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Something is better than nothing…..

The little whispers are in the wind with their little voices of ‘something is better than nothing….’

Those little whispering voices are wrong.

Something is better than nothing only when you had nothing to begin with. Follow me here for a thought experiment:

If I walk up to you and hand you a $20 bill, that is a something that was better than the nothing. You got something you didn’t have before, a bonus.

If, however, last week I borrowed $40 from you and this week I walk up to you and hand you a $20 bill, is that something better than nothing? Or would you instead say ‘hey! where’s the other 20 you still owe me?’

In the second example you will certainly take the $20 because hey, its  twenty bucks and I got shopping to do. But what if that was all you were going to get? What if after taking the twenty you then had to renegotiate for the other twenty owed? With no guarantee of getting the other twenty back would you find those terms acceptable?

That is where the Union stands with the current negotiations for our contract. The City said we’re broke and we are going to take money away from you, the employee, and we need 7.5% of your pay to cover our mistakes. Three years later the City says OK, thank you for your help, here is 4% back. Don’t spend it all in one place kid.

Are you willing to accept that 4% return and just hope the City decides sometime in the future to return the other 3.5%?

Or do you stand up and say ‘Hey, you took 7.5% and I want it back!’

Me? I am going to stand up and say Hey! You have the money so I will be expecting the full 7.5% to be returned to me thank you very much.

This is my opinion,

CK Hollywood Resident, Copy Center Supervisor, and Union Steward.

This is an Op-Ed contribution from an AFSCME member. It may not reflect the views and opinions of AFSCME Local 2432 or AFSCME International. Your stories and opinions are encouraged and welcome to webmaster at


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