Monday, January 11, 2010

The Chilling Effect Of Collective Bargaining

At a time when libraries in NYC are closing down on certain days and lowering the number of open hours on other days, the NYT's has a story (link at the bottom) on a little known provision of union rules @ the NYC public libraries: if the temperature goes below 68 degrees in a library, the union workers get comp time or paid leave to be paid in the future. In Brooklyn, in some circumstances, library workers are even sent home-with pay of course.

Key quote:

Under a little-known contract provision titled “Extreme Temperature Procedures,” unionized workers at branches of the New York Public Library can accrue compensatory time when the temperature inside dips below 68 degrees for a couple of hours. Similar clauses exist for libraries across the city.

What a crock. Have you ever heard of such a thing in the real world? Of course not. But in the world of collective bargaining, this stuff happens all the time.

Who knew that when I cracked a window open in a library, it resulted in 10 library employees getting two additional weeks in paid vacation?

But truth be known, I don't blame the unions; I blame the city.

How can the Bloomberg Administration official in charge of negotiating with the library workers union not make it a priority to get rid of this insane contract provision? Did he even bother to read the contract?

Does anyone believe that the employees that work for Mayor Bloomberg's private business get to go home with pay when the office temperature dips below 68 degrees? Don't be silly.

Milton Friedman was right: when we spend other people's money, we are not nearly as careful as when we spend out own cash.

The Bloomberg official who allowed this to be in the contract is probably the same guy who clips coupons and spends hours in the supermarket to ensure that he gets the best deal.

Remember, this country was founded on a tax revolt.

But do you ever get the sense that anyone in government treats our tax dollars with the care it deserves?

In New York City, a Chilly Library Has Its Rewards

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