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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News

The Boston Globe And Tom Brady Make The Case For Unions

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09 (Image by Keith Allison FLICKR CC)

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09 (Image by Keith Allison FLICKR CC)

Today Evan Horowitz of the Boston Globe released this amazing article, “Tom Brady has more rights than most American workers,” highlighting the way that Tom Brady is using the rights afforded to him by his union (the NFL Players Association), and his collective bargaining agreement, to fight his proposed suspension.

“…it’s worth remembering that the only reason Brady has been able to press his case this far is because he’s in a union, which affords him lots of additional workplace rights.”

Deflategate drama aside the Horowitz makes some really good points about the realities of a low unionized workforce.

“The vast majority of American workers aren’t union members. They’re “at-will” employees, with no legal right to be treated fairly at work. In fact, most Americans can be punished, even fired, for being too attractive, or too short, or having the wrong politics — or for no reason at all.”

Horowitz continues by explaining the an employees’ right to “due process” and “fire at will” laws

Don’t employers need a good reason to fire people?

If you’re in a union, then the answer is yes. Generally speaking, union workers can be fired only for “just cause,” so there has to be a good reason.

But nonunionized, at-will workers can be fired for bad reasons, or no reason at all.

… Here’s a short list of reasons you can be fired, put together by Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin: “not smiling at work, smiling too much; not being friendly to my coworkers, being too friendly; demonstrating insufficient initiative, not being a team player; kowtowing to management, being insubordinate; being a leader, being a follower; braiding my hair in corn rows, wearing it straight; wearing long pants, wearing short pants; sporting an earring, refusing to do so; having a beard, shaving it off; fingernails too long, fingernails too short.”

These have serious implications in todays work environments, managing workers through fear.

Corey Robin has written at length about how the lack of worker protections feeds a culture of fear in the American workplace: The fear of being fired at any moment, of failing to live up to your boss’s expectations, of crossing lines you didn’t know existed. “Among the adult population,” he writes, “only prisoners and soldiers are expected to obey their superiors more often and more unquestioningly.”

Along similar lines, University of Michigan political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson has referred to American corporations as private governments, mini-dictatorships where the executives lord their power over subordinate workers, who are subject to exile (firing) at any moment.

Yet, Anderson admits that most Americans don’t understand how powerless they are, or how profoundly subject to the whims of their employers. And that itself tells us something.

It is very telling. The majority of workers do not understand the laws that surround their employment.  They only know that they can be fired at any time, which discourages them from speaking out even when they do know that laws are being broken.

Maybe this is why public support for unions and their organizing efforts have begun to rise. According to a Gallop poll, 59% of Americans approve of labor unions.  This is up over ten percent since 2009.

Or maybe it is because people are being to realize that being in a union has more benefits that just job protections. It means better healthcare benefits, paid time off, and of course higher wages.

A recent study just showed that women who are covered by a union contract will earn on average $212 a week more.

For over a hundred years labor unions have been standing up for workers and fighting against corporate greed.  One of the best examples right now is the nationwide fight to raise the minimum wage that is being pushed by labor unions and community advocates.  They are fighting for a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union.

More union members and stronger unions are just what America needs right now.

 

Manchester Mayoral Race: To Debate Or Not To Debate, That Is The Question

The Manchester Mayoral race is heating up and the candidates are coming out swinging.

For those who may not have been following the race up to this point, let me quickly bring you up to speed.

There are three main competitors, Mayor Ted Gatsas, former Alderman Patrick Arnold, and Alderman Joyce Craig.

“As Mayor I have worked hard to build a better Manchester and I am proud of all that we have accomplished,” said Mayor Gatsas at his campaign kickoff

“I’m running for mayor of Manchester because the people of our city deserve better than the status quo and business as usual at City Hall. Over the last several years especially, our city has suffered from the timidity and ineffectiveness of the current administration. Drug activity and violent crime remain out of control. Opportunities for progress continue to be squandered. Taxpayers continue to seek a better return for their tax dollars,” said Arnold in his campaign announcement.

“I’m running for mayor because it’s time Manchester reaches its full potential,” said Alderman Joyce Craig. “Unfortunately, over the past six years our city’s growth has stalled under Mayor Gatsas’s poor leadership. Our schools are in worse shape, the drug epidemic is escalating, our roads are deteriorating and our infrastructure is outdated, yet the Mayor has put forth no concrete plans on how to tackle these problems. It is time our city has a mayor who will work with all partners to solve these citywide problems. I’m running for mayor to be the leader to move our city forward together and once again make Manchester a city that attracts families and businesses.”

