steward and bargaining representative and now work for an international union (all private sector).

If workers are slacking off and not doing their job that is a management problem. There is no union contract in the country that prohibits management from firing a worker who refuses to work or who performs poorly at their job. You can message me off list (or on here) the clause in your contract that prohibits management from firing workers because it would be a first for me.

Unions are not perfect as with everything there will be negatives and bad personal experiences....but unions are necessary. Even a bad union is better than no union.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 13:49
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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La_Verdad wrote:


Deserve? Police officers and teachers (and other public workers) "deserve" something that practically no one else gets? Why? The only argument that holds water to me is that there is a contractual obligation that entitles them to it - and breaking that contract, if it becomes necessary, will be a terrible outcome for those affected and for the further erosion of trust in the government. But "deserve"? Mid-career uniformed police and fire personnel already make well above average pay - often more than people who are far more educated. Why do they inherently "deserve" a pension? Why do they "deserve" superior health benefits? Good for them that they've managed to game the system and negotiate well, but I don't see how that qualifies these entitlements as deserved.


I guess we are in two different camps when it comes to how hard working people should be treated.

I don't believe pensions and healthcare are just for the super rich. If you work hard and play by the rules you deserve decent pay, vacation time, health benefits and a retirement. The fact that public employees receive these benefits does not mean they gamed the system or receive "superior" benefits to everyone else.....it means corporate America has gamed the US workforce and lowered their standard of living to the point where Teachers and Cops (historically low paid professions relatively speaking) are now seen as some of the best jobs in the country....and in reality the average teacher and police officers pay still presents a challenge if you're trying to raise a family.

But you are right, regardless of the causes, what's right and/or wrong the city is facing a fiscal crisis that needs to be solved in the short term and eventually the long term. Since neither of us know the intricacies (and I can't believe I am saying this) I guess I would trust the negotiators with the police officers union over those at city hall when it comes to alternatives for solving this problem in the short term. Police have already made millions in concessions over the last couple of years and administration just keeps going back asking for more rather than looking at more realistic solutions.

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La_Verdad wrote:


Joining a union isn't a practical option for most people. Maybe we'd live in a better world if it were, but that's not the system we have. I've always admired the German system - I think they have a great balance that fairly rewards workers for their efforts and recognizes the important contributions labor makes to the success of a corporation. But that is Germany, not the U.S. Right or wrong, the U.S. has gone down the corporate/greed path that it has - likely to its great peril. That is a great topic for debate, books, documentaries, etc. - we both know that reform of that nature would take decades, if it's even possible. The crisis facing states and municipalities is real and immediate. We can be proactive or reactive, but fiscal bombs will be exploding across the country over the next several years and all sides are going to suffer.


Why is it not a practical option?

Yes the German system of national and industrial union bargaining and works councils are a great model....we can argue that the US is so different from Europe it would never work here.......reality is it is the United States that set up this kind of Industrial Relations model throughout Europe and Japan...we designed their systems to give workers more of a say politically and in the economy specifically to keep those countries from developing communist workers movements...which was a highly likely scenario given the utter destruction of Europe and Japan and the close proximity of Soviet influenced states.

I guess I am not ready to wave the white flag to corporate america.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 13:40
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias: I admire your idealism about unions, and I used to think much the same way you did. I have been part of a union at various stages of my career and my own views have shifted toward the negative based on personal experience. I am currently in a union, even though I didn't vote to join one this last go-around, but hey it's the will of the majority. I accept that and duly let them take dues out of each paycheck (yet another 'tax'). However, I have very mixed feelings about being in a union. On the one had, I appreciate the union's efforts at collective bargaining and its attempts to ensure that the company follows a consistent set of rules. On the other hand, the biggest downside I see to the union is that its most active members and biggest cheerleaders also tend to be the biggest slackers and most incompetent workers. The union culture, more often than not, stifles meritocracy because it appears more interested in protecting the lazy and inept. The end result is an office full of clock watchers and whiners where few take pride in their work. And I work in the private sector - I can only imagine how much worse it is in the public sector, where the performance bar is set much lower.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 13:37
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
These lay-off have everything to do with the ongoing, never ending bull-siht war in the middle east.
The U.S spends more on defence then all the other countries (world) budgets combined.

