"A decision to outsource the work of one of the city's smallest departments could end up costing Racine big, union officials said."
That was the first line in a Journal Times article concerning the city's decision to hire a private company to handle the Management Information System department.
The "big cost" of such a move would not be because the private company is more expensive or less competent but rather because the city could lose money in arbitration. City officials are willing to take that risk as "we don't have the resources or the stable of qualified employees" to get the job done according to City Administrator Ben Hughes.
The dispute it seems centers around the city employee's pensions, their job security, their pay etc... and while that is no doubt important for them, it is worth remembering that government's purpose is to serve the public in the most efficient manner. It is not the function of government to ensure good jobs and high salaries for government employees.
It is my hope that the city's decision will not cost us big. If union officials and current state law prevents city officials from acting in the best interests of the public, then the public, on this issue at least, will be ruled by unelected union leaders. Now that is a big cost.