The House Gives Cities a Big Win

The Massachusetts House of Representatives last night voted to pass municipal health care reform that actually saves municipalities money, incurring the ire of organized labor and setting the stage for the final showdown in the Senate. Organized labor continued their myopia on this issue, attacking the Speaker and the House for this vote: From State House News.

“It’s clearly union busting. It looks just like Wisconsin to me. It looks just like Ohio to me. It looks just like Indiana to me. I am profoundly disappointed in every Democrat who voted to do away with collective bargaining here in Massachusetts,” said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

Haynes was not done, blasting the Speaker and what he called the “concentration of power” in the Speakers office:

“The Speaker told us good luck when we left his office, and I told him good luck and good luck to his Democratic members,” Haynes told the News Service. “Can you imagine what teachers and firefighter and police officers and public sector works and nurses and librarians are going to think when they wake up tomorrow morning to find out the Democrats that we elected, that we worked for, that we contributed to their campaigns just snatched collective bargaining away from them, just took the voice, the Democratic voice, away from working people. I say good luck to him. And good luck to the future of this House.”

Haynes failed to address the massive job losses that have occurred within organized labor due to the rapid escalation of health care costs and labors refusal, in so many instances, to negotiate equitable cost sharing. The Speaker is intractable???? How about the intractability of labor on the issue of local entry into the GIC? After passage of a bill allowing municipalities to enter the GIC with the assent of labor only a handful of localities have been able to do so, due to the intractability of labor. Assume a more realistic outlook on cost sharing in order to save UNION jobs? How many instances statewide have we seen where labor intractability has meant more job losses for their own members? Intractability? Maybe a mirror was in order.

The House, Chairman Dempsey, and Speaker Deleo, have shown great courage in passing this reform. The Speaker and Chairman Dempsey know what we know at the local level. The system is not sustainable as it stands today. Methuen Rep. Linda Dean Campbell voted to support the Speaker and Chairman Dempsey, and deserves credit for her courage as well.

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4 Responses to The House Gives Cities a Big Win

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    See my comments under entry titled “House Steps Towards Real Muni Health Reform”.



  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    I moved the post mentioned above to here

    House Passes the Bill. I’m shocked. Can you imagine how bad things are when the Democrats and Unions have a pending divorce?

    Now the senate must cast their ballots. One wonders what is afoot here. The federal office holders must be livid. Was it Capuano who even thought it might be justified to draw blood at times. Union busting is a good time.

    What surprises me most is the lack of union thuggery ala Wisconsin.

    I smell a back-room deal.

    House passes ‘reform’.
    Senate votes it down.
    Dems get bragging rights
    Our Governor stays out of it.
    Union keep their corrupt insurance and retirement deals.

    Let’s see what happens.



  3. Bill Manzi says:


    As you know I am strongly in favor of the House version, but I do not say that municipal health care is “corrupt”. It is simply a matter of unions doing the best they can. No question that this is a bump in the road in the relationship between unions and Democrats, but this bill is in no way,shape or form equal to Wisconsin. Attempts to make the comparison are way off the mark.



  4. jules gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    let’s take it by the numbers

    1. The process that gave birth to special privileges for the unions is born out of the definition of “corruption”. Union shows up looking for more special privileges. They have, in their pockets millions of dollars of campaign money and lots of votes (Government unions).

    Representing us are our elected representatives who are looking for, guess what, money and votes.

    Reps cave (too much money, not enough honesty)
    in order to keep their jobs for which they themselves voted the special privileges.

    The voters are screwed and your hands are tied trying to balance you budgets.

    I did not compare our bill to Wisconsin’s bill, I compared the reaction of the union to the process. That is why I smell a rat here.

    Let’s keep tuned.



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