Friday, December 9, 2011

Phoenix sued over paying for union leaders’ salaries and benefits

Politicians on both the left and the right have for decades given in to union demands, demands for benefits that far exceed those of non-union employees. It is easy for politicians to spend “other peoples’ money”, and in the process create a “Frankenstein monster”, in this case a glutinous union that has its own expansion and well being at heart, and not that of the people who its members are hired to serve. Even FDR, ultra-liberal that he was, said that public employee unions should be prohibited and, if allowed to exist, would be impossible to control. Here’s hoping the lawsuit prevails.

PHOENIX — Paying top city employees to work exclusively for public employee unions was challenged as an unconstitutional giveaway of taxpayer money in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.
City officials had no immediate comment.

The suit seeks to end the practice of “release time,” under which city workers draw full pay and benefits even though they are released from their regular jobs to work for labor unions that represent municipal workers.

It was filed by the Goldwater Institute, a non-partisan government watchdog organization, on behalf of two Phoenix taxpayers, William Cheatham and Marcus Huey. (Flatten is an investigative reporter for the Institute.)

All seven of the unions that represent Phoenix city workers are allowed to have their top officials released from their government jobs to work full time for the unions, an investigative report by the Goldwater Institute revealed in September. The total cost to Phoenix taxpayers is about $3.7 million per year, based on payroll records supplied by the city.

In all, more than 73,000 hours of annual release time for city workers to conduct union business at taxpayers’ expense are permitted in the agreements.

Read full article here.

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