Wednesday, September 30, 2015
GOP welcomes union call to end RICo board benefits
BILL LONG had this letter published in the September 14 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and Quad-City Times. "The September 9 edition of the Dispatch/Argus contained a story quoting Jeff Stulir, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2025. ..... Mr. Stulir called for the current county board members to give up their pensions and health care. This is the position many Republican candidates for the county board have stressed for the last several elections. ..... We believe that a part-time, elected official, should not be covered for these types of benefits. We welcome the support of labor in promoting the discontinuing of these benefits. During the campaigns, we stated that these benefits were not practical and were/are a drain on the county budget. We are pleased that organized labor joins us in this fight. ..... County administrator Dave Ross is asking the union employees to forgo a 2 percent negotiate raise this time around in his attempt to bring spending and the budget under control. We also support this and commend Mr. Ross for all his efforts since he was hired. ..... He is doing the job that we stated county administrator should do, and his efforts further enhance the referendum that 72 percent of the voters approved to downsize the board to 15 members. This concept was fostered by the Republican Party for several years. To date, the board has not answered this request by the public. ..... We invite organized labor to join us in this endeavor. I know if these two forces push in the right direction, great things can happen in Rock Island County."