Criminal Union Contract In Pa.

Criminal Union Contract In Pa.

By Sen. Scott WagnerCriminal Union Contract In Pa.

There is a phrase in the outside world called “ass backwards”. Here is a story that reinforces this term.

A second phrase that is used frequently is – “Timing is everything.”

And a word that applies to Governor Wolf is “Secrecy.”

Late yesterday afternoon (Aug. 3) Penn Live posted a story titled, “Proposed contracts reached with Pa’s two largest state employee unions.”

The article reports that Governor Wolf negotiated pay increases for employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 and Service Employees International Union Local 668.

The first increase becomes effective on Oct. 1 – there are total of five increases – the last increase becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2019.

Oct. 1, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2019 is 27 months.

Oct. 1, 2016 2.75%
July 1, 2017 2.00%
Jan. 1, 2018 2.25% (Step increase)
July 1, 2018 2.50%
Jan. 1, 2019 2.25% (Step Increase)
Total increase 11.75% – over 27 months

Here is where the “ass backwards” phrase applies – The PA State legislature just voted on the 2016-2017 PA budget this past June. Where in the budget that was just passed are these increased labor costs factored and what is the total cost?

The Independent Fiscal Office is reviewing the contracts so we should know soon how much this will cost PA taxpayers.

Should the legislature have been given details so that we could evaluate these additional labor costs to determine where the money is coming from to cover these costs?

The Penn Live article states that “neither the union or administration would release details of the tentative agreement” – it is important to note that Governor Wolf has the sole authority to negotiate with the public sector unions representing state employees without any input or review from the legislature – the legislature simply gets handed the bill for these increases – this is “Secrecy” at its best.

On Aug. 3 on ABC 27 Governor Wolf stated that he is running for re-election – Governor Wolf gives generous raises to unionized state employees and then announces that he is running for re-election – so you see folks – “Timing is everything.”

My beef as a PA State Senator is with the current budget process in Harrisburg and the lack of transparency – what are the details?

If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, actions by the legislature, Governor Wolf, and his staff would be considered criminal acts and we would be led out of the Capitol building in handcuffs for hiding money and not disclosing off balance sheet liabilities.

It is important to note that I asked dozens of questions over the last year regarding the budget – I serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee – I asked a lot of questions and did not get answers to many of my questions – Governor Wolf and his budget staff operated with a large amount of secrecy.

The current budget process and its many faults could be solved by moving to performance-based budgeting.

I have a rule in my business world – if I ask questions – I expect answers – over my 350year private sector business career I have had times where I did not get all of the details and it ended up costing me money, and in some instances, a lot of money.

As a result of unanswered questions on the budget – I voted “NO” on the increased spending package of $1.4 billion and tax increases of $1.2 billion in June.

Last time I checked – voters in my district sent me to Harrisburg to do the right thing – I can assure you I will continue on that path.

Sen. Wagner represents the 28th District in the Pennsylvania Senate.

Criminal Union Contract In Pa.

Ghost Teachers Lose, Taxpayers Win

Ghost Teachers Lose, Taxpayers Win

By Leo Knepper

It is fairly common and legal in Pennsylvania for teachers to engage in union activity while continuing to collect their teaching salary. The practice, officially known as “release time”, is written into union contracts all over the commonwealth. In addition to receiving a taxpayer-funded salary, these ghost teachers were also accruing time in the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). In other words, some union officials who had not set foot in a classroom for years were increasing the value of their pension at taxpayers’ expense. That arrangement may finally be coming to an end. Ghost Teachers Lose, Taxpayers Win

In late June, PSERS revoked the pension credit accumulated by a ghost teacher in Allentown. Furthermore, PSERS ruled that the past two union heads had accrued more than $1 million in pension benefits illegally. An article published by Watchdog.org details PSERS findings:

“PSERS concluded, ‘an active member is permitted to receive retirement credit while working for a collective bargaining organization provided: (1) at least half the members of the organization are members of PSERS; (2) the employer approves the leave; (3) the collective bargaining organization reimburses the employer for the member’s salary and benefits; (4) the member works full-time; and (5) the employer reports only the salary the member would have earned as a school employee.'”

PSERS’s ruling is great news for taxpayers. Teachers who are working exclusively for the union have no business being paid by taxpayers or collecting a taxpayer funded pension. The union is appealing the decision; we will let you know what ultimately happens.

Ghost Teachers Lose, Taxpayers Win

Wagner Target Of AFL-CIO

Wagner Target Of AFL-CIO

By Scott Wagner

Wagner Target Of AFL-CIO
Sen. Scott Wagner

The purpose of this column is to make you aware of something that I suspect is occurring as a result of my work as a PA State Senator to initiate government reforms in Harrisburg.

I have reported that I view the public sector unions in Pennsylvania as one of the largest obstacles to important government reforms in Harrisburg.

I have also mentioned that I own and operate a waste and recycling company that is based in York, Pennsylvania.

