Across the Union Divide

My piece in today’s Providence Journal dwells on the collision of my affection and admiration for Providence Firefighter/EMT Lt. Michael Morse and his book and my opposition to public-sector unions.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
48 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Justin, First of all I’d like to commend you for acknowledging my fellow Providence firefighter, fellow author, and good friend Michael Morse. He is a good man and as one of many Providence firefighters out there who selflessly give of themselves in emergency situations on a day-to-day basis, that fact should be a part of any discussion regarding our pension or benefits. We are not merely takers and abusers of the system. You need to venture no further than the same issue of ProJo in order to find examples of what’s wrong with our pension system. It is NOT the police officers and firefighters who work twenty or more years and retire to collect so-called “overly generous” pensions. It is the politicians and privileged few who are allowed to manipulate the system to their advantage by “buying into” the pension system to inflate their service and thus their yearly payout. John Simmons, Mayor Cicilline’s former Chief of Staff is a prime example – and is the subject of a letter-to-the-editor today in ProJo. Nicholas Gianquitti, the man alleged to have murdered Cranston Fire Lt. James Pagano, is another example. Someone who serves a mere six months as a police officer and receives a lifelong pension (which is much more generous than any active police officer or firefighter in Providence will receive) without follow-up medical examinations or certifications hurts “my” pension system. I’m all for tightening up the rules of the system, but I refuse to allow someone to tell me that the rank and file police officers and firefighters are the cause of the problem. We are not getting anything given to us that we haven’t justifiably earned and paid for. I believe that your quote of Michael in your op-ed piece, “You are a chump if you aren’t getting… Read more »

David
David
12 years ago

I was a firefighter in the Warwick Fire Department for over 20 years. I retired 10 years ago. It was the only union job I have ever worked. So I have only that experience to go on when discussing public sector unions. My time on Warwick Fire was very rewarding – the work itself, the people I worked with, the city administration ( my bosses), and the union. The union I knew was an agent for progressive change. We, as a union, fought for health and safety working practices that helped firefighters and also decreased the number of injuries and disabilities. We advanced through collective bargaining a dramatic improvement in firefighter safety with agreements on breathing apparatus and turnout gear. It reflected an evolving reality of fighting fires that were becoming more more dangerous due to the new building products that were much more toxic and caused higher fire temperatures. We fought for more transparent hiring and promotion practices that some would call meritocracy. When I joined the fire department in the mid 70’s, there was a spoils system that favored the people that were connected to city politicians. Hiring and promotions were left up to a Board of Public Safety and individual fire department chiefs. It increased their power and influence. There were no standardized testing practices. Our union through collective bargaining- at some cost in wages- agreed upon a practice of hiring and promotions that has eliminated the old Buddy Cianci city government model with a system that promotes merit. I disagree with you, Justin, that public sector unions are the problem. If they are a part of the problem – only a part- then they are also part of the solution. I have given you two examples of how the union I belonged to advanced wider causes… Read more »

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Tom,
I most definitely did not intend to suggest that Michael supports and is knowingly participating in his union so as avoid being a chump who didn’t get his, and I don’t know how that interpretation of my words can be seen as consistent with my characterization of him.
Rather, the thought (the “sentiment”) extends much farther than just the next paragraph. I believe Michael agrees with me that the people whom he describes are part of the problem, in this state, but it ought to be clear by implication that I don’t believe he sees how unions are part of that very problem.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

David,
The history of unions isn’t the issue, here; they’re current effect on the state is. I’m confident that unions helped to reshape our society’s ideas about labor and workers’ rights, but that goal having been accomplished, they’ve continued to push beyond the point at which they were a net gain for society. Now they are among the oppressive, antiquated practices that must be jettisoned.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

The old saying “the pendulum has swung too far” is quite apt when discussing the Public Sector unions. Yes, there was once a time when they added value. But labor laws, OSHA and a general “enlightenment” due in large part to advances in the media (e.g. Blogs) have made obsolete the causes that the Unions perhaps once championed. And to suggest that ONLY the Union is concerned with employee safety is silly. Bottom line, the Unions are all about Pay & Benefits for their members, regardless of the public’s ability to pay for the Union’s nutty entitlement minded demands. Lt. Kenney sums up well the Public Union’s warped mindset when he says Morse is “one of many Providence firefighters out there who selflessly give of themselves in emergency situations on a day-to-day basis.” He acts like Firefighters are sacrificing and giving selflessly. Please! They are doing the job they are PAID to do! There is NO “giving”. If they are not happy, they can QUIT. 100 people will be ready, willing and able to take their jobs at half the pay …and they’ll do a good job. With respect to Retiring after a mere 20 – 25 years of work, give me a break. Kenney & Co. act like they “earned it” as if they were never paid a salary during the years they worked. Give it up. The Entitlement “we earned it” crap is getting old. It’s bankrupting the state. Work 20-25 years and collect a Pension for 30 or more …nobody “earns” that, rather, they “take” it via Union entitlements. How about they take what we can afford to pay or quit and move on. Step into the real world and let the Free Market, as opposed to whiny Union strikes, determine your worth and we’ll see what… Read more »

EMT
EMT
12 years ago


By the way, did Paul “No-Show” Doughty make it to work this week? Or did he stay home again ‘cuz he “earned it”?”
Oh come on. This bullscat AGAIN?

