Friday, July 2, 2010

Public Sector 'Union-Lite" in Wilco

Who does Royger Harris of the Williamson County Attorney's office think he's kidding?

At Tuesday's Williamson County Commissioner's Court, Harris, who works for Jana Duty in the County Attorney's office, demanded that the county approve payroll deductions for his newly formed Williamson County Employees Association, and when we say newly-formed, we mean 6 days old, since Harris only filed his paperwork on June 24. The Court tabled Harris' request until he can produce some basic information, such as WCEA bylaws and board members; a request Harris seems to think improper.

The County has prudently allowed very few organizations payroll deduction privileges, and the United Way (founded in 1887) was the last group approved, some four years ago.

So what is Harris' agenda? Only after much prodding, Harris got to the heart of the issue: some county employees are upset that they won't be getting raises this year while health insurance premiums are increasing.

Apparently Harris has not noticed that the entire nation is having a little economic trouble. The unemployment rate is at nearly 10%, and many still employed in the private sector have received pay cuts. (My own household took a cut of 25%) And guess what? ALL of us will be paying higher insurance premiums and taxes next year thanks to Obamacare and out-of-control federal spending.

We have seen the formation of many new public sector employee 'associations' in recent years; These groups are not unions per se and do not have the same powers and capabilities as established unions, but their stated goals are nearly identical, rendering these associations a kind of 'union-lite.'

Clearly the goal of Mr. Harris and company is to force the County Commissioners off the path of fiscal responsibility they have taken. Like most liberal/progressives, Harris cares little about the budget and reduced revenues for the county, and only wants to make sure government employees don't have to feel the effects of our troubled economy. This approach will only lead to higher taxes for residents and business, and further burden a productive private sector.

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