Just as EFCA was being introduced in Washington Fast Ed Rendell was asking unions for $120-160 million in concessions to help the Commonwealth's budget woes.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
BY CHARLES THOMPSON
Of The Patriot-News
Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday that he must have concessions from labor unions by the end of March or he will unilaterally either temporarily close some nonessential offices or lay off workers.
The labor savings also must be in place to keep his proposed $29 billion spending plan for 2009-10 in balance, he has said.
"We've agreed to give the unions a couple of more weeks to look at the options and get back to us," Rendell said during a Capitol press conference. "But by the end of March, if we don't have an agreement ... I'm going to have to act."
Rendell said again that he is leaning toward a system of "rolling furloughs," in which certain, nonessential aspects of state government would close for a day at a time, causing cuts in hours for thousands of state workers.
Union leaders have vowed not to take wage concessions back to their rank-and-file, making the case that they have accepted wage freezes and sacrificed in other ways during past contract negotiations with Rendell.
They also said Monday that the governor has been talking at them, rather than with them, for the last month.
Still, Kathy Jellison, the president of Local 668 of the Service Employees International Union, said some agreement on personnel costs isn't out of the question.
Uhh Ed...how about trimming the Legislature in half..think of the money you would save. How much more did the Democratic Caucus pay those new hires? Mixed signals, failed policy.