January 18, 2011

Snow anger at City Hall (updated)

When the snow piled up last Wednesday in a storm that even the dumbest weather personality on tv could predict well ahead of time, the state, most big companies and many small ones simply closed up for the day.
After all, Gov. Dannel Malloy asked people to stay off the roads, saying it wasn't safe out there.
Of course, some people have to work. They perform the critical functions we all need to get through the storm safe and sound.
But most don't.
In our region of the state, nearly every municipality shut down for the day except for essential services such as snow plowing, fire and police.
But Bristol opened its door anyway.
At City Hall, by all accounts, the only people there were a smattering of enraged employees snarling that they shouldn't have been forced to come to work -- particularly when the public they serve wasn't about to brave the weather to come get a building permit, pay a tax bill, register to vote or anything else.
The libraries, thinly staffed, open to nobody. The senior center was silent, but open.
City workers were told they didn't have to come in if they couldn't, but staying home would cost them a vacation day (or, in the case of new workers, they could just go without pay for the day). So those who could make it, did.
But it's hard to say why.
They put their own safety at risk -- and they put others in danger, too, because every vehicle or pedestrian on the road that day contributed to the problem.
So why were they called in when most cities and towns told workers to stay home?
Because some Bristol workers who have to put in time during a storm get automatic overtime if City Hall closes. And that would cost a few extra bucks.
I can't say whether taxpayers would mind shelling out the extra money to keep Bristol's government workers safe, but I do know that it's crazy to insist people show up at work when there's little work to do and the governor himself is telling everyone to stay home for the good of the state.
This isn't how government should run.

UPDATE: The police contract, at least, does not require overtime for police if City Hall is closed because of the weather, according to the police union and others.
*****
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe they should realize that many in the private sector had to record a vacation day too.

Anonymous said...

We sure could use a little leadership, and common sense too!

Anonymous said...

I had to use a personal day to skip work also. It comes down to the use of common sense to when it's just simply not worth risking it to make a few measly dollars.

Why do the employees get overtime pay? Every salary employment I've had simply would pay me for an 8 hour day, regular rate. Paying someone more to stay home? I smell pork.

Anonymous said...

Maybe more private sector workers should unionize, 2:21 PM. :o)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone there have a clue?

They don't seem to know the rules, the Charter, whatever.

Do they ever do any homework?

We need to be more careful at election time.

Anonymous said...

THE BRISTOL CITY ARE THE MOST UNGRATFUL EMPLOYES IN THE COUNTRY. tHEY ARE LAZY AND UNQUALIFIED.

Anonymous said...

You said it yourself.........
Because Bristol's public safety workers get automatic overtime if City Hall closes. And that would cost a few extra bucks.

Anonymous said...

Steve - Please cite your references. Scan and post them to your blog for us to see.

I have just finished going through the entire police contract (which I found on line) and find absolutely NOTHING to support your claim. Maybe the Fire contract or DPW has such a clause but the Police do not.

Steve Collins said...

I'll ask. I think this all goes back to something that happened during Mike Werner's tenure at City Hall.

Anonymous said...

No one insisted they come to work, they were given the option. I work in the private sector and I opted to take a vacation day and stay home. They had the same option. What's the problem with that?

get lost said...

Greedy good for nothing bums. They want two cakes and to eat them too and share with no one!

Anonymous said...

January 18, 2011 4:10 PM:

Yeah you're really smart. Why do you think all the companies are leaving Connecticut to Right to Work states where unions are unpopular and people don't think the world owes them a living?

Anonymous said...

So if your update is correct, then your blog is a lie. What other essential emergency service is there? Fire, I doubt they get time and a half, if the cops don't.
More fuel on the fire to spread the hate of city workers. Get over your jealousy and hate or go on Oparah or Dr. Phil abd talk about. But false reports.....

Anonymous said...

So many clowns, not enough circuses.

Steve Collins said...

The blog is not a lie. City workers were furious at having to work. That's the story.

Anonymous said...

I'm a City employee and went to work- but wasn't grumbling. I knew that if I felt it was necessary to stay home, I could have taken a personal day, and many did. Just like any other job. The ones I heard grumbling didn't even bother to try coming in.

Anonymous said...

