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Make public jobs more like private

Published: Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Make public jobs more like private

These thoughts are present- ed by a Canfield resident and school taxpayer since 1976 and into the future.

I am aware that the board is stuck with very bad and costly contracts. In that the taxpayers are hurting, there is no reason why all public employees, including teachers (some of questionable performance), should be special and go unscathed.

Some of the gold plated and secret bonuses needs to go. All new hires should go into Social Security or into a mandatory 401k with contributions no greater than I and my employer make into Social Security. Current employees should gradually be rolled into the same. Sick and personal days should be as with the private sector, “use them or lose them,” not a bonus at retirement. These days were intended to protect against loss of income when needed, not a golden parachute.

Performance, not longevity (since it is virtually impossible to fire a bad teacher or other public employee), should be the basis of layoff and/or termination. I succeeded in the private sector because I preformed, not just because I showed up.

Mandatory retirement should happen to allow for new blood into the system, and collection should be at age equal to that of Social Security If you are that talented, then you should be a shoe in for a second career.

Daniel Victor Bienko, Canfield

We’re going to create jobs where?

The latest talk coming out of the Obama administration is of the U.S. spending billions of borrowed dollars to create jobs in the Middle East so as to keep the move toward democracy alive and well. After two years of this administration’s socialist policies killing millions of jobs here, if I were an unemployed Egyptian, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

Frank Santolla, North Lima


1nancywoods(3 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Unemployment numbers are comprised of those that are in the job market for the past 30 days. It does not include those that have not been in the job market in the last 30 days: people who have given up looking; those that have gone off unemployment because it has run out. One solution to unemployment is "High Speed University" check it out

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2charms(228 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow, Daniel, great letter! End our two-tier society of public employees (haves) & private sector employees (have-nots). Support SB5!

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3howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

@ charms "two-tier society"??? You seem to have forgotten the CEO's and Wall Street executives, the Defense industry, the Natural Resource industries, the Washington Lobbyists, and the career politicians who are bought and paid for by those lobbyists. Don't all of those people have a responsibility to our society and shouldn't they have to make sacrifices for the good of the nations economy? Or is it that you left them out intentionally because you are in one of those groups that feel that private sector employees are nothing more than your wage slaves, and seeing the handwriting on the wall you think that public sector employees would make a better target for the frustration and angst of your disgruntled employees and former employees than yourself and the Corporatocracy.

From a small business owner who has never worked in the public sector.

As for the original letter, there are certainly aspects of the public sector employees pay & benefit packages that need review and changes, However you don't mention at all the problem of the elected politicians and their multiple pension and health care for life programs that are a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. As it stands now, if a City Councilperson (part -time job with health benefits and a pensions for life) gets elected to another city government position lets just say Mayor, they would continues to get the perks of the Council position and would get the full perks of the Mayor position in addition. I think that elected officials should be adequately compensated for their service, but I don't think a career politician who has held multiple elected offices and public sector jobs needs to be rewarded with multiple pensions for life! A more appropriate solution would be for them to have to choose which one of those pensions they wish to collect from the city.

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4charms(228 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago


I never said greed was confined to the public sector. Although you could make a case that "private sector employees are nothing more than [the public sector's] wage slaves." Thanks for the term.

Unions have all but ruined the Mahoning Valley and public sector unions are the last vestige of this out-lived system. "Greed,corruption, mediocrity" are the 3 "mantras" of the public sector unions. If we don't turn back the tide now with SB5, we never will!

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5grand4dad(208 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

howardinyoungstown you make a lot of sense. Agree with you there are reforms that need to be made in public sector. But I'm sick and tired of comments like from charms and the original letter writer that want to paint all public employees as lazy, greedy, feeding off the public trough, etc., etc. Public and private sector are not the same, there are always going to be differences. I believe public sector needs to be well compensated for the necessary services they provide for the betterment of all of us but there are some things there that need fixing. However, I am opposed to SB5 because it seems to me to be all about power and just crushing the unions rather than just fixing specific problems.

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6paulparks(235 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago


You bet private and public sectors are not the same! Gym teachers making 70K, middle school principals making over 82K. 10% in raises (and step raises) the last 3 years in Poland and Canfield. Bonuses to Mr. Zambrini plus raises! It's out of sight! The public sector has become a monster, leaching off the recession hit private sector. Golden health and retirement plans! It's disgusting. Even SB5 isn't enough. It's just a start to "taming the monster."

