In reference to TM’s opinion column in the April 27th addition. The title of the column is “State workers should not be allowed to unionize”. TM quotes FDR in the column. I should say misquotes or out of context quotes FDR. TM would have you believe that FDR was opposed to government workers being unionized, not so. I won’t make the complete quote here but FDR was expressing his concerns and reminding Mr. Luther C. Steward of the ultimate duties of government employees. Mr. Steward had written a letter to FDR inviting him to personally attend the Twentieth Jubilee Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees. Mr. Steward was president of that organization in 1937 when the letters were exchanged. A full copy of the letter in question is available on the web at The American Presidency Project.

TM kind of forgets that these state employees are state residencies also. I had an almost 18 year career in state service. The state that I was employed in turned out in the end to become 100 percent unionized. It actually it makes it easier for employers to deal with the thousands of employees needed to fulfill the needs of the public. For those people that choose to object their dues money can be sent to anyone of many charitable organizations that the employee chooses.

The various unions that represent those people give both parties viable hearings of not just grievances but interaction with management. In our case this was the glue that held us all together in a common goal. Believe it or not the front line employees that deal with the citizens and businesses get it. Most of these employees want to do the best they can deliver for these customers. If there is only interaction with mid level managers agency directors never get to hear reality from the front line workers. When the employees have a sense that their opinion really matters and they have some say in the service they provide moral soars. State government is difficult at best after all it’s political. A work force with high moral and interest in the process can make the machine run a lot smoother.

Good luck and keep those opinions coming I like to read them.


Dennis Grosenbach