June 27, 2008

Betts: Let voters decide on union contracts

Letter from former city Councilor and Republican mayoral candidate Whit Betts:

How can I hire the union to represent me in keeping my premium to under
$100 a month for a family medical plan? The remaining expense for the health care premium - $1,523 – is paid for by Bristol’s taxpayers. My question to your readers is –
do you work for any employer that pays 95% of your health care premium for a family medical plan ? If you do please let the Press readers know so we can apply for a job.

This contract is a clear example of how huge and unfair the disparity in health care benefits are between public employees and employees in the private sector. What can “we” the taxpayers do to get stronger and better representation in contract negotiations with public employees?

Here’s one idea. How about the city submit the health care terms of negotiated contracts to a referendum vote by taxpayers? Under the current system it is clear that our elected officials are unable to help taxpayers get a fair deal so why not let the people who foot 95% of the health care bill have a chance to approve or reject the contract ? If taxpayers agree with the terms then it will approve the contracts for which we are being asked to pay. If we reject the proposed contract then representatives go back to the bargaining table and come back to the taxpayers with a different proposal.

Anyone else have a better idea on how to help taxpayers ? Or am I the only person who feels that taxpayers are overtaxed during these tough economic times?

Sincerely – Whit Betts

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

You go Mr. Betts. We are already fed up with this administration.

Anonymous said...


Under this administration, things have stopped, and not just because of the economy.

Putting things to referendum will just slow progress even more.

If you are so concerned, why did you get out?

Why don't you run again so you can protect the taxpayers? You have the time do you have the committment?

Tom B. said...

Mr. Betts, If you think there's a disparity in the health care benefits for city employees, there are a couple of things you can do about it.

1: Try organizing a union at your place of employment so you can negotiate better coverage.

2: Push for changes in health care delivery so that everyone can get quality coverage that's affordable.

Or the option you chose:
3: Complain that someone else got a better deal than you and try to take it away from them.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks this contract is a bad deal for the city should sign the COO petition. Mayor Ward was the lead negotiator for the City, and while I'm sure he struck the best deal he could for the City, a professional city manager would have done better.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Betts,

Your 100% right! I'm sure you have the union leadership not liking this. It's time this is all brought out for ALL the people to see. Bristol is being brought down by the Union leadership and those beholden to them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tom (posted 12:06) 113% !

Being a member of a union is not the problem. Union members need not defend themselves. Better benefits, higher pay rates, and a safe/secure work environment is what every working person in America deserves! We need more unions that collectively speak out for their members!

The health care system is the problem!
Corporate greed is the problem!
Insurance companies are the problem!

Unfortunately, Mr. Betts chooses to spend his time speaking out against unions rather than actively participating in the political process by writing his representative(s) on the local and national level and encouraging the formation of more unions!

Organize! Organize! Organize!

It's un-American to be anti-union, Mr. Betts! Your jealous attitude only harms this country further by dividing rather than uniting!

Anonymous said...

Does the Barnes Group have plants in China, the Far East?

Anonymous said...

Betts; get your brother-in-law, or nephew to have the RTC start a petition.

Anonymous said...

I just love when these wealthy American capitalists think they have all the answers to change government for the better. If Betts and Yarde have too much time on their hands, find another hobby besides union and government bashing. Take up golf or fishing. Leave us blue collar working people alone. We can handle our own affairs. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Go Whit!! Maybe the Barnes Family and the Yarde Family should just leave as they have no right to care about the place they live. The Unions would love to see those families leave and their businesses move, isn't that why GM left? I bet they would love to Unionize ESPN and drive that company away also.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:00 PM:

You've obviously bought into the B***S*** argument that it's the unions who cause corporations to leave the U.S. You need to be educated.

Corporate greed, not unions, is the underlying reason for businesses leaving. The stuffed suits that get multi-million dollar bonuses continue to have insatiable appetites for more and more money, most of whom are Republicans! Do your research.