War is good and Bush is the poster child for the war machine he has us commited to - this in turn requires each and every State to provide more funds to the cause of catching the mastermind (one guy hiding in a cave) responsible of 9/11


This is the other side of the equation....lots of taxpayer wealth being transferred to private corporations....the most privatized war in history.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 13:20
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:

So which is it?

Is the problem that public sector unions are successful and now teachers, police officers etc make too much money, their health insurance is too good and their pensions too generous to the point where the taxpayer can no longer afford it?

Or is it that the very wealthy and large corporations have succeeded in fundamentally altering the tax code to the point where their share of the tax burden has dropped tremendously forcing the average citizen to make up the loss?


Why is it either/or? Clearly both factors are at play - plus an out-of-control governmental structure that ends up with NJ having three times as many public employees (as a percentage of the workforce) as the average state. They are all important causes.

I've said a few times now that I agree completely with your view of how the favorable treatment of corporations and the creation of the two-class system is gutting the country. But you seem to be using it as an argument for getting more revenue to pay public employees, not as a means to at least shift some of the burden and alleviate some of the horrific load the NJ taxpayer carries (highest property and income taxes in the country.) That has to be a consideration too.

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Mathias wrote:
The average police officers salary is not extravagant and i'd say they deserve a pension and healthcare...the same goes for teachers and other public workers. Things are bad enough I dont want to see teachers and police officers living paycheck to paycheck and having nothing when it comes to retirement.


Deserve? Police officers and teachers (and other public workers) "deserve" something that practically no one else gets? Why? The only argument that holds water to me is that there is a contractual obligation that entitles them to it - and breaking that contract, if it becomes necessary, will be a terrible outcome for those affected and for the further erosion of trust in the government. But "deserve"? Mid-career uniformed police and fire personnel already make well above average pay - often more than people who are far more educated. Why do they inherently "deserve" a pension? Why do they "deserve" superior health benefits? Good for them that they've managed to game the system and negotiate well, but I don't see how that qualifies these entitlements as deserved.

Joining a union isn't a practical option for most people. Maybe we'd live in a better world if it were, but that's not the system we have. I've always admired the German system - I think they have a great balance that fairly rewards workers for their efforts and recognizes the important contributions labor makes to the success of a corporation. But that is Germany, not the U.S. Right or wrong, the U.S. has gone down the corporate/greed path that it has - likely to its great peril. That is a great topic for debate, books, documentaries, etc. - we both know that reform of that nature would take decades, if it's even possible. The crisis facing states and municipalities is real and immediate. We can be proactive or reactive, but fiscal bombs will be exploding across the country over the next several years and all sides are going to suffer.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 13:18
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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For the officer who posts on here. I'd love to know some statistics. How many crimes are solved? How many murders are solved and get convictions.

How much stolen property is returned out of the things reported?

Posted on: 2011/1/3 7:16
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Gawd I hope they lay'd off all those 99lb and/or five-foot-nothing females!!! I'm sure nothing gives a criminal a good chuckle like one of these politically correct hires.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 7:09
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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These lay-off have everything to do with the ongoing, never ending bull-siht war in the middle east.
The U.S spends more on defence then all the other countries (world) budgets combined.

War is good and Bush is the poster child for the war machine he has us commited to - this in turn requires each and every State to provide more funds to the cause of catching the mastermind (one guy hiding in a cave) responsible of 9/11

Posted on: 2011/1/3 5:23
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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brewster wrote:

Pretty words. Yet how many times have we heard an industrial union announce it's intention in a contract negotiation to "save jobs", that is, keep the manufacturer from becoming more efficient by keeping a larger workforce than they needed. So when you take that same mentality and compound it with all the baggage of public service or childrens education, it runs off the rails. Recall the "rubber room" tenants of NYC, teachers who were too bad to be put in the classroom but who couldn't be fired for years. Did that "protect the integrity of the job"?


What exactly are you saying here? You are just combining a bunch of sound bites and misinformation into an unintelligible thread.


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brewster wrote
Who was protected by the work rules at the Javits Center that required exhibitors to hire a $50/hr "electrician" for plugging items into a wall receptacle, the skilled work that happens in American homes a billion times a day? Those rapacious union rules drove the convention business out of town for years.


Yeah, I am sure highly skilled electricians were just plugging plugs into the wall.

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brewster wrote:

Most of us live in a insecure world. Most of us are lucky to get 1 out of the 3 basic positive descriptors of a career:

Security
hi pay
job satisfaction



Maybe instead of leaving things to luck you should join a union and start fighting for a world worth living in.

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brewster wrote
UAW rode the US car industry into the ground, defiant the whole way.


Variations of this argument pop up all the time typically employed by people who have never done any serious study of what happened and instead rely on sound bites that have been placed into the public by corporate america.

Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes etc have the healthcare AND their pensions paid for by national healthcare and pension systems (i.e. the taxpayers). These companies are also 100% unionized in their home countries.

Meanwhile GM, Ford and Chrysler have to pay for the healthcare and retirement of their respective workforces while as shown above their competitors do not. This is called competitive disadvantage.

Unlike Japan, Germany and Korea the US has no Industrial Policy and unlike Japan, Germany and Korea the US has no national healthcare policy and a very weak social security system thereby increasing its competitive disadvantage.

But let's blame the United Auto Workers even though the big 3's foreign competitors are also unionized..and have better pay and benefits than their US counterparts

Posted on: 2011/1/3 4:19
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:
A union does not exist nor do they ever exist to guarantee continued employment ...they exist to give voice, equalize bargaining power and protect the integrity of a job.


Pretty words. Yet how many times have we heard an industrial union announce it's intention in a contract negotiation to "save jobs", that is, keep the manufacturer from becoming more efficient by keeping a larger workforce than they needed. So when you take that same mentality and compound it with all the baggage of public service or childrens education, it runs off the rails. Recall the "rubber room" tenants of NYC, teachers who were too bad to be put in the classroom but who couldn't be fired for years. Did that "protect the integrity of the job"?

Who was protected by the work rules at the Javits Center that required exhibitors to hire a $50/hr "electrician" for plugging items into a wall receptacle, the skilled work that happens in American homes a billion times a day? Those rapacious union rules drove the convention business out of town for years.

Unions have their place in preventing exploitation of workers. But the problem is, since their job is to push aggressively for more and more, the management needs to negotiate aggressively too or it creep inexorably to far in their favor. Unfortunately it seems public officials too often are either incompetent, co-opted, or too engaged in political smoke and mirrors while they eye the next election or higher office to be serious about that job.

Most of us live in a insecure world. Most of us are lucky to get 1 out of the 3 basic positive descriptors of a career:

Security
hi pay
job satisfaction

Cops usually say they love what they do, and yet are also uncompromisingly entitled to the other 2? Why? I know very few people with absolute job & income security, and most of them have public jobs.

UAW rode the US car industry into the ground, defiant the whole way. Some of our public unions show the same obliviousness. Sure, neither GM nor JC have been run well, but that doesn't mean the answer is to suck them dry assuming by the time they're dead you'll have retired with a fat pension. Perhaps this troubling period will make our public servants feel a little less secure and more interested in the overall fiscal health of JC when they support a candidate, and not just who'll grease them the most.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 4:00
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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However, even if the intent of unions is not to guarantee continued appointment, the net effect is that many union members are very difficult to fire or layoff. Unions of course exist to increase the bargaining power of employees, but in many people's eyes, the bargaining power has shifted too far in favor of employees. Many would argue that union members have too much bargaining power in terms of job security and benefits.


And those many people are not only wrong they are being hoodwinked by a corporate controlled media message which is just leading people further off the cliff.

How has bargaining power over the last 30+ years shifted to employees? Just take a look around at what has been happening. Unions used to represent 35% of the private sector workforce...now it is down to 7%. Workers today earn less than ever, corporate America has done away with pensions, they have given away the manufacturing base of this country etc

If you are a worker how powerful do you feel? Do you feel your bargaining power with your employer is strong? Better yet if you are non-union try joining one and see how fast you get fired and labor law is ignored or not enforced.

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thriftyT wrote:

As for the pension situation: in the big picture many workers (and owners for that matter) in the private sector are sick about union members continued pension benefits.


So you are upset that union workers have pensions because you are non union and do not get one? Or do you have some kind of ideological argument that workers should not have pensions?