I think we can all agree that Manchester needs a change in leadership and that Mayor Gatsas must go. He vetoed the Manchester Education Association’s contract, which would have given Manchester teachers their first raise in years.

Arnold called Mayor Gatsas’ recent veto of a proposed teachers’ contract “absurd” and urged Gatsas to step aside. “Mayor Gatsas, work with those elected by the voters, or step aside for someone who will,” Arnold said at the packed school board meeting.

“For six years the Mayor has bullied his way through these School Board meetings to the detriment of our students, teachers, and taxpayers,” said Alderman Craig. “During his tenure, we have lost teachers, our class sizes are still high, we lost the sending towns of Auburn, Hooksett, and Candia, and now our school year begins in a few weeks and teachers will return to their classrooms without a contract in place for the third year in a row.”

Both Arnold and Alderman Craig have received strong support from the people of Manchester. Local 7 Ironworkers, the Manchester City Firefighters, and six of the Manchester School Board members have endorsed Arnold. On the other side, IBEW 490, IBEW 2320, Senator Donna Soucy, and Senator Lou D’Allesandro have endorsed Alderman Craig.

Before we get to the general election, one of these three candidates will be eliminated in the city-wide primary on September 15th. We all know it is nearly impossible to unseat an incumbent in the primary so the primary race really boils down to Arnold and Alderman Craig.


Recently a new controversy has emerged as Arnold called on the Democratic Party to organize debates between himself and Alderman Craig. “Let’s discuss the challenges we face as a city. Let’s debate what works and what doesn’t,” Arnold said.

The Union Leader reported that Arnold publically called for debates at the annual Manchester City Democrats meeting. Ted Siefer also reported on Alderman Craig’s resistance to debating at the time.

She said she was willing to participate in debates “at some time probably, but right now I’m speaking to voters directly,” she told me. “I feel there will be plenty of time to engage in politics, and right now my focus is my work as an alderman and hearing directly from voters and the issues concerning them.”

Many attempts have been made to hold a debate but Arnold is now accusing Alderman Craig of refusing to debate. “Manchester deserves debates. Manchester voters deserve to see and hear the differences between the candidates, and ask them questions. Timid candidates can come up with any excuse to hide from their records and the voters. Manchester deserves better.”

I reached out to Alderman Craig and she responded by stating that she is open to a debate and that a primary debate should include all candidates, including Mayor Gatsas, and to her knowledge no other pre-primary debates have been scheduled with all candidates. Alderman Craig also highlighted the upcoming education forum hosted by the Manchester Education Association on September 9th.

Alderman Craig also repeated the line that she is focused on “communicating with voters” as she has in previous statements to the Union Leader.

Where is the truth in all of this? Is Alderman Craig refusing to debate Arnold? Is Alderman Craig correct by stating she would debate but none have been scheduled?

Unfortunately I cannot answer any of these questions for you. I do think that the Manchester Democrats should have organized some type of debates between these candidates.   I also think that Alderman Craig should accept Arnold’s call to debate on Manchester Public Television. What better way to get your message out to the people than to show them who you are, what you stand for, and that you can handle yourself in a debate, before you have to face off against Mayor Gatsas.

I guess you could say the ball is Alderman Craig’s court. What will she do?


 

You can get more information about where to vote from here, or to request an absentee ballot, here.

Chris Christie Proposes Tracking Devices For Guests Of The USA

I don’t know what to say to this proposal by Chris Christie.  Essentially he wants to put some type of tracking device on every immigrant who enters the country legally and then when their time is up, track them down and boot them out of the country.

From Slate:

“So here’s what I’m going to do as president: I’m going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, to come work for the government for three months, just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.” Smith is the father of Christie spokeswoman Samantha Smith, notes CNN.

Christie apparently wants to create a massive surveillance system in order to do this so that the government knows exactly where every immigrant is all the time. “We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up … however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, thanks for coming, it’s time to go.'”

Slate notes that nearly 10 million visas were issues last year alone.

 

I understand that these people are guests in our country and that one of the many problems we have with immigration is that people overstay their legal visa’s but do we really want to create a government program that tracks every immigrant?

If you agree with this policy idea, how long will it be before they start tracking the movements of all Americans?  Would that be acceptable too?

These are people, not cattle and this entire idea seems a little nuts.