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

In a crisis there are those who think and function rationally and those who fall to pieces. Guess which category I would place the two members that work and have worked in public safety and this George (Doesn’t Know His Ass From His) Elbow. Thanks for the interesting and informative posts from Tom Kenney and David. Justin… It seems that there is almost no argument or evidence you could see or hear that would cause you to modify your union hating position. Jettison them?

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Phil,
“In a crisis there are those who think and function rationally and those who fall to pieces?”
What’s your point?
Mine is that Mr. Kenney & Co. are doing the JOB they are PAID to do (with the equipment and training that the taxpayers paid for), as opposed to somehow sacrificing & “giving” selflessly.
In the REAL world if you don’t like your job or you don’t think you get paid enough, you go out and find another job or start a business on your own.
In the Entitlement-minded world of the Union, you go on strike, you whine, you disrupt Public Safety, etc.
Come on Phil, even you know that’s true. And what “evidence” has been provided that suggests we shouldn’t / can’t jettison the Unions? Again, do really believe that the Unions are the ONLY one’s concerned with Safety? Get off your highhorse.
Mr. Kenney seems concerned that we have scumbag Police Officers getting Pensions when they could be working.
Does Mr. Kenney share those same concerns when we have lazy slobs like Pauly “No Show” Doughty not showing up to work for 3+ years (except to collect overtime)? Hmmmm.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

EMT,
I agree, Pauly “No Show” Doughty not showing up for 3+ years to the job that he was paid to do is bullscat!
You know what is even worse? The fact that the “rank and file” didn’t say a peep and supported that bullscat.
And Mr. Kenney and Phil The Hero Worshiper would have been the first ones screaming had someone questioned why that scumbag Nicholas Gianquitti was getting a big fat Pension Disability.
We would have heard all that usual Union bullscat ….”he earned it”, “he put his life on the line”, “he’s getting the deal we made with him”, “he gave selflessly”, blah, blah, blah.

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

“I agree, Pauly “No Show” Doughty not showing up for 3+ years to the job that he was paid to do is bullscat!”
Like I’ve said here before, I’ve got pictures of Paul “not showing up,” doing things that would make the likes of you wet yourself.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

EMT,
If you’ve got pictures of Pauly “No Show” Doughty at work, it must be from one of those rare occasions when he showed up to collect some Overtime.
And with respect to your “wet your pants” reference, I’m not sure what you mean. I assume that must be a Union thing you are referring to, as you all wear diapers, as most dependent infants do when they are sucking on the tit.

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

Actually, its a reference to the tough talk from internet tough guys like yourself, versus guys like Paul who do things that would make you cry like a girl.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Alright, I’ll admit it: As a young adult, I cried at the end of the movie Hook, and I still tear up at the end of action films in which a well-liked character sacrifices himself for the good of the others. Do you have pictures of Paul watching such a movie with a look of gritty determination?

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

George Armpit
I do admire the people that work as firefighters and police along with those that serve in the military. I think it is important to focus on the larger point that Dave made in his post about the positive role his union played in that community. He mentioned safety but also the changes through collective bargaining that was implemented corncerning hiring and promotion. All one has to do is read the newspapers here in RI for the last few decades to realize the sleaze that some corrupt politicans have been capable of bringing to their time in office. Ed DiPprete and Buddy Cianci come to mind. The damage corrupt politicans can do to government and public safety is immeasurable. Public unions have in some cases stood as a bulwark against the control these types would like to exert. So a narrow self interest actually has a general public benefit. Now you seem to have quite a hard on for police and firefighters but based on the size of the equipment I don’t think they have anything to worry about. And dont think of using those body parts with your name.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Dr. Phil,
If the Unions stick with working conditions, safety and hiring practices and leave the pay & benefits to the free market, then we’ll be fine.
But the reality is that all those “virtuous” things you refer to have been accomplished and the real focus of the Unions is to maximize their pay & benefits, REGARDLESS of the CUSTOMER’s ability to pay.
Pauly “No Show” Doughty proclaims that Providence Firefighters should be paid what other FFs are paid in large North Eastern cities. That is pure entitlement minded Union bullscat.
How about he get paid what the taxpayers can afford and if it is not enough, he pull himself out of his Lazy-boy rocker and go take a job elsewhere.
Not a chance of that happening, is there? Instead, he’ll demand arbitration, work stoppages, boycott training drills, etc.
With respect to hard-ons …I believe it is you that seems to get arroused by men in uniforms.
And by the way, why do Taxpayer’s provide Police & Fire with “uniform allowances”? Do people in the Private sector get uniform allowances? Just another Union entitlement.
My issue with Police & Fire is their beliefe that they are sacrificing and giving selflessly (ala Tom Kenney), which leads them to think they are ENTITILED to retire on the public tit after a mere 20-25 years of work.
I am tired of funding pensions for people that collect pensions for far more years than they ever worked. It is that simple. I am also tired of people like EMT that look the other way, and in fact defend hacks like Pauly “No Show” Doughty who sit on their lazy ass, while collecting pay & benefits from hardworking taxpayers.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

