As a public employee myself, I've seen my benefits greatly reduced while the cost of said benefits take a bigger and bigger junk from my earnings. In fact, where I work we've gone years WITHOUT a pay raise, many of us have performed the job of two or three people due to a mandated hiring freeze that's been in affect for years. And to put icing on the cake, many jobs that were once performed in the public sector have now been privatized and the quality of care/services aren't as good as they were when said care/services were being performed by public employees. I'm sure that in time things will smooth out, but for now it's been rough.
As for unions themselves - public or private - I think they do have a place in the workforce be it labor, manufacturing or service sector. A person can only stand for so long, bend over so far, lift so much, perform a repetitive task so many times without a break, take on so many duties before feeling overwhelmed and work so many jobs for inadequate pay in an attempt to have his/her survival needs meet and remain silent for so long before insisting that his voice is fairly heard. Take those things away and push the employee so hard and eventually the employee will fight back....or leave. One can only hope there are enough available hands to fill the void(s) left behind.