This twelve minute segment of Emily Rooney's show covered the topic of public sector unions and how poll numbers show public opinion has turned against them. Her guests are Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini and Northeastern University dean of public policy Barry Bluestone.

Mayor Fiorentini hired private investigators to expose sick time abuse among his employees.

Mayor Fiorentini on the need for municipal health care reform: "A five dollar co-pay means that someone is losing their job, it means we provide less services for people in the community, and people’s taxes are higher than they need to be."

Barry Bluestone calls for "interest-based bargaining" with municipal unions rather than each side starting out with their demands.

(Emily Rooney says she thinks the public is most upset about the sick-time abuses rather than pensions, but I disagree with her on that - I think taxpayers see themselves subsidizing others to have a secure retirement that they themselves will not have)

It's a terrific segment, definitely worth the twelve minutes.


02/09/2011 14:44

1) Bob Jones: Public workers aren't over-benefited because they don't get Social Security? The people who do get SS paid about 13% of their compensation for it. You don't get to double your SS by working a lot of overtime your last year or two.
2) Bruce Bacardi: I'm sure there have been pension abuses by non-union public workers, but what got a lot of citizens steamed were the stories about the Boston firefighters pension and disability scandals.
3) Emily Rooney: the big holes in budgets are caused by pensions and healthcare, much of which has NOT been accounted for as a liability. Sick pay might be abused, but is not a hidden liability.

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