Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy 2014 from Guest Blogger Norma Rae

The New Year has begun, and many of us are still gagging on the offensive holiday wishes sent out by Commandante Gimenez. After his veto of the County Commission decision to quit taking 5% of our wages on January 1, 2014, the Fool Mayor sent out this sicko message:
"I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you – the dedicated men and women who work for our County government. Our community is well served by the dedication and commitment you bring to your jobs every day. 
I would like to extend to all of you and your families my sincere gratitude for your public service and wish you all the very best holidays!"

Really, Gimenez? You like our dedication and commitment to public service, but you dock our pay so you can give tax breaks to all your political contributors and tea party supporters? Go ahead and admit it. You hate the County and the regular folks working at the County. Go back to your beloved City of Miami, where you can show off your shiny Fire Chief badge and hang out in the Fire Station named after you.

In the meantime, the bargaining units are being invited to “negotiate” with Gimenez’s new interim Labor Negotiator, Tyrone Williams. He supposedly has some legal background, but no one expects he will be a smooth negotiator. The first round with Williams is set for Monday, January 6th at 2:30 PM on the 21st Floor, Conference Room C, in the Stephen P. Clark building. AFSCME 199 should invite a bunch of women librarians to this session, as I heard he has issues with women.

All of the Labor Negotiation sessions are public meetings, so anyone can come. Check the County website under the Calendar tab for public notices. They have to be posted at least 24 hours in advance. Eventually, the seven remaining units will all have to have a session. Then, after the negotiations are all over, another Impasse Hearing before the County Commission. It looks like another month of fighting to get our entire paycheck. All we want to do is cash our check. We earned it. We don't want your gratitude, Gimenez, we want you to honor the contracts and end the 5% payroll deductions.


Anonymous said...

Every major newspaper in the country have run investigative stories on how elected officials caved in to pressure from unions and approved overly generous pay and benefit schemes. Many cities have filed for bankruptcy and many more are contemplating bankruptcy. The lowly taxpayers, with a median income of $31,000, cannot continue paying public sector employees median incomes of $65,000, $70,000 and over $100,000 at the City of Miami. Huge pay and benefit plans and fully vested after 20 year Defined Benefit Pension Plans are not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Pension isn't the issue in County labor negotiations, contrary to the City of Miami the County doesn't have its own pension plan. County employees pay to the State FRS for their pension, one of the healthiest pension funds in the country. It's just about getting their pay back to 2009 levels, not a pay increase, just restoring. Median pay $65K-70K? Maybe the City of Miami!

Anonymous said...

Continuing to take money from the employees checks is nothing more than Wage Theft! The County has a Wage Theft Law, but it doesn't apply to the County itself. So Gimenez can apparently keep taking money from us no matter what. This is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Who is this jerk talking about the lowly taxpayers making $31,000 a year? The average wage for adults in Dade is about $48,000 a year. Using median metrics, the central point in the scale of wages is pure distortion. Look up the information on the Census website and quit your whining.

If taxpayers want decent service provided by qualified staff, it is necessary to pay competitive wages. Hiring people, and then taking 5% of their pay off the top, is a sham. This bait and switch business by Gemenez has to stop.

Anonymous said...

Pensions are an Issue since MDC does contribute to FRS on behalf of its employees and this may be news for some but all moneys that come into MDC Government is provided by taxpayers

Anonymous said...

News Flash, not all money that comes into MDC is provided by taxpayers, assuming you are referring to the lowly taxpayers who only make a median income of $31,000. Many Departments are funded by fees - Aviation, Seaport, WASD, Building, etc...

Gimenez tried to create a crisis around the FRS during the budget process last year and lied to / misinformed the Herald Editorial Board about a $91 Million increase in FRS contributions. There was an increase in some contributions for different categories (elected officials and others), but the increase was less than half of what the Mayor said it was.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The median income for single residents of Miami-Dade County is about $31,000. For a family of four it is about $45,000. Right, that is low. Welcome to the private sector. Public sector employees on the other hand average $55,000 to $100,000+. There are nurses at Jackson Hospital who make $125,000 to $200,000. The County has ten employees who are clerks at parking lots. They average $55,000 BEFORE their benefits. There are 3,000+ employees making well over $100,000, just at the County. Who is looking after the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

What? These people make it up as they go along. Of the 9000 employees represented by local 199 I don't know any that are making close to that. The fire rescue that's another matter. Firemen routinely make 100 grand in no 5% concessions

As for miami demographics How about posting sources

From MNT;
Ever wonder how much you're making in comparison to the rest of the workforce in Miami-Dade. Well, if you're pulling in less than $57,034-a-year you're below average, according to statistics compiled by . That makes Miami-Dade the fourth best compensated county on average in Florida, and the 116th major county in America. Surprisingly, Miamians make more on average than residents of both Broward and Palm Beach counties

Geniusofdespair said...

