There I was, eating my lunch at the Haggan Market (and if my wife is reading this, it was something healthy, I promise), when who do I see sitting two tables away? County Executive candidate Doug Ericksen, and fellow Republican (and former County Councilman) Ward Nelson. I usually don’t make it my practice to eavesdrop, but from where I was sitting I could easily hear them, so I set down my paper and listened a little bit. Ward Nelson was explaining various details of County governance to Doug Ericksen, who asked questions and took notes. What perked up my ears was the bit about collective bargaining rights.
Frequent readers of my blog will remember that the concerns of labor are near and dear to my heart. Why? Because I work for a living. That’s why. Here’s an earlier post about the media blackout surrounding the recent international labor rally, and here is the subsequent report from that rally. So when Doug Ericksen mentions the right for workers to sit at the negotiating table, I listen. What does he say?
“Look collective bargaining is fine, but we need to get serious about this, and if we can cut them (the unions) out of the process, it makes this whole thing alot easier.” – Doug Ericksen.
From there, Ward Nelson and he proceeded to discuss, in detail, which departments, county employees and so on could be outsourced to get Unions out of the way. Department of Health employees, a brief mention of EMS, a whole list developed. I guess this is what Doug meant when on his website he said, “Implement a county-wide Priorities of Government program to identify what we should be doing and fund those things within current resources.” and “Utilize private sector technology services”.
Looking for alternatives is always worth it, if your goal is delivering the best service possible to our county. But if your goal is to eliminate the working people’s seat at the table, then you have serious explaining to do.