The other union story from Tuesday

posted at 8:41 am on June 7, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

In the midst of the various celebrations taking place following Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall election, it’s understandable if most of us missed another story which broke on the same day involving the relationship between government, taxpayers and public sector unions. This one takes place in Arizona, and long time readers will already be familiar with the efforts of the Goldwater Institute there to battle union abuse of public funds. I’ll provide some links at the bottom to our previous coverage, but the short recap goes something like this:

The City of Phoenix has been locked into some crippling contracts with various public worker unions for longer than anyone can remember. Such a sweet deal had been cut for the unions – and let’s be clear here… it’s for the unions and their officers, not the workers – that the city was laying out millions of dollars for “release time” where union officials would receive pay for doing “union work.” This included officials who were payed full time wages – including mandatory overtime – for doing zero work for the public in their supposed regular jobs, instead working full time on union activities.

The Goldwater Institute cried foul, claiming that such practices violated a clause of the state constitution which “prohibits gifts of public money to private individuals or corporations, requiring the government to prove it receives direct, tangible benefits from a subsidy it gives to a private entity.”

On Tuesday, a Superior Court Judge agreed with the complaint and put a halt to the practice while the case proceeds.

Maricopa County Superior Court Katherine Cooper ruled in favor of the Goldwater Institute Tuesday to enjoin provisions of a contract between the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association allowing officers to perform union work on police time.

The contract grants approximately $1 million in release time dedicated to union business, including to six police officers who perform exclusively union work and collect automatic overtime. The current contract expires on June 30. A new contract continuing release time was approved last month by a 4-4-1 vote by the Phoenix City Council, with the abstaining vote counting as a yes. The injunction applies only to the current contract, so additional legal efforts will be necessary to extend the ruling to the new contract that takes effect July 1.

According to the ruling, release time constitutes a subsidy because the contract “does not obligate PLEA to perform any specific service or give anything in return for the receipt of $1 million for release time.”

This case in particular was especially tough for the Goldwater Institute to take on because it deals with the police. Nobody wants to look like they are going after our first responders, but the police are still public employees who are paid by the taxpayer and their union bosses are accountable to the public and the law. I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

But the officers in their unions deserve no such sympathy from us. If they need to conduct union business as opposed to police business, they can pay for it with union money. These iron-clad contracts do nothing but rip off the taxpayers in a city which has enough trouble paying its bills as it is. This decision by the judge is a good first step, but more work will be required to make it permanent and the taxpayers deserve an alert watchdog to guard the public purse.

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OK, so I don’t know where to put this, but this is the guy we want our children to look up to:
(From Drudge)
President Obama, in Los Angeles for a fundraiser, offered this observation on his wife’s exercise routine, via the pool report:

“Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,” he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique “because she doesn’t go all the way down” – a line that he let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Trying to prove he is hip for the low lives he hangs with and begs money from.

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Where do they come up with crap like this?

Bishop on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Going after these six PINOs (Police in Name Only) isn’t the same thing as going after the cops. I’m sure the union has been crying foul this whole time claiming that the suit was targeting cops but that just isn’t accurate. I mean, just because I used to work for a law firm as a word processor doesn’t mean I was a lawyer. Similarly, just because a union worker gets paid by the police department doesn’t make them a cop. I just hate unions.

OrbeaRider66 on June 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The dam is breaking for the PEU’s. Let the flood waters come and wash clean the land.

Lost in Jersey on June 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Thank you judge

Its the union officers that need to be taken down a notch…..about time

cmsinaz on June 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

This is what it really has been about, the abuse by the union leaders who care more about their perks than the union member. The Goldwater Institute needs to make sure the membership knows that it really is not about the the member but the union bosses so to minimize any fallout.

banzaibob on June 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

The gravy train is no longer being pulled by donkeys.

The donkeys are unhitched and now wandering in the desert.