We don't take links to that blog.

Anonymous said...

There are 26,000+ employees working for M-D County. Perhaps the publicists for the 9,000 employees who are paying to be members of Local 199 will analyze the pay and benefits of the other 17,000 county employees. The fact is someone needs to be working in order to pay the taxes, fees and fines required to pay all 26,000+ employees. Whenever a property owner gets hit with higher taxes, higher fees and higher fines he/she must raise prices and/or rents to "stay even". There is a cause and effect. Is that why so many M-D County employees live in Broward County?

Anonymous said...

The new Labor Negotiator for Gimenez does have a problem with women. Check his personnel file for reports of Domestic Violence incidents. Don't expect him to solve any labor disputes...

Anonymous said...

The union trolls always try to knock down any negotiators who show the slightest bit of intelligence and independence.

Anonymous said...

To the anon above, are you denying he has that bit of scandal in his background? It is a problem when you have people in senior positions within the HR department that do not respect women. It is also a sign of how disingenuous Gimenez is when it comes to negotiating...he doesn't care what happens in negotiations. The Mayor is relying on his veto and the minority of commissioners he has in his pocket.

Anonymous said...

For some of us, it's not 5%. It's 8% that is being deducted. We have mandatory furlough days that amount to 3.07% of annual wages.

That said, I'm not against sacrificing during hard times. It just upsets me to think of the things we fund with our tax $, then ask employees for a wage cut.

Manny said...

I am your boss, the Miami-Dade taxpayer, and I am tired of your whining.

Your salaries are the highest in our community and among the highest among state and local government employees across the nation. You get free individual health insurance (AvMed High Option), and civil service protection that makes it almost impossible to fire you.

And after no pension contributions for decades, you now pay only a piddly 3% towards your pension while we, the taxpayers, pay the majority of your pension contribution.

If you don't like your generous salary and benefits, please quit. There are tens of thousands waiting to take your place.

Anonymous said...

To Manny above,
So true.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, could not have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

"Your salaries are the highest in our community and among the highest among state and local government employees across the nation."
--Don't forget to include your citation so we may know where your facts where born.

"You get free individual health insurance (AvMed High Option),"
--Which would be perfect, if I could just tell my family to bugger off. :)

"and civil service protection that makes it almost impossible to fire you."
--Agreed...although, I thought the protection came from union representation, not 'civil service'. Let me know.

"And after no pension contributions for decades,"
--Sorry, I've only been there a few years. I must have missed the party. :)

"you now pay only a piddly 3% towards your pension while we, the taxpayers, pay the majority of your pension contribution."
--No. My 3% contribution is matched by a less-than-4% contribution. Let me know if you'd like to know the exact #s.

"If you don't like your generous salary and benefits, please quit. There are tens of thousands waiting to take your place."
--Agreed. Those who don't like it, can just quit.
However, that's a bit simplistic. With that logic, anyone who hates the Marlin Stadium deal (me) should just leave. I'd like the county to do better.

Anonymous said...

Like any company there is labor and there is labor.. two ends of the spectrum are MDFR local 1403 two year wait list for FF positions.

AFSCME 199 is some of the nastiest jobs, cleaning public restrooms, picking up the garbage in the parks, shoveling sh*t at the zoo fixing the pumps deep inside the sewage lift stations.

So as far as "hundreds lined up for your jobs?"

Local 199 starting pay $11.04 part time, NO insurance, no benefits. an opening last month had five applicants, one showed up for the interview.

Media love to point at the top pay employees $250k and up for directors, attorney and aids. We agreed with Commissioner Suarez NOBODY in local governemnt should be salaried over $100,000.. If you need some hot shot specialist for a project, contract them.

an why do you think the mayor chose 199 to start the next round of bargaining with? They are also the poorest union and can't afford the big gun labor negotiators the police and fire use, he figures, knock off 199, the BCC can use that as a template for the other unions.

But we thank you for your support,

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers support public servants who understand "public service". No one forces anyone to work for M-D County. Taxpayers might revolt if they hear any more stories of union members, especially Fire and/or Police making $200,000+ per year PLUS $50,000 in overtime PLUS massive defined benefit pension plans. Taxpayers who have no health insurance and NO pensions will revolt if any more public sector employees whine.