EMT –
Now I get it. It is a sly reference. I can dig that. Kind of like making a silly reference to someone’s name. For example, Dr. Phil calling me George Armpit (instead of George Elbow)or someone calling themself George Elbow in homage to that Union stallwart & hack George Nee.
And you are right. I do cry when I see pictures of Pauly “No Show” Doughty. I always cry at the sight of a thief that robbed me while complicit do-nothing bystanders like yourself stood by and did nothing.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

George Elbow, Knee, Armpit or whatever you call yourself,
My name IS Tom Kenney. I work as a Lieutenant with the Providence Fire Dept. I have worked on the PFD for 28 years. I am a member of Local 799. My e-mail address is tekpfd@yahoo.com.
When I write on a Prov Fire Dept issue, everyone knows who is expressing his thoughts, and what I know about the issue – as well as which side I am on.
Who are you? What is your knowledge on the subject? What is your interest? Nobody knows. As previously stated by EMT, you are a typical internet tough guy! And as usual, you refuse to stand behind your words by allowing yourself to be identified.
Are you really afraid that someone would attack you? Union supporters in general and Local 799 members and supporters in particular haven’t harmed Cicilline, so we certainly wouldn’t threaten an Elbow or Knee or Armpit or Ass.
Wait, maybe you are David Cicilline….

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Elbow,,,
In regard to you continuing to reference me as purporting that Providence firefighters act “selflessly” and “sacrifice” – yes, that’s what I stated and I stand behind those words.
I have seen Prov FF’s go “above & beyond” their contractual, moral & ethical duties on countless occassions! I, and I’m not alone, have been reprimanded for leading my company into a raidly spreading dwelling fire in search of reported trapped occupants. The Chief stated “you unjustifiably endangered the lives of the firefighters under your command by entering that building”.
Knocking the fire down from the outside prior to entering the building to search was what the City paid me to do. Going beyond that point is what I refer to as “selfless” (putting my responsiblities to others before my responsibility to safely return to my family after work) and a “sacrifice”.
I know of many instinces such as this, and many others that are more of an everyday nature – pumping basements, assisting the elderly, etc. We perform our jobs for pay as every other worker in America does, that’s true. That, in itself, is enough to stand tall and demand that our employer honor the contracts that outline our working conditions.
We do give “selflessly” and “sacrifice” for those we serve. We do it out of responsibility to the citizens of Prov and pride in our profession. Many men and women HAVE been killed in the line of duty over the years. Many men and women will die in the line of duty THIS year. Many will die in the line of duty in EACH year to come. Our risk is not make believe.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

To Justin & Elbow,
In regards to Paul “No-Show” Doughty…
Whether you agree or not that union presidents should be allowed paid time off from their primary jobs to conduct union business, it is a commonly accepted practice in many unions in general, in RI, in Prov, in public safety, in municipalities, etc., etc. I know where your sentiments are on this Justin & ?
Paul Doughty was temporarily re-assigned to another division in the PFD to allow him greater flexibility in representing union concerns without affecting public safety. He did work in this division for a time prior to being detached to conduct union business.
Local 799 is currently almost 3 years behind in contract negotiations and arbitration hearings. It has been over 7 years since Local 799 has had a “current” contract to work under. President Doughty has not had a “current” contract since he’s been representing us. He has not been representing a union during a “normal course of business”. This, undoubtedly, has contributed to the amount of time he has needed to devote to union business.
As for Elbow’s (and I wonder whether you know the difference between your *** and your elbow) ascertation about unions going on strike, disrupting public safety, or whining. You may take our complaints as “whining”, but don’t ever think you can accuse us of threatening to strike or disrupting public safety. We (Local 799) would never strike (and we’re not allowed to strike under law) AND we are the ONLY ONES concerned with making sure that public safety is NEVER disrupted.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney, I hope you feel better getting all that off your chest. Allow me to respond. 1) Make no mistake, I (and many others) appreciate and respect the job you are paid to do. But I also respect the jobs many other people do. For example, I respect the jobs of lobsterman who “put their lives on the line” EVERY day, or roofers & window washers who work difficult & challenging jobs. But they don’t run around saying they are entitled to retire in their 40s and 50s. My point is that I’m tired of hearing the implication that Firefighters are the only people that work hard (or “hardly work” in Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s case). Yes, you may “go above and beyond” when running into a burning house. But quite frankly, you’re being human at that point. Based on your analysis, the neighbor that runs accross the street and bangs down a door to wake up a family in a burning house should qualify for a Pension at age 45 because they “risked their lives”. It is simple. You have a job. You get paid. Stop acting like you are “serving” someone. You are doing the job you chose to do and for which you are getting paid. In terms of “pumping basements”, gee, how about you just put the pump & other equipment that the taxpayers paid for in a common area for our use. We don’t need $100k firefighters “giving selflessly” by utilizing the equipment we paid for. 2) With respect to your precious “contract”. You piss & moan that you have not had a “current contract” for over 7 years. Well guess what, that just proves that we don’t need a contract. I have never had nor ever needed an employment contract a day in… Read more »