The most disturbing part of this fact is, unfortunately, more often than not these same fat faces profess to be following Christian ways or "family values" while all the time making themselves richer on the backs of working families. It's hypocrisy in action! And you've been duped!

China, India, Pakistan, etc. have all become enslaved countries and these corporate big wigs are the masters. Unionization throughout the world is the only hope for their evil plan.

Power to the people!!! Change is coming!!! Thanks be to God!!!

Anonymous said...

now we can see the reason that this betts guy is a "former" city council member and "unsuccessful" candidate for mayor.
Thank God.

Anonymous said...

maybe betts should belly up to cockayne, johnson and minor - that would sure complete a doozy of a foursome.

Anonymous said...

Please don't compare the City Workers union to blue collar people and other unions in the private sector. Nobody's benefits are as generous as the City Worker benefits, and the other unions in the private sector are not getting their benefits paid for by city taxpayers.

If a Corporate Executive negotiated the kind of union contract our Mayor "negotiated" with these City Workers, he would have been fired immediately. But our Mayor makes it sound like he did us taxpayers a favor. It's sickening.

Anonymous said...

Don't buy any more Betts veggy's and see if all his rich friends will buy them. And as far as the Barnes they try to sell all of their plants to Germany. That's who now owns that plant. I don't know why people still think Barnes owns it.

Anonymous said...

4:09 PM

Consumers (private sector) = Taxpayers (public sector). The money is coming from the same place either in the form of rising prices or rising taxes.

The truth is municipal employees are receiving benefits and pay rates ALL employees (private and public) deserve. You wouldn't be complaining if you or your friends, neighbors, relatives ALL received the same treatment. You're missing the point and showing your ignorance. The point is this: too few people enjoy union representation. There is power in numbers, and collectively speaking for or against all the issues that we face in the workplace is much easier if fear of retaliation didn't exist. Unions give people courage and a voice. You're anger toward elected officials and unionized employees is misplaced. The enemies are greed, injustice, exploitation, etc.

Let's be realistic. The allocation of wealth in this world is out of balance. The gap between the have's and the have not's continues to grow. It's only a matter of time before the reversal begins. Our elected officials in Hartford and Washington need to enact a new tax laws that re-distributes the wealth in this state and throughout the country. If not, the people are ready to rise up and force their will! And when they do, all the money in the world will not help the greedy corporate SOB's.

I live for the day.

Anonymous said...

Where did Betts come from all of a sudden?

Where has he been all these years?

Is this part of the Johnson plan and cabal?

Anonymous said...

Did Betts ever work a real job?

Anonymous said...

nottin worse than a guy who has more money than he can spend complaining about taxes he dont even pay

Anonymous said...

Whit Betts would like to know where she "can apply for a job" with the union benefits. Well here it is. Fill out an applcation, take a written examination, pass a physical examination, take a psychological test, and undergo an extensive background check. Next, if you pass all that and are lucky enough to be selected over 100 other applicants, you can go to the police academy. You then get the benefit of receiving intensive training for 20 plus weeks at the academy, all the time away from your family during the week and at night. If you graduate you go on to 14 plus weeks of on the job training, including daily evaluations. Once you complete that, you are lucky enough to go on your own to investigate the fatal car accidents, the assaults, the domestic violence, suicides, and child abuse. Your first 10 years will be working 2nd or 3rd shift, working weekends, and holidays. Vacation time can be denied at any time but ususally only in June, July, or August. Oh, and those late unexpected calls that take you away from an child's birthday party really isn't so bad. I'm sure the child understands. Whit Betts, you can pick up your application at City Hall.

all Betts are on! said...

Yeah Tom B. then he (if he wasn't married to an independently wealthy woman) could drive his job out of the state or out of the country (like the UAW jerks like Colapietro did to New Departure, etc, etc. etc.)

Betts is 110% correct Too bad it's too corrcet and too fair for the corrupt scumbag Dem-o-rats and the idiots who vote them into office every year to fathom.


