Friday, August 10, 2012

Commuter Tax: Where Were the Public Sector Unions?

Northampton County Council adopted a resolution opposing Easton's commuter Tax. Executive John Stoffa, who understands Easton's fiscal dilemma, visited City Council and made a pitch for his workforce. But on Wednesday night, Easton adopted a commuter tax that will take effect next year. It's 0.75% of your income.

That's $225, for a worker who earns $30,000 per year.

Some County workers tell me that, even with union raises scheduled to go into effect next year, they will actually be getting less money than they do now.

And that brings me to this question - Where the hell were the public sector unions during this debate?? Since this tax has no impact on their dues, I guess it didn't matter to them.

This is just one reason why I say they're all useless.

Now, should the County add a small increase to all salaries, say 0.75%? Its workforce had nothing to do with Easton's pension woes.  Yet they are being forced to pay for a problem that can only be solved at a state level.

When former Executive Reibman froze wages for three years and laid people off, three unions suddenly became eleven unions. Now, in addition to lengthy contract delays and state cutbacks that threaten even more jobs, nonresidents will see their meager incomes reduced further.

If Council and the Executive were to work on some way to get these sums back in the pockets of people who deserve them, that would certainly go a long way to restoring morale. It might even make some workers wonder why they need a union.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reibman did not freeze employee wages for three years. He did freeze his Directors wages for that long. Once the freeeze was lifted the non-union staff recieved a higher COLA. Ask Hammon, as he can confrinm this.

Once again your hatred of someone has brought out bullshit and distorted facts.

What Stoffa pulled by promising binding arbirtration then denying it and screwing the unions for the past three years as well as trying to bust the Gracedale union has done more to destroy employee morale then any action by any executive before him.

His lame last second speech is just what he does for people, talks and talks but in the end he still lets them get screwed.

Anonymous said...

rather have a sister in a whore house than a brother in the union

Anonymous said...

excellent and very apt picture, BO.

Anonymous said...

anon 617

what's her address?

Anonymous said...

You do go both ways don't you Bernie... Makes you feel good?

I can hear you now: yes, no, ah yes, ah no, faster, slower, perfect!

When you want the unions you scream, when you don't want the unions you scream.

You're as biased as the main stream media, admit it!

Anonymous said...

anon 6:57 look in your own house

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Reibman did not freeze employee wages for three years."

Actually, he did, and we blossomed from 3 to 11 unions.

Anonymous said...

Panto neutralized the union goons by stating the increase was going to be dedicated to union pensions. Then, he raised taxes on voters he'll never have to answer to at the polls. He knows the suburban communities hate every fiber of his being. If he turned up missing, they'd have to polygraph every resident in Forks. Sal's a crafty politician who threaded the needle well here. His nastiness toward Warren, the only sheep who strayed, is the real Sal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:22, I am much more biased than the MSM. I am also telling the truth as I see it.

Anonymous said...

Kind of reminds me of Allentown's recent EIT tax hike that was supposed to "solve" its pension problem. Oddly enough, however, the revenues ended up falling millions short of what was projected. It would seem that those who could, left the city and moved their place of employment elsewhere.

Welcome to your future Easton. Maybe you can start lobbying the state for a special zone to bail your city out.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point. Easton should begin building a hockey arena or high school sports hall of fame immediately. It should solve everything.

Anonymous said...

Only if the cost of Easton's Palace of Sport is of a record-breaking nature in terms of obscene amount of money spent.

Only THEN could everything be solved.

(and it better be built with Union Labor or Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. is going to be very angry and start publically calling for people to get taken out)

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

Anonymous said...

The union hacks will never change, and it's not the Northampton County taxpayer's responsibility to make union workers whole on Easton's tax increase.

Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Sometimes you are so incredibly off base it's ridiculous..Easton knew how the county employees felt about the tax and didnt give a damn. They were passing it no matter what anyone said..Without the county unions most employees would be making about $10,000 a year less than they are making now and getting less benefits..And without ASFME Gracedale would be in private hands and many there would be unemployed..Stop your bullshit bernie boy..It's getting deep!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Without the unions, (1) county workers would be getting as much or more than they are getting now, but wold not have to fork over union dues: (2) Gracedale wold have been sold to a private entity that would still would have had a very large workforce, and could have been union.

The fact of the matter is that public sector unions did nothing for the county worker, proving that when it really matters, they are useless.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused about your suggestion that the county should somehow make its employees whole for Eason's tax hike.

Public sector employees are already insulated enough from the real world, and the effects that public sector unions have on people's taxes. Now some of them might feel a small dose of what public sector union wages and benefits actually cost and you suggest protecting them from it.

If the county chooses to make them whole they are insane, and out of touch with the taxpayers who aren't part of the privileged class of public sector employees (union & non-union).

Bernie O'Hare said...

The reason for my suggestion is three-fold: (1) It would restore some of the morale that took such a hit under Reibman; (2) It would demonstrate that county officials, unlike union bosses, do care about the people who work here and how this has hurt them; and (3) It would make many County emplyees wonder whether they are better off under career service.