Republicans Are The Reason Our Public Schools Are Hurting

Jeb Bush on Education

The Republican Primary is always fun to watch as the candidates try to outdo each other the issues. Recently it was what to do about the problems facing our public school systems.

Our public education system is in rough shape and the majority of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Republican politicians who are starving our schools for money, forcing more and more standardized testing, and funneling our tax dollars to for-profit private and religious schools.

When you add all of these programs together it creates a disastrous ticking time bomb of epic failure.

The problems continue to feed themselves. It begins with cuts to the budget that lead to cuts teacher pay. This results in good teachers leaving the district and then bringing in new inexperienced teachers to replace them.

Then they test every student over and over, and reward high performing schools and make more cuts to low performing schools. (Can you see the problem yet?)

Then they give our tax dollars to traveling medicine men, selling snake oil to fix all of our problems by opening charter schools, stealing more money from struggling schools. Some of these schools take millions in federal, state, and local budgets to build new schools and then file for bankruptcy before they even open their doors.

Then they have to make more cuts to teachers and para-professionals starting the austerity cycle all over again.

The American Federation of Teachers thought it would be good to inform all of you of what a few of the Presidential candidates are saying our teachers and our schools.

Video

Our children deserve better than a schools system that is all test and drill. We need more arts, more music, more science, and more teachers. We need pay our teachers better so that we can retain the best teachers with the pay they deserve. We need to fund our schools properly and stop forcing cuts to staff and services. We need to stop this cycle of austerity that is strangling our public schools.  Our children deserve better!

 

The GOP’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Is Racist And Un-American

Image by Gage Skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

Enough is enough! 

We must stop praising these politicians who trying to win the nomination of the Republican Party by threatening to evict 11 million aspiring Americans and potentially millions more American citizens whose parents are not yet citizens.

It is disgusting, racist and un-American.  

By now you have already seen this video of the pompous asshat Donald Trump forcibly removing one of the nations most respected journalists from his press conference in an attempt to avoid answering questions regarding his immigration policies.

As if the actions of the Trump campaign were not enough, the story does not end there.

After being evicted from the press conference, an unidentified man tells Jorge Ramos (who is an American citizen) to “get out of my country.

Donald Trump is leading the charge against immigrants, specifically latino families by accusing them of being drug dealers & rapists, “and some I presume are good people.” Other GOP wannabe’s are also following Trump’s lead by promoting this idea that we should rescind “birthright citizenship.”  Some of these Presidential candidates are first generation Americans themselves.

I am appalled at what these people are saying about the millions of hard working people who have come to the United States in hope of finding a better life.

We need to fix our broken immigration system and never forget that we are a nation of immigrants.

We need more people like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to speak out against this divisive, racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that flows from the political right.   Just listen to how President Trumka calls the GOP out for their racist anti-immigrant messaging.

For millions of immigrants the Statue of Liberty was the first thing they saw as they immigrated to the United States.  She was, and still is, the beacon of hope for the millions of aspiring Americans with her immortal words:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

To be anti-immigrant is to be anti-American.

Republicans In The NH Executive Council Put Politics Over People By Defunding Planned Parenthood

Planned_Parenthood_logo.svg

Today the Republican led Executive Council in New Hampshire upped their attacks on women and working families. In a 3-2 vote the Executive Council voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the NH.

Jenifer Horn, the NH GOP Chair cited the false and misleading video as justification for defunding an organization that provides many low-income families with much needed healthcare services. Horn wants the Governor to investigate the potential illegal activities by Planned Parenthood.

“This isn’t a matter of being pro-choice or pro-life. It’s about ensuring that public dollars are not being given to a company that may be engaged in criminal activity”

What a bunch of hogwash! This is just another example of the evangelical right pushing their anti-abortion agenda on the rest of us!

First, Planned Parenthood does not use tax money for any abortions services, it is already against the law. Second, fetal tissue is donated, not sold, for life saving research that could lead to the end of Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s, Polio, and countless other chronic diseases. Third, and most importantly, fetal tissue donation does not occur in New Hampshire at all!

These baseless attacks on women’s reproductive rights are just another attempt by the GOP to roll back women’s right to choose.

Governor Maggie Hassan responded to the outrageous demands from the NH GOP in here statement saying, “It is clear that today’s vote is the result of an ideological and political attack against Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, as there have been no allegations or evidence that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has done anything but follow New Hampshire law and help thousands of women and families access health care.”

