Spokane County commissioners seem to have the upper hand in their battle with county unions in the public relations war over next year’s budget.
In adopting a budget last week that cuts positions or hours for almost every agency and department, the commissioners fired a broadside at their union workers for refusing to forego raises in the face of a bad economy. Judging from letters, phone calls and comments on this newspaper’s Web site, the public is more likely to agree with the commish, that in the midst of a recession, the unions should not be receiving cost-of-living adjustments.
“Give up a small percentage of your salary if you want to save positions,” Commissioner Mark Richard told the county prosecutor’s union who asked if there was any way to avoid cutting eight deputy prosecutors. “It requires people to give things up.”
Non-union folks already gave up raises, county officials said.
True enough. But before one applauds the board for a brave stand against big, bad unions, it might be important to remember one of the basic, four-word tenets of American business: A deal’s a deal.