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Monday, March 2, 2009 | Many city employees will appreciate the tone of Scott Lewis‘ can’t-we-all-just-get-along editorial. He suggests mutual compromise rather than the shoot-all-prisoners approach championed by some in our community.

Thank you; we needed that.

Where this runs astray is in the details and realities.

This proposes that all city employees unilaterally concede to demands without receiving anything in return except the promise that someday the mayor or City Council may consider some tax or fee, and maybe the voters will approve it. Or not. That is not a concession; it is capitulation. “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” just won’t cut it.

We might as well tear up the Myers Milias Brown Act (MMBA) and let management do anything they want to us. That won’t happen.

Scott’s editorial also calls for all labor unions to agree to uniformly reduced compensation and benefits. If this means we merge the packages offered to blue collar and white collar city workers with those offered to firefighters and police officers we could probably agree to it with little discussion. Lewis might ask our colleagues in the fire and police unions how they feel about this.

Judie Italiano is the general manager for San Diego Municipal Employees Association

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