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Government or Business

By Oz_Media ·
I was talking with a freind last night about a recent hospital workers strike, where they were legislated back to work with a 15% pay cut over two years or would be facing jail time if they stayed on strike.

Well I don't support the government in this one and juding by the other citizens here, I don't think ANYONE supoprts the governments decision ( all the other goverment workers walked out the next day in protest of the legislation).
Nobody REALLY supports the strike to begin with but legislating them to work is wrong without some form of arbitration hearing.

I also had a letter printed that I sent to the editor of Vanouver's Province newspaper about the idiots who thought it was supportive to drive by a hospital at 2AM and honk their horns repeatedly in support of the strikers, don't they realize people are sick and trying to get rest in what is supposed to be a quiet zone??? What a bunch of morons, and these peolpe are operating motor vehicles!

But with all this, I got to thinking about the government and public services like road repair, transit service etc. Now the hospital employees are saying that this isn't the way to run a business but it's NOT a business it's a government service. This then got me thinking of al the people here on TR who think their government is hired like a company to work in their best interests.

So talking with my history professor (former professor from Cal.State)neighbour and he also agreed, NO GOVERNMENT IN HISTORY HAS EVER BEEN RUN LIKE A BUSINESS!! It cannot be run like a business and shouldn't be run like a business.

To begin,
Q) What private business investor would actually take an interest in a government service and see it as a business venture?

A) Not a single SANE person on the planet.

Q) What government service, transpotation, police, fire, medical, electrical etc. is actually a profitable business?

A) None of them

Now in BC our former 'Government operated' bus service was bought out by an Alberta based company. In the ONE year that they have been running the service, they have managed to claim 4 cents per litre on all gas sold in the province. (Government kick back) They get a percentage of the road taxes (government kickback). They are currently planning a new extension to the local Skytrain system, they have also convinced the government to hand over 100 million in order to properly plan and BEGIN the project and bus fare has nearly doubled.

So the idea of a government being a business, or people thinking they HIRE poiticians to work in their best interests is absolutely ABSURD and nonsensical. It is not feasible, it is not logical and it is most definitely not possible to run a government the same way you run a business.

So the next time you see someone comparing a government decision or action to what a company would do, or saying it makes logical business sense, think twice IT'S NOT A COMPANY and couldn't be one if it chose to. Not unless you paid three or four times the amount of taxes that you already do.

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The answer is simple.

by maxwell edison In reply to Government or Business

Government should be in the "business" of governing, and business should be in the "business" of business. (Regardless of what that particular business happens to be.)

Like oil and water, the two just don't mix.

Didn't the USSR used to jail people who refused to work?

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by Oz_Media In reply to The answer is simple.

Great example, perhaps we could model oursleves and our governments after the USSR!

Try again.

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You missed my point entirely

by maxwell edison In reply to The USSR

My point was than no government should "jail" anyone for refusing to work. Fire them, perhaps, but "jail" them, never.

(For some reason I believe you try to overlook my point.)

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And in case you overlooked my "context"

by maxwell edison In reply to You missed my point entir ...

You indicated in your original message that these folks "would be facing jail time if they stayed on strike".

Thus, my comment.

The reference was to show the similarities between that particular Canadian threat and what the USSR used to do.

The USA wouldn't "jail" them, just fire them. (As Reagan did to the air traffic controllers.)

Jailing striking workers is a very heavy-handed tactic.

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Good idea

by Oz_Media In reply to And in case you overlooke ...

We can fire the entire provinces staff of skilled doctors , nurse and other various hospital workers and hire new ones. Perhaps from Gee it should only take a year or so to restaff the hospitals with idiots so we can watch the sick die.
As for the bus drivers, liquor sore employees, and all the other government employees, we don't need them either, **** we could just call for marshall law and everyman for himself.

Jailing strikers was taken at arms length by the unions who support them. ALL the other government employees from all the other unions also went on protests and walkouts due to the governments (provincial governments) stand. They told workers not to worry and just stay on the picket lines, it was a hasty and vey wrong comment for the government to make and one they would probably like to forget saying.

Well as I said, we don't all stand behind the governments decisions here, even the government employees walked out in support of PEOPLE over the government. Governments are sicj institutions run by the worst people, at least I can see it and don't feel obligated to support idiocy. ILke I said about the Iraq war, out government didn't jump in line because they knew we'd all laugh and go to the beach as opposed to supporting such a scare tactic to fight in defense of our families. What a crock, nobody in their right mind would buy such tripe, well perhaps not NOBODY.

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Jail or work

by road-dog In reply to And in case you overlooke ...

Once again, the issue isn't really labor or fair market prices for services. It goes much deeper than that.

The "work or jail" scenario is an assault on personal freedoms and a usurpment of each and every affected worker's self determination.

The government is ordering these workers under threat of force to perform services and denying them the ability to opt out of their career field if it does not provide what they feel is fair compensation for their efforts.

It is a typical socialist solution to a free market problem. If the workers will not work for what's offered, then let them choose other employment. The patients will demand services and pay the increased cost or go without. Prices will find their new level as demand for services and the worker's marketability find a balance.

