Taxpayers vs Fire Fighters Local in Rapid City

This recent story from the Rapid City Journal addresses the core issue of the conflict which arises from unionizing those who are providing taxpayer-funded services:

The Rapid City Council has imposed a contract on the union representing the city’s firefighters.

In late action after executive session Monday, aldermen voted 8-1 to end negotiations with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1040 and impose the city’s last best offer.

The new contract also imposes “at will” employment status, eliminating the previous requirement that the city show just cause for terminations, a last-minute change made because of the breakdown in negotiations.

“At the end of the day, the unions that have negotiated with the city and have come to an agreement deserve the full benefit of that,” City Attorney Jason Green said Monday. “Frankly, we haven’t been able to reach agreement in this instance with the firefighters. The city taxpayers’ interest needs to come first.”

Attorney Green is absolutely correct.

By definition, the union is concerned with the interests of the unionized–not the employer or the employer’s investors or the employer’s customers. When the employer is a city or state or federal government entity, the employer’s investors and customers are the taxpayers.

If they do not come first, then government is longer by, for and of the people.


Looks as thought Rapid is not the first city which has dealt/is dealing with this:

But what is shocking is that as a senator, Manchin says he will vote for a bill that would force state and local government agencies to bargain with police, firefighter and EMT unions.

West Virginia is one of 20 states that do not require municipalities to bargain with unions. It permits them to do so, and a few cities have tried it with costly results. The nearly bankrupt Huntington comes to mind.

When will we ever learn?