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Monday Letters: Have outsider settle public union negotiations

Teachers and supporters pose for a photograph with their strike signs during a CTU Day of Action protest Friday at Amundsen High School in Chicago. | Tim Boyle/For the Sun-Times

We need to distinguish between private worker unions and public worker unions. Both have a purpose and should be supported but there is one key difference that should be recognized and correctly handled.

When private workers sit down to negotiate with management, both sides have a common interest in keeping the business operating. Any agreement must leave the business in a position to remain solvent and healthy with a solid, committed work force.

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When public workers sit down to negotiate with their management, because they are negotiating over public funds for an established public service, there is no need to protect solvency. Management is often willing to negotiate funding that will not impact during their time in a position of control even if this creates obvious problems in the future. Thus we end up with huge unfunded pension liabilities and guaranteed raises that would create bankruptcy in any private business as well as an inability to hire and fire to create an excellent staff.

A simple solution would be to have all public worker union negotiations be handled be an independent party, a negotiator who seek the best situation for both workers and taxpayers. A negotiation between workers and the people they hired (voted for) is irrational and detrimental. A commitment from both parties to accept the arbitration results with no strikes or retribution would greatly stabilize society without either side ‘losing.

Pamela Ames, Hyde Park

Bunch of hypocrites

What a bunch of hypocrites we have in Illinois government! The mayor put on his puppy dog eyes to suggest the teacher’s day of action is inconveniencing students and parents. Well, I don’t remember him activating alternative activity sites for students during his mandatory teacher furlough days.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the teachers aren’t putting the taxpayers and students first with their walkout to send a message for better schools. This is the same Rauner who is single-handedly trying to destroy the Illinois college system by not funding state schools.

All of Emanuel’s and Rauner’s rhetoric is now falling on deaf ears, so listen to this, Illinois politicians: Pass a balanced budget, no strings attached. Fund the pension systems of the workers/taxpayers of Illinois who have never once missed one of their payments. Eliminate waste, corruption, and loopholes. Focus on efficiency in government, funding necessary programs, and bringing a sense of pride back to Springfield and Chicago government. When you’re all done with that, then you can go back and fight over the small stuff.

Chris Salus, Edison Park

Bad bill

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled in December 2015 that Daily Fantasy Sports is illegal gambling in Illinois. DraftKings quickly filed a lawsuit to keep operating in the state, and their trade association is lobbying legislators to legalize online gambling on sports and contests before the lawsuit is heard.

The Fantasy Contest Act (HB 4323) would legalize betting on sports, video game competitions (eSports), social media games, real-time sports bets, and contests of any kind on the Internet. Anyone 18 years of age and older could bet 24 hours a day, seven days a week from a smart phone, computer or tablet.

Underage gambling is a concern, as sports gambling apps target users as young as 13, reported marketwatch.com. A recent study found nearly 10 percent of teens in Canada had gambled online in the past three months. Research has shown that the earlier people begin to gamble, the more likely they are to become addicted.

HB 4323 is not about consumer protection for those who are currently engaged in Daily Fantasy Sports, it is about protecting companies that are operating illegal gambling. HB 4323 is a massive expansion of gambling into every home, dorm room, and office.

Call your state legislators (217-782-2000 Capitol switchboard) to tell them to oppose the Fantasy Contest bill.

Anita Bedell, executive director,
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

Simple answer

One hundred and fifty killed. Eight hundred and seventeen shot in ninety days. This describes Chicago as a battle zone. The underlying question is, why aren’t the police doing more? The answer is simple. The Chicago politicians, as well as the political bosses in the Police Department, would rather have these shootings than have any allegation against a police officer. The police are ordered to refrain from any reaction, ignore any perceived violence directed toward them, avoid any contact with people, all at the threat of disciplinary action against them and their families.

Chicago has sold out to the socialists at the ACLU by allowing them to dictate what the street cop will and won’t do, under the threat of civil rights violations, dismissal and civil law suits against them. Police are told to stand down and not cause problems.

The police were made the scapegoats in the world of politics. Politicians will gain the vote at any means, using any false narratives, including lies like, “Hands up, Don’t shoot.” One police officer was charged with murder and the entire Chicago Police Department is indicted. No politician or police leader will step forward and challenge these derogatory lies directed at the thousands of honest and ethical working cops.

The ACLU and police leaders continually say that the rise in shootings has nothing to do with the street officer’s hesitation to make street stops. Bunk! Street stops ARE the backbone of good police work. The more stops an officer makes, the more guns and criminals will be taken off the streets. That’s an indisputable fact. But, the officers are not going to jeopardize their livelihoods by being the next scapegoat sacrificed to the media for political gain.

Police work is like no other job. Police are held to an unrealistic standard. Media continually fabricate and misinterpret facts and evidence. Politicians continually attack police for political gain, and police leaders are reduced to political soldiers.

There never was trust between the police and certain neighborhoods. There never will be, and to say this is a priority is a fallacy. Certain subcultures in Chicago hate the police and always will. Many Chicagoans love and admire the police and always will.
Here are a few simple steps to reduce crime in Chicago, particularly shootings and murders:

1. Eliminate the ACLU’s influence in directing police actions.

2. Eliminate meritorious promotions, and take politics out of the promotional process.

3. Refuse to settle any lawsuits against any police officer without a court fight.

4. Aggressively charge individuals when they attack police officers and follow through in court to obtain convictions and demand harsh punishments.

5. Flood crime ridden areas with aggressive officers and allow them to be aggressive, make street stops, stop and frisk, and use zero tolerance in arrests.

6. Ignore the paid activists, the self-appointed grandiose reverends, the camera-happy thugs, and the local politicians out to make a name for themselves.

7. No disciplinary action toward police should be taken unless a nonpolitical investigation uncovers malicious or deliberate intent to violate the rules of the Chicago Police Department, or laws of the state of Illinois.

If these few directives are followed, violent crime will decrease, police activity will increase, and some level of respect will be regained from the right people.

Larry Casey, Forest Glen

Not laughing

I remember watching “All In The Family” back in the 1970s, and in one particular episode Archie was asked by a “Man on the Street” reporter how he would stop airline hijacking. Archie’s response was that they should arm all the passengers as they boarded. He also said a hijacker would think twice about pulling a pistol if he knew everyone else was armed!

Donald Trump recently said his answer to stop the threat of nuclear weapons was to have every country develop their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves. In the ’70s we laughed at Archie Bunker. … I am not laughing at Donald Trump.

Ken Karlson Wheaton