Unions grasp fiscal crisis

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nothing may be a better indication of the economic crisis facing our nation than the willingness of a variety of unions to make concessions and look at the big picture.

Whether it was justified or not, in years past national union organizations — and some on a local level — were perceived to be too focused on their individual memberships and their own goals to be a team player.

That is changing across the country — and certainly locally — because we are seeing a variety of labor groups concede raises, benefits and other negotiated incentives. These are things that have historically been part of collective bargaining agreements.

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We applaud these men and women for their sacrifices and willingness to deal with the same challenges that many workers in the private sector have been facing.

Guiding our nation and our county through these unprecedented economic times will take a willingness to work toward the greater good.

From agreeing to contracts that don’t include pay raises for several years to picking up a larger percentage of health insurance costs to sacrificing holidays and sick day incentives, several local unions have made a variety of concessions that will help local government make ends meet.

And you know what? More may be asked in the future.

These are uncertain economic times and drastic measures are needed. Sometimes these are popular and sometimes they are not.

But it is reassuring to know that our local unions understand just what is at risk and are doing their part to make a difference.