Officials sound off on union perks - ...

Officials sound off on union perks - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 122 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Apr 5, 2009, titled Officials sound off on union perks - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

Fitchburg police officers get an annual bonus if they don't get into a car wreck that's more than half their fault.

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Boycott the Sentinel

Concord, MA

#1 Apr 5, 2009
But you forgot to say how many perks teachers receive!!! BUT then again... teachers should NEVER complain... Look at ALL the time they get off!!! SO let's make them pay more for health insurance so they can have less $$$$ to buy basic supplies for their classrooms!!!
You firefighters and police officers in this town deserve everything you get, and then some. I don't care what Barbara Anderson OR Mr.Mcmenemy THINK or SAY.
Good grief, this newspaper is a blot on this poor community. It should be the Sentinel and Enterprise shutting down-not the Globe.
lol

Hartsville, SC

#2 Apr 5, 2009
You guys were the ones that accepted the contracts now deal with it. This did not happen offer night, it's been like this for years. I don't agree with some of the perks but you can't take it away now just because you need the money. If the budget was ok you would not be talking about the perks in the contracts.
Same old Story

Princeton, MA

#3 Apr 5, 2009
Get a cell phone, pagers are on the way out, just look at the number of paging companies around, it's 1-2, down from a few dozen.

"Fitchburg Fire Union President Kenneth Desjean said about half the members in his union have given up their pager stipend -- about a $2,000 per employee perk -- or have volunteered to work overtime without pay to keep an engine company in service."

Based on what I've seen, the Leominster Police will get what they want.
Same old Story

Princeton, MA

#4 Apr 5, 2009
Odds are the Boston Globe, the most liberal newspaper in the area, will be shut down by Summer 2009. The Globe, as well as the Telegram are owned by the New York Times also.
BLAH BLAH BLAH

Belmont, MA

#5 Apr 5, 2009
They forgot about the Fire Dept. When they work 2 twentyfour hour shifts that is 48 hours. Which is 8 hours automatic overtime for each hourly employee 52 weeka a year. Put them on eight hour shifts like everyone else instead of being paid to sleep all night ! Hero my a$$
Jim

Gardner, MA

#6 Apr 5, 2009
This is only the tip of the perks they receive, when you add them all up, the pay raises they receive annually are ridiculous.

They should do away with all the perks, and just go with annual pay increases like the rest of the world.
blah

Leominster, MA

#7 Apr 5, 2009
BLAH BLAH BLAH wrote:
They forgot about the Fire Dept. When they work 2 twentyfour hour shifts that is 48 hours. Which is 8 hours automatic overtime for each hourly employee 52 weeka a year. Put them on eight hour shifts like everyone else instead of being paid to sleep all night ! Hero my ****
Well you have been misinformed. There is no automatic overtime. The 24 hour shifts are averaged out over the entire year and it is actually a 42 hr workweek. And those extra 2 hours are not overtime.

Since: Mar 09

Fitchburg

#8 Apr 5, 2009
Wow, now there's an idea and it's not going to cost the homeowner. There are many many people including myself and husband that are unemployed that would love these jobs--->withouth perks<---
We'll be out there filling applications for the city workers that don't like the change and may need to move on. THESE SEATS WILL NOT BE HARD TO FILL with the unemployment rate. There are many that would do it for half the salary these ppl get now
Rich

Westminster, MA

#9 Apr 5, 2009
Wong is pathetic. Come on, she signed all the contracts, gave out raises and now the rhetorics.

Since: Mar 09

Fitchburg

#10 Apr 5, 2009
Boycott the Sentinel wrote:
But you forgot to say how many perks teachers receive!!! BUT then again... teachers should NEVER complain... Look at ALL the time they get off!!! SO let's make them pay more for health insurance so they can have less $$$$ to buy basic supplies for their classrooms!!!
You firefighters and police officers in this town deserve everything you get, and then some. I don't care what Barbara Anderson OR Mr.Mcmenemy THINK or SAY.
Good grief, this newspaper is a blot on this poor community. It should be the Sentinel and Enterprise shutting down-not the Globe.
You have got to be kidding me,teachers, the future of our youth?????
I wouldn't be a teacher for what shes making, good thing her heart is in it!! My daughter is a teacher, the amount of money she paid for college along with the money she takes out of her own pocket. On many occasions I've reached into my pocket to help her out.
Frustrated

AOL

#11 Apr 5, 2009
A lot of perks have come along to give employees something but keep wage costs down. Now things are tight it's time to take them away, that's wrong. As far as Barbara Anderson is concerned i have never seen that lady offer a positive suggestion but she is full of critical comments.