NoDonkey on June 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

OK, so I don’t know where to put this, but this is the guy we want our children to look up to:
(From Drudge)
President Obama, in Los Angeles for a fundraiser, offered this observation on his wife’s exercise routine, via the pool report:

“Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,” he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique “because she doesn’t go all the way down” – a line that he let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Trying to prove he is hip for the low lives he hangs with and begs money from.

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

BJ jokes? At least Clinton just received one and lied about it. He never commented about it in public in that kind of detail.

BTW, I’m trying very hard to not make a Larry Sinclair joke.

Doughboy on June 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties

Glad you said that, cuz I wasn’t sure.

What’s with the idiotic disclaimers for stories like this? Maybe the people who would otherwise freak out deserve to have their blood pressure raised?

Free Constitution on June 7, 2012 at 8:57 AM

the city was laying out millions of dollars for “release time” where union officials would receive pay for doing “union work.” This included officials who were payed full time wages – including mandatory overtime – for doing zero work for the public in their supposed regular jobs, instead working full time on union activities.

…it’s not the only city where this is happening…like Wisc…it’s a start to take back our government from the union bosses. These bosses don’t care about the workers…just themselves.

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Another win for the Goldwater Institute!

officials who were payed full time wages

And Jazz, sorry to be a grammar Nazi, but the past tense of “to pay” is paid, not payed.

AZCoyote on June 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

A new contract continuing release time was approved last month by a 4-4-1 vote by the Phoenix City Council, with the abstaining vote counting as a yes.

I thought the UN Security Council was the only place where abstentions count as yeses. We know how well that body works.

blammm on June 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM

A huge BRAVO to the Goldwater Institute for their efforts. I do not harbor any hand-wringing concern for the union police. They are just as corrupt as the fuc*ing Teamsters. Chicago and Illinois spend many millions paying PEU maggots for doing union work. It is pure corruption.

Jaibones on June 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Here in Illinois we have the same scam, but even worse (I’m sure you’re all schocked to hear that). Some union officials get a free full ride state retirement after putting in a pro forma few days of “work” on behalf of the union.

jwolf on June 7, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I kinda feel sorry for SCOAMF. She’s going to curb stomp him within an inch of his life for that.

ElectricPhase on June 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

This case in particular was especially tough for the Goldwater Institute to take on because it deals with the police. Nobody wants to look like they are going after our first responders, but the police are still public employees who are paid by the taxpayer and their union bosses are accountable to the public and the law. I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

I respect the police and the job that they do. However, I think we need to stop lionizing the police as much as we do. My experience dealing with police and police unions is that they are among the worst offenders at working the system and abusing the system. And, their political clout is only increased by our constant lionization of them.

The reality is that these men and women chose their career and are paid extremely handsomely for it. And the line of people wanting to become police is enormous. We do not need to coddle them and pretend they are any different then any other public employee union that needs to be done away with.

Sure, respect the work they do and support it. That does not mean lionizing it. It is the same as what is done with teachers.

I understand that as a practical matter, it is hard to come out against the police – but that is because we have spent the last 20 years (and it has increased exponentially since 9/11) lionizing police officers and firefighters beyond all reason. We need to start the hard work of scaling that lionization back.

Monkeytoe on June 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM

THE BARGAIN

Democratic Party governments agree to contracts with unionized government workers which pay inflated wages and provide for generous unaffordable benefits. In return Democratic Party governments receive union support in campaign contributions, election volunteers and votes.

The system is corrupt by design.

Basilsbest on June 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM

BTW, I’m trying very hard to not make a Larry Sinclair joke.

Doughboy on June 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM

.
“There is no ‘try’ or ‘not try’; there is ‘do’ or ‘not do’.” – Yoda
.
And I heard a very well-deserved Larry Sinclair joke in there!

ExpressoBold on June 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

New documents prove that Obama joined the Socialist “New Party” in the 1990s despite his denial.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/302031/obamas-third-party-history-stanley-kurtz#

Resist We Much on June 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

“Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,” he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique “because she doesn’t go all the way down” – a line that he let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Maybe Michelle doesn’t want to crush her boobs while doing push-ups. Barry can’t figure this out–it’s part of his war on women!

