July 15, 2008

An Opportunity for Empathy

Justin Katz

There's a lesson in empathy available in this:

And several thousand other state workers are caught in the middle of a war between leaders of the largest employees union, Council 94, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that has put that union's executive director — and lead negotiator — Dennis Grilli on the defensive about his own raise and the $10,044 "waiver payment" he got for taking his wife's state-provided health insurance, instead of a union package.

Stunned that after 30 years in the union trenches he has become one of the targets of the angry debate, Grilli this week said he would give up the 3 percent raise awarded him by his union's leadership board last spring that boosted his salary to $102,900 a year.

A five digit windfall for not taking a benefit. So whose turn is it to make the argument that employees who save their employers money by not taking benefits ought to reap some of the rewards?

Perhaps one can hope that reality is beginning to sink in, for Rhode Island's public-sector unions. The days of squandering the state's economic health may by necessity (and by necessity only) be coming to an end. It's interesting to note, by the by, that one apparent hold-out is an affiliate under Bob Walsh's shadow.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

This may sound strange but...

I don't think he should have to give up the 3% raise. That's just a cost of living allowance. If he's doing his job and doing it well he's entitled to that. Otherwise he takes a 3% (minimum) pay cut.

The 'waiver payment' is just typical Rhode Island stupidity and nobody should be getting paid for not taking a benefit.

Posted by: Greg at July 15, 2008 9:28 AM

Space alien alert. An understanding comment about a union person? Clearly, Greg's body has been taken over by the Pod People.

Posted by: Monique at July 15, 2008 2:12 PM

Undoubtedly Justin has checked and rechecked my IP address to be sure it's the same Greg.

Yes the unions need to be stopped. Yes they have deals we can't POSSIBLY afford.

BUT, the guy did his job and got the raise he deserves for doing his job. Unfortunately for us, his job is f#%$ing the non-union taxpayers. And he's very good at it.

The waiver thing... No justification for it. But dip$hit Don took his waiver check this year, too... So it's a Glass Houses thing again because he's incapable of setting an example.

Posted by: Greg at July 15, 2008 2:49 PM

Ditto on Dip-@#it Don taking the waiver!

But let's cut the crap with respect to the "cost of living" increase of 3%.

Greg, you even used the Union "E" word ..."Entitlement"!

One of the key drivers of inflation is the automatic, entitlement 3% raise.

There is NOTHING wrong with a pay freeze in tough economic times. Grilli should be damn happy hes making $100k, while having health benefits compliments of the Taxpayer.

And it is NO suprise that Bob Walsh's flock is balking.

By the way, when was the last time a Public School anywhere in the state had a meaningful (if at all) reduction in force? When was the last time Bob Walsh's flock of whiny Union Teachers ever really had to worry about a recession? Hmmm.

Posted by: George Elbow at July 16, 2008 9:29 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.