Council callously ignores city workers' concerns
Four years ago, City Council repealed an ordinance giving city workers the right to bargain collectively for working conditions and wages. It did so on the basis of John Crawford's misleading statistics comparing the cost of union and non-union wages and his equally phony promise of taxpayer savings.
Crawford's comparison was apples to oranges. While he showed that wages subject to collective bargaining were significantly higher, there was a catch. His wage data included teachers and others with advanced degrees. When the comparison is limited to those with jobs similar to those of city laborers, collective bargaining made little if any difference in overall costs to taxpayers.
The City Council recently denied its workers the right to a hearing to demonstrate that Crawford's ordinance taking away their right to negotiate saved the city nothing over the past four years. I suspect the council majority wanted to avoid having to face the real reason it voted away collective bargaining – a political slapdown of the city unions.
The refusal to negotiate wages and working conditions with city workers opens the door to their arbitrary treatment. Even worse, it sends a message that they are undeserving of a seat at the table to address the conditions of their employment. They deserved an hour or two of City Council's time to make their case.
Former member, Fort Wayne City Council
A birthday surprise
I want to thank the woman and her parents at Ruby Tuesday's in Angola.
My husband and I were celebrating my 81st birthday. Our bill had been paid. What a wonderful shock!
We will pay it forward.
Insurance move renders Parkview mission ironic
The May 9, 2019, New York Times included an article headlined “Many hospitals charge double or even triple what Medicare would pay.” The opening sentence singles out Parkview Health of Indiana as a hospital system that charges private insurance companies about four times what the federal Medicare program paid for the same care, according to a study released by the nonprofit RAND Corp.
Fast forward to November 2020. The 13,000+ employees of Parkview Health System are notified that, as a result of the “rising cost of coverage,” Parkview Health is adopting a working spouse rule. This dictates that spouses of Parkview employees who are eligible for their own employers' health plan are excluded from coverage under Parkview's plan.
The hypocrisy of this scenario is indefensible. For Parkview to cut eligibility for its group health plan, citing the rising health costs to which they disproportionately contribute, is ludicrous. To do so during an unprecedented global pandemic is immoral at best.
Time for Parkview to reevaluate itscommitment to its mission of “Not for profit, all for you.”
Share your blessings
Challenging times sometimes yield unexpected rewards. What are you thankful for this year? As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to know your thoughts on what Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana can count as blessings. Share your ideas for possible inclusion in our Nov. 26 editorial, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN, 46802.