Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Run Up to MAST Takeover City Hall Vote: Part 1

First, before we tackle the blog news of the day, this is some of the interesting stuff I found in the comment section of TKC's link to the Louie Wright vid.
Anonymous said...
That video is confusing, as is the entire question of the MAST merger. The only good piece of information I walked away with after watching the video is the fact that firefighters make $600 a day--I wish it could be at least twice that amount-the same goes for police, and MAST workers. These people put their lives at risk every single day for nothing more than an average paying job. People insisting Louie Wright is freely elected are absurd in their assumptions. When elections are held in union halls, with open, not locked, ballot boxes, you may as well have Louie himself counting the votes. The sad fact is that unions are a dying breed of dedicated workers led by corrupt individuals with thuggish mentalities aimed at forcing union brothers & sisters to support the corruption. The current MAST debacle is a sad example of the declining state of our City, and the loss of trust in the leaders of our City, and those responsible for collective bargaining. We should be fighting for better working conditions all around for our MAST, Fire, and Police employees. Fighting for the security of their pension funds. Instead, we're fighting amongst ourselves over folding MAST into the City, a City which cannot even pay for its own citizens basic services. And Louie Wright would support this merger? Amazing! At least that's what I've seen from this whole MAST idea. I wish someone would please come up with a comprehensive layout of the pros & cons so we may all decide which choice is in the best interests of the workers, and the citizens they serve. As it is now, all we have is City, Union, and a few concerned citizens telling us whats in our best interests-that's not good enough. This is one of the most important issues facing us right now and we need a clear understanding of whats at stake here.
9/08/2009 04:20:00 PM
Anonymous said...
Well here's a pro..... They think it will save the city $1.5 million, but if they piss off citizens too much, they will not vote for the health sales tax levy next year! The tax supports Truman medical and mast, without that money the city would have to come up with an additional 11.5 million. That's just one negative! There are many more!
9/08/2009 08:11:00 PM
the observer said...
Anon 4:20 pm, excellent comments and insight into the situation. There has been no info on the pros of the change in MAST management, and really, not that much info on the cons. Much of the reason for my anti-merger stance has come from the fact that there has not been good solid info on what this change would do for the city and its citizens. MAST works right now. Show me a couple good reasons it should be changed. Show me a command structure. Show me that Emergency Medical Services will not be forced into the fire department for political reasons and expediency. Show me solid numbers for cost savings. Let me balance those things against putting such a vital service in a place where politics can be such a heavy influence. All of that has been lacking in the dialogue thus far. When solid info is lacking, emotions and rumors rush in to fill the void.
9/08/2009 08:55:00 PM

Anonymous said...
To Observer and others wanting facts...
1. No plan from the city on how to operate it.
2.Chief has stated they do not know how to operate it and do not know where it will be in 1 or 5 years.
3. NO proof of cost savings to the city.
4. Mast has returned 1.8 million dollars to the city over the last 3 years from the subsidy.
5. Mast had plans on reducing the subsidy through offering service to other areas such as Independence. Independence Mayor received letter from Louie Wright threatening job action with their firefighters if the Mayor negotiated with MAST. Also had plan for a transfer service that did not use 225,000 dollar ambulances.
6.Mast gave facts and figures on how they were going to make money.
7. City has 85 million dollar shortfall.
8 City has laid off over 145 people and not filled positions for a total of 400 jobs. MAST has never had a layoff in 30 years.
9. No answers on seniority. Everyone will start as day one employees city employees. No one knows what will happen to pay or benefits.
10. Has potential to cost taxpayers millions more as proven by Kansas City Kansas.
11.MAST paramedics and EMTs has much better education and licenses to operate the ambulance with stringent protocols to follow.
12. 60% of MAST employees live outside of the city. They have contributed nothing to the Kansas City, MO Pension and yet can buy in at reduced years of service. What is that going to do to the pension system in KC? MAST currently contributes 9% to a 401k for ALL bargaining unit employees with no requirement for employee contribution.
13.Louie Wright pulled MAST employees IAFF charter when he was the second district vice president and the people of MAST, once again, had no voice in this matter. It was not until much later when a group of MAST employees went through the proper channels to have another union for representation that Louie Wright's Local 42 won a state run vote. He is currently suing 3 of those people who tried to have a voice after they refused to pay his fine a kangaroo court imposed on them. Louie Wright wants MAST employees in their union but will not allow them in their pension. They will not get their full years of service for what they have worked. Want more?

Discussion followed on firefighter and MAST pay--needless to say this exposes an endless assortment of loose ends. This last anonymous commenter sounds very knowledgeable, as well as the people commenting about firefighter and MAST pay. Where was all this info 20 days ago? And why I am only finding it in the anonymous comments of a blog post? This stuff should all be public!

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