The big news today is that Montana Democratic Party workers are going to unionize.
Here are those workers and what they were paid in September:
- Monica Lindeen: $6,000 a month
- Justin Ailport: $4,012
- Nick Lockridge: $3,914
- Samantha Offerdahl: $3,667
- Kiley Gage: $3,248
- Elizabeth Darnell: $2,961
- Thai Nguyen: $2,371
It costs $23,214 a month to pay those people...but that’s not the whole story.
The Party actually pays more in payroll taxes for those employees than they pay them in salary, if you can believe that.
While $23,000 was spent on salaries in September, $38,000 was spent on payroll taxes and payroll-related accounting.
That’s a $15,000 discrepancy. If I were donating to the Party on a monthly basis, I’d want a little bit of an explanation on that.
Another $5,579 was spent on the employees’ healthcare costs in September, while $657 was spent eating out.
All told, if we add up the salaries, healthcare, payroll and food costs, we realize that it costs the Montana Democratic Party a whopping $67,000 a month just to keep those 7 people on staff.
Of the $113,000 they raised for September, just $45,000 is left over after the staffers are taken care of.
So in effect, the Dems have to sit down at the beginning of each month, having a staff meeting to make it clear to everyone that if they want to keep their jobs, they have to find a way to raise $70,000 each month.
So, as you can see...pay isn’t really the issue.
The article said Dems in Montana are unionizing because “they can benefit from the gains in health care and work conditions.”
Currently the Montana Dem employees get healthcare, and they work out of a mansion. I fail to see what else they need in the healthcare and work conditions department.
The pay that these people get is absurd. Remember, Democrats in Montana can’t win, and are a perpetual minority party.
Doesn’t stop the out-of-state hacks from making bank in their paid positions. And really, what is it they do all day? As far as I can tell, play around on social media while sending out one fundraising email after another.
And let’s be honest - unions are dying and most are dead already.
About 11% of American workers are in unions, and most of those are public-sector employees (34% vs. the 6.5% of private-sector workers that are unionized).
- The largest union in the country is the National Education Association of the United States, with 2.7 million members.
- The next largest is the Service Employees International Union, with 1.5 million members.
- Montana Democrats will be joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which is the 8th largest union in the country, with 705,000 members.
The IBEW is in such dire straits that they’ll take on anyone to join their dues-paying rolls, not just electrical workers. Now they’ll take on political hacks, er...workers.
It’s a dying union. Back in the 70s they had 950,000 people. In the 40 years since then, they’ve lost 200,000 dues-paying members.
Yep, things change. The early-80s recession boosted unemployment up to nearly 11% and 21% of blue-collar workers lost their jobs between ‘81 and ‘83. Unions never fully recovered.
Back then, 20% of workers were in a union. Forty years later, it’s half that.
The IBEW will take anyone that’s willing to pay a monthly due, and the Dems are happy to oblige.
Big changes are coming to the ol’ Sixth Street Dem HQ, mainly because Lindeen is giving up, er...has enriched herself enough, er...oh, to hell with it - she’s quitting!
The out-of-state paid staff is worried that a real leader might come in, someone that will halve the staff while increasing the remaining staff’s productivity. I’m sure pay will be looked at as well.
But wait - who am I kidding?
Those Dem staffers will sit down with Lindeen to do the hiring, and they’ll make damn sure the next executive director keeps things just as they are, with huge pay packages and lots and lots of eating out on the donor’s dime.
I would encourage Don K and his Montana GOP workers to go out and have a drink to celebrate this news.
Oh...that’s right - the Montana Repubican Party doesn’t waste money on staffers.
And they’re winning, big time.