Thursday, March 1, 2012

Because You Love Them

Yesterday, a friend of mine, who is a federal employee, posted a Washington Post op-ed to Facebook standing up for public sector workers, and imploring people to stop "bashing" them.
I'm not sure what, in particular, that author referred to (if it was actual bashing, then yes, that's a bad thing, and it shouldn't be done).

BUT if it was just an overreaction to people challenging or criticizing public sector benefits packages, today's Wall Street Journal has this cautionary tale about what's happening in Stockton, Hercules, and Lincoln, California...all of which face the real threat of needing to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which could in turn hurt other CA municipalities and possibly the state itself. The people it will REALLY hurt in the short-term are the very public sector workers who could serve their own self-interest more effectively by showing a willingness to compromise, even if that means some sacrifices up front.

Hercules already voted last year to lay off 37 percent of its city workers. San Carlos and Half Moon Bay have already "outsourced" law enforcement and recreation management. Lincoln's municipal consultant concedes in the article that the city may be forced to outsource most of its services (to include police and fire) to surrounding districts.

None of that sounds like a big win for the public workforce.

Having only ever worked in the public sector, I hope I have some credibility to stand on when I say that the next time someone proposes a modification to government worker compensation packages, hatred for those people might not be the underlying motive.

In fact, it might be the complete opposite.

No comments: