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Huckleberries Online

Mon., July 29, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

Press: Confront City Union Issue

Kootenai County doesn't have one. Neither does Post Falls. Or Hayden. Or Rathdrum, Spirit Lake and Athol. But the city of Coeur d'Alene does, in triplicate. Coeur d'Alene is the only municipal entity in Kootenai County that allows its employees union membership. In fact, the city negotiates with three unions: One for members of the police department, one for firefighters and one for the remaining personnel. As has been documented on the pages of this newspaper over the years, the city of Coeur d'Alene pays its employees very well. Recent stories have noted that a salary survey showed Coeur d'Alene employees, on average, are paid 11.5 percent more than their counterparts working for other governmental entities, including the state of Idaho. Is there a relationship between that higher pay and union membership, leading, of course, to higher taxes? Absolutely. But hold on just a moment before you pick up the phone and bark at your city councilman or woman/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you support the city's three employee unions?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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