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

“Do you have pictures of Paul watching such a movie with a look of gritty determination?” Nope, but I do have pictures of him fighting fire. “Pauly “No Show” Doughty proclaims that Providence Firefighters should be paid what other FFs are paid in large North Eastern cities. That is pure entitlement minded Union bullscat.” Well, maybe you can explain why PFD Captains make what Warwick FD first-year firefighters make. A first-year CPA sure as hell doesn’t make what the firm’s junior partner makes. So save the whining about “entitlement” attitudes. “With respect to hard-ons …I believe it is you that seems to get arroused by men in uniforms.” No, that’d be Hizzoner the Mayor. But there’s only one man in a Providence uniform that gets little David’s motor running, and it sure isn’t anybody at the Fire Department. “And by the way, why do Taxpayer’s provide Police & Fire with “uniform allowances”? Do people in the Private sector get uniform allowances? Just another Union entitlement.” Uniforms routinely become damaged or soiled beyond repair in the course of duty. Why should the employees pay out of pocket for something like that? I bet you think they should buy their own helmets too. As for the private sector, it depends where you go. A friend of mine works for a private ambulance in Mass, they issue pants, shirts, jackets, hats, parkas, etc. Others give an initial allowance on hiring s the employee can guy the numbers of items of each that they actually want, and a smaller dollar amount each year after that. The privates in RI typically only give out one or two shirts plus an “all-season” jacket (which is too light in the winter and too heavy any other time). I work in a non-municipal ambulance job that isn’t a… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Mr. Elbow (???), Still don’t have a damn clue as to who you might be, so it’s much less risky for you to shoot your mouth off than it is for me, so I’ll keep my thoughts on your attitude and character to myself. First of all, if you are half as educated and aware of issues as you say you are, then you should be ashamed of yourself for some of your ignorant comments: *****Someday we’ll talk about the time not so long ago when fire-departments were mostly volunteer departments, manned by good people who cared about their neighbors and public safety, before they were hi-jacked by the Unions and turned into a jobs program***** Volunteer fire departments haven’t worked in urban settings in the last 200 yeras in America. I didn’t realize you were that old – maybe I should show you more respect …. not. With regards to contracts, you said… *****In fact, you public employees are the only people I know of who have / require one***** Stupid, stupid, stupid statement. *****Don’t be so afraid, Tom, to let the free market determine your worth. I think you will find it quite liberating to be self-reliant as opposed to being so dependent upon a Union and a contract, like an infant that is dependant on it’s mother’s tit.***** I’m not afraid for my wages or benefits on an open market. I am afraid for them when the politicians can take them away to balance a budget. You just don’t get it, do you. If I didn’t have a contract you’d be demanding my wages and benefits be cut. Also, without contract stipulations regarding the number of apparatus and manpower in the city, the city would cut the department down to woefully unsafe levels and the cost for… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

And Justin….
….maybe if you had given my book the plug in the ProJo, I might have left this alone and not argued my point here….
….No, I still would have chimed in.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney, Make up your mind and stop speaking out of both sides of your mouth …I expect that from EMT and others, but not from a Lt. On the one hand you say “without contract stipulations regarding the number of apparatus and manpower in the city, the city would cut the department down to woefully unsafe levels and the cost for the monetary savings WOULD be paid in lives – guaranteed” Yet you then say that Pauly “No Show” Doughty “not being on the truck is a $$$$ issue, not safety issue.” Gee Tom, where are / were your “minimum manning” concerns when Pauly “No Show” decided to leave his comrades down one man for 3+ years?? Why not use your Union dues (instead of my TAXDOLLARS) to hire someone to do the Union “work” that Pauly No Show was supposedly doing? It is pretty clear Tom that it is the UNION that “cut the department down to woefully unsafe levels” for monetary savings on behalf of the Union! If it is NOT a safety issue, then the City should eliminate the position, as it apparently is not needed for safety issues. Your boy, EMT, whines about “tightass” taxpayers that won’t pay for even daytime paid staffing. Actually, we do pay for it, but guys like lazy Pauly “No Show” Doughty don’t show up to work, resulting in EMT being alone on a call. With regard to “Sorry, but I don’t enjoy the back and forth when the other side won’t name themselves”, are you referring to EMT, Dave or Phil who don’t provide their full names? With respect to “insulting”, are you referring to EMT who routinely makes insulting comments about “Hizzoner Ciciline”? It’s real simple Tom: the City can only pay you what it can AFFORD to… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

George,
Doughty’s position on Special Hazards was NEVER (not even for 1 shift) left to ride with 3 men. There was always a man either detailed in from another truck or being paid overtime to ride. Do your research, bud. That was even in the ProJo article.
I do not talk out of both sides of my mouth. You may not agree with me but you will never find me lying on these forums. Everyone knows who I am, therefore I can’t afford to lose my credibility. You, on the other hand, can scrap the Elbow name and reappear here tomorrow as King Kong.
As far as my whining goes, I’m not trying to gain sympathy for extra wages. I, and others, point out that we’re underpaid compared to other comparable departments BECAUSE you and others scream about how overpaid we are. Don’t turn it around on us by saying that we’re whining about our wages – we’re merely defending ourselves against critics such as you.
******************************************* but you’ll survive if your as wonderful as you think you are. *******************************************
Georgy Boy – you don’t know a damn thing about me, about my fellow firefighters, or about my job. Don’t insult me by publicly stating that I’m full of myself. Go look back at the posts where I’ve joined in. I jump in (with both feet) when I’m being attacked.
BTW, what do you do for a living?? …or would even that be too much information?

