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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This state employee will vote no

Peter Brunette, a field worker for a child protection unit and member of the State Employees Association, pens his opposition to the pending state contract in the pages of the Concord Monitor.

The underlying problem here is an appalling lack of courage on the part of our elected officials. The governor and our representatives in the House and Senate are so afraid of not being re-elected that they will not consider any legislation to raise the revenue necessary to provide essential services and property tax relief to its citizens. These pledge-taking, issue-dodging cowards continue the willful deceit that reduction of expenditures is the only way to balance the budget. Until and unless their moral character improves to the point that they are capable of doing what is right, and not just what is politically expedient, state employees and their union representatives will continue to be shown nothing but bad faith and disrespect.

Fiscal responsibility in state government must be achieved, but it has been unfairly dumped on its hard working and underpaid employees. I call upon all my union brothers and sisters to draw the line here, now before it is too late. Let us send a clear message that we are not going to take it anymore, and vote NO on the pending contract.
For all of Brunette's calls for political courage, he won't say which taxes he wants you to pay so that he can get a raise. If it's an income tax, Brunette would have to justify the massive transfer of wealth from the private sector to public employees. That's a valid choice, though not one likely to improve either the state's economy or its long-term fiscal health.

He bases his argument on the contention that state workers are underpaid. They are not. Public employees receive salaries similar to those in the private sector, generous benefits, large but underfunded pension promises, and job security and work rules unimaginable in most private sector jobs. Brunette is a member of a union that has the right to accept or reject the contract being proposed. He is under no obligation to accept it. But if he thinks the people of New Hampshire are currently in a position to offer him more, he has chosen not to accept reality.

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