Friday, June 8, 2012

Why do we have PEU's?

So with everything that just went down in WI and Scott Walker laying the beat down the way he did, I started to wonder why exactly are federal employees allowed to unionize? I understand the concept that some people believe that unions protect the worker, personally I think that's absolute crap, but some people out there still believe that Social Security will be there for them when they get old.

So I pulled EO 10988 signed by JFK on 17 Jan 1962 which basically gave public employees the ability to unionize. Why he signed this I personally don't know. Maybe he thought it was a good plan, maybe as one writer in the LA Times put it here that Scott Walker should look to Ronald Reagan for advice on how to not anger unions.

I believe we are looking at two separate times. Not just two different years but two completely different landscapes. I may be wrong but I don't believe that unions had acquired the foothold into politics that they have now with the democratic party or maybe it's just nostalgia on my part thinking that things were just simpler at that time.

In that article the writer claims that JFK signed that EO so to blunt the upcoming vote in Congress on a bill that would allow federal employees to unionize and give them more rights than what he felt they should have. Here is my question though, what was so bad about a federal job at the time that required employees to unionize in the first place? Or was it as I believe that Democrats saw a chance to create a brand new revenue stream that would always be in their corner since they allowed it to happen?

As that article even admits this was the dam breaking that allowed states, cities, and municipalities to begin to offer the ability of their employees to unionize. So thanks JFK for creating a parasite on the budget of every level of government throughout the country.

My real question though is this. If government is so good, and government and government alone knows how workers should be treated and what is fair, why did the unions need to exist in the first place?

In 2010 alone fewer than 1 million of the nations 3.5 million federal employees were unionized. Total with all federal, state, and local employees who were unionized fell to 36% in 2010. That was a drop of around 1% from 2009.

Per the Washington Post

About 984,000 of the federal government's 3.5 million full and part-time workers are union members, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Union membership dropped 1.2 percent among federal workers from the previous year. 

Scott Walker dropped that number even further in 2012. The real question I want posed to Mitt Romney will you revoke EO 10988? If not, why not?

Personally we at The Handbook believe that the public unions can never be brought to a level where they will look at budgets with a realistic outlook in their demands and expectations until they are removed completely from the picture.

If 401(k) and IRA's are good enough for everyone else they are perfectly fine for your government employees. Why should any company, government included, continue to pay you after you are no longer a productive member of that entity?

In the interest of disclosure I am technically a federal employee as I am a member of the US Armed Forces. Just so there is no question I would be willing to sit down and look at the retirement packages offered to members of the military and look at other options with anyone who wants to. 

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