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thriftyT wrote:
A private-sector example of how pensions and benefits can get screwed up by bad and/or desperate decision-making processes was the GM / UAW fiasco which stretched over a period of decades. But that is a story for another day.


I'd love to hear it

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:50
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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La_Verdad wrote:

Of course we need police, fire, teachers and other municipal employees. Let's be honest though, in part due to the historical success of the unions, the people can no longer afford the payroll, benefits, pensions and perks they receive. Something has broken structurally and that needs to be addressed, independent of which side "wins".


So which is it?

Is the problem that public sector unions are successful and now teachers, police officers etc make too much money, their health insurance is too good and their pensions too generous to the point where the taxpayer can no longer afford it?

Or is it that the very wealthy and large corporations have succeeded in fundamentally altering the tax code to the point where their share of the tax burden has dropped tremendously forcing the average citizen to make up the loss?



The average police officers salary is not extravagant and i'd say they deserve a pension and healthcare...the same goes for teachers and other public workers. Things are bad enough I dont want to see teachers and police officers living paycheck to paycheck and having nothing when it comes to retirement.

We can't afford to run a government or society on the Wal-Mart model. It's not time for cops, teachers and other to sacrifice what little they earn...it's time for the corporations (sitting on more cash than ever) start paying their fair share.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:40
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:
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A union does not exist nor do they ever exist to guarantee continued employment ...they exist to give voice, equalize bargaining power and protect the integrity of a job.


your point about construction workers is taken.

However, even if the intent of unions is not to guarantee continued appointment, the net effect is that many union members are very difficult to fire or layoff. Unions of course exist to increase the bargaining power of employees, but in many people's eyes, the bargaining power has shifted too far in favor of employees. Many would argue that union members have too much bargaining power in terms of job security and benefits.

As for the pension situation: in the big picture many workers (and owners for that matter) in the private sector are sick about union members continued pension benefits. Setting aside the subjective arguments that pension benefits are too generous, the practical problem of these too-good-to-be-true pensions is illustrated by the story that carpetbaggertil718 reported. Very generally speaking, whenever power is too concentrated, bad decisions can become magnified. In this case the pension control was effected by bad governmental decisions to fudge the numbers a bit.

A private-sector example of how pensions and benefits can get screwed up by bad and/or desperate decision-making processes was the GM / UAW fiasco which stretched over a period of decades. But that is a story for another day.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:34
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Mathias wrote:
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La_Verdad wrote:


Agree 100%. However, whatever the cause we are drowning right now. Does it matter if it is because the pipe leaked or someone left the faucet run?


It matters because if it is a pipe that is leaking then fixing the faucet will be temporary and eventually the pipe will burst.

The words we use matter and how we orient this debate is important to how we address the root of the problem.


Perhaps I could have chosen a better illustration - my point was that if you see someone drowning, what good is it to stand and speculate as to how that came to be? Don't you need to stop the drowning first?

I understand your point and the reluctance of unions in general to make emergency concessions. The problem in all of this is that the negotiating tactics and political agendas have become completely divorced from the what is in the best interest of the people. That's where the general state of anger is coming from. I have never voted Republican in my life - but I'm really questioning a lot of things I used to automatically accept and I don't think I'm alone in that regard.

Of course we need police, fire, teachers and other municipal employees. Let's be honest though, in part due to the historical success of the unions, the people can no longer afford the payroll, benefits, pensions and perks they receive. Something has broken structurally and that needs to be addressed, independent of which side "wins".

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:24
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Exactly