Since: Mar 08

Princeton, MA

#12 Apr 5, 2009
Leominster Police supposedly get extra pay for using cruisers with GPS tracking units installed, according to an article a few months ago.
concerned

Boston, MA

#13 Apr 5, 2009
this has been going on for years. Why is it "news" all of the sudden? Maybe some reporting like this years ago would have lead to questions by the public.
John

Leominster, MA

#14 Apr 5, 2009
When negotiating contracts what is seen is an itemized list of where the money goes. In the private sector you just get a salary or an hourly wage. If, you were to break down jobs in the private sector there would also appear to be unnecessary monies going towards unnecessary "perks."

As someone stated before, these contracts were "negotiated" and agreed upon by the people that you/we have voted in, and the Unions. All too often people claim that they would carry a firearm around and wear a bullet proof vest for "that," or walk into a burning building wearing excruciatingly uncomfortable gear for "this." Everyone has been given the same opportunities to do these jobs (particularly in Civil Service Communities). Why now, when the jobs that other people have opted for over teachers/fire/police, do they criticize these?
Get Real

Worcester, MA

#15 Apr 5, 2009
Maybe this recession will bring out all the hidden perks in these contracts. The Quinn Bill is the biggest joke of all. Two years to get a Masters degree?. If you're in a hurry, go to Curry. They've been stealing the paxpayers blind for years. Start publishing the contracts so everybody can see.
Bill

Worcester, MA

#16 Apr 5, 2009
For the record, the $2000 pager pay is a form of availability pay. It requires firefighters to carry pagers at all times in case there is a major fire that requires additional manpower. With the decreased number of firefighters currently working on each shift, these pagers are more important than ever because Fitchburg Fire is more and more becoming a on-call fire department. Also, the 48 work week is spread out over 8 days, so it does not result in any overtime pay as some people would like to believe. Show these brave men and women a little respect and stop criticizing every little aspect of their compensation package.
Paul from Leominster

Leominster, MA

#17 Apr 5, 2009
John wrote:
When negotiating contracts what is seen is an itemized list of where the money goes. In the private sector you just get a salary or an hourly wage. If, you were to break down jobs in the private sector there would also appear to be unnecessary monies going towards unnecessary "perks."
As someone stated before, these contracts were "negotiated" and agreed upon by the people that you/we have voted in, and the Unions. All too often people claim that they would carry a firearm around and wear a bullet proof vest for "that," or walk into a burning building wearing excruciatingly uncomfortable gear for "this." Everyone has been given the same opportunities to do these jobs (particularly in Civil Service Communities). Why now, when the jobs that other people have opted for over teachers/fire/police, do they criticize these?
I agree with John! EVERY single one of you had the opportunity to work towards and earn one of these "fabulous jobs" as you say. You had the opportunity to earn a job where you can be shot at at any time during your day! You had the opportunity to earn a job where you can run into burning building while everybody else is running out! You had the opportunity to earn a job taking scut pay to try to teach all your little brats to be smarter than you are! You had all these opportunities but the only opportunity you chose to exercise is to whine how great the other person has it. You chose your career because you thought at the time it was better than those. Must make YOU feel REALLY REALLY STUPID for passing up all those opportunities you passed up huh. I don't feel sorry for you, but I do feel appreciation for all those public servants who took those jobs that nobody else wanted! Grow up and live with the choices you made!!!
rjpjr

Amherst, NH

#18 Apr 5, 2009
A couple of more thoughts....

A 48 hour work week for Fire Departments is in fact compensated at straight time (not overtime) as this is clearly outlined in Federal law (the Fair Labor Standards Act). In fact for firefighting personnel up to 52 hours may be paid at straight time by the municipality again under FSLA.

Also, Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the self-proclaimed "watchdog" of the taxpayer dollar is compensated over $400,000.00 annually (salary, perks and car allotment). This information came out in The Boston Herald within the last two months or so. Sounds to me like the pot calling the kettle black....

We all make choices as to where we choose to work and create a profession/career. Some of us choose the public sector as firefighters, police officers, teachers, others choose the private sector banking, business, industry, etc.

It comes down to that everyone has the right to make a decent wage and living to support one self and their family. I am getting a little tired of the public servant bashing (and that's what I will always proudly consider myself) particularly with the taxpayer bailouts of the private sector, banking, auto industry etc.

If I managed my Department the way Citigroup, Merrill Lynch or GM has been managed I would have surely been held accountable and shown the door.
Contract reads

United States

#19 Apr 5, 2009
35 hours a week for the Specialty Skills Union? Take a real close look at the cars in the parking lots of all the departments that employ this group. In early, leave after closing and some working weekends, which is also not written in the contract. Most of this middle management group of employees work over 40 hours, some 50 or 60 hours a week without extra compensation or overtime. Take notice and then write a story.
lincoln street

Maynard, MA

#20 Apr 5, 2009
why dont you HACKS and ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACKS try doing their job for a week. These so called perks
are the only thing they can look forward to as an incentive to work in this toilet bowl of a city.

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