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Cool rhetoric in Johnstown

March 25, 2014

The new overtime rules in the town of Johnstown have sparked a nasty public debate....

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Mar-27-14 2:33 PM

MrBob: in my 20+ years of dealing with union employees, I never had a problem getting rid of poor performing employees. You are absolutely correct in pointing out the abuses, but again, where were the supervisors? Who was supposed to be "managing" these employees? Somebody let these clowns get away with all of this stuff ... and that was my point. My post was made in reference to my own personal experience in these matters.

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Mar-26-14 3:34 PM

Really adkkev? Easy to get rid of Union poor performers?? Ever hear of the union teachers 'rubber rooms'? Where poor performers are sent to do nothing for months or years with full pay and benefits? Or maybe the hidy-holes State union workers set up with all the comforts of home on the taxpayers dime? They think nothing of it until they get caught. SOME get caught but they're not gone folks. Like the local historian stealing a stupid coffee pot, the entire public sector union membership believes they're entitled to our money. So about the only benefit of working for public sector unions in 2014 is the chance to steal from the taxpayers whenever the opportunity presents itself. Before you union members spout the line that most public sector unionized workers are honest, hardworking and doing a yeoman's job, talk is real cheap. Prove it. Throw out your Union, otherwise save your breath.

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Mar-26-14 1:50 PM

MrBob: I understand your position re: unions, but I will say that IF an employee's supervisor was doing their job correctly, then there wouldn't be an issue with weeding out the poor performers. This applies to both union & non-union employment. But in my experience the supervisor just hasn't had their ducks in a row when it came down to crunch time. It's really not that difficult to dismiss a poor performer, even in a union represented workplace.

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Mar-26-14 1:28 PM

It is a family business. Second generation. Time for it to become public and hire outsiders.

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Mar-26-14 9:17 AM

To summarize, unions have far out-lived their usefulness and are an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer. Period. Time to move on.

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Mar-26-14 9:11 AM

Union solidarity means solid protection of the lowest common denominator. You know who you are; the unproductive shirker who knows just enough to be better than the worse performer. If you are not risking your job with every task you perform or decision you make, you're not working. Public sector Unions have eliminated that risk to the detriment of the taxpayer who pays their wages. Therefore, I will not submit to loud union rhetoric, I will not 'cool' down for the sake of comity , I will not shut up because of your inability to defend yourselves with nothing more than intimidation, bombast, bad language and threats. Instead, I will gladly take you and your unions to task at every opportunity you present. Now, tell me more about the virtues of Public or Private sector union membership in 2014, not the 1930's.

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Mar-25-14 8:57 PM

Unions are no longer needed in today's world. Workers rights are protected. That's a joke. This is why Unions are needed. You can't trust some politicians.

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Mar-25-14 8:17 PM

I wonder just what the $ figure is... I do not believe that this fight is worth the bad blood over what this would cost either side! Just a spot to stop and feud I believe. Everyone just go to work, there is nothing worth fighting over here!

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Mar-25-14 7:55 PM

To The Architect...after weeding out those who can't pass a drug test and those who don't have a CDL the supply of prospective workers is seriously diminished. I'm not sure all Town of Johnstown residents want contracted and unreliable highway services. I know I don't!

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Mar-25-14 6:11 PM

"Gofigure" there is a near limitless supply of workers in the Town of Johnstown who would willingly to step up and fill a position with the Town Highway Department given the regional lack of employment opportunities. Under the presumption that the existing DPW staff performs their job duties admirably, but there is not a single staff member that could not seamlessly be replaced as no one is indispensible.

In light of this issue being brought forward, the Town should give serious consideration to dissolving the DPW and contracting for the services the DPW provides. The cost would indisputably be much lower, saving all taxpayers money, and the level of service would like increase as well.

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Mar-25-14 3:52 PM

Through experience over thirty five years working at the same type of job. Seems like the town highway department is working as a team for the tax payers. Maybe the town board can get together as a team and try to have everyone on the board work together and work as a team with the highway department. To be able to work out their problems with the highway department for the benefit of the tax payers of the town of Johnstown residents.

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Mar-25-14 2:50 PM

If anyone's rhetoric is overheated it's the author of this editorial whose insulting anti-union comments wave a red flag before the eyes of the many Town of Johnstown residents who are members of any union at all. Don't forget that solidarity is one of the keystones of the union movement. Putting it bluntly, cool your own incendiarism!

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Mar-25-14 1:05 PM

It probably won't be long before there is a union representing Jtn Hgy employees. The contract negotiations will probably very aggressive on both sides, impass delared, fact finder appointed, and very expensive in the end. Having worked in the private sector all of my life, I am used to employers trying to control O/T.

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Mar-25-14 12:49 PM

Its a shame so many people seek public office just so they can dominate others.

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Mar-25-14 12:38 PM

Who was abusing overtime pay? If you work additional hours beyond your normal schedule, you should be paid overtime. Using a benefit day (vacation, sick day, personal day, etc) during the week you are getting overtime should not be part of the discussion. That is what benefit days are for - to use in place of work days. It is part of the package that employers use to recruit and retain good employees and those employees should use them as they wish. Every worker has a life outside the job and they shouldn't be penalized if they want to go to their kids' game or concert or doctor appointment. The roads in Johnstown are always well plowed each winter. You get what you pay for.

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Mar-25-14 12:38 PM

First off, The FSLA states that overtime is paid for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. I have worked for state and federal government and assure you, this is the standard the use.

I get the workers are upset, after all they had a great deal.they could work 2 - 12 hour days, 2 - 8 hour days and make an extra half days pay. Unfortunately, the tax payer is being stretched to the limits.

Bottom line is the OT rules need to be more in line with what the rest of the country does.

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Mar-25-14 11:54 AM

Just remember if these guys get into a Union this will cause the Town of Johnstown tax payers more money. And when it does just thank Nancy and Jim. They should know what they are talking about before the speak.

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Mar-25-14 11:40 AM

MacVean appears to be the queen of mean. Our town hwy dept belongs to the Teamster's Union & have a contract with the town periodically renegotiated to everyone's satisfaction. How many of you would like to be riding those big plows alone at 3 a.m. for any money or dredging out road gutters in 95% summer heat? For the little they get, get off their backs.

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Mar-25-14 11:27 AM

Cool the rhetoric?? We will when the taxpayers who actually pay the bills have the final say, or any say for that matter on whether or not their City, Town, County or State employees are Unionized. Until then, don't even suggest anybody 'cool' off on speaking out about ANYTHING we pay for. Who the h*ll do you think you're talking to anyhow?

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