‘Inflamatory’ characterization

Editor:

I was rather disappointed with your final editorial statement last week: “City employees and their union leaders need to consider if things do not improve economically in the near future, whether they are spending their political capital wisely in accepting raises while everyone else is hurting,” and “The assumption that the funding faucet can simply be turned on to provide wage increases at will.”

Our “union” leaders are us. We get very little in return for our required dues from the AFSCME state or national institution. Our local collective bargaining unit leaders are local citizens who work for the city.

Any “union” involvement we participate in other than actual contract negotiations is done on our own time and is voluntary. Most city employees are lifetime residents. We are well aware of what Sweet Home has and is going through.

That may be the main reason the collective bargaining unit employees of Sweet Home are the lowest-paid municipal employees in the state.

Yet we have never threatened any form of strike or work slowdown. The police collective bargaining unit employees recently worked for a year and a half without a contract and never missed a day only to be told to go look for another job if you don’t like it here.

Your last statement about “the funding faucet” was your “assumption,” not ours.

I respect you and your staff at The New Era. You all do a great job and serve the community well. I guess that’s why your use of stock inflammatory political tripe set me back a little.

Tim Riley

Public Works Mechanic

Vice President, AFSCMA Local 3337

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