The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation released a report finding that taxpayers are spending millions of dollars in salary and benefits for people who aren’t doing any public work. In fact, they’re performing union work – a large portion of which involves extracting more money from said taxpayers.
The report revealed some union officers received attendance bonuses and overtime, a non-teacher received a teacher’s salary, and doctorate scale was paid to someone without a doctorate. In some instances where unions were supposed to make some reimbursement, those payments were not made.
None of this should come as a surprise to readers of this blog. Union release time on this scale is common practice throughout the U.S. But the union defense of these perks is wearing thin.
“The purpose of such agreements is to promote labor harmony within districts by making it possible for problems to be addressed and resolved cooperatively rather than through adversarial processes,” said New Jersey Education Association president Barbara Keshishian, apparently with a straight face.
Al Ashley, president of the Camden firefighters’ union, has his own complaints. “I work very hard,” he said. ”The stress levels have been bananas ever since the talk of layoffs started, through the layoffs, and now after the layoffs.”
All the more reason for Ashley to do someting much less stressful – like running into burning buildings.
Camden police union president John Williamson said, “My phone starts ringing at 5 a.m., and sometimes it doesn’t stop ringing until 2 a.m.”
Ah, the Reg Weaver Defense!
The notion that union officers are providing a service to their employers is beyond ludicrous – it’s insulting. I’ll subscribe to it the first time a superintendent is able to fire a union president for failing to properly represent his or her members.