2011 March 08 Tuesday
Union Tries To Force City Employee Hiring

A parasitic union in San Jose California is trying to force an elected official in San Jose to hire a an executive assistant for $70k per year plus benefits.

Judge Kevin McKenney of Santa Clara County Superior Court recently ordered that the case be taken to a costly arbitration instead of the state's Public Employment Relations Board -- something both Constant and the city's attorneys had sought.

That decision pleased the city's 214-member Confidential Employees Organization, which contends the city was required to confer with the union before Constant decided to eliminate the position. The job -- which requires answering phones, scheduling appointments and making photocopies, among other duties -- pays about $70,000 a year.

First of all, yes, an administrative assistant in the San Jose California city government pulls down $70k per year. That job probably comes with a pension that would be the envy of the vast majority of people in America who don't work for a government.

Second, the other Councilmen of San Jose do let the public employees union force on them $70k administrative assistants at the expensive of the taxpayers of San Jose. They go along with the parasitism.

Mish Shedlock loves the union for drawing attention to its parasitic impulses.

I commend the sheer idiocy of LaVerne Washington, president of the employees' association, in pressing this case.

LaVerne Washington shows without a doubt why the only solution to this madness is the total repudiation and complete destruction of public unions.

I cheer Washington's idiocy because this is just the kind of thing that gets the public riled up against public unions. It will backfire.

I'm with Mish. Get the public angry enough to support bans on government employee collective bargaining.

Mish also points to a decision by Costa Mesa California to lay off 43% of city employees and outsource 18 city functions. Whenever I see city employees mowing lawns and doing other manual outside labor my reaction is "why does the city employ those workers directly?". I see lots of private property managers using gardening services and assorted repair services. Governments should do the same. Many other government functions can be outsourced. Each city should not run its own IT department. Hire cloud services.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 March 08 11:44 PM  Politics Parasites

Shawn said at March 9, 2011 6:30 AM:

As much as I dislike this, it is small beans. I dislike the billionaire hedge fund parasites in NYC who do far more damage to taxpayers and society in general.

James Bowery said at March 9, 2011 6:50 AM:

Public employee unions expose two hidden truths about civilization:

1) That public sector rent-seeking is primarily a result of not paying out an equal monthly dividend to all citizens thereby treating the government as a mutual insurance corporation. This is going to become more and more apparent as the obscene amounts of money paid to the public sector become common knowledge and are compared to the declining status of the "middle class" (ie: whites).

2) That public sector rent-seeking is racially biased.

#2 is especially interesting since so much effort has gone into denying that the public sector is a racial spoils system where only one race, white, is excluded from the spoils.

Of course the "Tea Party", "libertarians" (von Mises minions, not the original libertarians such as Lysander Spooner, Thomas Jefferson, etc.) are going to be diverted from recognizing that private sector rent-seeking is primarily a result of not charging a mutual insurance premium for property's liquid value. All they'll do is serve as lightning rods for white "discontent".

Both of these rent-seeking sectors represent positive feedback loops that increasingly lobby for, and get, more rents at the expense of producers. Like most exponentials, they catch "everyone" by surprise.

No whitefish for me said at March 9, 2011 8:47 AM:

What is Shedlock's ethnic background? I can respect his work on public sector uninons but he is curiously quiet about the illegal invasion of California. Private property managers? Sure, because they arent employment programs for illegals.

Mthson said at March 9, 2011 3:09 PM:

James Bowery said: "private sector rent-seeking is primarily a result of not charging a mutual insurance premium for property's liquid value."

James, can you explain more what you mean by that?

WJ said at March 9, 2011 9:25 PM:

I'm down with taking on the private sector rent-seekers, too, but you don't have to kill the rent-seekers all at once. Kill one group and you get fewer people defending and tolerating rent-seeking in general.

"the city was required to confer with the union before Constant decided to eliminate the position"

This is a private union making a decision that should be made by, and only by, the elected representatives of the people. This is why public sector unions are wrong. It isn't just about the waste.

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