Steve Z on June 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

The problem is not the police department, it’s the five City Council members that authorized the deal (including the one gutless puke that voted “present”).

bofh on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Just ban public employees unions. They always constitute a conflict of interest.

Judges have to recluse themselves if they have a conflict of interest. Why don’t elected officials have to recluse themselves when they vote on budgets that reward the unions that financed their election campaigns directly or indirectly?

Make it illegal to vote in such cases and unions will stop spending money on politics.

The Rock on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Another win for the Goldwater Institute!

officials who were payed full time wages

And Jazz, sorry to be a grammar Nazi, but the past tense of “to pay” is paid, not payed.

AZCoyote on June 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Actually, according to “American Heritage Dictionary” and “Miriam Webster” Either spelling (Paid, Payed) is acceptable.

Most Spellcheck software, however, use only the Paid spelling.

jaydee_007 on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

“Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,” he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique “because she doesn’t go all the way down” – a line that he let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

BJ jokes aside, she is unable to. That might have something to do with her belly bulge. Bacon for me but not for thee, right Moochie?

Archivarix on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on June 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

When seconds count, the police are but minutes away.
.
A properly armed and trained populace is the best deterrent to crime and the best reaction to criminal activity. The sooner that authoritarian DemocRAT politicians and party members understand that, the sooner we can get their cooperation in returning liberty to The Land of Liberty. Otherwise, we will have to move on without them and they will have to decide what action they will be taking.
.
LEOs are paid public servants. Unions are not paid public servants. LEOs are human. They have needs, vices, motivations, and failings just like the rest of us. They are not public saints or social altruists who just do their work all for the benefit of society without any thought of their own needs. A great many public servants have sacrificed themselves for the public good, or because there was a severe public emergency or, too often, because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time when mayhem occurred. A great many more public servants have not made such a sacrifice. That bears keeping in mind.

ExpressoBold on June 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

NOMITTNOBAMANOBODY 2012!

Pragmatic on June 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

FIFY

Resist We Much on June 7, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

This was NOT a BJ joke.
Michelle, Ellen.
He knew his audience would LOVE that joke, and apparently they did.

pambi on June 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

They aren’t police officers when they’re conducting union business.

Should a teacher get paid by the school system for attending a Girl Scout meeting as a leader? This and the PO scenario are the same. Neither is performing the service for which they would be paid.

BobMbx on June 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM

pambi on June 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Adding: IMHO

pambi on June 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Nobody wants to look like they are going after our first responders

Exactly. And that’s why every time you hear of lower taxes or cutting a budget the first thing out of a Democrat’s mouth is “but the teachers, police and firefighters!!!”

They know they can hook people with that crap every single time.

Hey guess what. Teachers, police and firefighters have all VOLUNTEERED for those jobs. Absolutely no one forced them to CHOOSE that profession.

ButterflyDragon on June 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM

WI, AZ, CA., all in one week. Maybe, just maybe, Americans are pissed, which has to be the starting point.

hillsoftx on June 7, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Teachers, police and firefighters have all VOLUNTEERED for those jobs. Absolutely no one forced them to CHOOSE that profession.

ButterflyDragon on June 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM

and in a different context, there are many who “volunteer” in those roles without compensation or benefits…I was a volunteer fireman for 14 years…

hillsoftx on June 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM

What’s with the idiotic disclaimers for stories like this? Maybe the people who would otherwise freak out deserve to have their blood pressure raised?

Free Constitution on June 7, 2012 at 8:57 AM

It’s a conditioned response that Nancy boys are afflicted by.

NotCoach on June 7, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM
This was NOT a BJ joke.
Michelle, Ellen.
He knew his audience would LOVE that joke, and apparently they did.
pambi on June 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Ok, I’m not sure who/what, but all I know is that he has so degrated the office of the president that it makes me sick. The type of people he has entertaining at our house is an embarrassement to our nation and to OUR house.