My waste company provides services to numerous municipalities in South Central Pennsylvania.

from an attorney based in Pittsburgh seeking any and all information relating to current waste contracts and all bid documents submitted by my waste company to the municipalities.

A quick Google search brought up a website for the attorney submitting the requests.

The attorney’s profile states that he, “concentrates his work representing labor unions.”

His profile goes on to state that, “he is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and serves on its board of directors.”

For informational purposes it is worth noting that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO states on their website that they represent an “estimated 900,000 members”.

900,000 AFL-CIO union members paying dues each and every month is a cash machine to union headquarters and may amount to more than a half billion dollars or more collected each year from union member paychecks.

Here is their website: www.paaflcio.org

The President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is Rick Bloomingdale.

Rick Bloomingdale is highly irritated by my efforts to make any reforms in Pennsylvania.

Here is a story posted last year: http://watchdog.org/214822/union-scott-wagner-compensation/

It is clear to me that the “Right-To-know”  requests being sent to municipalities throughout South Central Pennsylvania by the attorney are the beginning of a campaign to intimidate me.

The AFL-CIO union opposes any reforms that I believe are urgently needed in Pennsylvania.

Pension reform, liquor privatization and a reduction in the size of state government are a few of the reforms that the AFL-CIO oppose.

It is important to note that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO union was one of the largest contributors to Governor Wolf’s 2014 campaign for Governor.

In fact, on Jan. 20, 2015 when Governor Wolf was sworn in, Rick Bloomingdale, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President had a front row seat with other high level union officials.

Governor Wolf and the public sector unions have partnered to block reforms in Pennsylvania.

It is also important for everyone to know that Governor Wolf has sole authority to negotiate wage and benefit increases with all of the public sector unions that employ state workers (this does not include teacher contracts which are negotiated by each individual school board).

I have said repeatedly and continue to educate the citizens of Pennsylvania that as long as Governor Tom Wolf is the Governor of Pennsylvania, your school taxes will continue to go up and the status quo of Harrisburg will continue.

There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that Governor Wolf’s term ends in 32 months.

The bad news is we still have 32 months of Governor Wolf and his partnership with the public sector unions.

We need a Republican Governor in Harrisburg to work with the growing Republican majority in the State House and Senate to reform Pennsylvania.

Many people are asking if I am going to run for Governor of Pennsylvania, and my answer remains the same: I am considering it.

Pennsylvania needs a real leader who can bring everyone together and move Pennsylvania in the right direction.
Sen. Wagner represents the 28th District in the Pennsylvania Senate.

Wagner Target Of AFL-CIO

Collective Bargaining Deals Now Public

Collective Bargaining Deals Now PublicCollective Bargaining Deals Now Public — SB 644 is now Act 15 of 2016. Gov. Wolf signed the bill April 14. It requires the details of collective bargaining agreements of employees under the jurisdiction of the Governor be made public before their finalization.

We suspect the average citizen of the state always thought that was the case. You would have been wrong but now it is.

SB 644 was championed by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48) and he deserves high praise.

The bill was  passed on a 29-19 party-line vote by the by the Senate last May 6.

It was approved 108-83 by the House on March 21 with Ted Harhai of the 58th District being the only Democrat in favor and only eight Republicans dissenting. The dissenters included Delaware County representatives Nick Miccarelli of the 162nd District and James Santora of the 163rd District.

Hat tip Matt Brouillette of Commonwealth Foundation.

Collective Bargaining Deals Now Public

 

 

Verizon Springfield Picket Line

Verizon Springfield Picket LineVerizon Springfield Picket Line — Verizon workers Tim and Kevin man a picket line, today, April 15, on Sproul Road, near the Verizon store in the Springfield (Pa) Shopping Center. About 36,000 Verizon workers have been on strike since Wednesday over concerns about planned cutbacks in the company’s landline business and off-shoring jobs.

 

Verizon Springfield Picket Line

Ghost Teachers Cost Millions

Ghost Teachers Cost Millions By Leo Knepper

The Fairness Center filed another lawsuit, Feb. 24, on behalf of taxpayers against ghost teachers. Officially known as “release time,” ghost teachers are being paid by taxpayers to conduct union business. The most recent lawsuit addresses the Allentown School District where the union president has collected more than $1.3 million in salary and benefits since the year 2000. When you add in the state portion of her pension, the cost goes up even further. According to a news report on the lawsuit, teachers’ union presidents haven’t had to step foot in a classroom since 1990. Ghost Teachers Cost Millions

The cost to the Allentown School District, while substantial, pales in comparison to the $1.7 million ghost teachers collected from the Philadelphia School District in 2014. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers also enjoys a rent-free office provided by the school district. An article published by Watchdog.org details some of the political work undertaken by union bosses at taxpayer expense:

“Hillary Linardopoulos, who has not taught in a classroom since 2009, ‘coordinates much of our political activism and legislative involvement,’ according to an op-ed penned by union members that endorses its current leadership team going into an upcoming internal election. Since leaving the classroom, her taxpayer-funded salary has almost doubled to $91,156.”