Ironically, proposing a 0.75% wage hike would probably be called an unfair labor practice by the unions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you know the workers better than I do but I don't see it happening.

It'll be turned into "your divine right as a union member" and enough of them believe that shit to make it stick.

I also think it's a terrible precedent to set.

Anonymous said...

bernie,

You are freaking hilarious..You actually believe what comes out of your mouth.."The county workers would get as much as they get now without the unions???Seriously???
I sat in on many contract negotiations..What you say is just plain false. You are clueless in this matter and blinded by your hatred of the unions..You sound like Limbaugh when you speak to matters which you are incredibly misinformed...Seriously, even the whiners and complainers in the union membership ( about 5%) aren't stupid enough to believe that they would have done as well in negotiations without a union..The county would have just said," Here's what we are giving you..Accept it or look elsewhere... Geez bernie, get a grip!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Without the unions, county workers would do as well or better, especially with benefits, and they would not have to pay dues. Most of them already know this by now. You have proved how worthless you are by your failure to take a position on the commuter tax.

Anonymous said...

"Public sector employees are already insulated enough from the real world, and the effects that public sector unions have on people's taxes. Now some of them might feel a small dose of what public sector union wages and benefits actually cost and you suggest protecting them from it."

Well said, 10:07 am.

But, don't hold your breath expecting them to get the lesson. They simply lack the capacity to understand how the real world works.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

That guy is right..You are ridiculous! If you found a unionized employee who thinks he or she would do better without the union negotiating for them than they would without a union and I'll show you an employee who needs a mental health evaluation. Because they are as crazy as you are..The union always had to fight the county tooth and nail for their
salaries and benefits, even the Democratic administrations..So dont tell me that they'd do better without a union cause you and these pathetic idiots you speak of have no clue..The union helped save Gracedale..Period!!

Anonymous said...

If what you say is true about most of them "knowing this now" why are they still in their union..They can leave anytime..You are wrong Bernie..Incredibly, amazingly, outrageously wrong..

Anonymous said...

I think a better approach would be to remove the automatic deductions for union dues. If union members truly believe the value is there, they will have no problem writing the check.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:17, glad your wish was granted. I said Hi to your sister last night, her rates are great.

Anonymous said...

With Reibman employees were pissed he frooze salaries one year but he didn't try to hide what he did. They didn't like him for what he did.

With Stoffa, they just don't trust the guy because he lies. He promised binding arbitration to get votes then lied about it. he pitted one union against another, to foster mistrust. He promoted the public vs. private employee anger during his term. He tried to bust the unions at Gracedale.

John Stoffa has done more to show employees why they need unions than anyone. His untrustworthy wayys along with his toadie Ross Marcus have made it clear we are on our own and ned to look out or opurselves.

So morale now is at its lowest point ever, including the Reibman years, and that is on Stoffa and his devious ways.

Lie all you want for the guy Bernie. The empoloyees have lived through it all and we know the score better than you and your biased accounts.

Anonymous said...

Dear 1:26,

This isn't Wisconsin..I'm sure some of you teabag heads wished it was..If members wish to leave the union, they can..It's real simple..I just don't see them leaving in droves here despite Bernie's ridiculous assertions that most are "seeing the light"..
Without the union to protect their rights, the county would walk all over them..If the employees were treated so well why do you think so many have formed unions..Duh, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Every protection unions claim to have authored and offer is available by state and federal law. Unions fought the fight and won. They are no longer necessary and only exist to benefit the bums who suck up dues and do nothing for members. To everything a season. The season for unions is over. Thank you for your service. Now, go away because you've progressed to the point where your returns to members have diminished.

Anonymous said...

1:26 here.

Who said anything about leaving the union? All I suggested was that union members should have to write a check for dues on their own.

What's to fear in that?

Anonymous said...

Every employee signs a card allowing dues check off to be taken out of his or her paycheck, it's the same as u having ur home payment automatic deductin from ur bank. If you don't have a clue on anything, why post? You make yourself sound like an ass.

Anonymous said...

That picture looks more like the typical teabagger.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You are wrong Bernie..Incredibly, amazingly, outrageously wrong.."

Looks like I touched a nerve. I know the people who work there, remember? I don't just go there once every two weeks. This is what they think.

Had the workers remained nonunion, they'd be making as much or more under career service, and with better benefits.

Expect to see some decertification petitions in the coming year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Every employee signs a card allowing dues check off to be taken out of his or her paycheck, it's the same as u having ur home payment automatic deductin from ur bank. If you don't have a clue on anything, why post? You make yourself sound like an ass."

Now, now, don't start crying. But do stop lying. Whether workers like it or not, they MUST pay union dues. Whether members or not, they MUST pay union dues. The notion that it is an "open"hop is complete bullshit. In fact, i could tick off about 5 or 6 people in this category, but will not do so out of respect for their privacy and concern about retaliation.

Anonymous said...

Gee the bridge commission isn't union. Need I say more

Bernie O'Hare said...

True.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you bernie.