“Today the Executive Council put politics before people when they rejected Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s family planning contracts,” said Jennifer Frizzell, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “It’s shameful that three Republican Executive Councilors would perpetuate erroneous, politically-motivated national attacks at the expense of the healthcare needs of their constituents. The vote comes after a relentless, coordinated smear campaign by anti-abortion extremists to dismantle, by any means necessary, Planned Parenthood and the lifesaving services we provide.

“Today’s decision will have a direct impact on New Hampshire women and their families. Without these funds, PPNNE will be forced to cut direct program costs, which could mean shortening health center hours, eliminating staff positions, and reducing patient access to affordable care,” continued Frizzell.

“The three Councilors who voted against PPNNE’s contracts—David Wheeler, Joseph Kenney, and Chris Sununu—are on the wrong side of public opinion, the wrong side of public health, and the wrong side of history,” stated Frizzell.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Lizzy Price blasted Executive Councilor Chris Sununu for risking the health of the women in his own district for political gains.

“By voting to attack women’s health, Chris Sununu proved that he is more concerned with his own political interests and trying to win a primary for higher office than he is with the health and economic wellbeing of New Hampshire women and families,” said Price.

Though Councilors Pappas and Van Ostern were on the losing side of the vote today both men will continue to fight and ensure that women have access to the healthcare services that Planned Parenthood provides.

“Today’s vote is a giant step backward for thousands of women and men who access critical health services through Planned Parenthood clinics,” said Executive Councilor Chris Pappas. “It’s a travesty that deceptive political attacks got in the way of life-saving health care. I am disappointed with the Council’s vote, but I remain committed to ensuring better access to family planning services across New Hampshire. Whether it takes months or years, we need to work to restore these funds because they improve the health and economic security of Granite Staters.”

“Today three men restricted nearly 13,000 women and families’ access to basic preventive health care in New Hampshire,” said Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. “ No excuse can mask the extreme ideology and partisan politics that is now standing between women and their medical professionals in New Hampshire, and I will not rest until funding for this basic, noncontroversial care like birth control and cancer screenings is restored.”

“We are grateful to Councilors Colin Van Ostern and Chris Pappas for standing up for women’s access to reproductive healthcare,” Frizzell added.

Women deserve better representatives in the Executive Council than David Wheeler, Joseph Kenney, and Chris Sununu, who are pushing their partisan ideological views over the health and well being of thousands of Granite Staters.

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AFT Members Voice Their Support For Hillary Clinton In Latest AFT VIDEO

 (image Keith Kissel FLIKR)

(image Keith Kissel FLIKR)

A few weeks back, the American Federation of Teachers announced their overwhelming support of Secretary Hillary Clinton for President of United States.

“In vision, in experience and in leadership, Hillary Clinton is the champion working families need in the White House,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members, and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities. That fight defines her campaign and her career. In Arkansas, Hillary fought to expand access to early childhood education and care. As first lady, she fought for the right to affordable, high-quality healthcare and helped win that right for our youngest citizens. As senator, she fought for education funding and workers’ rights, and she defended public service workers who came to our nation’s defense on Sept. 11. And as secretary of state, she promoted democracy throughout the world, lifting up the worth and dignity of all people—men and women, gay and straight.”

Upon learning of the union’s endorsement, Clinton said, “For nearly a century, the American Federation of Teachers has worked to expand opportunity for the people and communities they serve. I’m honored to have the support of AFT’s members and leaders, and proud to stand with them to unleash the potential of every American.”

On the heels of the American Federation of Teachers’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, she addressed nearly 2,000 educators via video at the AFT’s biennial TEACH conference in Washington, D.C.

Click here to watch the video on Youtube.

“Together, I know we can build a stronger, fairer, more inclusive America—an America where parents can give their kids real opportunities,” said Clinton in a two-minute address that outlined her agenda for expanding early childhood education, ensuring college affordability, and working with teachers to improve public education.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton will make a great President and can see why the American Federation of Teachers would endorse such a strong, passionate, dedicated woman to be their candidate.

Though some have criticized AFT’s early endorsement, the process was highly democratic.  AFT used scientific polling, online and over the phone, to connect with over 1 million of their 1.7 million members.  79% of the one million members reached wanted AFT to endorse Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday, AFT released this video highlighting real members at their recent TEACH convention personally endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.  Each member points to a specific moment of event that helped them decide that they were “ready for Hillary.”

All of the members highlighted Hillary Clinton’s strong understand of the issues facing teachers in the classroom, their rights as union members, and helping to rebuild a strong middle class.