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carpetbaggertil718 wrote:
Somebody wrote this on another site but it makes some pretty good points about why we are where we are so I cut it and posted. Pretty good read.
STOP THE LIES, STOP BLAMING -TEACHERS,POLICE & FIREFIGHTERS
I would like to make sure everyone-- both public and private sector have a true understanding on how all this came to be. Back in 1992 Florio creates the Pension Revaluation Act. In a nut shell this changed the way the state pensions are valued. The pension went from book value of pension assets, to a market-related value, and increased the assumed rate of return for investments from 7 percent to 8.75 percent. This allowed the pension to grow overnight from 100% to 125%, enabling the state to reduce contributions by 1.5 Billion dollars.
Gov. Christie Whitman, seeking to keep her campaign promise to cut taxes while still balancing the budget, enacted the Pension Reform Act of 1994. To keep this short, this tactic reduced the pension payments by the state by 1.5 Billion dollars. In 1997, under Whitman's Pension Security Plan, the state issued $2.75 billion in bonds through the state Economic Development Authority to pay for pension obligations, instead of appropriating funds from the annual operating budget. By having the EDA issue the bonds, the state got around the constitutional requirement of voter approval to issue new debt. This is pure debt that we all swallow. There was no reason for this.
Why is it so hard to see what the state has done and continues to do? This strategy has been going on every since, except with an added twist-"differed pension payments or pension holidays" You see, since these new evaluations make it appear that the system was fat, in fact it is a play on numbers, the money was not used to pay into the pension fund and instead used to offset taxes in the form of tax cuts or relief. Everyone reaped the benefits of the tax cuts And if you like it or not, everyone has benefited from the public employees pension system since than. Money that should have been payed by the state as an obligation to its employees was used in other NON pension areas. How is this fair?
Today, its clear the government has pitted public vs. private, citizen against citizen, a very smart tactic. This hides the truth! This distorts the facts and spins the story against the public employee, portraying them as the guilty party who somehow holds the blame of this whole issue.
As a matter of fact, there have been many studies concluded that show the public vs. private salary war has no meat. Given all the different variables, it was found that the salary and benefits are commensurate between both sectors. One such study can be found here http://epi.3cdn.net/1c76a91816cb93c747_uum6b5slz.pdf.
So now if we look at this objectively we can find some simple facts:
1- The state government has been taking money from the pension system to create tax cuts for over 15 years..
2- The state governemt has created the war of public vs. private sector employees.
3- The state government neglected to make its required payments for well over 15 years to the pension system.
4- Everyone has benefited from money taken from the pension system in the form of tax cuts.
5- Taxes have never decreased.
Do you see the common theme. They take, they create tension and pit people against people and than assign blame...quietly walking away from problem. Than they create a solution looking like the hero.
I find it disheartening that the rules can be changed in the middle of the game. Public Employees made the required contributions to the system, they payed their taxes as well. While the state manipulated the system in their favor, robbed Peter to pay Paul and found that now the system is broke and insolvent they want to rob Peter again to pay Paul.
The bottom line is that the state is to blame. Not the employees. Its clear we are in a major financial struggle, but does anyone really know why? and by how much? I read numbers and hear equations thrown around, but where do they come from? And if these numbers can be substantiated, in which direction should the finger point? Enron's employees lost everything, the people who lied and stole money from them are in prison or dead. Why than can the state pull a similar move and point the finger elsewhere?
Its also clear that Christies approval rating is slipping. We see he has national political agendas. He is in the process of campaigning across the country as we speak. What are his motives? His children do not go to public schools, his wife makes $500,000 thousand per year, does he have the life of a middle class resident, does he understand our plight? He lives in a gorgeous estate in Mendham. Please, and yet he is making policy for us. He knows how to fix NJ? This is a spring board for his political future agenda, not for us- the residents of NJ. The majority of public sector employees did not campaign for Christie, is this payback? Government should be impartial and unbiased, not vindictive and callous
I urge you all to think twice before we bash each other and point fingers before having the facts. Take a second and do some simple research and come to your own conclusions with fact based answers not venom spewed rage.
We should all collectively demand answers from our elected officials into why these action were allowed to go on. We should point the finger where it should be pointed, not at each other but at our government. Its clear they dropped the ball. Are we all so blind to not see what is really happening here? Have we all become just as vindictive and callous? I promise you, if we remain divided....as the old saying goes" We cannot stand."

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:13
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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La_Verdad wrote:
e]

Agree 100%. However, whatever the cause we are drowning right now. Does it matter if it is because the pipe leaked or someone left the faucet run?


It matters because if it is a pipe that is leaking then fixing the faucet will be temporary and eventually the pipe will burst.

The words we use matter and how we orient this debate is important to how we address the root of the problem.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:11
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Technically true - a union is an institution. But it is led by men. Men who, like all others, are motivated by basic needs such as survival and other self interests. That is why unions are almost always willing to trade away job cuts for a better deal for the surviving employees/members. As long as there is even one member left in the union, leadership still has a purpose. You dismiss the goal of saving jobs as not something a "good union" would do. If I am in your union and can't count on the most basic protection - that of continued employment - why the hell would I want you in the first place?


