March 15, 2011

Solidarity, CSEA Style

For those of you who don’t know him, Bill Davignon is the CSEA head down in North Tonawanda. He has a pretty sweet gig, too, with the taxpayers forking over $110,000 for his salary and CSEA benefits package. Bill’s base salary, right now, is $61,453. But, as we said, when all of his very sweet CSEA benefits package is brought to bear, he’s raking in a cool $110,000. You’d think that, making that kind of a buck in this economy, he’d be happy.

Of course, you’d be wrong.

You see, Bill is supposed to be negotiating a new CSEA contract with NT Mayor Robert G. Ortt. Ortt kind of took the wind out of Bill’s sails, though, when he let it out of the bag that the average city employee in North Tonawanda is bringing home $92,000 in salary and benefits during his annual State of the City message. (That number really stood out when Ortt contrasted it with the median household income in NT, which is hovering around $40,000.) And Bill Davignon’s been mad ever since.

So mad, in fact, that he sent out an email to the members of his union the other day. Like a petulant child, Bill mostly whined, first about the local media just not paying enough attention to him:

I submitted my "letter to the editor" to the Tonawanda & Metro Community News last week - the METRO printed it on page 2 of this weeks paper. I've e-mailed and left a phone message for Tonawanda News Editor Eric DuVall asking him why my letter hasn't appeared in the news - he hasn't replied. (suprise). I'm hoping it's in tomorrow's Tonawanda news.

Then, he exposed the dark conspiracy at the heart of Ortt’s efforts to cut the bloat and cost of government in the Lumber City:

I don't know if any of you have read the BATTLEGROUND BULLETINS that I've sent you, but Wisconsin voted the other day to strip public employees of their right to negotiate their wages & health care benefits. If we are not careful this will happen in NY & NT. If they could, Mayor Ortt & Bob Welch would do that to us right now.

Ah, yes. If only Rob Ortt was, you know, governor, we suppose he could do that, Bill.

The problem with Bill Davignon, though, is he’s all bluster. Deep down, he knows that, no matter what cuts Mayor Ortt & Company push through, he’ll be just fine. You see, it seems that Davignon (who, you’ll remember, is supposed to be focused on renegotiating the CSEA’s contract) has, instead, been focusing his efforts on getting himself a pay raise—and getting it before any new contract goes through. Bill Davignon actually submitted his own upgrade, which is, well, kinda sleazy, when you think about it. Normally, people’s bosses do that. Under Davignon’s plan, his base salary would climb from $61,453 to $64,447.

This reclassification wouldn’t impact any other CSEA employees. Just Bill Davignon.

Of course, if you’re in CSEA with Bill, please don’t doubt his sincerity. After all, he signs all his emails “Yours in Solidarity, Bill Davignon.”

And that’s gotta count for something, right?

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