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MassCops Angel
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I-Team: Public Workers Paid To Stay Home


Reporting
Joe Shortsleeve

BOSTON (WBZ) ― In Medford, three healthy fire fighters are being paid to stay home.

Same goes for a firefighter in Hull.

An I-Team investigation has found a number of willing and able workers who are being forced, yes forced, to stay out on disability.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve found out - it's costing you -- the taxpayers.

Take the case of Tom Claffey. You would think he would be content. Once a Captain in the Hull Fire Department, he has been getting a disability pension, 72 percent of his pay, to stay home for the past 17 years.

The only problem -- he doesn't want to stay home. Claffey says he fully recovered from a disabling accident a long time ago, so since 1999, he has been trying to go back to work. "It's frustrating to say the least… I hope they take me back, I love my job, I can't think of any reason why I couldn't go back."

Jim Morse is also waiting.

Once a Lt. in the Medford Fire Department, he has been getting a disability pension since 1986. He would love to trade it in for his old full time job.

He has even filed a lawsuit to get his old job back. "Yes we have and no luck yet."

Both Jim Morse and Tom Claffey say they cringe when they watch that video on Television of that body builder Boston firefighter Albert Arroyo, who claimed he was totally disabled.

Arroyo was in the process of trying to get a disability pension.

Morse and Claffey say for years they have been trying to GIVE back their disability pensions but the system doesn't make it easy.

David Tureck is the Executive Director of the Beacon Hill Institute, a conservative think tank in the downtown Boston. "My reaction is… it is just another reflection on absurdity of the whole arrangement."

Across Massachusetts, the I-Team found 16 individuals -- all healthy -- who are getting paid disability pensions, even though they may not want them anymore. They are from Braintree to Worcester. There are three State Police Officers and two State Health professionals.

Each year these 16 people collect $452,000.

Joe Connarton runs the State Pension system which has carefully determined these 16 people are healthy. He says he can't make communities re-hire former employees.

"Unfortunately, we can not order them back to work, the legislature stopped short of giving us that authority."

As silly as it sounds, once you are on the receiving end of a state disability pension you are stuck with it. If you take another job you could lose the pension. So these 16 people, now perfectly healthy, may want to go back to work but the only real option is their old job.

In Medford there are three healthy firefighters getting disability pensions who are trying to go back to work. Fire Chief Frank Giliberti is the person who makes the re-hiring decision. "They must pass a retraining program to get re-instated, if they don't, they are not re-instated. It s is that simple."

And there's the catch 22, re-training, the State Fire Academy won't re-train firefighters who have been off the job for more than five years. And all of the Medford firefighters have been off the job more than five years so the re-training burden falls to the local communities.

Tureck says "it's is a double whammy…first of all, the worker can not go back to the job he wants to go back to and then he can't take another job because he will lose the disability payments in this case the pension."

However, Massachusetts is the only state in the country that actually tries to get healthy employees back to work. Over the years, 96 people have turned in their disability pensions for their old jobs.

This update: Tom Claffey, the Hull Fire Fighter who has been waiting nine years has finally been offered his old job back if he gets re-trained.

The Hull Chief gave him some options other than the State Fire Academy.

http://wbztv.com/iteam/firefighters.disability.pay.2.863033.html
 

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Public Trough Feeder
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5,181 Posts
Damned if you do, damned if ya don't....
 

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screw you...
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2,692 Posts
Tureck says "it's is a double whammy…first of all, the worker can not go back to the job he wants to go back to and then he can't take another job because he will lose the disability payments in this case the pension."
And there ya have it. Who wouldn't want to go back to 2 sleep overs and a BBQ? Then go work your "real" job as a subcontractor making the big money...
 

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fraggle tamer
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I just love how it's considered work... I'm going to go hang out with the boys, watch some TV, maybe eat a great meal cooked there at the station or picked up someplace close by, hang out and watch TV some more and then crawl into bed when I get board. Oh and if I'm lucky I'll get to go out and play for a while and be called a hero, even though the EMS crews and PD there on scene both helped and more then likely saved a life or two and got no recognition.

:sb:
 

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Subscribing Member
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996 Posts
Hero's to the rescue AGAIN!!!

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO96874/

Mass. firefighters douse fire, replace dinner


BOSTON -- A group of Boston firefighters didn't just put out a kitchen fire that ruined Thanksgiving dinner. They replaced Thanksgiving dinner.
Firefighters from the Chestnut Hill Avenue station put out an oven fire at Kathy Woods-Georgopoulos' apartment on Thursday, but not before the turkey was charred along with most of the kitchen.
But they returned later with turkey, stuffing and eight pies.
Firefighter Marco Molina told the Boston Herald that sharing their meal seemed like "the right thing to do."
Woods-Georgopoulos said she cried when the firefighters brought the meal, and cried the next day when she thought about it. She called it a "selfless" act, and said her family plans to do something nice to return the favor
 

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Super Moderator
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Did they share their drugs and hookers too?
 
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