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney, Yes, I do rant on, but I NEVER called you a liar. I simply pointed out that, in my opinion, you (and other supporters of Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty) want it BOTH ways. On the one hand you suggest the Union is needed to ensure “minimum manning” and safe working conditions. Yet on the other hand, you defend the 3+ year absensce of a lazy-ass, entitlement minded employee that was paid salary & benefits with TAXPAYER funds to work as a Firefighter, but instead did Union “work”. His slot was filled with “a man either detailed in from another truck [so the other truck had the shortage] or being paid overtime to ride.” In either case, Tom, Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s actions led to fewer available resources to be applied to the job at hand, which was public safety. Tom, give it up. Your loyalty to the Union and Pauly No Show are admirable to a point, but your dead wrong on this issue and that is why the public has lost faith in the Unions. I’m sure you are damn good at the job you do (seriously). You are obviously committed and passionate. But the point I am trying to get accross to you and your Union comrades is that there are LIMITS to what the Taxpayers can afford and if you don’t like that, do what people in the REAL world do on a regular basis, which is go out and find a new job and let the Free Market determine your worth, as opposed to cowering behind contracts, collective bargaining, arbitration, picketing, etc. [By the way, does it occur to you that “collective” bargaining sounds like something from communist regimes?] What do I do for a living? Let’s just say unlike Pauly “No Show”… Read more »

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

>>Your boy, EMT, whines about “tightass” taxpayers that won’t pay for even daytime paid staffing. Actually, we do pay for it, but guys like lazy Pauly “No Show” Doughty don’t show up to work, resulting in EMT being alone on a call.<< You do realize that I don't work for PFD, right? Try to keep up with the conversation.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Mr. Elbow, Your fascination/fixation/displeasure regarding Mr. Doughty’s time off is noted. For the record, I never said whether I thought any union official should have the time off. I do think they should have some time off. As for how much or when – that should be an understanding between the union and the employer. That is what Mr. Doughty had. Until new Chief of Dept George “Double-dipper-extraordinaire” Farrell cancelled the agreement. Farrell then publicly accused Mr. Doughty of doing something underhanded. Mr Farrell (when he was our president) had the same type of arrangement. Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e???? NO COMPANY was EVER shorthanded (below the minimum manning provisions of our contract)because of Mr. Doughty’s absence. It’s probably been well over 15 years or so since the city has even a single extra FF on duty during non-emergency situations (blizzards, hurricanes, multiple alarm fires). The city follows the minimum standard laid out in our contract – and not one more!!! You (& others) are determined to show how the Prov FF’s union is killing the Prov taxpayer. Do you realize that FF’s salaries are less than 3% of the city’s annual budget. There are plenty of high paying, high benefit jobs that can be cut without effecting public safety. Your under the impression that if we (Local 799) gave up our contract that the city would treat us fairly and keep a truly safe number of FF’s and trucks on the street. Who’s living in a fantasy world??? You say that you’ll be working well into your 60’s? I will, too. I just won’t be working as a FF. I have MANDATORY retirement at 60 – whether I’m on the trucks or in an office job. This is not another union perk. We didn’t want it. This is due to… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

EMT – yes, I know you don’t work for the PFD. Rather, you are Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s personal photographer. By the way, does your clothing allowance include knee-pads for all the time you spend on your knees worshipping and servicing Pauly “No Show”?? I hope so for your sake. Tom Kenney – Pauly “No Show” Doughty can sit home on his lazy ass doing Union “work” 24/7/365 if he wants. He just needs to do it on the Union’s dime (that’s what your dues are for), not the Taxpayer’s dime. We pay him a salary & benefits to be a Firefighter, not a “Stay at home on his lazy ass Union hack”. And deep down I think you don’t disagree with this. What does George Farrell have to do with this? It was wrong when he was doing it too. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But Pauly “No Show” Doughty took the wrong to a whole new level by not showing up at all (except for overtime). We both know that what he pulled is inexcusable and it is inexcusable that so many fellow union members “gave selflessly” and kept their mouth’s shut while the Taxpayers took it in the keester. I have NO problem providing FFs a Pension after 25 years of work. But they should have to wait until they are 65 to begin collecting. I have an issue with FFs and Police retiring in their 40s and 50s who are able to begin collecting 50% or more of their pay for aother 30 or more years. They should have to wait until they are 65, just like people have to wait until they are 65 to collect Social Security. There is a reason why the Pension system has a $5B shortfall. And yes, there are… Read more »

