Saturday, March 5, 2016

You read it first in the Spy

The Massachusetts Spy, January 9, 2016:

Vowing not to bow to political pressure, Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston City Council today announced that they would consider carefully whether to approve a 29% retroactive pay increase for detectives that would cost the city $23 million on day one and an additional $9 million a year thereafter or instead to use that money to fund universal pre-kindergarten for poor Boston children.

The arbitrators' award also threatens a cascade of expensive labor contracts for other unionized city workers that could cost tens of millions more a year.

"We're not going to cave to political pressure from highly organized pressure groups like poor three-year-olds and their parents.  Instead, we're going to do what's best for the City, regardless of the political cost," Walsh said.

The Boston Globe, February 24, 2016:

The Boston City Council unanimously approved an arbitration award Wednesday that will grant police detectives a retroactive raise of nearly 29 percent, covering the past six years.

According to payroll data, the average police detective was paid $156,000 in 2015. That figure includes nearly $40,000 in overtime and $10,000 for construction details, which are paid largely by private companies.

After contract negotiations failed, an arbitrator ruled in December that detectives deserved a 29 percent salary increase from July 2010 to June 2016. The union and the Walsh administration are required to support the arbitrator’s award.

State law leaves final approval to the City Council, which could have rejected the contract and sent both sides back to the bargaining table. After approving the raise, councilors unanimously endorsed a letter to the mayor and unions warning that “escalating public safety salary increases threaten the long-term financial stability of the City of Boston.”

“We are looking for a different paradigm moving forward,” City Council President Michelle Wu said.

The Boston Globe, March 4, 2016:

Who knew that the paradigm for governing cities involves choosing among competing priorities?  Too bad they didn't teach that at the Harvard Law School.

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