Letters to the Editor

Protesters who disrupted the budget message pilloried the mayor outside City Hall.
Protesters who disrupted the budget message pilloried the mayor outside City Hall. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 20, 2013

Union protest did cause no favors

As unions are under fire from every corner of the Republican Party, and with governors pushing for right-to-work laws that translate to lower-paying jobs with fewer benefits, union members have been called goons, thugs, and worse. Unfortunately, with their disruption of Mayor Nutter's budget speech, municipal workers fell into antiunionists' trap. By refusing to let the mayor speak, they did nothing to advance their grievances and, instead, suffered a setback in the public eye.

Unions should be noted for negotiating fair and equitable contracts, not for bullying their opposition into doing what they want. At a time when the GOP is trying to cut everything but money for the rich, we union supporters need to work together to preserve the middleclass. It would behoove unions to compromise, regroup, and fight another day when the economy is stronger.

Ron Costello, Warminster

Walk the talk on union deals

In his budget address, Mayor Nutter had the nerve to say he respects the collective bargaining process and talked of lobbying Harrisburg so that the state lives up to its constitutional responsibility regarding education funding. Well, why doesn't he honor the legally arrived-at binding arbitration award for city firefighters?

Mike Wellock, Philadelphia

Good move for a greener city

Since I never really appreciated the Your Move sculpture of game pieces on the Municipal Services Building plaza, I am happy to see them go. Redoing the plaza as a park-like setting is a great idea. Green is always better than concrete, tar, or macadam. In the same way, more high-rise buildings - apartments, condos, or office complexes - should consider adding rooftop gardens. We could not only create places of beauty, but also grow food for many in need.

Bernice Sherman, Philadelphia

Medical fixes come into focus

Strategies to lower soaring health-care costs should be obvious, based upon the recent Time report by journalist Steven Brill: Change federal law so Medicare can negotiate drug prices. Tax nonprofit as well as for-profit hospital profits. Make it illegal for doctors to own or invest in medical device companies and testing facilities. Control consolidation of hospitals and doctors' practices. Cap the prices that can be charged for costly scans and medical devices. Limit profit margins on drugs. Lower the Medicare eligibility age.

Debby Kern, West Chester

Can new pope break with past?

Unhappily, the humble Pope Francis has inherited an office that is encrusted with centuries of accumulated imperial power. The church's teaching office operates within a bubble of so-called creeping infallibility, whereby it cannot admit being wrong in the past and therefore cannot change any moral teaching. Fear of contradicting his recent predecessors may tempt Francis to take such power to himself. The success of his papacy may rest on his success or failure in this regard.

Anthony T. Massimini, Woolwich Township, massi6@comcast.net

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