kjr
kjr
12 years ago

I’m not going to beat a dead horse but a few things I’ve yet to see mentioned here:
1. Not every fire department in the state is in the municipal pension system. From what I can gather more are in private systems than the states system. 2. Also, the pensions are mixed in with the state workers, police, fire, some teachers, judges, etc. depending on how the municipality got legislated into the system way back when, so pointing a finger to a particular group that is causing the problem seems ridiculous. 3. The reason the pension system is structured like it is for some members is that they do NOT have a social security retirement, some towns do participate at the reduced rate and some don’t. If you contribute to both systems a sizable amount of money comes out of your pay every 2 weeks – like mine. 4. Like any profession we have some slabs who give us a bad name, don’t lump us into the same category as those idiots, we pay for them every day we have to work with them and we’re not impressed either. The employment laws protect them more than the unions ever will.
No matter what service we work for we are real people like everyone else, we pay taxes, rent, utilities, food, gas just like you do and live paycheck to paycheck, sometimes eating corn flakes all week to pay the heat bill and put fuel in the tank.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

KJR, You are correct, it is not JUST one Union or ONE profession that is the problem. ALL our Public Employee Unions are the problem, that is why I said: “I don’t think for a minute that the budget should & could be balanced on the backs of the FD. It shouldn’t. My point is that our Public Employee Unions, the FD included, don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about the customer’s ability to pay. RI has some of the highest taxes in the Nation, yet we continue to have massive budget & Pension deficits. There is a reason for that. One of the key reasons is that we are paying our Public Employees (including the FD) far more than we can afford to.” There are lazy do nothing slobs in EVERY profession, Public and Private. But trust me, in Private they get fired. In Public, they are next to impossible to get rid of due to Union grievances, minimum manning, etc. Do you think for a minute that someone in the Private sector would still be employed if they stopped showing up to work for 3+ years like Lazyass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, who as Pwesident of the Union sets the example for the Union? RI has LOST 6,000 jobs this year. Yet, despite the fact that we have 6,000 less people paying income tax, we can NOT reduce the Public sector workforce to reflect the reduced tax receipts resulting from those lost jobs. In private sector, when sales drop, you HAVE to reduce your workforce. It is simple economics, but basic economic principles don’t seem to apply to the Unions and the Public sector workforce. We try to reduce headcount and we end up spending months and months going thru “bumping”, grievances and all things insanely Union.… Read more »

kjr
kjr
12 years ago

George, I understand your point of view, not that I agree with everything the way you present it. I honestly think that the unions and the state can come up with a plan to solve the pension crisis. The trick is getting everyone to the table. Speaking for my own profession and department, we’re not out to bleed the taxpayer, we are ones ourselves. 10 years ago the towns and cities were told to stop contributing to the fund since it was making a killing in the market, now thru market conditions, baby-boomers retiring and the state economy, we have a situation developing at an alarming speed. Now the municipalities are being forced to create massive unfunded liability accounts to prepare for the retirements. Personally I wouldn’t fund my employees benefits on a “savings account” if I was a CEO, but that seems the band-aid approach being taken right now and yeah, it’s a sizable amount of money. The system needs to be revamped and make it more solvent and equitable like it was in the 90’s when this all wasn’t an issue and my 9% contribution every 2 weeks was enough to keep it rolling. On the issue of personnel. Our labor contracts do little (at least ours) to hide these slugs actually. Minimum manning does not prevent people being terminated. The FLSA and EAP rules and regs do however. If someone is terminated they are replaced off the hiring list with the next qualified candidate, safety is not jeopardized. Minimum manning is operations, not human resources. I understand your view on the workforce but here is our situation. Runs are not down, we need more bodies than we have now to do the calls, stay in compliance of safety rules and regs and do the job effectively. Example,… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

KJR, Well said. However, to be clear, I firmly believe that Public safety is the LAST place we should be reducing heads. My comments with respect to headcount reductions was not at all aimed at the FD, but rather, broadly accross the state in ALL departments. We all know what is happening with the reductions the Governor is trying to make …it’s going no where do to “bumping” and a general Union sentiment of “we’re entitled to life-time employment”. With respect to the FD (and the Unions), I am simply fed up with people like Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty who sits on his lazy ass while collecting a Taxpayer funded paycheck for 3+ years while he is surrounded by fools that defend such actions (either overtly or by their silence). I want the FD to receive a fair pay (and benefits), but it HAS to be based on what the Taxpayers can afford. People like Union Pwesident Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty think they are ENTITLED to get paid a pay that has NO correlation to what the customer (i.e. Taxpayer) can afford. They already have recession proof jobs yet they want to get paid like people who can loose their job in an economic down-turn or whose jobs can be outsourded overseas. Too many entitlment minded primadonnas. With respect to Pensions, you over simplify the issue. The math just does NOT work when you have people contributing just 9% of their Salary (in the early years on a low base) for 20 – 25 years and then collect a GAURANTEED benefit for 25-30 years that equals at least 50% of their 5 highest years (of which they ALWAYS juice up with Overtime, details, unused Sick-time, etc) and then grow that amount by 3% or more a year. Without… Read more »

