LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - A few thoughts on civil servants' union

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I find it amusing that the U-B ran an article about the civil servants' union the day before a scheduled day off for the same. As someone who spent many years working in the private sector I have a few thoughts about the civil servants' union.

First, I don't get this day off, nor did I get MLK day off. In fact I get exactly five days off, unless my employer needs me to work.

Granted I'll most likely be paid for the holiday, but I will miss out on time with my family. How many holidays do our civil servants get? How many weeks of vacation?

I get 10 days of vacation paid for. How many sick days? I never get paid for sick days. And, what benefits? Fewer and fewer employers have health care, and it's rare to have anything more than pay-matching retirement plans. As for job security, I can be terminated without notice.

Second, I don't remember ever getting an annual pay raise. In fact, my receiving a raise at all depends on whether my output warrants it, and the business can afford it. Since I work by the job, if I want a raise I am told "work harder."

So, why are civil servants thought so lowly of in our society? Could it be the five-man crew filling holes with one shovel? Could it be the standing in interminable lines with one clerk, while watching other civil servants push papers from one desk to another?

Could it be that unlike the retail businesses I deal with, the offices of civil servants never seem to be open when I'm not working? And, when I go to their offices on my lunch break, half their crew is also on lunch. Simply put, who's the civil servant here?

And, to the spokesman for the city who said, "The city is not going to debate these 'differences' in the media." Where then would you like to debate "these differences" so the public can be involved? I just hope I don't have to wait in line again.

But with all that said, here's the irony. In the same paper, right next to the article about cutting benefits for the civil servants' union, was a piece about the need to spend money to update the street signs. Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

Charles Cory Spencer
Walla Walla

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