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THE RIGHT TO GRIPE

I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!







Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Much Are They Making?

Yesterday morning I opened the front door to fetch the newspaper and as I bent down I saw the headline, "Leighton not W-B's top earner".  I thought Oh Boy, here we go.  I am going to have a field day with this one on the R2G.  As I quickly glanced over the top 10 salaries all I could see were money amounts over $100,000 and the word Fire.  What, does this mean the firefighters in cash strapped Wilkes-Barre make over $100,000 per year?  It just can't be.  At a quick glance it would appear to be true.  That's how many people read the newspaper now-a-day's, they quick glance at headlines and they read first paragraphs.  Experts say a good journalist should sum up their story in the first paragraph and then get into the nuts and bolts further on.  So of course I had to read further.  Right off the top I couldn't believe that dozens of city employees were making more than $80,000 a year with several making over $100,000 per year.  It just could not be true and if it was no wonder the city was in financial trouble.  The thought of this started to make my blood boil.  Would I quickly be blinded by range?  Would I need to be sedated?  The lure of the Gripe made me go on.

As I read further, the story claimed that almost 300 W-B city employees earned more than $80,000 and 7 earned over $100K.  It's true I thought.  I can't believe it!  No wonder W-B is in the crapper.  Firefighters and police made up the majority of top wage earners in the city which is pretty standard for most cities.  They put their lives on the line and they should be compensated correctly for it.  Notice I used the word correctly in that last sentence.  The firefighters of W-B are being compensated correctly because the numbers produced by the local newspapers are skewed.  Back in 2010, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the city had to pay 85 current and former firefighters salary increases dating back to 2002.  Most firefighters received about $14,339 while Assistant Chiefs were awarded between $40,248 and $49,152.  Now it is becoming clearer.  I remember this case because the firefighters raped the city for the money because of a clause in their contract that stated if the cops got a raise, they should get one too.  The police filed a grievance against the city because W-B hired civilian employees to collect and enforce the parking meters.  The top 5 firefighters on the list received these huge awards which inflated their yearly income from the city.  In reality they are making about $90,000 to $95,000 per year.  Ohhhhh, that's different!  NOT!

The unions have been pulling down the pants of the city for many years now and the results of their greed are taking their toll.  The city of W-B along with many of it's surrounding municipalities are flat broke because of high salaries, top of the line benefits and constant arbitration hearings.  Do I think police and firefighters should be compensated well?  Yes, but not at these numbers and not with raises every year and the Cadillac of health care for them and their families on the house.  Right now, workers in the private sector are dealing with wage freezes and increased payments for health care due to economic issues.  Along with this comes tax increases which in some cases are being used to pay for these city and town employees raises and health care.  It has to stop!  Mayor Leighton has asked union workers to forgo pay increases for 2013.  So far, no union givebacks have been offered and time is running out.  Let's see if the unions step up to the plate to help or will they just throw another shovel full of dirt on the cities grave.  In my opinion they have already decided and the body of W-B has been buried.         

2 comments:

  1. When Leighton became the mayor in '04 he told ALL the city worker that concessions had to be made by ALL or the city would go act47 (distressed). The FD stood up and made concessions of more than $4 million over 8 years (no other union did anything). We then found out that Leighton hid money (McGroarty did first) and fought for that money (about $1 million total), by my math we still gave the city $3 million (the other unions still didn't give squat) and he treats us like a baby treats a diaper.
    BTW those figures include overtime, that is overtime LEIGHTON created but not hiring new firefighters as the old retire. We have a certain amount of positions that NEED to be filled every shift and without more FF's that creates overtime.
    Leighton is a master at telling people half truths to make others look bad.

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  2. If the Firefighters and Police would voluntarily give up their LONGEVITY payments, the city would be in fine shape.

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