Once State Employees Sacrifice, Will They Still Get Blame?

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The largest union of state workers, the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, struck a deal in the middle of the night that has significant concessions on pensions: Current employees will contribute 3 percent more to their pensions and take a 5 percent pay cut, according to news reports. And pensions will be lower for future employees.

Setting aside the instability of such two-tier pension systems (they tend not to last, because of political pressure to treat everyone the same), this seems at first blush like a deal that will produce savings for the state.

The question becomes: will this stop the bashing/criticism of state employees' unions on the right (and by centrists like, ahem, yours truly)? It should. Or at least Meg Whitman's next comment about the unions should come with a strong caveat that some unions have been willing to make sacrifices.

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