All Betts are on! said...

June 27, 2008 8:39 PM:

You're missing the point. The tax payers pay for everything you mention. It's OUR money and we should be saying how it's spent.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that earlier post was reading the modern day version of the Communist Manifesto. LMAO!

Anonymous said...

Hey Witt-less, how much does Jarre pay for your insurance?

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

whitt for governor 2009 - any place except here - let's take up a collection to finance his departure.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for collective bargaining! Hooray for the Cops! They put their lives on the line each and every day, so don't compare them to a private sector employee.

Anonymous said...


We're not sick and neither are you. You're just stupid (and ignorant).

The people are the ones who are supposed to control the government not vice versa. Perhaps you need to re-take Poli-Sci 101 again? And don't forget an Econ. course as well.

How can one's mind be so clogged and convoluted to think it is "sick" for the people who pay the bills for their services, to vote on the payment? Maybe you ARE sick "anonwestconnmoron".

Anonymous said...

"They put their lives on the line each and every day, so don't compare them to a private sector employee"
June 28, 2008 9:12 AM:

-In response to the preceding quote, you need to get out more. It's more dangerous to commute every day to Hartford and the surrounding area than it is to be a city cop. And it usually pays less to.

cockayne addict said...

Whit Betts hit the nail on the head!

Go Whit, Go Whit Go Whit GOOO!

Anonymous said...

The most ignorant comment EVER:

"-In response to the preceding quote, you need to get out more. It's more dangerous to commute every day to Hartford and the surrounding area than it is to be a city cop. And it usually pays less to."

More dangerous to drive to Hartford, eh?

Ask Officer John Reilly (Ret.)who was shot 8 times in Bristol in 1996and was lucky enough to live if he agrees.

Ask the cop that has been out of work and had several surgeries over the last two years on his broken leg if he agrees. He chased a drug dealer on foot one night.

Ask the cop who injured his back 18 months ago and has had surgery and months of rehab to repair it if he thinks so...he was chasing someone on foot too.

Ask the many cops who have been punched, kicked, hit, spit on, etc if they all agree.

Save your breath... we know this is the job we wanted and are proud to do it but to say "it's more dangerous to commute to Hartford" just proves what a complete idiot you are. If you think it is so easy and the pay is so good then please apply.

Anonymous said...

So quit if it's so bad. Try to get hired in Hartford. Try to get through 4 to six years of college. Try being successful in a competitive market where the state pumps out thousands of grads every year. Try corporate politics on for size.
Try working in a hectic, stressful job where there is no union to protect incompetence and laziness. You talk about hypertension, you should try managing a business or even one department in a private sector job in "exempt" (non-union protected job) status where there is no guaranteed safety net.
Have you actually commuted on the Interstates on yearly basis? Have you seen the statistics of motor vehicle fatalities versus police duty fatalities? Now who's such a complete idiot?

Anonymous said...

June 28, 2008 1:23 PM:

PS, no one is saying there's little or no danger in police work. We're just suggesting that the people paying the bills should have more direct input as to what is taken out of their pocket.

Anonymous said...

Hey A - Hole why don't you republican hacks find out when Colapietro left and when ND closed? You gotta be one of the dumb big mouth Union haters. You are saying then ND closed because he left ? What a jerk you are. There were over two years after Colapietro left . Dumby !!!

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys lets face it these cowards are Republican Union bashers on this blog and it is the only place they know where they can shoot their mouths off and nobody knows who they are. How many of these clowns cheated on or are cheating on their taxes. Or how many are poor? How many have worked for mimimum wage? Get real !

Anonymous said...

Run Witt Run

Or shut up!

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Betts, get a real job: seems like you have too much time on your hands.

Anonymous said...

Hear,hear 12:06

anaonwestconnstudenthater said...

anon west conn fool:

Nice job showing what a low class ignorant jerk you are. Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

Tell all the Union members to stop buying at the farmers market! Betts wants your money as the friends of his do. Can't make it without union money !