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NEWS
March 17, 2006
THE GOVERNMENT competing against the private sector, as in Wireless Philadelphia, is unfair. The price can be low because there is a subsidy. In this case, it's likely to be free pole attachments for the vendor and lower taxes, as well as reduced or non-existent franchise fees. And it's not just Verizon or Comcast getting hurt. What about retail computer stores? We should be giving kudos to Verizon and Comcast for not moving out of the city, not making it more difficult to justify staying in a city that is clearly becoming more hostile.
NEWS
June 30, 2006
Re: Eli Hiller's June 9 commentary, "N.J. cannot afford to keep its web of political fiefdoms. " State Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney (D., Gloucester) may have offended state employees with his recent call for them to take a voluntary pay cut of 15 percent. Unfortunately, while well ahead of the legislative curve, Sweeney's analysis of the cause and effect of New Jersey's fiscal woes will be echoed again and again in the coming months and years. As Hiller noted, New Jersey has more than 500,000 public-sector employees and thousands of public retirees who together annually consume more than $30 billion in compensation and benefits.
NEWS
January 15, 2011
Most employees of public unions want to point the blame for many of our problems away from their unions ("Don't blame the unions for corporate misdeeds," Tuesday). While it's true that there have been plenty of corporate misdeeds, public unions are also a large part of the problem. As the letter writer correctly states, average taxpayers never begrudge civil servants the opportunity to earn a respectable wage, job security, excellent benefits, and the ability for a comfortable retirement when times are good and everyone is benefiting from a strong economy.
BUSINESS
December 22, 1991 | By Andrew Cassel, Inquirer Staff Writer
In this corner, with assets of $81 million and an idea he calls a "better mousetrap" to beat college-cost inflation, is Peter Roberts, enterprising banker. Over there, with billions of dollars in bond-issuing authority and the power to dispense tax breaks to their citizens, are the governments of California, New Jersey and other states. The question: Who has the best deal for anxious parents trying to save for their children's college educations? Roberts, the founder and chairman of College Savings Bank, a five-year-old institution with a Princeton address and a single product aimed at parents saving for college, is convinced he has the answer - convinced enough to launch a kind of one-bank protest movement against government-sponsored college-savings plans.
NEWS
March 23, 2011
As a retired, taxpaying Democrat, I started reading Harold Jackson's column "Democrats have labor card but must play it right" (Sunday) expecting a blanket attack on the "anti-union" efforts going on around the country. As a former vice president of a Philadelphia-based manufacturer, I have a long history with private-sector unions. Despite tough negotiations (and short strikes), I always felt that the unions provided a voice and leverage necessary to maintain a balance within the community of interest we shared as employees of a company competing in the marketplace.
NEWS
January 12, 2002 | By Nora Koch INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A former school security guard who admitted to helping three high school girls audition for jobs as exotic dancers was barred yesterday from working in the public sector for life. Marlon Bounds, 38, of Willingboro, also was sentenced in state Superior Court of Camden County to two years' probation and 50 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty in October to three counts of abuse and neglect of children. Bounds was a security guard at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden when he took two girls, ages 16 and 17, to audition at dance clubs in late 1997, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
NEWS
April 30, 2010 | By Chelsea Conaboy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Last summer, 5,960 New Jersey teens and young adults landed jobs through a $17.7 million stimulus program, but almost none found work in the private sector. The state ignored a federal guideline by placing participants in public and nonprofit jobs only, state Comptroller Matthew Boxer said in an audit released Thursday. That's significant, Boxer said, because private jobs are more likely to translate to longer-term employment. "We took the $17 million we were given and, yeah, we paid the summer wages, but we didn't maximize the benefits that should have come to young workers," he said.
NEWS
January 26, 1987 | BY ANTHONY OTTOBRE
Most unions have suffered dramatic decreases in membership over the past several decades. Most private sector unions, that is. At the same time, public sector labor forces have enjoyed a tremendous upswing. From 1973-1983, while AFSCME, the largest public sector union and an AFL- CIO affiliate, increased its membership by 66 percent, other large private sector unions lost an overwhelming number of workers: the United Steel Workers lost 44 percent of their membership, the United Mine Workers lost 42 percent and the United Auto Workers 32 percent.
NEWS
June 24, 2009
CONTRACTS for the municipal unions, teachers and SEPTA are all up for renewal, so our Burning Question of the week is: "With the limping economy, do employees in the public sector get upgrades - or givebacks - in their wages and benefits?" Please keep your replies to 100 words, label them "Burning Question" and send them to any of the addresses listed on the left side of the facing page.
