Townhall.com posted an article today about some of the scandals that have been occurring in America’s Public Sector Unions. Remember, the members of the Public Sector Unions are people whose benefits and salaries are paid by the taxpayer.
The article lists several recent scandals. Here are a few:
A Chicago union leader takes a leave of absence in 1989 from the city’s sanitation department, where he earned $40,000, to work for a union. He is then allowed to “retire” from the city at age 56 with $108,000 pension. (The rules say that the individual should waive a union pension to do this. In this case, the official reportedly does not waive the union pension. The city knows this, but grants the city pension anyway.)
16 psychiatrists working for California are paid $400,000 or more. One of them, with a degree from an Afghan medical school, takes home $822,302
More than half the lifeguards working for Newport Beach, CA earn more than $150,000 in 2010. One earns $203,481. A lifeguard labor union spokesman comments: “We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries. . . . Lifeguard salaries here are well within the norm of other city employees.”
There are many more examples listed in the article. This might be the reason many of our towns, cities and states are on the verge of bankruptcy.
The article reminds us of the relationship between union dues and political contributions:
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) collects $211 million in dues in 2010; the National Education Association (NEA) $397 million. With state affiliates included, the total approaches $1 billion. The AFT president makes nearly half a million, and almost 600 officials at the two unions earn over $100,000. $297 million is donated to political campaigns over a decade—with total political spending much higher. It is hard to say how high the spending really is because members do not receive complete information.
…For the fifty states as a whole, unfunded public employee benefit liabilities are at least $1.26 trillion, according to the PEW Center on the states.
There might be a few clues in the above examples of union abuse of taxpayer money as to how America might begin to trim its state, local and federal budgets.