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Senate votes to outlaw Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day

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Comments

More important than Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and Presidents day I would say.

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I'd swap out Columbus Day in a heartbeat. Mr. "I claim this land for Spain" has a lot more political and cultural hangups than Knox and his cannons.

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I don't get why that's even a day off. It never was when I went to school, nor was it a holiday for my state-worker father. I think it became one when the feds declared it to be one, which I don't get either.

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I know it's ungentlemanly to ask, but how old are you? I'm 53 and it was always a holiday when I was in school. Or perhaps you went to school somewhere outside of this state?

[*laughs to himself in an evil troll-like fashion, as he knows the answer to that last question may bring all sorts of irrational flames from the parochially inclined*]

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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With everything that's going on, here and in the rest of the state/country, this is how they spend their time?

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Considering the amount the state and county pays their workers for the time off. Personally, I'm ambivalent about the holidays, but I do think it's unfair for one group of people to get it off when another group has to work. Especially considering the group that gets to take time off are government employees and the group that doesn't are the rest of us poor sap tax payers. I'd be just as happy if they voted to make them holidays for EVERYONE.

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... government employees pay taxes, too. and we're not all making a bundle of cash. many of us, myself included, took a significant pay cut to work for the commonwealth.

i personally don't really care about the holiday, even though i get it. but i do get a little tired of people pointing fingers at ALL government workers like we are trying to scam folks. i didn't choose to get the holiday, and i don't care if i lose it.

although i am not sure i *can* lose it, since it's promised in my union contract. it will be interesting...

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But Bandit,

Government is a horrible, headless monster that should be demonized for political and individual psychological gain.

That is, unless it benefits ME!

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At least Matt L is taking time out from apologizing for the liquor and concert monopolies. Who knows, maybe he has a new PR job?

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Very helpful. Adam, don't you screen these?

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Are you talking about NH?

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state law trumps union contracts. That is why you have many town mayors asking the legislature to change the law to allow them to add unions to connector health (or whatever it is called) without negotiation.

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Should have pushed the state to enact a law requiring firefighters to be subject to random drug tests. Probably would have saved everyone a lot of money.

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It was ok for your unions to negotiate the issue but now when it comes to the firefighters it should be rammed down their throats?

T

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in any public safety contract I don't think.

So yea, the police shouldn't have gotten anything for it either. (And they didn't get much anyway since the city only pays 50% of the Quinn now that the State cut the other half, on top of no raises for 2 years)

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You really do resemble the nice part of your name, I really respect your comments on here and did not want to call you out. Hope you didn't take it that way :)

:) T

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as "getting an extra bonus to show up sober". Say you've been sober for twenty years- for you, it's a bonus for getting treated like a crook periodically. I see drug testing as just a little bit demeaning, and kind of an invasion of privacy. As far as the "public safety" thing goes, an argument could be made that anybody who drives a vehicle for work presents a similar risk if impaired. Perhaps after a DPW driver or a Parks Department guy get in an accident there will be calls to extend the practice, again without additional compensation, by legislative fiat or whatever. And Pete, doesn't the police testing consist only of giving a hair sample on your birthday or something? Would your union be willing to switch to the "gold standard" random urine tests without any objection?

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"Perhaps after a DPW driver or a Parks Department guy get in an accident there will be calls to extend the practice, again without additional compensation, by legislative fiat or whatever."

Yeah, right.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/200...

The employee was never named, charged, or disciplined.

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You don't know that.

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They drug test you within 30 days of your birthday. Sure you could test randomly, every week, every month or whatever, but the drug user is going to use drugs regardless of when the test is. That is why so many cops still fail this test even though they know when the test is!

As for the public saftey thing, I think cops need to be tested for drugs more than any other public safety job for various reasons. But it did sound like the Boston Fire Department was getting a little out of control. I do think they need to get some compensation, more so because of conract/negotiation reasons than for "getting paid to show up sober". I agree with you there.

I don't have an easy answer for this. Wouldn't it be fair if anyone driving a car had to take a drug or alcohol test after they got in an accident? There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

And I was being somewhat snarky with my comment about Menino trying to change the state law. It was kind of in response to the current trend of just changing state laws when people don't like the argreements cities have made with Unions.

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anymore that is.

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They don't "pay them for their time off". Contracts are negotiated and time off is exchanged for pay, and vice versa. The next contract will almost certainly lead to pay increases to make up for the lost benefits. That's how negotiations work.