NEWS
January 2, 1991 | By Rosalee Polk Rhodes, Special to The Inquirer
Former Camden County First Assistant Prosecutor Dennis G. Wixted, driven by a desire to maintain pension benefits and serve the public, will return to the public sector Saturday, when he is sworn in as prosecutor for Pine Hill. Wixted, a lawyer in the Camden law firm of Sufrin & Zucker since September, promised to bring with him a respect for people and a nonpartisan, no-nonsense way of handling the court system. He will replace Nicholas Panarella Jr., who served one year as the borough's prosecutor and will continue in private practice in Gloucester Township.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 18, 2013
By Steven Conn State of the Union addresses are for setting agendas and laying out visions of the future. The address provides the president with a platform to set his legislative goals, and last week, President Obama did just that. At the same time, in asserting unapologetically that government has a role to play in furthering the nation's business and in fostering its progress, Obama rooted his address firmly in America's most successful traditions. Since the beginning of the republic, Americans have used the power of government to improve our economy and our society.
NEWS
January 25, 2013
THIS IS a watershed year for the city's public workers, whose unions are being pressured to cede some of the pay, work rules and fringe benefits they have won over the years. For example, the Philadelphia School District, nearly broke and borrowing money just to keep operating, wants to reopen its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers so it can seek givebacks. The Nutter administration, after a four-year contract dispute with municipal unions, announced last week that it is making its "final offer" and may impose a settlement that includes pay increases, but also reduces fringe benefits and changes pension rules.
NEWS
January 24, 2013 | By Sam Hananel, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy. Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce, another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by battles in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and other states to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.
NEWS
December 27, 2012
By Amity Shlaes Relief was the main sentiment of travelers who planned to pass through John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York when security workers there canceled the threat of a Christmastime strike. Yet two questions linger. The first involves the workers' grievances. They complained of making only $8 an hour. Why so low, you wonder, especially compared with what union workers in security-related jobs get. The guards, hired by the contractor Air Serv Corp., were so angry that one of them even expressed a warning that those in safety fields often don't make explicit: that a labor action could compromise the public's security.
NEWS
September 12, 2012
By Charles Lane Keep the following numbers in mind for the next time a public-sector union official starts lecturing you about social justice. In Chicago, 85 percent of the roughly 400,000 public school students are African American or Latino. A similar share lives at or near the poverty line: about $27,000 for a family of three. The average Chicago public-school teacher earned almost triple that: $76,000 a year, according to the school district. In contract negotiations this year, the Chicago Public Schools offered an average raise of 16 percent over four years.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2012 | By Colleen Barry and associated press
MILAN — The Italian government on Friday announced measures worth $100 billion to spur economic growth, streamline the notoriously bloated public sector, and lower national debt, part of its attempt to convince international investors that its finances are sustainable. Italy has become the new focus of concern in the eurozone ahead of the Greek election Sunday. That vote could result in Greece's exit from the multi-nation currency, and in increased economic turmoil across the region.
NEWS
June 12, 2012 | Letter to the Inquirer Editor
GOP right on Obama's jobs plan I agree that the GOP does seem to be reluctant to pass anything the president wants ("GOP's job-killing election game," Sunday). However, I have to agree with Republicans on jobs. The president's current proposal is a rehash of his failed stimulus plan from 2009. Obama wants to add more firemen, policemen, teachers, and construction workers. Three of the four are direct government employees, and the other category is driven by government spending on roads and other infrastructure projects.
NEWS
June 10, 2012 | By Ken Thomas and Philip Elliott, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama made Mitt Romney's day by declaring "the private sector is doing fine" and opening himself to the accusation that he - not the rich Republican - is the one who is out of touch with reality. Obama quickly clarified his remark Friday, but Republicans already had their teeth in it and weren't letting go. "Is he really that out of touch?" Romney, the GOP presidential candidate, asked as Obama's initial comments ricocheted through the campaign. Seeking to head off any damage, Obama backpedaled and declared it is "absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.
BUSINESS
June 8, 2012 | By Jane M. Von Bergen and and Bill Reed and INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
If only, labor leaders say, Tuesday's vote in Wisconsin turned simply on the issue of collective bargaining, as it did in Ohio in November, maybe the result would have been different. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker earned 53 percent of the vote to beat back a recall effort that began in February 2011, when he eliminated most collective-bargaining rights for most public employees. "I wish it was about collective bargaining," AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka said in a news conference Wednesday.
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