Are We All in the Same Boat, Here?
As though anticipating former Senator Chafee’s answer to WPRO’s Matt Allen,
Matt just asked about whether the unions will have to give more concessions. Seeming to ignore the public/private sector distinction, Chafee said — unbelievably — “Everybody’s in the same boat, here.”
in his column Tuesday, Ed Achorn enumerates the ways that we are not.
And [accumulation of] sick days are only the tip of the iceberg.
Similar “buybacks” are available to employees who decline to take health insurance. See if you get that in the private sector. Then there are the extraordinarily munificent health benefits, negotiated co-pays that are based on static dollar amounts rather than percentage (meaning the taxpayer gets hit with 100 percent of the cost of any increases in premiums), step increases on top of pay raises, longevity pay, early retirements with remarkably generous payouts and health care for spouses, etc., etc.
fat contracts which reimburse sick days, holidays not taken, seniority boosts, automatic cost of living increases, etc. Taxpayers should not be paying for advanced degrees for state or municipal employees. As it is, there are salary increments for advanced degrees, but it is a “double dipsey do” when the very degree or courses are paid for by taxpayer, Joe Blow, who still has to shell out tuition for his own kids.
Yes, in one regard, we are all in the same boat, a boat which is about to capsize from decades of very generous, unnecessary and unfunded promises of questionable moral legitimacy.
As to the underlying premise of Matt’s question, however – who has benefited and continues to benefit from those promises – it seems pretty clear that we are in two distinct boats.