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If Politicians give Unions a raise of less than 6.5%; it’s a Pay Cut!

Hardworking people around the country have one eye on inflation the other eye on their paychecks. No one knows how it will turn out in the end, but one thing is sure the rising inflation will impact workers’ take-home pay.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices increased 0.9% and pushed the year-over-year gain to 6.2%, hitting a 30-year high last October.

Last September, the consumer price index jumped 0.4% on the month and 5.4% on the year. The jump resulted in a 5.9 cost of living increase in Social Security and is reported the most significant leap in 40 years.

In 2021, food-at-home prices increased 3.5 %, and food-away-from-home prices rose 4.5 %. The CPI for all food increased an average of 3.9 % in 2021.

Energy prices are up 30% over the last 12 months, and gasoline is up nearly 50% in the same period. Prices of used cars were up 2.5% in October, more than 26% from a year ago.

It’s incumbent on labor leaders to hold elected officials accountable. It is essential to negotiate raises according to inflation and national financial trends that affect the cost of living of its members.

There is a hypocritical trend amongst many politicians to give themselves double-digit raises. Still, when it comes to the workers who do the work of keeping their municipalities clean and safe, they never find the money to give the hardworking city, county, or state workers raises that keep them above inflation.

For example, Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s 14% raise vaulted him to the top county executives in the Hudson Valley.

Rockland County Ed Day gives himself a 14.5% raise within one year, while the Correction Officers get 2.5-3 % a year over FIVE YEARS. But the inflation rate is 5.4% a year. A 3% yearly raise doesn’t even break even with the rising cost of food for your family.

So if you are a union President and you don’t bring back to your membership anything above a 6.2% raise this year, is that technically a pay cut. You are taking money away from your member’s families. Demanding proper raises that match the rising cost of inflation and home prices is not begging; you are demanding a right for your members to live the American dream without the necessity to have to work overtime.

The usual political scapegoating is when politicians point to how much over time a few employees might make to cover up for the failed understanding that raises less than the inflation rate should not be the accepted answer from politicians and some labor leaders. Long working hours increase deaths from heart disease and stroke: The World Health Organization’s study says that; working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.

The fact of the matter is, American Researchers have found that Law Enforcement Professionals are among the high-risk occupations for coming into contact with infectious diseases. Law Enforcement Professionals with 4-10 years on the job have the highest rate of being exposed to contagious diseases, with an exposure rate of 59.3 per 10,000. The life expectancy for law enforcement professionals is 15 years less than the average American, and nationally, 50%of all law enforcement officers will die from heart disease within five years of retirement! Heart disease attacks our men and women in blue at significantly higher rates than the general public.

According to prisonofficer.org, the average life span of a Corrections Officer after retirement is only 18 months. On average, a correction officer’s 58th birthday is their last. Correction officers also have the highest suicide rate of all other occupations.

In 2011, Caterina Spinaris, an expert in clinical research on correctional policy issues, conducted an anonymous survey of Correction Officers. The study found that Correction Officers have rates of post-traumatic stress disorder that are more than double the rate that military veterans experience. … Spinaris found that 34 percent of corrections officers met the criteria for PTSD; by comparison, 14 percent of military veterans experience those symptoms.

So basically, they rather us make up the difference in inflation and rising costs working overtime while killing ourselves slowly. I don’t know; maybe I’m by myself. Does anyone see a problem with this?

How can any politician have the unmitigated gall to give themselves a 14% raise? Politicians like Ed Day stayed home and worked for zoom during the pandemic but couldn’t find money in their budget for Officers, firefighters, and other front line workers who had to come to work each day through a pandemic, put themselves and their families in danger of catching Covid and dying; having to accept single percentages that don’t even bring them even with the cost of living.

These political tales of two worlds have to stop. Public Safety officers should not take less than what the politicians give themselves or less than the inflation rate. Anything less is hypocritical, and you are taking money from our families.

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About Damon K. Jones (218 Articles)
Damon K. Jones is an Activist, Author, and Publisher of Black Westchester Magazine, a Black-owned and operated newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Jones is a Holistic Health Practitioner, First Aid in Mental Health Practioner, Diet, and Nutrition Advisor, and Vegan, Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Mr. Jones is a 31 year Law Enforcement Practioner, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. Mr. Jones has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am), WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM), and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts, including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show.
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