Monday, March 28, 2011

What Public Employees Do

While Republicans in Michigan join their far-right friends across the nation in kicking public employees in the teeth for still having pensions, some Ingham County-area firefighters went about doing their jobs.

And we should make sure Rick Snyder is reminded of it everytime he starts dumping on public employees.

The Lansing State Journal reported over the weekend in an article headlined, "Chief: Leslie Firefighers Lucky to be Alive" what it is that firefighters actually do:

"Leslie Fire Chief Bruce Howe says five firefighters who fell through a roof while fighting a downtown building blaze Saturday are lucky to be alive."

It gets worse.

"The firefighters - among 10 firefighters injured Saturday during the fire at Moo's Bar & Grill - were trapped in the burning building for roughly 30 minutes until a rescue team pulled them from the structure, officials said."

Experiences like "fell through a roof" and "trapped in the burning building for roughly 30 minutes" should be enough to justify giving these people the pensions and decent salaries they negotiated.

But Snyder wants to pull the rug out from under them by allowing local governments to rip up their union contracts unilaterally if they are in financial trouble. And he wants to cut revenue sharing to make sure more local governments fall into financial trouble. Rep. Cindy Denby, R-Fowlerville, is pushing legislation that already has passed the House that would let local governments unilaterally dump the negotiated contracts if they are thinking about consolidating services.

Not sure how either of them would react if they were trapped inside a burning building for 30 minutes, after having gotten there by falling through a burning roof. But I bet afterwards neither one would want to do it again.

The supply of people willing to do those sorts of things in our society is really pretty small. If we drive them away, who will replace them?


kevins said...

According to the city's web site, the City of Lesline Fire Department is a volunteer paid on call department of about 25 people.

I doubt they get any pension.

No reason for you to let facts get in the way of your squawking.

kevins said...

Correction: City of Leslie