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Not so simple, and they don't HAVE to work.

by Oz_Media In reply to Jail or work

NOBODY has to work if they don't want to. Yes, they can elect to just find a new career but some of these people have been at it for mny years and a career change would rattle their cage too much. Some people find it quite hadr to make a life change like that, others welcome it.

The strike was a little more complicated that I had first outlined though.

The Hospital Employees Union (HEU) was told by the government that it was having wages reduced and hours of work increased to equal the annual net salary of it's workers. THis savings in employee wages was to be forwarded to the HEu to provide better facilities and equipment in order to reduce the workload on its workers and increase patient care abilities.

Currently they get 36 Hours per week but it is being increased to 37.5 hours per week.

The HEU has been asked to NEGOTIATE on several occasions over the past year but have firmly refused to meet with the province and support their half of the issues on behalf of the employees (which is EXACTLY what the HEU is for in the first place, negotiating with the provincial government.

They refused to meet on several occasions, last year it was simly an idea of cutting back workers PAID vacation time from 9 WEEKS!!! to 6 weeks.

How many peple here get 9 weeks of paid vacation??

Now you have to understand, these people are BARELY making $30,000 yr to begin with, what the **** are you going to do for 9 weeks? It's not like you have excess money to enjoy it if your pay barely covers expenses.

They refused to meet on the vacation reduction issue and have also refused any negotiations with the government. Now a Employers Union is SUPPOSED to meet with the government for such issues to negotiate the best deal for the staff members, they failed at their job and refused to represent the employees as promised.

Now, after many turned down negotiation offers the government is gettnig pissed off that they can't sit down and iron out an amicable deal with these guys who refuse to do their job ad represent the workers.

The government then asked to negotiate a deal where the vacation time stays the same, 9 paid weeks, and there is a reduction in wages of 17% over the course of two years, not for doctors and surgeons, but interns, nurses, janitorial staff, food and beverage services etc. To this, the HEU simply went on the defense and walked out.

When they were asked to return to work and have a sit down period to shelf things for a few weeks and consider the offer or rebut with another proposal, they simply went on strike. Now the HEU is at fault for not negotiating as they are supposed to by contract with the hospital employees. THe HEU flat out refused to meet with the provincial government, so the provincial government passed Bill 37 and forced them to return to work.

The HEU told its employees not to return to work, so the government reminded employees that failure to comply with a legislated bill could and would be unlawful and they may servce time for staying out of work.

So this is something the PG has been working to resolve for some time now with now resolve and no possibility of negotiating with the unions negotiators.

So as much as the government is wrong for the cut backs (sorta) and legislating them back to work, the HEU is equally at fault for failing to represent the workers as outlined ni the unions contrac. Tese workers pay more than the wage cutback would ever equal in union dues each month, if this union isn't doing its job, why pay dues, the saving would easily outweigh the wage cutbacks.? They are simply taking money from you because they can.

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Just a quick question here OZ

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not so simple, and they d ...

Was the union instructed by its members not to negotiate with the Government on this issue?

If that's the case then they are doing what their members want and representing them the way that they want to be represented.

But the idea of jail time is just Ludicrous as it solves nothing. There is no possibility of replacing the jailed staff unless of course they are going to confine them in the hospitals and force them to work without pay. Even then I think I'd prefer to stay sick and away from the hospitals as they defiantly wouldn't be a healthy place to be in.

But I'm betting that at the same time that the Government what ever it is decided to reduce the conditions for these people as a way of saving a bit of money gave themselves a pay rise as well because that are overworked. Now am I right?


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None of that matters

by maxwell edison In reply to Not so simple, and they d ...

If the government can put a person in jail for refusing to work, the problem is with the heavy-handed government willing to deny a person his or her civil liberties.

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Ans. Colin

by Oz_Media In reply to Not so simple, and they d ...

Well Colin, the workers are represented by the union heads and don't really say anything to them as to what is wanted. THe HEU union reps instruct it's members how to react, not the other way around as it should be. I have a few friends with husbands or wifes in teh HEU and they say they are NEVER asked for an opinion or rarely have a meeting to adderss such issues.

As for people going to jail, if you breach a government legislation in ANY country that I know of, you are breaking a LAW. The intent of the jail warning in this case ws to motivate the union reps to recommend that workers return to work. I think the issue here is the fact that the HEU is to blame. They refused to negotiate for the workers, they refused to negotiate as per the governments request, a couple of scheduled meetings were a no show by the HEU representatives etc.

They then told the workers to ignore the legislation to return to work. Their reasoning was that the GOvernment had not tried to amicably resolve the issue before the legislation was passed, ignoring the fact that they have refused to address the issue themselves for over a year.

I think the only people who would have faced any repercussions for breaching the legislation would be the union representatives themselves, not neccessarily the workers who are obligated to foolow union recommendations. No government, would place it's health care workers in jail.

NOTE: Again, this is NOT the doctors and surgeons but the interns, nurses aids, janitorial staff and food and beverage services (The latter two are both ousted and privatized now).

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