Bambi on June 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM

The judge’s ruling is a good step in the right direction… the gravy train is over…

Khun Joe on June 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Maybe Michelle doesn’t want to crush her boobs while doing push-ups. Barry can’t figure this out–it’s part of his war on women!

Steve Z on June 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

The Mooch is one huge boob!

jqc1970 on June 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Ok, I’m not sure who/what, but all I know is that he has so degrated the office of the president that it makes me sick. The type of people he has entertaining at our house is an embarrassement to our nation and to OUR house.

I couldn’t agree with you more. I can’t remember any president (Carter included) that embarrassed me more than BO. Whether it is his lying, double standards, demonization, class warfare antics, spokesmen, teleprompter addiction (really, using one in front of 5th graders?!) or low class / self-righteous gifts (iPod anyone), this guy has just brought the prestige of the office of President to a new low. I honestly didn’t think it could get any worse than when he went to Berlin before being sworn in and having that custom made seal that read “Office of the President Elect” … totally made up title and it looked like it was made at Kinko’s. He sucks.

OrbeaRider66 on June 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I thought the UN Security Council was the only place where abstentions count as yeses. We know how well that body works.

blammm on June 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Sort of. For a resolution to pass it needs the affirmative votes of nine members of the Security Council with the five permanent members not objecting. If country Lower Slobovia abstains, it is effectively a no. If the US abstains, it is effectively a yes. Confusing? Yes. But typical of dealings at that level of so-called diplomacy.

Kevin K. on June 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Donut shops hit hardest.

jukin3 on June 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

April 1, 2011

jaydee_007 on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Both American Heritage and Merriam-Webster’s say that the only time when “payed” can be properly used as a past tense for “pay” is when the word “pay” is being used to mean slackening a line or rope (e.g., “he payed out the rope”). When you are using the word “pay” in the context of giving someone money (as Jazz was using it here), the past tense is always “paid.”

AZCoyote on June 7, 2012 at 10:59 AM

It sounds to me like Holder had better get on this stat!

I hope Barry know whose ass to kick.

pain train on June 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM

This is the kind of thing that has Illinois in it’s financial hole. It’s not with the police, per se, but with all kinds of city and state public unions, and it’s not just the support of union activities but extends to pensions even and had the support of local and state legislators who actually passed legislation to allow it.

stukinIL4now on June 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

I do. Overtime for cops is a scam. There’s a cop in suburban Detroit who makes over $120K a year because he has enough seniority to choose to work the night shift. He gives out thousands of tickets for running a particular stop sign in the middle of the night – over 90% of the tickets he writes up are for the same violation at the same stop sign. Each ticket means overtime for him to appear in court.

When there’s a large public event, like the Woodward Dream Cruise, under the guise of “mutual aid pacts”, cities from around Michigan pay cops overtime for essentially cruising on the public’s dime.

It’s about time that conservatives started treating cops based on what cops actually are – entitled, greedy public employees with their snouts in the public’s trough who routinely abuse their authority and casually break the law.

rokemronnie on June 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I always found it odd that the very same folks who want government to think for everybody else, don’t seem to believe that the government that they work for should think for them. The very same government that enforces the laws, some how isn’t trust worth enough to give their employees a fair shake. Or is it that when it comes to balancing the interests of the public and the public employees, the employees just want more.

J_Crater on June 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

I live in the Phoenix area.

The problem is this: As officers near retirement, they’re given extra opportunities to work overtime hours. This inflates their earnings and makes them eligible for a higher retirement package.

As a manager in a privately owned company, I will often assign overtime to those who earn less, rather than to a person who earns more. Not so with the PEU’s. Police officers nearing retirement earn more than the incoming officers, yet they’re more likely to be assigned overtime work. And let’s be honest – in most instances, they’re not being assigned extra hours to solve a major crime spree, instead we’re talking about directing traffic after a Diamondbacks game, or a concert – not the sort of task that requires the skills of a 20 or 30 year veteran.

