Thanks to reader Mark for the link to this video, from the makers of Liberal Foreign Policy Explained, How Liberal Journalists Think, Liberal Taxes Explained, Feminism Explained, and Meet The Liberal Elite.
Update: I don’t usually add to these videos, but given what is going on in Providence, RI, and Madison, WI, I thought this report from The Providence Journal of the findings of a municpal finance review board would put things in perspective that much of the economic life of the City now goes to one thing and one thing only, union benefits :
The city’s annual required contribution — pegged at $59.4 million this year — is projected to increase dramatically over the next 28 years, rising to more than $210 million in 2039.
Those numbers, the report says, are unsustainable, sucking resources away from other needs. Last year, the city spent $109 million on retirement-related expenses. That was 18 percent of the city’s overall budget — money that could not be spent on schools, other city services or property tax relief — and more than a third of the money the city collected in property taxes.
Had the city contributed what it should have last year to the pension fund and retiree health care — $150 million — it would have equaled about one-fourth of the city’s annual budget and just over half of its yearly property-tax revenue.
The pension obligations above are not exclusively for teachers, but this report should give you an idea of many of the hidden benefits tucked within teachers union contracts:
The panel also suggested that the city reduce the amount of sick days that teachers receive. Teachers currently receive 20 sick days a year, excluding bereavement and two personal days. Since substitute teachers must cover teacher absences, the panel said that the “generous sick time allowance results in a substantial incremental cost to the city.”
“Everything is negotiable,” said Maribeth Calabro, vice president of the Providence Teachers Union. “We are amenable to change and we’re willing to come to the table.”
Well of course you are now that everything has hit the fan and the new Mayor has sent out termination notices, but for years it was almost impossible to squeeze out concessions. It was a one way street, always up and up and up.