Union wasn’t part of job in old daysPublished 9:01am Thursday, November 8, 2012
To clarify some statements that seemed aimed at me in a letter printed in the Albert Lea Tribune on Oct. 31.
1. I was hired in 1970 under the Freeborn County merit system and veterans preference. There was no county union then in my department.
2. Two years later the state forced certain jobs under AFSCME, including mine. I voted no.
3. I remained in my county merit pay grade but by 1974 a forced fee was taken from my pay, leaving me less take-home pay than non-union county employees at my grade level.
4. Due to “union bargaining,” several of my pay raises were delayed (one for over a year).
5. With 36-plus years at my level, I could have had up to 2,500 accumulated sick leave hours. The union “bargained” that down to less than 1,500.
6. PERA (pension) existed way back in the 1930s. I was on PERA before any union came.
7. Health coverage was the same for county merit system. Workers, just as my pay was. In the early 1970s, retired county health coverage was better and cost less then now.
8. I have protested persons being forced to support a private group (union) and feel meet and confer with all, merit system and free choice is better. I have over 42 years in the American Legion, a private voluntary group that has done much for veterans (with no forced fees).
Tom C. Schleck