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Union Relations

Many years ago, public financiers woke up to the problem of funding “other post-retirement benefits,” but then some of them went back to sleep. Younger public employees should demand an actuarial wake-up call.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to keep Florida open have led many state employees to publicly voice concerns that departments are not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously.
More than 20,000 custodians statewide could receive a minimum wage increase, employer contribution to union pension plans and bereavement leave, which would generate thousands of dollars in additional wages and benefits.
Whether they are paving roads damaged by Hurricane Ida or building a next-generation railroad tunnel under the Hudson River, unions, like the Operating Engineers Local 825, expect to be part of the action.
A campaign in the states to make public workers “at-will” employees and undo civil service protections has gained traction at the federal level. But there are early signs of a counter-trend in local government.
Lawmakers expanded child-care subsidies and passed a new capital-gains tax last year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state is the fifth in the nation for union membership.
Congress should rewrite the ground rules to minimize nuisance lawsuits that can cost local taxpayers millions, while focusing civil courts on bad cops and blind-eye departments.