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Monday, October 19, 2009

It takes two to negotiate a deal

James Cole writes in the Concord Monitor that the paper has not done enough to investigate the State Employees Association case against the state contract rejected last week.
As the only newspaper originating from the state capital, the Monitor has the responsibility to do more for the public. Instead of putting the union's negotiating team, and to no small extent state workers, on the pillory, the Monitor could be researching whether cuts to state workers are the only or best way to close any budget gap. It could be looking at whether there is a budget gap and what caused it.

The SEA has claimed that the state:

• has 1,473 part-time non-classified employees with an average pay of $74 an hour.

• has increased spending on outside consultants by 40 percent.

• has rejected proposals from the SEA that would have saved the state over three times the $25 million figure floated in the budget.

• spends more than twice as much on outside contractors as on state employees.

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