Thursday, June 28, 2018

Could This Be The End Of City Employee Union Influence?

Mod: I am not certain that you are aware of this, but when the City Council decides that it wants to raise taxes in Sierra Madre, and goes to the voters in order to do so, the city does not pay for much of the campaign. A lot of that is paid for with city employee union money, a big chunk of it coming from the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association. With Measure UUT in 2016 some of the pro-tax postcards did have the smiling pictures of City Councilmembers on them, but the city didn't pay for that, either. City employee unions did, and in exchange for such support they receive benefits, such as the cost of living raises they were given Tuesday evening. Obviously this has given them a lot of sway with City Councilmembers, who fear getting on the wrong side of such heavily financed political muscle. In case you were wondering why employee raises took precedence over the fight against mansionization. But because of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, such money could now become a lot harder to get, and the balance of power here, and in many other cities, could quickly change.  

Supreme Court Deals Blow To Government Unions (NPR link): In a blow to organized labor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be charged for the cost of collective bargaining.

The vote was a predictable 5-4. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion with the court's conservatives joining him.

"Under Illinois law, public employees are forced to subsidize a union, even if they choose not to join and strongly object to the positions the union takes in collective bargaining and related activities," Alito wrote. "We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern."

The plaintiff in this case, Mark Janus, a child-support specialist for the state of Illinois, challenged a requirement that government workers who opt out of a union still have to pay partial dues to cover the union's cost of negotiation and other functions.

In 1977, the Supreme Court had drawn a distinction between such mandatory "agency fees" and other, voluntary union dues, which might be used for lobbying or other political activity.

Wednesday's decision erases that distinction. The court's conservative wing found that negotiations by public sector unions are inherently political and nonmembers cannot be compelled to pay for them.

"In addition to affecting how public money is spent, union speech in collective bargaining addresses many other important matters," Alito wrote. "We have often recognized that such speech 'occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values' and merits 'special protection.' "

The Tattler has found a way to pay for the legal fight against mansionization

Mod: And wouldn't you know, it was right on the cover of the Mountain Views News.


There you go. Problem solved. Let me know if there is anything else.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

67 comments:

  1. What an irresponsible move, giving away 45% of the value of the SCE Funds. I’m sure there were power lines visible from Memorial Park or the Little League fields, etc. that could have been undergrounded. Views would have been enhanced as the SCE Funds were meant to be used.

    Throwing 45 cents away from each dollar that was owned by the residents is one hell of a way to manage money. Dumb *sses.

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    1. Years ago, They did the same thing with the Handyman Program. Think they sold the the funds to Hawaiian Gardens for cents on the dollar. Guess there were no poor or needy families to be found in Sierra Madre .

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  2. Good ruling by the Supreme Court.

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  3. Article from 2010. The Trouble with Public Sector Unions

    "New Jersey has drawn national attention as a case study, but the same scenario is playing out in state capitals from coast to coast. New York, Michigan, California, Washington, and many other states also find themselves heavily indebted, with public-sector unions at the root of their problems. In exchange, taxpayers in these states are rewarded with larger and more expensive, yet less effective, government, and with elected officials who are afraid to cross the politically powerful unions. As the Wall Street Journal put it recently, public-sector unions "may be the single biggest problem...for the U.S. economy and small-d democratic governance." They may also be the biggest challenge facing state and local officials — a challenge that, unless economic conditions dramatically improve, will dominate the politics of the decade to come."
    https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

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  4. The latest news flash about money being thrown away is just shocking?

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  5. You mean resident priorities could start taking precedence over those of Officer Potato Salad? Shocking.

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  6. AND, if the unions give us any trouble the Trump can send in the Militia to handle the riots. Militia / National Guard, will be the same thing.

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    1. What trouble are you anticipating?

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    2. Donut raid. Jelly everywhere.

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  7. I look forward to city council campaigns in Sierra Madre where candidates who oppose tax hikes and employee benefit increases are not personally attacked through the mail.

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  8. Not sure what trouble. It's just that when you get gangs upset things can go wrong.

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    1. You can choose not to agree with 8:12A but much of what he has said is true. The Unions have all but bankrupt the state with their perks and pensions. It will only get worse. Illegal immigrants have been a tax drain on the state for medical, living and housing costs. As for the Libs, well you can make your own decision on that. I’d really like your take on all of this 8:16.

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  9. I'm sure the present administration would love to send some guards over to straighten out California. We are such a bad influence over the other states.

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    1. California ain’t what it used to be. Liberals, illegal aliens, and unions have ruined the state.

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    2. Can't have a decent conversation around here without old Mr. Lawn Cranky spouting the same nonsense he has said every other day since God knows when,

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    3. I guess it must be difficult to hear the truth everyday since God knows when.

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    4. Don’t like the way California is today? Maybe Arizona or Texas is a better fit for you. Bye.

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    5. 11:30, you're a prime example of what 8:12 is talking about. Much better for us all if you go, and quickly I might add.

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  10. The keep the UUT campaign from a few months ago received zero union support. The uut campaign in 2016 received $2,000. Big deal.

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    1. I've requested the finance forms for the Measure UUT campaign in 2016. I don't think your numbers are correct.