This is incorrect.

The incentives that drive a union are complex.

When you have a large union where the president and leadership come out of the institution itself and not the membership you are more likely to see situations where decisions will be made based on increasing or maintaining the size of membership.

When you have a union where the leadership comes out of the rank and file and concentrated on a specific job or trade you are more likely to see decisions based on what the membership would like to see and what protects the integrity of the job or profession. That is the case with the police officers union.

A union does not exist nor do they ever exist to guarantee continued employment ...they exist to give voice, equalize bargaining power and protect the integrity of a job. At any given time there are plenty of laid off union construction workers....I guess the union could say, "ok lets lower the wage rate to $4 an hour so all the unemployed construction workers will get hired" but that would be suicide for the trade and the integrity of the job. The laid off construction worker will deal with the up and down cycles knowing that when jobs rebound they will be paid decently for their work.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 3:06
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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If you bring your lilly white ass and camera into the neighborhoods I work in you will be shortly relieved of it so I'm not too worried crackpot


I would be if I were you.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:53
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Yes, a big part of the revenue problem is the fact that over the last 30 years (and especially the last 10) the rich and corporations are paying less and less. That's where our anger should be focused because until that fundamental issue is addressed we will continue to jump from crisis to crisis.


Agree 100%. However, whatever the cause we are drowning right now. Does it matter if it is because the pipe leaked or someone left the faucet run?


Quote:
Mathias wrote:

How do you figure the union is acting in its own self-interest? If the union, as an institution, were solely concerned about itself it would do whatever it takes to keep more officers employed because that generates more dues.


Technically true - a union is an institution. But it is led by men. Men who, like all others, are motivated by basic needs such as survival and other self interests. That is why unions are almost always willing to trade away job cuts for a better deal for the surviving employees/members. As long as there is even one member left in the union, leadership still has a purpose. You dismiss the goal of saving jobs as not something a "good union" would do. If I am in your union and can't count on the most basic protection - that of continued employment - why the hell would I want you in the first place?

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Mathias wrote:
The city has not declared bankruptcy.


Semantics. Bankruptcy is a legal term. Whether or not the city has filed for bankruptcy doesn't change its fiscal condition. Its bills greatly exceed its ability to pay.

We are in complete agreement that the mismanagement of this and previous administrations has brought the city to this point. The city deserves better than the leadership it currently has, but has itself to blame for not voting in leaders who are qualified and care about the city's future. And the unions aren't without blame here - they pumped in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Healy '09 campaign and assured four more years of this train wreck.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:51
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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If you bring your lilly white ass and camera into the neighborhoods I work in you will be shortly relieved of it so I'm not too worried crackpot

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:39
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Vigilante wrote:
Blah, Blah, Blah. By the numbers you guys will be down about 15 cops per shift across the entire city. Save the scare tactics for your wife or girlfriend or whatever. I think the citizens will now be stepping up their watchdog tactics. Everyone carries a camera nowadays so no more lollygagging for you guys.


TOOL



Said the guy who wants to eliminate whole city agencies but not one police officer? You are the TOOL.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:32
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Blah, Blah, Blah. By the numbers you guys will be down about 15 cops per shift across the entire city. Save the scare tactics for your wife or girlfriend or whatever. I think the citizens will now be stepping up their watchdog tactics. Everyone carries a camera nowadays so no more lollygagging for you guys.


TOOL

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:21
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Like I said I didn't write it but thought it was a well researched, well thought out commentary. He/she also failed to mention the 33 Billion Whitman looted out of the fund to balance her budget and make herself look like a political genius. But whos counting right? The point was how the politicians pitted us against each other while they continue to only help themselves. A perfect example is what this drunk and his merry band of thieves is accomplishing now. Demanding concessions from everyone but themselves. How many deputy Mayors and assistant to the assistant positions could be eliminated before you go after an essential service. Its funny how when we respond to a place where somebody needs our help they never complain about how much money we make. I never heard a victim say I wish there were less of you guys.