kjr
kjr
12 years ago

George,
You’re points are well taken. One thing about the pension math, I agree. When we signed the forms for it way back when, the system was performing as designed (I think) and the investments were doing their job with our share and the municipalities that needed to contribute as well. We didn’t have an unfunded liability account, we didn’t need one. Now that the economy is a train wreck or at least derailed we’ve gone in the other direction. Some days I even wonder if the system will be there when it’s my time to go, just like my reduced rate social security retirement that I need to work to age 70 to collect my full benefits. I even have a 457b plan of my own for retirement to supplement my retirement plan and right now I’m losing on the principal no mater what I shift my contributions to. Right now, fiscally, I don’t think there are any winners or a golden right answer. Someone is going to need to step up and take this one by the horns and come up with an equitable solution to the stakeholders and the taxpayers. I can say personally that if I have to work for 44 years on the truck to get my minimum retirement like has been kicked around, there better be a rack to keep my walker in when I get out at a call.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

KJR, I, nor anyone else, wants you on the truck for 44 years. I want you on there for as long as you can do the job. If you can no longer do the job, I want you to retire. But if you are NOT 62 or 65, I want you to have to wait like everyone else before you can begin drawing a Pension check. What I really want, and most people I know want, is for our Public employees to open their eyes to what is happening in the world around them. Look what happened to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Big Steel. Management refused to say no to the unrealistic and unsustainable demands of their Unions. They always thought they could pass the cost on to their customers. Like Pauly “No Show” Doughty, they ignored the customer’s ability to pay and allowed their cost structure to overwhelm them. Pretty soon, they were no long Car companies that provided healthcare and pensions to their employees, instead, they were Healthcare & Pension companies that sold cars to try to pay for it all. No doubt, you absolutely deserve a Pension. The issue is that we allow folks to begin collecting pensions in this state after 25-30 years of work (and ofter times earlier). So, we end up with many people in their 40s & 50s who are collecting lucrative pensions that grow by 3% or more every year. These people can easily live into their late 70s or 80s, causing them to collect for far more years than they ever worked. The math will never work in this circumstance (no matter what the Bob Walsh’s of the world try to tell us) and that is one of the reasons we are in the position we are in, which is a MASSIVE… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

KJR, I, nor anyone else, wants you on the truck for 44 years. I want you on there for as long as you can do the job. If you can no longer do the job, I want you to retire. But if you are NOT 62 or 65, I want you to have to wait like everyone else before you can begin drawing a Pension check. What I really want, and most people I know want, is for our Public employees to open their eyes to what is happening in the world around them. Look what happened to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Big Steel. Management refused to say no to the unrealistic and unsustainable demands of their Unions. They always thought they could pass the cost on to their customers. Like Pauly “No Show” Doughty, they ignored the customer’s ability to pay and allowed their cost structure to overwhelm them. Pretty soon, they were no long Car companies that provided healthcare and pensions to their employees, instead, they were Healthcare & Pension companies that sold cars to try to pay for it all. No doubt, you absolutely deserve a Pension. The issue is that we allow folks to begin collecting pensions in this state after 25-30 years of work (and ofter times earlier). So, we end up with many people in their 40s & 50s who are collecting lucrative pensions that grow by 3% or more every year. These people can easily live into their late 70s or 80s, causing them to collect for far more years than they ever worked. The math will never work in this circumstance (no matter what the Bob Walsh’s of the world try to tell us) and that is one of the reasons we are in the position we are in, which is a MASSIVE… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Last time Mr Elbow, You spout things you know nothing about. Our pension is based on the average of our LAST 3 years – not our HIGHEST 5 years. There is no overtime, details, or unused sick time computed into our pension base. The COLA raises you speak of do not begin until the January following your 3rd anniversary of your retirement. According to the Gov’s own figures 691 of the targeted state layoffs have already been put into effect. You state that “…they want to get paid like people who can loose their job in an economic down-turn or whose jobs can be outsourded overseas.” You’ve never heard my union complaining about our wages even though we’ve been without a raise in 3 years (effectively) or that we’re paid less than many other departments in RI. You only hear us talk about our salaries when ignorant people like you spout about us being “grossly overpaid”. All of you must only read the headlines of the ProJo when they state that many Prov FF’s earned over $100K. Look it up – the year the paper was using was an aberation. **************************************** With all those basic mistakes in your short outburst, it seems like you have no credibility to speak on my pension and union reliably. You only know what politicians, the ProJo and other union haters have told you – let the facts be damned. Your utter contempt for Paul is abundantly clear. You refuse to acknowledge that his actions (whether you despise them or not) were not really different from his predecessors and a large number of other union officers in both the public and private sectors. You speak of me waiting until I’m 62 or 65 y/o to begin my pension. I am mandatorily thrown off my job… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

