The PJ Tatler

Did Gov. Ed Rendell set a union contract trap for his successor?

PA Gov. Ed Rendell, as one of last acts as governor, decided against extending contracts for the state’s union workers for a year. That puts the contracts’ expiration dates at the end of June, 2011.

One state editorial calls this a “golden opportunity” for the new governor, Tom Corbett. Maybe it is. I’m honestly not sure if what Rendell did is a good thing or a bad thing. Rendell may well have meant to set up a trap for Corbett, but with Wisconsin very much in the news on government union issues, the outcome there can have a strong impact on the state’s bargaining position. If Gov. Walker prevails, Gov. Corbett is in a stronger position. The same is true in reverse if the government unions prevail in Wisconsin. The battle for Wisconsin isn’t just about Wisconsin.

Corbett says he’s not planning anything like the bill in Wisconsin. But the unions may be planning disruptions and protests anyway. The AFL-CIO has a rally in Scranton today.