Tag archive for binding arbitration

Arrogant, reckless and insane: How Scranton’s unions are fleecing the taxpayer

On December 11, Scranton’s public servants turned on the city.  After threatening to sell city hall or even the city’s fire trucks, the city’s police and fire unions filed a lawsuit requesting that the Court impose “special taxation” earmarked for repayment of an outstanding $21,000,000 …

Scranton: Unions, arbitration equal big tax increase

Pennsylvania_Paper_&_Supply_Company_towerIf you’re living in a city where “municipal unions control city government” and binding arbitration allows a judge to impose a settlement on you that you can’t afford, what can you expect? A 40 percent to 50 percent increase in your property taxes, it seems, if you happen to live in Scranton, Pa., birthplace of VP Joe Biden.

Late last week Moody’s warned that Scranton could face default thanks to a cash crunch similar to the one it faced in 2012, when the city missed bond payments and reduced pay of workers temporarily to minimum wage…

More autonomy for cities? It’s complicated.

This week’s theme is local government autonomy: should there be more? What are the benefits of state oversight? All week long, Aaron Renn and Steve Lisauskas will be debating the topic…

Want to empower cities? Reform binding arbitration.

Local governments dominated domestic policymaking in 19th century America. In general, government was quite small, but most of the services that were provided, such as public education and road-building, were the responsibility of city and town officials.
The Brookings Institution and the political theorist Benjamin Barber have recently advocated …

Cuomo backpedals on binding arbitration reform

New York law and the legislative calendar put Governor Andrew Cuomo in a commanding position to demand significant changes to a state law giving police and firefighter unions the ability to demand binding arbitration of contract impasses. The 39-year-old arbitration provision, next set to expire …

Philly looks for arbitration relief

Philadelphia is appealing a $200 million arbitration award to firefighters that city administrators say is financially ruinous and unaffordable. The award earlier this month represents yet another example of how Pennsylvania’s binding arbitration law, which requires that municipalities and unions go to arbitration if they reach an impasse in contract negotiations, is busting budgets in the Keystone State., where arbitrators often ignore the ability of a city to pay big awards. Scranton nearly ran out of money earlier this month thanks in large part to an arbitrators’ ruling last fall that the city owed police and firefighters $30 million that the mayor says the city couldn’t afford. Then the arbitrators in the Philly case awarded firefighters three years of pay raises and protection from furloughs the city was using to save money.

Binding arbitration sinks another city

Scranton, Pa., has run out of money to pay its employees thanks in large part to a state supreme court ruling last year that forced the city to adhere to a binding arbitration award that it couldn’t afford. Scranton becomes yet another place sunk by  arbitrators and courts who make large settlements that ignore fiscal reality. Some states have finally moved to fix the system or simply eliminate it, but not Pennsylvania.

Links for Monday, December 13, 2010

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal arguing that “[t]he moral case for unions–protecting working families from exploitation–does not apply to public employment.” Pawlenty offers several good suggestions to lawmakers about managing public employment costs, including moving workers to defined-contribution pension plans