The village board is trying to find another $300,000 or so in budget cuts, and they're running out of things to even consider. I was told that they might even consider laying people off - people like the ones that are busting their butts cleaning up after us this week.
I was dumbfounded that the situation is so serious, and asked if they had considered other options to keep the full work force, like furloughs and shortened work schedules and pay cuts. Less of a job is better than none, I would think. Apparently the unions don't see it that way, and they aren't willing to reopen the contracts.
Now I'm all for collective bargaining, but if this is true it's a case where the members are not being represented by their union. How does it help anyone? $300 might mean four to six people (I'm not sure exactly, because benefits have to be considered in the total employee cost) that are out of work. It will probably mean the same reduction in services as any of the other options I asked about, but with more people jobless.
The only problem I have with collective bargaining is the idea that you can be required to be a member of the union. This is why unions sometimes - often - don't have their members' interests at heart. If employees could freely join and leave - and for that matter, freely create and dissolve a union - then groups like CSEA would see enrollment dip when employers are humans, and rise when they become monsters. There's no reason why union membership needs to be a protected class, and there's plenty of reasons why it shouldn't.
I wonder if that's a contract negotiation point?