Constantine Proposes New Cabinet Position for Labor Relations

Comments

1
Could we get Constantine to do a takeover of Seattle? He seems to know what he's doing.
2
If Dow can solve the 60 million dollar budget gap without pissing off the unions, or the voters, he'll be the states golden boy, and well positioned for a run at the governors mansion. Expect Kathy Lambert and the rest of the republicans on the KCC to start seriously backstabbing and obstructing as soon as they see that happening.
3
Actually, I would say this bodes very well for future cordial relations between the County and the unions. Unions aren't de facto opposed to taking cuts IF they can be convinced it's in the best long-term interests of their members AND they believe they're being treated with respect by management.

Constantine has a lot of support in the labor community and this will score him a lot of points when they sit down together at the negotiating table. It won't be all ponies and rainbows by any stretch; there will always be points of disagreement. But unions will be much more inclined towork with the Exec. if they have solid evidence that he is willing to work with them.
4

Seems like Dow Corningstone is getting a little big for his Hanes.

What's next to add?

Secretary of the Exchequer?

5
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

It would be great if Constantine appointed a well-known union buster, announced that he was reducing pension and medical benefits to private sector levels, would be actively seeking overseas outsourcing oportunities, and intended to respond to any strike with an immediate lock out and replacements.

Of course, being a Democrat, that is not his intention. He wants to signal to his public employee constituancy that maintaining the public workers' paradise takes precedence, for him, over squeezing maximum value out of minimum taxpayer money.

But it might not work out that way. Voter indiganation over public employee benefit levels is on the rise. Having a high-profile labor advisor might make concessions to the public employee unions might prove harder than doing back-room deals. Constantine wants to get the attention of the rank-and-file public employees but he may find he has caught the unwanted attention of voters as well. At least we can hope.
6
Dream on @5. You wouldn't last more than about three days without the benefit of the services provided by public sector employees.
7
Imagine if the newspapers had good labor coverage as well. There used to be a actual labor section in the newspaper.
Labor needs to create its own party. Cleaving to either one of these sorry excuses for political parties will not serve the labor movement well.
8
Union! Union! Union! w00t!!

@ 5 - Yeah, I see those public workers at Boeing Field all the time, buzzing around in their private jets. They're almost as obnoxious as those public workers who get out on the lake on the weekends in their big shiny yachts, zipping around and tossing up big wakes which bounce those poor bankers and stockbrokers right outta their dinky little canoes. There oughta be a law.
9
Thought this part of the article was interesting.
Most of Lambert’s proposals go far beyond Constantine’s comfort zone, but both agree that the cost of living adjustment (COLA) included in the county’s labor negotiating policy should be dropped from a floor of two percent per year, to zero percent. (Currently county employees get at least a two percent bump every year to account for inflation, the COLA reforms would allow the county to take that down to zero, an ability that is both good policy and good politics, particularly in recession years.)
So it is good policy and that is the basis of the proposal. The last section is restating what is current law or practice. So how far apart are they really? Seems like they both are aware that we are in a recession.