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7AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I would guess most most public employees in OHIO did not get 10% raises plus step increases over the last 3 years. Poland and Canfield teachers may make more money the other districts, so lets not only use them for reference. Struthers custodians make less the $20,000 so why do you consider the so greedy and needy?
Most public workers make a living wage but are certainly not getting rich off the system.

What I believe needs overhauled, is the Social Security system. If you took 10% of most peoples pay and employer put in 4 or 5% into a private fund for each person automaticly and mandatory, each person would have a good retirement nestegg at 60-65 years old.

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8grand4dad(208 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Agree wth you, AnotherAverageCitizen. Social Security definitely needs overhauled. Most in the public sector contribute 10% of their salary towards their retirement. I do NOT agree with workers in some county agencies in Mahoning County or some superintendents and other administrative staff (NOT the teachers or other union workers) in school districts getting their 10% "picked up" by the employer. This is WRONG and shoud stop. But paulparks, if you want public sector and private sector to be the same, why not have all in the private sector start contributing 10% of their salaries towards their retirement instead of the 6.2% they contribute to social security? As AnotherAverageCitizen says, most teachers and other public workers are making a living wage. They are not getting rich off the system. Who is living in some of these big mansions in Poland, Canfield, Boardman? Not many teachers I know. Mostly folks who work in the private sector. It maks me sick how people are trying to lay all the blame for our economic woes on teachers.;

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9charms(228 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

"They are not getting rich off the system."

Yes, teachers are getting rich off the system. It's all the "hidden things" that make them rich.
Eg., work 10 years less to retire... say you are making 70K. You can retire at 52 and get another job for the next 10 or 15 years making 70K. That's $700,000 - $1,050,000 extra you can earn after you retire & do the "double dip." A million dollars is a lot of money! Then, teachers only work 9 months a year. That boils down to full-time work of only 22.5 years to retire! Wow! Then, the outrageous taxpayer contributions to their Cadillac health plans (an untaxed benefit!) Then the job security, high job satisfaction and high esteem of society (all things that are worth a lot that you can't put a $ value on)... Oh yes, the teaching profession is a VERY RICH ONE INDEED!

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10grand4dad(208 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

No, charms, they are not getting rich off the system. You are believing all the propoganda out there against teachers. "You can retire at 52 and get another job for the next 10 or 15 years making 70K." First of all, most teachers are not able to retire at 52 because they couldn't still support their families on the pension they would get. But you're right, some are able to retire early. But you make it sound as if it so easy to get another job making 70K. If that were the case, we'd all be in jobs making 70K. The retired teachers I know who have to work another job are working in minimum wage jobs in retail, food service, telemarketing, etc. Most teachers are not able to "double dip". It is the superintendents and other managers that do this and you're right to be outraged by it. I am too. Also, retired teachers don't have "cadillac" health plans. They have a good plan that they pay for out of their pension check each month. Job security is not what you think it is. I know many teachers who have been "riffed" even with many years of seniority. Any many young teachers who have been laid off and are having a touch time finding another teaching position. And "high esteem of society"????? Give me a break! According to many people posting here, they view teachers as lazy, greedy, incompetent, not deserving of their pay and benefits, and as you say "only working 9 months a year". Gov Kasich and supports should start going after all the big corporations and other businesses not paying their fair share of taxes instead of trying to blame everything on teachers.

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11peacelover(805 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

grand4dad, I couldn't have said it any better. I am married to a retired teacher. I agree with every word of your letter. Well said.

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12RealityBetraysus(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

In response to the title of this blog; "Make public jobs more like private" I do not think you want to go there. WHY? Private jobs are going to the lowest bidder in countries like China, India and Mexico. Workers in high tech have no leverage to fight and stop suicidal trade policies like Nafta from rapping our economy of all middle-class manufacturing and high tech jobs. Workers in government city,state, or federal do not realize how lucky they are since these jobs can not be easily exported. BELIEVE ME YOU DO NOT WANT TO FOLLOW THE PRIVATE JOB MARKET AND END UP HOMELESS UNEMPLOYED WITH NO HOPE OF YOUR JOBS COMING BACK TO THE USA!!! Unless corporate America begins to realize it will cost them more in the long run, but you may be dead by the time they wake up and get some common sense. Example: Boeing outsourced work to foreign countries to save cost but they could not deliver on time and now company loses billions in back logged production because they chose to be penny wise and pound foolish. How long will it take for America to wake up?

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13penguin86(11 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

What Daniel fails to mention is that his daughter is a local judge(aka, a public employee!).

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