City workers, welcome to the real world.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah you're really smart. Why do you think all the companies are leaving Connecticut to Right to Work states where unions are unpopular and people don't think the world owes them a living?"
________________

It's more likely they are leaving the state because high energy costs and high health care costs. The right to a living wage should become law. Too few people control too much wealth in this world. The least of those should not be forgotten or abandoned. Perhaps you will follow some of these fictitious companies you reference. Connecticut can do without your negativity. We need to focus on solutions, and we will! United we stand! Social Justice for ALL!!!

Anonymous said...

Steve,
But your whole premise that the workers had to come in was because if City Hall closed, essential employees would be paid time and a half. I would like to know who would get this as I don't believe anyone does. Your earlier post said you would check this, have you?

Anonymous said...

What do you complainers want? Your boy Kevin Fuller was the acting Mayor under the direction of Ken Cockayne. You mean they're not perfect like all of you that think yo know it all?

Anonymous said...

January 18, 2011 9:47 PM:

"Justice for all"! you say. You're in a dream world!

Sure, business loves people like you (joke). That's why the businesses are moving and building new factories in Right to Work stayes where unions and Leftists like you are not popular.

Anonymous said...

Not all agreements are in the contracts - if a precendence was set at some other time, the practice continues until verbiage is added to the contract that nullifies it.

Anonymous said...

9:31 Look all you want but there is no such agreement in the PD. Steve was not accurate in his reporting (shocker!).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this will clear this up a little. Many years ago City Hall was closed for a reason which I don't recall. The workers there were given the day off with pay by whoever was Mayor at the time. The reason given was that those employees were non-essential, so therefore were not needed.

The so called "essential workers" (Fire & Police) then complained later that the city hall workers had been given, in fact, an added benefit, ie. a paid holiday; Their grievance was resolved with the agreement that no future "closings" should occur w/o some type of consideration being given to essential workers.

Anonymous said...

The people in charge of "Right To Exploit Workers" states should continue to expect friendly visits by Union organizers. We may not be popular in those states, but we sure are needed. The rights of workers to collectively voice their expectations concerning pay, benefits, and working conditions will expand over the next decade. Not only is it necessary for the majority of American’s who have been victimized by the corporate elite, insurance crooks, and syndicated “banksters,” but it's long overdue by about 50 years!

As the country rebuilds itself following two terms of cowboy “W” Shrub and his posse of thieves, we have an opportunity to chart a new course for all workers as we continue our way back to full employment.

All American citizens must demand that people be treated fairly by the powerful, greedy, contemptible, corporate elite, insurance crooks, and "banksters." Furthermore, the super-rich should voluntarily give back some of their wealth to "the people" by erasing the massive debts in states across the nation. Much of the financial uncertainty we face today could essentially “go away” with a temporary and voluntary redistribution of wealth. However, if nobody answers the call and "comes to the rescue," then anyone hoarding wealth over $25,000,000, should be taxed at a 70% rate, and higher, until all governmental budgets are balanced.

It's simple in theory. And it's possible. The question remains: does anyone have the vision to make it a reality by promoting the idea to fruition?

You got any ideas, January 19, 2011 9:19 AM?

Anonymous said...

As an "essential" employee in the City I can attest to the fact that there is nothing that gives us anything if City Hall closes.

Steve, now that you h stirred up the hornets nest with misinformation, maybe you can actually do your job and do some fact gathering. Review the relevant contracts - they are all available to the public and I'm sure you have them already, talk to the department heads, talk to the Personnel Director, talk to the union bosses. Then, report the fact that there is no such benefit because that is the fact.

Ben said...

@2:37AM

WTF?

Back on subject.....

Yes, I was not too impressed with my employer as well.
It would be better we left the roads open to be clean, and so essential workers could get to work. We are left with the value judgement, do I give up a vacation day, or do I try to get to work? Even if they close my place of employment I wouldn't get paid.

However @10:02 has a point. If the non-essential workers are getting paid an extra day off. The solution? Don't pay them ;)

Ahhh, we workers do like to b@tch about what somebody else is getting.

Anonymous said...

January 20, 2011 2:37 PM:

You're a typical leftist, liberal, union-loving screw ball.

I can't even respond to half of the garbage in your last post.

The fact is that businesses hate unions and states where unions are popular lose jobs. One of the most important inaccuracies of your lunacy is that the south will someday be pro-union. That will happen when hell freezes over.

Anonymous said...

Ya gotta have hope, boys! Ya gotta have hope!

...And, of course, a plan that starts with an idea.

The times, they are a changin'...

OBAMA 2012!!!!