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Police officers to lose benefits if they don't picket the mayor
By Associated Press, 5/9/2003 07:41

BOSTON (AP) A Boston police union has told its members: picket the mayor's public appearances, or face a loss of union-provided benefits.

In a letter from leaders of the Boston Police Patrolman's Association sent May 1 to its members that was obtained by The Boston Globe, officers were told they would be required to spend five to seven hours on their own time every month on picket lines designed to turn up pressure on Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The city is locked in a protracted contract dispute with the union.

Officers who do not take part in the pickets must appear at hearing before the union's executive committee to explain their absence. If the committee decides their excuse is not reasonable, the officers could lose their life insurance, dental plan, participation in a BPPA annual scholarship program, the right to some legal services and union voting rights for one year.

The 1,400-member police union has been without a contract since last July.

BPPA president Thomas J. Nee said the sanctions are legal and appropriate.

However Ellen Kearns, a labor lawyer at Epstein Becker & Green, aid taking away the dental and life insurance benefits of officers is illegal under the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act. She said other lawyers at her firm share her opinion.

However Alan Shapiro, lawyer for the BPPA, said the ERISA was not relevant to the union benefits. Those benefits are available only to union members in good standing, Shapiro said, and failing to picket without an excuse would mean a member was not in good standing, and therefore not entitled to the benefits.

Neither Menino nor police Commissioner Paul Evans commented Thursday on the negotiations, or on the planned picketing.

Meanwhile, Menino is considering sending the contract dispute directly to arbitration to head off union actions, two unidentified administration sources told the Globe. The mayor also has increased his personal security detail in anticipation of unrest.
 

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The mayor also has increased his personal security detail in anticipation of unrest.
Is there something wrong with this picture?? Here is a mayor of a city talking about how they have no money for police and are cutting academies and hiring and everything else they he may have cut, yet he has enough money to "increase his personal security." Come on give me a break, this guy isn't the President or anything. What a joke, take that money for his security and apply it were they need it more, not on something so wasteful. Just my :2c: maybe I'm missing something with this and I'm and venting for no reason, I dunno
 

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I hear stuff like this and I'm almost happy I belong to a weak union. This is beyond comprehension that the BPPA will take away life & welfare benefits from their membership because they won't picket. These are benefits their membership pay for when they pay their dues, as long as they continue pay, they should keep their benefits. This type of BS strong-arm tactic should've been gone with the days of Jimmy Hoffa. I'm no great fan of Mumbles but he actually looks like the lesser of two evils compared to this e-board.
 
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jmooney,

What you don't understand is that these benefits are not contracually obligated by the city, these are benefits that the UNION has agreed to pay for their members. (In good standing only) If they aren't in good standing, then these benefits can be yanked from them, no if's and's or but's.
It's funny how the upper level management in the city has consistantly gotten 8% to 10% raises per year these last few years, because they aren't unionized. The lower level union schlub who has to live in the city can't afford $2200 / month to rent in a nice section of the city due to the Nazi-esque residency policy imposed by Il Duce Menino when he ascended into office. Notice I say, ascended, not elected, since he was president of the City Council when he took over the Mayoralship when Flynn left to go to Rome.
It's funny, I saw his oversized Ford SUV run several red lights on Arlington St on Sunday morning while the "Make Way For Ducklings" parade was in full swing in the Public Gardens. Lights and sirens blazing too. I really didn't see too much of an emergency going on to whisk Hizzoner away from this splendid event in such a hurry. After all there was only about 2,000 children & adults there, trying to cross the street and such. If he can afford to run a gas guzzler, he can afford to pay the cops in the city what they are worth.
Wait until the Democratic National Convention shows up in town in 2004 for their 3 day party / drinking binge all on the city's and state's dime of course. I can't wait to see all the Anarchists and tree huggers and cop killer Mumia Al-Jamal supporters turn this city upside down like they did in Philly and Seattle recently. Then, will the cops be worth the money they are paid? You never need a cop till you need one real bad.
As for your union being weak, I can only say that I am sorry and am glad I belong to a National organization. I say to those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.
 

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Housingcop,

Ok I see where you're coming from. So under that whole "member in good standing" concept, once an Officer is no longer considered in good standing with the union because of failure to picket he/she should no longer have to pay dues. That seems fair enough to me.
 
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You either are a member in good standing or you aren't. You can elect to disassociate yourself from the union if you wish but the city takes out the same amount from your check anyway and they call it a "Service Fee".
Either way, you end up about $15 short every week so you may as well be a member in good standing. Remember, this is the union that represents the "First In The Nation" PD, .........er I mean the "Worst In The Nation". You should see some of the slackers there that job that keep their positions due to Civil Circus and the Union fighting for them. Not that I am any prize....... but you see where I am coming from here?
These guys tried to unionize back in 1918 and the city was thrown into chaos. Don't think it can't happen again either. L.A. in the early 90's is a good example and you don't have to look much farther than Amherst this past week to see what a mob mentality there is out there. It's a fine blue line people, pay them what they are worth.
 

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I'm not really a big fan of Menino, but I don't have to live with his rules either. This seems to me to be a "game" by the union to label Menino sympathizers.
 
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