As A Progressive I am Leaning Toward Senator Sanders And Here Is Why

As a devoted progressive I am still torn by who to support in the Democratic Primary.

I know that during the Clinton administration, Americans did very well. The middle class grew, we reduced poverty, and even the bankers were happy as Wall Street soared.

I am also deeply concerned that Congress is moving us in the wrong direction. They are opposing every idea we put forward that is a time tested solution to fixing our broken economy and lifting the wages of millions of hungry families.

I find myself being drawn to Senator Bernie Sanders more and more.  I openly admit that I am one of those outspoken, unabashed liberals from the “Liz Warren wing of the party” and I am proud to say so.  Senator Warren is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and listening to her speak is inspiring.

Senator Sanders has been fighting for the middle class his entire life and throughout his career as an elected leader in all levels of government.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I am endorsing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, let me say this.  Both candidates have the potential to President, and both will make excellent Presidents.  They are very similar on many of the issues: raise the minimum wage however they seem to differ on the amount we should increase the federal minimum wage too, climate change, workers rights though I feel Bernie Sander’s work opposing the TPP and fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act lifts him above Hillary on this issue, and LGBTQ rights.

The main thing that seems to separate the two candidates in Money in Politics, guns, and Wall Street.

Hillary has come out and said she supports overturning Citizens United though she is collecting massive donations to her Super PAC while Bernie is collecting near record donation from small individual donors and refuses to have any Super PAC at all.   If campaign finance reform and destroying the “too big to fail” banks is your number one issue, then it is obvious that Bernie is your man.

Bernie has issues too.  Many people have criticized Bernie for his very lax position on guns.  Almost every day another tragedy related to gun violence leads the evening news.  I have been active in helping to push for stronger gun reforms in hopes to reduce the number of gun deaths in our country.  Hillary is a much stronger candidate on this issue and others have seized the opportunity to attack Senator Sanders for his vote against background checks.

After you watch this video below you can see why I am being drawn to Bernie’s campaign.  It is too early for me to truly decide but I am obviously leaning one way.

If his speeches are not inspiring and mesmerizing, why are tens of thousands running out to see him in deeply red states too? Watch and see for yourself.

 

New Report: High Pay Does Not Alway Mean Your Job Has Real Meaning

PayScale_ Most Meaningful Jobs [735 x 735]

Many people take great pride in their work, whether they are serving hamburgers or teaching our future generation.  However making lots of money does not always mean that you are happier with your career choice or that you feel you are helping to make the world a better place.

A new report from PayScale.com shows that the highest and most meaning full jobs, and conversely the highest paid and lowest meaningful jobs.

For example, with an average income of $35,000 a year, Directors of Religious Activities and Education ranked the highest in meaningful jobs with 98% agreeing that their jobs are making the world a better place.  The clergy are followed closely behind by; Firefighters ($43,500, 93% who find the job meaningful), primary school and pre-school educators ($32,000 – 35,000, 89% who find the job meaningful), and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors  ($35,000, 85% who find the job meaningful).

These are all great professions that are doing amazing work in their local communities.  Today it was announced by the Granite State Poll that the Heroin epidemic is one of the pressing issues facing Granite Staters right now.

Proving that money does not bring happiness and meaning to you job only 30% of advertising and promotional managers ($71,000) found their jobs meaningful.  37% of tax collectors and revenue agents ($80,500) found meaning in their jobs.  Shockingly only 40% of lawyers ($89,900) found meaning in their jobs.

The facts are hard to deny, sometimes the best jobs are not always the best paid. Take it from an unpaid blogger who devotes hours a day to help make our world a better place to live and work.

Jeb Bush Essentially Says To Federal Workers, Screw You!

Jeb Bush (Gage Skidmore FLIKR)

Can we all stop pretending that Jeb Bush is a “moderate” rather than the far-right wing extremist he really is?

“He [Jeb Bush] championed tax cuts that chiefly benefited business and the wealthy, trimmed the state’s payroll, stripped job protection from thousands of mid-level civil servants, gained more power over the judiciary, exploited his Washington connections to prevent the closing of military bases and launched the nation’s first statewide private-school voucher program,” wrote Linda Kleindienst of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2007.

Jeb Bush has made it perfectly clear that he wants federal workers to give up more to pay for his brother’s tax cuts that should never have happened.

Yesterday the Hill published the article, Jeb Bush: Strip Feds of Automatic Pay Raises and Due Process, which is even worse than the title indicates.

