Me and Joe have been friends for quite a few years now. And Joe has done quite a few excellent Trimet stories worthy of respect. But when it comes to the issues involving the transit union it becomes completely clear that he supports the Oregonian anti union agenda.
Let's take a look at his CURRENT STORY on the so called 'contract deal'.
What we see are multiple anti union messages such as:
Although details of the agreement weren't immediately available on the
new contract, TriMet management has said that the agency can no longer
afford to pay for one of the nation's most generous health-care plans for transit workers.
Why is that passage on 'the most generous health care plans' even mentioned. We transit workers no longer have a generous plan. We are saddled with monthly premium expenses, deductibles and co-pays, just like every other American, why is it even in there? To create an emotional response.
Indeed, it was the massive expense of retirees' health benefits
saddling TriMet -- and the union's more-costly proposal -- that
ultimately guided arbitrator David Gaba to side with TriMet two years
Gaba concluded that no matter how much he disliked parts of TriMet's
contract, the transit agency's cheaper solution to retirees' health care
"best promotes the interest and welfare of the public."
That may be true on its face but to leave out all the negativity that Gaba had about approving that contract is downright deceitful. The Trimet contract turned out to be illegal on some of its requirements and Gaba said so much. Joe left all of that out but made sure to leave the part in that creates an anti union emotional response in.
The agency has $853 million in unfunded liability to pay health benefits for current and future retirees, a recent state audit found. That liability has since climbed to $950 million. TriMet is also working to pay down $274 million in pension liabilities.
This so called 'unfunded liability' (which is in reality an unfunded obligation) was created by the Trimet management team and approved by the Trimet board of directors. Joe mentions nothing about how this happened to occur. Once again it creates an emotional response to the union.
And when we talk about Trimet's financial problems, no mainstream media bothers talking about Trimet's fast track expansions, which is really at the root of all these problems.
It's a disappointment indeed, but par for the course when it comes to mainstream media's disinformation.