Share This Page

Another union sop: Public safety canard

As if states aren't already choking on the ample bolus served up to public employee unions, congressional Democrats and some wayward Republicans want to provide yet another gooey bonbon to Big Labor. That is, by forcing collective bargaining for all police, fire and other emergency workers.

Whether the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act goes through in the supplemental funding bill or gets slipped into some other legislation, it portends far more damage than any conceivable public good. (See James Sherk's commentary here. )

Let's start with volunteer firefighting. Critics say this harebrained bill would compel volunteers to join unions, which don't exactly smile on members giving anything back to their communities. The International Association of Fire Fighters in fact prohibits members from serving as volunteers even when they're off duty. Forcing union cards on volunteers could be the death knell for the nation's 26,000 volunteer fire departments.

What of the 21 states that prohibit collective bargaining for public safety employees or leave the decision up to local jurisdictions• Their hands would be tied. And merit pay for superior public service• Forget that, too. Collective bargaining favors seniority.

This intolerable act amounts to federal encroachment on states' authority and public safety duty. It's a putrid excuse for an unmitigated union sop.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.