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Friday, October 4, 2013

Yvonne Abraham (Laboring over a position, Boston Globe, October 3rd., 2013:B1) finds the arbitration award to police officers excessive. She derides arbitrators as being split the difference automatons. There is a better way: final offer arbitration.

This is the best procedure to use in public sector bargaining if the parties cannot come to agreement themselves.. In final offer arbitration, the city and the union would put forward heir best and final offers. The arbitrator would hen select from the two positions. This process forces both parties to come up with “reasonable offers.”

I would take strong exception to her acceptance of the norm that “workers all over the city are taking no pay increases, or worse.” This is not what we should expect; we should expect that workers share in the productivity increases that the county has enjoyed. This has not happened since the 1970's. Prior to 1970, employees shared the wealth. Pay increases averaged 4.2% per year. between 1948 and 1970. Since 1975, pay increase have averaged 0.3% per year in constant dollars..

We need to return to a society that values the contribution of all its members.

Sent to Boston Globe

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