In addition to the sanctioned overtime, these guys also perform “security” at nightclubs, and get to wear their official city uniforms and badge, while “freelancing.” If I used company property for my private benefit – I’d be fired so quickly – it would make your head spin.

No, it’s high time we started taking a very close look at how the PEU’s bilk the taxpayers.

Rant off.

Hill60 on June 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

I’d be fine if that $1 million actually went to the police doing the job, instead of the union. That’s what its supposed to be for.

taznar on June 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Another win for the Goldwater Institute!

I swear sometimes I think the Goldwater group does more for the people of Arizona than the government. People were ripping on them left and right for fighting the shaddy stuff going on around the Coyotes sale. Thank God they have the resources to fight stuff like this.

Imagine if you went to your boss and demanded that they pay you your same salary even though you would now be working full time for your kid’s little league team…they’d laugh you out.

nextgen_repub on June 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Discovered when I became a director at a New York State agency that there were six release time employees. Only one was required, the rest were informal agreements with prior directors.

Canceled all but the required one; life had been wonderful ever since.

patch on June 7, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

Oh please, stop with the teary-eyed BS. Cops take advantage of their situation in every city and state in this country from not being prosecuted for serious assaults on citizens to the cushy overtime deals they get. It is long past time we all took a clear eyed look at just what service cops perform and how much they are needed.

Most cops are nothing more than glorified report takes, and a large number of them are official thugs who are being increasingly militarized. Cops are in amny ways just the enforcers of the police state.

Personally, I think we could do a with many fewer cops if the governments would stop preventing people from our God-given right to self defense and our constitutional right to bear arms.

woodNfish on June 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Obama didn’t mean to reveal any disrespect toward his wife or their marriage commitment. He just doesn’t know any better. Through crude jokes and casual remarks, men on the left are always accidentally indicating an attitude of good natured contempt toward women who get involved with them.

ansonia on June 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Going after these six PINOs (Police in Name Only) isn’t the same thing as going after the cops. I’m sure the union has been crying foul this whole time claiming that the suit was targeting cops but that just isn’t accurate. I mean, just because I used to work for a law firm as a word processor doesn’t mean I was a lawyer. Similarly, just because a union worker gets paid by the police department doesn’t make them a cop. I just hate unions.

OrbeaRider66 on June 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Exactly. And I hate unions too.

I bet real cops would think this was as despicable as anybody else who learns about it. Its absolute BS. This is just like the Wisconsin teacher’s union using collective bargaining to make school districts buy teacher’s insurance from the union. Its wrong. It was an abuse and when taxpayers found out about it they no longer supported that “right.”

magicbeans on June 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM

jaydee_007 on June 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

AZCoyote on June 7, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Yu tri speling that gud afir that miny martinis.

Jazz Shaw on June 7, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Obama didn’t mean to reveal any disrespect toward his wife or their marriage commitment. He just doesn’t know any better. Through crude jokes and casual remarks, men on the left are always accidentally indicating an attitude of good natured contempt toward women who get involved with them.

ansonia on June 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

As a college student in the seventies, I spent some time with the leftists (because all college students are supposed to be leftists, aren’t they?), and quickly soured on their causes because of their attitudes.
We had one Marxist among our group of polisci graduate students that even the other leftists couldn’t stand.

On the other hand, the most outspoken conservative in the group was respectful of all of the female students, so polite as to be courtly, and an advocate for his wife’s education and prospective career.

Sure made me re-think a lot of assumptions.

AesopFan on June 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Does this Judge have sufficient personal security?

I mean, we are talking about defiance of a Union, right?

listens2glenn on June 7, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Bambi – Is this an issue? Really? We know the guy is a low life. Bad enought that Rush gave it coverage, do we have to read it here where it is totally inappropraite and not even germane.

georgeofthedesert on June 8, 2012 at 9:58 AM