... the state employee unions have so far refused to meet with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy or any of his representatives to negotiate concessions, which could potentially help the state avoid making thousands of layoffs.
As the story notes, state officials have estimated that laying off 2,000 to 3,000 union workers will be necessary if they don't get concessions.
And as you can read here ...
... these layoffs are much more likely now that the budget deficit is $130.8 million,
The union's position is that the state should consider raising taxes, again, to help fill the gap. It would appear the unions have failed to notice just how poorly raising taxes has worked as a budget fix over the past four years.
Instead, cuts have been proposed that will hurt just about everyone — except, that is, for state workers. Yes, they have a contract that is locked in until 2022, but you would think the threat of losing as many as 3,000 members of the rank and file would be a motivator to negotiate.
It's a dangerous game of chicken the unions are playing. And while I understand their desire to make the state honor the agreement they have, they seem to be standing on principle at a very high cost.
The concessions that have been proposed are reasonable: pay more toward their health insurance and pensions. It's what the rest of us have had to endure, though some of us lost our pensions in lieu of 401(k) plans years ago. Is that really worse than watching 3,000 of your fellow union members being laid off?
Most of us wouldn't think so, but that's not how unions seem to work. Take Hostess, the former snack cake company. Its union workers went on strike over wage cuts, refusing any concessions. Result: Hostess went out of business, sold off its brand names and recipes in bankruptcy court, and every union worker lost his or her job.
That's a lot like standing on the deck of the Titanic and loudly claiming it is unsinkable just after the ship has hit an iceberg. At some point, you have to head to the lifeboats or go down with the ship.
I hope the state employee union's rank and file knows how to swim.