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    2. The unions should not be involved in politics. Most of the union members do not live in our city and should have no say in our elections.

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    3. They want to help elect politicians who will kowtow to their authority and give them raises and increased benefits. Donate a little money, write your own ticket. Who gives a damn what the taxpayers want?

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    4. The cop union donated at most $3,000 out of the over $17,000 spent. And you think that gets them some kind of control ? They donated because their jobs were on the line. And they gave nothing to any candidate in 2018 or to the ballot measure. The idea that the city council is obligated to a union is absurd.

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    5. It was $2,000 when their jobs were at stake. So what. Less than 15 percent of the amount spent.

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    6. 8:58 - Yes, but it worked out pretty well for them, right?

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    7. 8:58 This was hardly the only election where the SMPOA financed candidates or measures that were in their interest.

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    8. the smpoa has never "financed" anything...they made donations in the past like anyone else in immaterial amounts...saying the Sierra Madre city council is somehow beholden to unions is just a stupid and false thing to say

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    9. Sure. It's all a coincidence.

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    10. 5:36 sounds like a union goon in disguise here...

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  11. Good one 7:09am and so very true.
    I have not supported the POA just for that reason. The money used to be spent on informative public National Night Out, knowing that it has been used for political purposes tarnished my view of the department years ago.

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    1. National Night has been turned into the Police will visit YOUR neighborhood block party. How much money does the City lay out for that? We used to have a National Night Out at the park, free In and Out food truck, demos from the Fire Dept, and information booths from many City organizations. Keep your eye out in early August to see how other local cities are celebrating National Night Out. I suspect that more will adopt the cheap way out, that is the Police will visit YOUR block party, but some will carry on with fun activities in the park.

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    2. National night out was Federally funded.

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  12. That $628,000 in truncated Edison money. Anyone know how it is being spent?

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  13. Selling for .55cents on the dollar?
    Ok, not like the town will have any major wind storms or anything.
    Do these council people engage in any constructive policy dialog?

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    1. Hell, do they even counter and try to get 5 cents more on the dollar? Probably not.

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  14. 7:29am the city is in such a mess that the $628,000 was immediately absorbed, the money only looks good from a one time budget gain.

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  15. Twenty houses down, the entire town to go.
    Those Smart Meters are expensive, maybe the money will be spent on 4-7 more meters!

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  16. Those smart meters are going to save money in the future.

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    1. Everything is going to save money in the future. That is, until it becomes the present.

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    2. Good one 7:55!

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  17. The city staff is celebrating - nice lunches out, a lot of "Woo-hooing."

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    1. Are they getting the same discounts the Fire and Police Departments get at The Only Place In Town? I hear the Henry A. Darling salad is to die for.

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    2. I heard they prefer restaurants in Arcadia.

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    3. Other than the Derby not much to be said for Arcadia restaurants. At least the Derby provides historic significance. Developers are against anything historic. The issue will reignite Sho Tay's Shobots.

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    4. Derby is overpriced corn-fed feedlot cows.

      Din Tai Fung so much better!

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    5. What is Din Tai Fung? Corn fed octopus? Where in Arcadia?

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    6. It’s on Baldwin and at Santa Anita mall now. World renown dumplings.

      Octopus?

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  18. Lol 7:54am thanks, is that after Sierra Madre is run by the County?

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  19. Of course, those poor overworked city employees, how could i have forgotten, we need to be aware of their needs and simplify the time spent in the field vs time spent on long lunch hours under a shady tree in town.

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    1. Trees are coming down. City issued umbrellas need to be added to the employee benefits.

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    2. Hope it’s not the Pepper trees in Kersting Court.

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  20. Carter One and underground cables, who picks up the tab?

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    1. I think the power lines are already underground.

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    2. Somehow it makes sense that Edison would give money to Sierra Madre to bury already buried wires.

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  21. 8:58am the council voted as one and acted as their own Union.
    The council is freely spending our tax dollars like there is no end in sight, knowing that even at 10% this amount will not make a drop in the bucket for the amount of debt this town carries.

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  22. Wouldn't have been wiser to purchase a storage battery for those Solar Panels scheduled to be installed down in the park area and city yards?

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  23. 8:16 when given the truths, Progressive always change the subject.

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    1. Your truth is a shallow and muddy puddle.

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  24. Way to Interpret that nasty 1st Amendment 8:15!

    Groups of people should have NO say over government!

    If only Kim, Trump, and Putin were as persuasive as you...

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    1. Unless they are corporations

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    2. Look out... 11:36 another union goon in disguise.

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  25. In the end, it’s tax dollars that pay for the police just so they can use those tax dollars to strong arm cities into paying them more of those tax dollars. The Supreme Court made the right call. Let public employees chose how to spend their dollars. Let’s see how much they give to the union when they have a choice.

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  26. Our experiences with Unions have been that individuals who are trying to convince us of their value in negotiations have also been the same individuals practicing strong armed tactics when different opinions are given vs what the Union supports.

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    1. Yeah, yeah. We know you like it when corporations and agencies crush their employees. Makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it?

      Bet you rooted for Goliath.

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    2. 5:46, you're nuts. See the forest for the trees. The unions crush everything remotely in their path a bulldozer. Biggest bunch of parasites this country has or will ever see.

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