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Matt L seems to believe-- or is trying to make the point-- that the state somehow pays workers some extra-special-secret amount of money on days off. It's just a day off, period. I'm not saying they're martyrs (most are not) or that there aren't people who are overpaid (there are plenty), but a paid day off pays the same as days when they work. Simple math here-- or not even, it's just logic.

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Some people have these days as paid holidays. That is the whole point. They get the same pay for that week that they do the week after when they work 5 days.

So even though one day in the large scheme of things doesn't add up to much, wouldn't simple math tell you that if they worked that day, you wouldn't have to pay them anymore because they were getting paid when they weren't working?

Unless I'm not understanding your point.

I think Matt was making the point that days off can be bargined for pay and other things (which could be true in some cases but probably not all of them).

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My point is that the reason people make $20 an hour and get 15 days off, rather than $21 an hour with 10 days off, is because they have elected to trade pay for time off. Taken to the extreme, nobody is going to agree to work every day of the year for the same $20/hour. They will insist on a higher pay rate.

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Personally, I'm ambivalent about the holidays, but I do think it's unfair for one group of people to get it off when another group has to work.

My company doesn't get President's Day, MLK Day, or any other holiday between New Year's Day and Memorial Day. Cry me a river.

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Ambivalent means something different for you and I.

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Kaz is using "ambivalent" correctly, you are not. When you say, "I'm ambivalent about the holidays, but I do think it's unfair", you are not ambivalent about the issue-- "ambivalent" means you either don't have strong feelings one way or another, or you have conflicting feelings. You, for whatever reason, have well-defined, non-conflicting feelings about it-- not ambivalence. Seriously, check a dictionary before you go correcting anyone on their grammar.

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"ambivalent" means you either don't have strong feelings one way or another

Oh great! So we're all on board then.

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And you could take some lessons in etiquette too-- just trying to help here.

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AnonYmous internet troll, I'll make sure to use my spell check next time. Lesson learned.

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Thats not trolling behavior either.

annnnd whiiiiiiiff.

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It's possible for someone to be ambivalent concerning whether or not he gets the holidays off, while at the same time not being ambivalent concerning the issue of those holidays being awarded to some people and not to others. I believe that's what he was aiming for there.

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"this is how they spend their time" You mean cutting costs while doing next years budget? Is that really a waste of time? Trying to get state workers to be more productive is not a waste of time.

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posting comments on a blog at 10:08 a.m. Regular model for productivity, you are.

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The MBTA seems to assume, as do you, that everybody works the day shift from 8 to 5.

Some people work different shift times and lengths, ya know!

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Making state workers show up to work for two more days has no necessary relationship with increasing their productivity.

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The way the state works isn't about efficiency, it's about job creation. It's a whole bizarro system where, unlike in the private sector, successful use of personnel isn't measured by productivity-- the ratio of $ spent on wages vs. X amount of stuff/services created-- but rather the number of jobs you can justifiably create, whether or not those jobs involve doing anything approaching full-time work. This isn't true across the board at the state level-- there are a lot of people who work their asses off-- nor is it limited to the state (certainly there are private companies with employees who do very little), but I can say, from my experience, that it's a lot worse at the state level than anywhere I've worked in the private sector.

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There will be no net increase in productivity with state workers. The likely result is that they will be given two floating holidays in exchange for de-holidaying those days. Offices will stay open, but there will be no decrease in the number of holidays employees will get.

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We need more holidays, not less. Everyone should get them off! Europe seems to survive with lots more time off than us brainwashed-to-work-to-death Americans.

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Personally, I'm in your corner on this one. The U.S. is getting downright Japanese in its worship of the workplace and its cradling of competition. In light of the financial crises in Greece and Portugal, though, we may want to reserve judgement on the "Europe seems to survive" portion of that assertion.

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..now get a bit more vacation time than American workers (on average):

http://www.timesizing.com/1vacatns.htm

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That's a good update. Thanks, Michael.

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Greece and Portugal will still be around and doing fine 100 years from now.

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would we have to play, and watch, soccer? The horror.

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I'm a state employee and within our division there must be at least one person in the office during "state" holidays like evacuation day, bunker hill day, etc. Lame.

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My kid goes to BPS so she gets those days off. So I have an excuse to take a vacation day off from work and go do something fun with her. Bunker Hill Day is great for going to Canobie Lake Park, although there are often bus loads of middle schoolers on end-of-year field trips.

For Evacuation Day, I took my Girl Scout troop to the Science Museum and walked the Freedom Trail.

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