Was it really necessary for Trimet General Manager Neil Mcfarlane to bring the public into his attempts to abrogate the promises that were made to Trimet retirees and current employees? Why was it necessary for Mcfarlane to use red state tactics against his front line employees? There have been more than a few moral lapses since Mcfarlane took charge but his public anti union baiting was the absolute worst of this mans transgressions. The mainstream media tows the Trimet line and took Mcfarlanes words and poisoned the public to Portland area transit workers. There was no need for him to do this since Trimet and the union agreed to the arbitration process. One has to wonder exactly why he chose to make his fight public. Below are his words:
McFarlane warned that TriMet is "slowly strangling from a union contract that desperately needs a reset."
"I know we live in a blue state ... a pro-union city ... so what I'm about to say might make you a tad uncomfortable," McFarlane told the City Club of Portland.
"But decisions that were made over the last 30 years have gotten us to a place where TriMet union members have arguably the richest health care benefits in the U.S." ( And we have heard this line for 5 years now. And it was a total lie. 30 years of promises just taken back just like that. Mcfarlane should suffer the same fate as his union employees and take the same level of cut to his obscene pension that is waiting is retirement. But that won't happen of course, only one group of Trimet workers has to pay a price for management lies and miscalculations)
The coverage for 2,013 active union members requires only $5 co-payments, no premium contributions and no coinsurance. (That's a percentage of covered costs insured employees must pick up after they reach their deductible -- except TriMet union employees have no deductible.) Astonishingly, once union employees reach 55, they are eligible for lifetime health care benefits even if they only started working at 45.
But TriMet's health care jackpot for individuals comes with a high price attached: the health and future of the agency. (he blames his union employees for all the problems of Trimet. Educated people understand that Trimet rapid expansion has played the biggest role in Trimet obligations fiasco. Trimet, under Mcfarlane, lied to his current retirees which will cause hardship to many. That sin is unforgivable Why Trimet is not grandfathering in current retirees is beyond my understanding.)