Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rendell agenda comes undone

First the wheels come off Gov. Rendell's mass transit subsidy plan when two Pennsylvania Congressmen vowed to block the governor's efforts to make Interstate 80 a toll road.

Now, the union representing 5,500 faculty at Pennsylvania's state-owned universities changed its mind on a tentative contract agreement.

What's going on here?

Rendell’s "done deal" on mass transit funding turned out to be a dead end, forcing the governor to revisit his plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Now the faculty at 14 state-owned universities doesn't like the deal the Rendell administration negotiated with its union last month.

The seven-member executive council of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties is telling its membership to reject the four-year pact, which included a $1,750 cash bonus, followed by raises of 3 percent in the second and third years and 4 percent in the fourth year.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me, but we're talking about college professors here. Most of them live in a fantasy land with ivory towers. The average Pennsylvania worker, who will end up paying for the sweetheart deal, would give anything for this kind of pay increase and job security.

The union says Rendell reneged on promises made to its negotiators. Rendell lie? You're kidding.

A Rendell spokesman said the governor's office was not aware of the situation, according to The Associated Press.

Somebody better find the governor at his summer home and "make him aware." This sounds a lot like the Valentine's Day storm that stranded thousands of motorists, but somebody forgot to mention it to the governor until the next day.

Time is a factor. Classes at the 14 universities begin in a couple of weeks.

And as long as we're talking about do-overs, can we negotiate a new state budget?

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