Posted on: 2011/1/3 2:17
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Why no mention of Corzine and McGreevy! You had my interest for about a second but to blame Christe is absurd! You are a typical union hack and the people are on to all of the union criminals! Christie tells it like it is and he is about to rip all of the unions a new A Hole! The unions have been ripping the people off for way too long now and it has to stop!

Perfect example is the ridiculous pensions of our cops, firemen and state employees.

Construction unions are plagued with organized crime. Look at the new Billion dollar meadowlands stadium. It's not half as nice the new Texas stadium which has a dome and was built for 500 million less! Why you ask? no unions!

Try getting a job at the Newark Seaport. This is a textbook example of borderline retarded humans making 150K annually for working 50 hours a week and getting paid for 80!

Unions have had their time but their time is now over!

Posted on: 2011/1/3 1:46
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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Somebody wrote this on another site but it makes some pretty good points about why we are where we are so I cut it and posted. Pretty good read.
STOP THE LIES, STOP BLAMING -TEACHERS,POLICE & FIREFIGHTERS
I would like to make sure everyone-- both public and private sector have a true understanding on how all this came to be. Back in 1992 Florio creates the Pension Revaluation Act. In a nut shell this changed the way the state pensions are valued. The pension went from book value of pension assets, to a market-related value, and increased the assumed rate of return for investments from 7 percent to 8.75 percent. This allowed the pension to grow overnight from 100% to 125%, enabling the state to reduce contributions by 1.5 Billion dollars.
Gov. Christie Whitman, seeking to keep her campaign promise to cut taxes while still balancing the budget, enacted the Pension Reform Act of 1994. To keep this short, this tactic reduced the pension payments by the state by 1.5 Billion dollars. In 1997, under Whitman's Pension Security Plan, the state issued $2.75 billion in bonds through the state Economic Development Authority to pay for pension obligations, instead of appropriating funds from the annual operating budget. By having the EDA issue the bonds, the state got around the constitutional requirement of voter approval to issue new debt. This is pure debt that we all swallow. There was no reason for this.
Why is it so hard to see what the state has done and continues to do? This strategy has been going on every since, except with an added twist-"differed pension payments or pension holidays" You see, since these new evaluations make it appear that the system was fat, in fact it is a play on numbers, the money was not used to pay into the pension fund and instead used to offset taxes in the form of tax cuts or relief. Everyone reaped the benefits of the tax cuts And if you like it or not, everyone has benefited from the public employees pension system since than. Money that should have been payed by the state as an obligation to its employees was used in other NON pension areas. How is this fair?
Today, its clear the government has pitted public vs. private, citizen against citizen, a very smart tactic. This hides the truth! This distorts the facts and spins the story against the public employee, portraying them as the guilty party who somehow holds the blame of this whole issue.
As a matter of fact, there have been many studies concluded that show the public vs. private salary war has no meat. Given all the different variables, it was found that the salary and benefits are commensurate between both sectors. One such study can be found here http://epi.3cdn.net/1c76a91816cb93c747_uum6b5slz.pdf.
So now if we look at this objectively we can find some simple facts:
1- The state government has been taking money from the pension system to create tax cuts for over 15 years..
2- The state governemt has created the war of public vs. private sector employees.
3- The state government neglected to make its required payments for well over 15 years to the pension system.
4- Everyone has benefited from money taken from the pension system in the form of tax cuts.
5- Taxes have never decreased.
Do you see the common theme. They take, they create tension and pit people against people and than assign blame...quietly walking away from problem. Than they create a solution looking like the hero.
I find it disheartening that the rules can be changed in the middle of the game. Public Employees made the required contributions to the system, they payed their taxes as well. While the state manipulated the system in their favor, robbed Peter to pay Paul and found that now the system is broke and insolvent they want to rob Peter again to pay Paul.
The bottom line is that the state is to blame. Not the employees. Its clear we are in a major financial struggle, but does anyone really know why? and by how much? I read numbers and hear equations thrown around, but where do they come from? And if these numbers can be substantiated, in which direction should the finger point? Enron's employees lost everything, the people who lied and stole money from them are in prison or dead. Why than can the state pull a similar move and point the finger elsewhere?
Its also clear that Christies approval rating is slipping. We see he has national political agendas. He is in the process of campaigning across the country as we speak. What are his motives? His children do not go to public schools, his wife makes $500,000 thousand per year, does he have the life of a middle class resident, does he understand our plight? He lives in a gorgeous estate in Mendham. Please, and yet he is making policy for us. He knows how to fix NJ? This is a spring board for his political future agenda, not for us- the residents of NJ. The majority of public sector employees did not campaign for Christie, is this payback? Government should be impartial and unbiased, not vindictive and callous
I urge you all to think twice before we bash each other and point fingers before having the facts. Take a second and do some simple research and come to your own conclusions with fact based answers not venom spewed rage.
We should all collectively demand answers from our elected officials into why these action were allowed to go on. We should point the finger where it should be pointed, not at each other but at our government. Its clear they dropped the ball. Are we all so blind to not see what is really happening here? Have we all become just as vindictive and callous? I promise you, if we remain divided....as the old saying goes" We cannot stand."

