Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Which Side Really Broke the Law?

New York's "Taylor Law," enacted after a subway strike in the 1960s, makes it illegal for unions to strike against public agencies. That's received a lot of press and is why a judge was able to fine the Transport Workers Union $1 million a day for striking. But, it's not the only part of the Taylor Law that's been violated.

I've been harping on the wage issue, mostly because it's a very simple, straight forward part of the debate, but the union is really riled up about MTA proposals to change the pension plan for new workers. Turns out, the MTA shouldn't have even brought this issue under the table. Under The Taylor Law, collective bargaining sessions are prohibited from including pension plan discussions. The only way to change pensions for public employees is to enact new laws at the state level, which is something that Governor Pataki doesn't want to do since it will make him look like a stingy, uncaring governor.

In any event, why hasn't a judge fined the MTA management for illegally forcing the pension issue onto the table in the first place. Perhaps a judge should fine thwe agency a million dollars a day until they bring a plan to the table that doesn't violate the Taylor Law?


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