He starts with yet another hiring freeze and reducing the number of dedicated public servants by eliminating positions as people retire. His plan is similar to Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan (replace one worker for every three who retire). So when Joe and Mary retire from OSHA that means will just have to make do with two fewer safety inspectors because the campaign contributors Bush caters to won’t care if OSHA is grossly understaffed and can’t fulfill its responsibilities.

In theory the Bush/Ryan plan would reduce the overall government workforce by 10% in five years. That’s 10% less Air Traffic Controllers, 10% less food safety inspectors in the Department of Agriculture, 10% less agents to help you in the Social Security Administration, 10% fewer scientists at NASA, 10% fewer prosecutors in the Department of Justice, 10% ….you get the idea.

That is only the beginning. Next he wants to go after workers’ paychecks!

Jeb argues that federal workers are overpaid and that the government rewards “longevity instead of performance.” He wants to eliminate annual increases and only give increases “based on performance.”

This is another classic union-busting tactic: pitting workers against each other for pay increases and rewarding those who oppose the union or suck up to their managers. What happens to workers who question their boss about safety violations in their workplace? What happens to workers who see something illegal going on? Do you think they will be getting pay raises next year?

How do you judge the performance of a food safety inspector? Is it the number of violations he caught and wrote up, which resulted in a lower number of facilities inspected, or is the employee who breezed through more facilities but missed more violations?

On top of pitting workers against each other, as Governor Jeb Bush incentivized managers who saved the government money or found ways for their departments to reduce spending. “Sorry no bonuses for you because I am showing Governor Bush that I am saving the government thousands of dollars.”

The political right loves to tell everyone that government workers are overpaid and are underserving of their paycheck. In fact the Washington Post reported the complete opposite.

White-collar federal employees on average earn 35.2 percent less than private-sector workers in comparable jobs.”

I actually agree with Jeb when he says: “Just like in the real world, compensation should depend on the type of work, and the quality of the work.” The Washington Post goes on to say that more educated federal workers are at a “disadvantage” to their private sector counterparts.

I think someone should inform Jeb that federal workers have already given more than their share from their paychecks. Over the last ten years alone federal workers have contributed over $159 billion dollars to debt reduction plans pushed by the Republicans who control Congress.

  • Federal workforce contribution_April 9 copy3-year pay freeze (2011, 2012, 2013) — $98 billion
  • 2012 UI extension which increased retirement contributions for 2013 hires to 3.1% — $15 billion
  • 2013 lost salaries of 750,000 employees furloughed because of sequestration — $1 billion
  • 2013 Murray-Ryan increased retirement contributions for post-2013 hires to 4.4% — $6 billion
  • 2014 pay raise of only 1%; lower than baseline of 1.8% — $18 billion
  • 2015 pay raise of only 1%; lower than baseline of 1.9% — $21 billion

Total Federal Employee Sacrifice Thus Far: $159 billion

In the 2016 budget they want to take even more!

Republicans are proposing another $238 billion in forced concessions by federal workers through higher retirement contributions and creating a voucher system for health benefits that are going to cost employees even more.

The 2016 budget will force federal workers to lose between $2,525 and $5,617 dollars. Each.

So far Jeb Bush wants slash the number of dedicated public servants, force workers to give back thousands of dollars from their own wallets to “reduce the debt,” give bonuses to managers who reduce spending in their departments, and then he wants to make it easier to fire employees for arbitrary reasons.

That’s right, Jeb Bush wants to strip away employees’ union rights, repealing the right to due process and turning federal workers into “at will employees” – all to make it easier to fire people.

Another classic union busting tactic is to “reduce spending” by firing higher-paid employees (before they can collect any retirement) and replacing them with lower-paid new employees.

As Governor, Jeb Bush used this same tactic to fire 16,000 workers from their jobs with the State of Florida. Jeb Bush gave agency heads to use their “sound discretion” to send people packing, and tied it to his “Service First” program that gave incentives to managers who found ways to reduce government spending.

This isn’t a “moderate” agenda.

Bush may not be insulting veterans or giving out people’s cell phone numbers – and he’s not trying to terrify the electorate with talk of apocalypse or an imagined invasion of Texas – but a lack of hard-core lunacy doesn’t make him a moderate candidate.

He’s part of the far-right wing.

His agenda would decimate federal services that we rely on.

And as this “clown car” primary season keeps getting weirder and weirder, we need to not lose sight of that.

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