Posted on: 2011/1/3 1:27
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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No doubt. But the problem is that the tax system depends on the contributions of everyone. And in Jersey City, the middle class is hit harder than the upper class because of tax abatements and the composition of the population.


Yes, a big part of the revenue problem is the fact that over the last 30 years (and especially the last 10) the rich and corporations are paying less and less. That's where our anger should be focused because until that fundamental issue is addressed we will continue to jump from crisis to crisis.

Quote:

La_Verdad wrote:
If the police union really existed for the benefit of its brothers and sisters and not just its own self-interest, how could they not agree to a small (relative to what a lot of other people have been through recently) pay cut to save the jobs of its members? I read in the paper that the union is worried that if they give in now it will only lead to further requests down the road. What difference does it make if they get pressure in the future? They would still have the ability to say no.


How do you figure the union is acting in its own self-interest? If the union, as an institution, were solely concerned about itself it would do whatever it takes to keep more officers employed because that generates more dues. That's not what is happening here.

One of the more important functions of a union isn't necessarily to protect current members but to protect the general integrity of the job. A good union would never trade away the long term integrity of the job to provide a temporary fix (avoid lay-offs) to the administrations fiscal mismanagement and budget crisis.

Quote:

La_Verdad wrote:
You can't argue that the city isn't broke. The causes of its insolvency are disgusting, but they doesn't change the facts. How does the city pay its bills without employees being affected? Serious question.


The city has not declared bankruptcy.

If there were no police union, firefighters union, teachers union etc politicians would be trading away the integrity of these jobs to cover their own mismanagement and fiscal policies leaving everyone worse off down the road. The fact that the union is negotiating and trying to come up with alternatives is a good thing because they are preventing the city from taking the easy way out...but unfortunately the public anger is instead focusing on the rank and file cop, sanitation workers, teacher etc

Posted on: 2011/1/3 0:27
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Re: CITY REBUFFS POLICE UNION OFFER FOR CONSESSIONS
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Interesting article in todays Times

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Fred Siegel, a historian at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, has written of the ?New Tammany Hall,? which he describes as the incestuous alliance between public officials and labor.

?Public unions have had no natural adversary; they give politicians political support and get good contracts back,? Mr. Siegel said. ?It?s uniquely dysfunctional.?


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/business/02showdown.html?_r=1&hp


The most important sentence being "a historian at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute"

The reason we are having this discussion is because politicians are trying to negotiate concessionary contracts with public workers....so once again facts get in the way of conservative anti-labor arguments

Posted on: 2011/1/2 23:56
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Re: Jersey City Police Department lay offs and budget cuts
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carpetbaggertil718 wrote:
Like I said LMFAO.....I worked New Years Eve. Was in the hood and saw all of them young guys that are getting the ax doing a superb job.....It could have been worse. Great job JCPD Patrol. You guys were awesome. 288 calls for service in the first five hours.Im really looking forward to the warm weather. Gonna be exciting again. Not to mention profitable OT OT OT OT OT OT Oscar Tango for me a File Number for you. Good luck to you


Blah, Blah, Blah. By the numbers you guys will be down about 15 cops per shift across the entire city. Save the scare tactics for your wife or girlfriend or whatever. I think the citizens will now be stepping up their watchdog tactics. Everyone carries a camera nowadays so no more lollygagging for you guys.

Posted on: 2011/1/2 23:24
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