Legislation to eliminate ghost teachers was introduced last August. The General Assembly should shift the cost of union operatives from taxpayers to the unions. Furthermore, given the blatantly political nature of the work, there is no excuse for forcing taxpayers to subsidize the activity.

Leo Knepper is executive director Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Ghost Teachers Cost Millions

West Virginia Goes Right To Work

West Virginia Goes Right To WorkWest Virginia Goes Right To Work — Legendary labor powerhouse West Virginia — the land of  Matewan and the UMWA — just went “right to work”.

“Right to work” means it is illegal to make as a condition of employment joining a union or paying union dues. One can still join a union, of course, or pay dues. He just can’t be fired if he chooses not to do so. Maybe he doesn’t like his hard-earned, involuntarily taken money being used for his local’s leader’s  $277,000 salary. Or perhaps, he’s really mad that it winds up as donations to politicians who support unrestricted immigration, closing refineries, and Planned Parenthood while opposing letting him have the means to defend himself if he should feel the need.

Polling shows that 74 percent of U.S. voters support “right to work”.

West Virginia follows in the footsteps of legendary labor powerhouses Michigan and Indiana which went RTW in 2012, and Wisconsin which did so last year.

West Virginia’s law was enacted yesterday, Feb. 12, when the state House and Senate overrode Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto.

West Virginian also, yesterday, repealed its prevailing wage law which is a law that mandates workers on public projects be paid at a rate set by the government rather than the market.

Pennsylvania also has a prevailing wage law. It is estimated that it adds 20 percent to the cost of public works. This means that a new high school that cost $130 million with prevailing wage would cost $104 million without it. It would be almost as if the community magically found $26 million.

If reforms such as these could happen in West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin, there is no reason to think they couldn’t happen in Pennsylvania.

West Virginia Goes Right To Work and ends prevailing wage.

 

 

Paycheck Protection Advances In Pa.

Paycheck Protection Advances In Pa.Paycheck Protection Advances In Pa. — Paycheck protection, which is a bill that would ban the automatic deduction of political donations from members of public employees unions in Pennsylvania, is going to the full floor of the State House.

The bill was reported from the House State Government Committee, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 16-9 with on a straight party line vote with all present Democrats against it.

SB 501 was passed, 26-23, by the State Senate on Oct. 14. Again, all Democrats voted against the bill joined by Republicans Stewart Greenleaf (12), Robert Tomlinson (6) and, from Delaware County, Tom McGarrigle (26) and Dominic Pileggi (9), who has since resigned to take a Common Pleas Court seat.

The bill is overwhelmingly supported by the people of the Commonwealth. Polls show that 67 percent want it including 59 percent of registered Democrats.

Democrat leaders — who invariably get the support of these unwilling contributions — rather cravenly claim that automatic political donations are no different than deducting for health insurance or pension plans.

The House is expected to pass the bill where it faces a likely veto by Gov. Wolf, a man who also gets his share of support from the automatic deductions.

Paycheck Protection Advances In Pa.

 

 

HB 874 Union Bully Bill Now Law

HB 874 is now law becoming Act 59 with Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature yesterday, Nov. 4. HB 874 Union Bully Bill Now Law

The bill bans otherwise illegal acts done in the name of labor disputes  which sensible people in the Pennsylvania Legislature have been trying to do since 2013.

These acts specifically include stalking, harassment and threats to use weapons of mass destruction.

The first attempt died after being gutted in the Republican-controlled state Senate by union-connected Republicans.

Well, the Senate got a change of leadership this year and the bill was reintroduced as HB 874. It passed the House overwhelmingly on April 21 with all Democrats excepting Greg Vitali of the 166th District voting against it.

The state Senate passed it Oct. 20 on a 30-18 vote, again with the Democrats being united in opposition.

The House concurred with the changes the Senate made on Oct 27 — again with all Ds but Vitali being in opposition — and sent it to the Governor who has now made this should-have-been-a no-brainer discussion  law.

The law does not ban traditional and accepted union acts like picketing (and giant inflatable rats) it should be noted.

HB 874 Union Bully Bill Now Law

 

 

Union Bully Bill Goes To Wolf

Union Bully Bill Goes To WolfBy Leo Knepper

Pennsylvania law currently exempts union members and management from prosecution under the laws governing stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. The legislation closing these loopholes, HB 874, was approved by the House and Senate. It now heads to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

It is absurd for anyone to be exempt from prosecution for these types of serious crimes. As noted by the PA Independent, this exemption impacts real people:

Sarina Rose, vice president of development for Post Brothers Apartments, said union-affiliated contractors also photographed her children at the bus stop and taped them at their sporting events. The legal loophole gave them a pass, she said.

“‘If there was a pedophile photographing my children or if I had an ex-husband who threatened to shoot me with a gun, I could certainly implore law enforcement to do something about it,’ Rose told the House Judiciary Committee. ‘But because there are certain trades in this self-proclaimed active labor dispute with my company, the DA’s Office self-admittedly treats these cases differently.'”

Union Bully Bill Goes To Wolf
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