Except the part where you're blaming reibman for low employee morale 7 freaking years after he left office. When will you hold Stoffa accountable for ANYTHING?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bad morale is like a poison. Sure, there are things Stoffa himself will tell you he did better. But about 10% of the county workforce is beyond repair, and there is nothing that Stoffa or anyone else can do to turn them around. Take a look at some people like Tom Bachick, who recently stirred up trouble with the judges and has been having illegal union meetings at Governor Wolf, the only building where anyone will tolerate him. Do you honestly think anything or anyone could turn him around? It's a shame bc he has such potential.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Stoffa will be happy to tell you all the things "he did better". It is all the guy ever does.

It will be a happy day when he leaves office. If he ran for a third term, he would be embaressed and he knows it. A total disgrace to his position.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post is not about your hatred of Stoffa. He would tell you these things he could have done better. He admits that himself. He is not running for a third term bc he is in his 70s. As for him being a disgrace, he is out there and takes responsibility for his actions while you are such a coward you won't even identify yourself. Tell me why people should believe anonymous cowards.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is hated by employees more than any past county official. Anything he does is seen as a show. He is not trusted by anyone.

I even voted for him the first time around, my mistake.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not know a single county exec who was liked by county employees when he was in office. Few people like their boss. But I do not detect any animosity towards Stoffa greater than that displayed towards prior execs. The most despised exec was Reibman.

Anonymous said...

You only detect what you want to detect Bernie. Reibman was hated by some employees for the freeze but Stoffa has surpassed him and his hated by union and on-union employees alike.

You will soon be out on your ass O'Hare. Lamont McClure will be the next county execuitve and there is nothing you and John Callahan can do about it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. I was unaware that the County Exec has the authority to eject a member of the public from the courthouse. Clearly, we know what kind of bully he will be if people are stupid enough to vote for him Based on his last 4 elections, I think I'm safe. But if he were to win (bc all the other candidates died), I would be most happy to sue him the first time he violates my civil rights.

AuH20 said...

Residents of Easton suburbs need to start a very public campaing to boycott businesses within the city until the tax is eliminated. fight fire with fire and money with money.

willy nilly said...

Do attorneys pay this tax on their fee's and settlement winnings? I would think that if an attorney generates revenue from his/her use of the courthouse all of that revenue should be taxed even if the attorney worked outside the city to prepare his/her arguments. This should apply to psychologists, therapists, etc that do work as ordered or required by the courts.

willy nilly said...

You can use my real name. I'm not scared.

willy nilly said...

Many attorneys earn $250,000.00 or more and some earn less. What is 0.75% of that and how might it effect litigation in cities that have the commuter tax? How might it effect the socioeconomics of the city if the commuter tax law was fairly enforced? Many "court appointed professionals" make as much as attorneys do. -Harry J Shelhamer

Anonymous said...

BS O'Hare, once Lamonts record of working for the people and fighting Stoffa and Angle gets out there, you and your candidate will lose again.

Anonymous said...

This is a rediculous tax.
The morale was low with Reibman. The union employees NEED raises, they work for pennies now & what is taking so.... long to give them their raises.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's not a "ridiculous" tax. I disagree with it, and do not think enough effort was spent in establishing a PILOT program, but the fault ultimately lies with the state. Easton is in a hard way. But County workers should not have to pay the bill. That's why i'd advocate a modest, across the board wage hike for everyone who is employed by the county, union and nonunion. This tax is enough to mean that some workers will have less take home than they did three years ago.

My point throughout this post is to establish just how useless the public sector unions were in this debate.

Anonymous said...

In the Easton Express article, Stoffa doidnot lament for the employess, he sympathized with the city and had kind words for them.

Stoffa, a man for all sides. His convcitions are deeply bedded in quicksand.

Anonymous said...

Sonn Stoffa will be gone. I think Lamont McClure has a real shot at this thing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa is the only person from the County who went to Easton and asked them to stop the tax. Lamont McClure does not give a shit, not do the public sector unions. He will try to make Panto look bad, just as he's trying to make Callahan look bad. But even if he succeeds, that does not make him look good. That's why he can only barely eke out a victory against underfunded and unknown opponents. Ether Callahan or Panto will kill him, so I hope he runs. That way more people will see him for what he is.

Anonymous said...

Oh we forgot, you are already on the take with Callahan and Panto. Too bad, Panto won't run and Callahan will go down with the reprintiung of Charlie Dent's ads from two years ago. Remember, when you told us how lousy Callahan was before the gang bought you off.

Bernie O'Hare said...

McClure's McMud. When will he learn that casting aspersions on others is no way to make himself electable? Andspeaking of being on the take, how much is he paying you? That's in addition to the PI he hired.

Anonymous said...

I think there was a recent poll done on some potential candidates. No one is taking credit for the poll but I wonder who was in it and what the results were.

There are some folks out there beating the drums for McClure. I doubt he can get nominated but some are pushing him.

Someone told me McClure is not only trashing Callahan but even guys like Heckman who probably isn't even runing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

McMud's MO is to trash his possible opponents. That was his poll, and I wrote about it here.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, McClures poll showed him beating both Callahan and Heckman

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, I hope he runs.