Apr 20, 2015

South Whitehall Clerical Staff Unionizes

molovinsky on allentown was late to press this morning, running down a tip that South Whitehall's clerical staff unionized. Sources verify that this past Thursday the staff voted 9 to 4 to join the Teamsters. Apparently, the idea to organize grew out of a employee dismissal last summer, affiliated with the Tonkin tax embezzlement case. Although no criminality was ever suspected by the affected employee, her competence came into question. This fall the discourse between the employees and commissioners was further heightened by the unanimous vote to change the defined pension system, from benefit to contribution, although only future employees would be affected by the change. The received tip said that the staff unionization resulted from "meddling" by the Commissioners. Although unionizing does indeed seem unusual for a small staff of only 13 employees, it's not clear if "meddling" by the Commissioners is a bad thing. The residents of South Whitehall deserve elected representatives who are engaged, and willing to guard the taxpayers best interests. On a personal note, as an advocate engaged on the Wehr's Dam and other issues, I've had only courteous and helpful responses from all staff members over the years.


Anonymous said...

Sign of things to come. They have been budgeting on the backs of the non-union employees for a long time. Towns think non-union benefits and salaries are easy pickings because nobody fights those cuts while unions have representation, get their contracts, raises, etc.

So why not join that party if you can?

I'd be careful to extol the virtues of involved elected officials in the day to day workings of government. A lot of those so called interested officials think they are the defacto boss or manager and employees work for them.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:29, beyond the oblivious problem of no accountability with anonymous comments, there's the location appropriateness issue. are you referring to south whitehall, or towns in general. (rhetorical question, no anonymous reply sought) in south whitehall's case, the township manager is hired by the commissioners, and indeed the employees answer to both the manager and them.

Anonymous said...

You get the government you deserve. For ever, this group of employees has not had the need to unionize and had rejected the union in the past. Now this group has seen what this Board can do on many fronts and voted to bring in protection. Perhaps the Board ought to look in the mirror and realize what they have done for the taxpayers by creating a very highly unionized work staff as compared to its neighbors. Now another group to negotiate with. At a boy SWT.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:24, save for this blog, the unionization has not been reported or known by the residents. the upcoming election for commissioners is uncontested.