I’m sick and tired of George (whatever the F*#* his name is) calling me a moron. “Lazy-ass Entitlement minded Pauly “No Show” Doughty and the morons that defend his ilk.”
Yes, I defend Paul. Paul has more character and strength and morality than most people I know. He fights hard for his men, but he doesn’t lie like the politicians he’s fighting on a daily basis.
“””””The math will never work in this circumstance (no matter what the Bob Walsh’s of the world try to tell us) and that is one of the reasons we are in the position we are in, which is a MASSIVE $5B deficit.””””””
That is ONE of the reasons. TWO – a grossly under achieving stock market and economy due to conservative fiscal policies. THREE – years of governments underfunding (or not funding at all) these systems.
As usual, Georgy Boy, you feel compelled to beat the crap out of the least harmful of the contributing factors, ignoring those that might be the fault of those politicians and policies you favor.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney, It’s worse than I thougt ..it is based on you last 3 years, not your last 5. And your last years ARE your highest years. What do you mean when you say you’ve had 3 years without a raise “effectively”? Have you ever not received a raise, whether it was current or retroactive? I never said you were “grossly over paid”. You must have a guilty conscience. I commented on Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s assertion that his (& the Union’s) pay should have no correlation to what his customers (i.e. Taxpayers) can afford. Rather, it should be based on what other North Eastern Cities pay. And if there are other departments paying more, by all means, go take a job with one of those other departments. Nobody is stopping you. You get 3% or more COLAs …I could care less if you have to wait ’til year 3. The point is that you get them. Nobody but Public Employees get them. If you have mandatory retirement at 60, then you should get a REDUCED Pension benefit if you begin collecting at that age. But if you retire in you 50s (like many do), they can wait. And by the way, when was the last time anyone lost their jobs in their 50s due to a lay off or a bad economy down there at the FD? Cry me a river about mandatory retirement. Be happy you have a recession proof job. With respect to Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, please don’t embarass yourself by defending his actions with the old “everyone else does it” defense. Union business should be paid by Union dues, NOT Taxpayer funds. And you know damn well the Lazy-ass hack took an already bad practice to a whole new level. The Lazy-ass leech… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tommy-Boy,
Yes, the stock market is down. It can do that sometimes, despite what the Bob Walsh’s of the world would lead you to believe.
You seem to imply that it is down due to someone’s “conservative policies”. I know it is a foreign concept to you, but it is called the FREE MARKET.
The issue that you fail to grasp is that our Public Employees get a GUARANTEED benefit REGARDLESS of what the Free Market does. For the Public Employee, it is all REWARD and NO RISK …just pass the bill on to the Taxpayer.
You just don’t get it, Tommy-boy. These Ponzi Pension schemes just don’t work over the long run. Ask GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc. They are mathematical impossibilities as structured (i.e. COLAs, early retirements, etc.) unless you bankrupt the Employer by causing them to fund the inevitable shortfalls.
With respect to Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, he can “fight for his men” all he wants. But he should have done it on the Union’s dime, NOT the Taxpayer’s dime. But since you people are so contemptuous of the customers (Taxpayers), I don’t expect you to get it. If you did get it, you’d be a Chump, right? We can’t have that, can we, Tom? Blind allegiance is never a good thing, Tom.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Neither is blind hatred…

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

I responded to this link to comment that I was disappointed that Justin, in his op-ed piece, took advantage of a friend of mine and used him to further his own beliefs.
I don’t know how it turned into a head-to-head with Elbow. I don’t like to argue with a ghost, but it seems I have a hard time just walking away.
It’s clear by his remarks that he is not a neutral party in this argument about Local 799. He is one of our foes who has most likely been cut down by Local 799 President Paul Doughty in the past.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney, I don’t have ANY hatred for you or anyone else. I don’t even hate Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, whom I’ve never met. So be clear. My comments are NOT driven by HATE for any individual. Rather, my comments are driven by disgust (perhaps hate) of a System & Culture so contemptuous towards the Taxpayers that people like Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty can survive & thrive. My comments are driven by a System in which Michael Morse correctly described as “You’re a Chump if you’re not getting yours.” And there is no better example of this broken System / Culture than Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty and his band of moronic supporters and apologists. He’s a lazy entitlement minded Union hack so contemptous of the Taxpayers that he didn’t even do the job they were paying him to do for 3+ years. If most people didn’t show up to their JOB for a week, never mind 3+ years, they’d get FIRED. But in Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty’s case, he gets a pat on the back from his comrades and testimonials about his “character”. Give me a break. You defend him with “it’s always been done” as opposed to looking at what is right and what is wrong. Union business should be paid for by Union dues, NOT hard working Taxpayer funds. We paid for a Firefighter, but we got a Lazy-Ass Stay At Home Union rep. Rather than acknowledging that Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty was hosing the Taxpayers, you defend his actions and complain about the Chief that put an end to his excesses. You whine about scumbags like Nicholas Gianquitti sitting home on his ass collecting a Disability Pension without anyone checking on him. Yet not a peep about Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty… Read more »

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

10 paragraphs & 9 mentions of Paul Doughty….no, you couldn’t have anything personal against him (lol).

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Justin,
Do you see how the quote you printed attributed to Mike Morse is making him the punchline for the opposing side of the arguement. Do you think your friend would appreciate that?
That’s why I criticized your article.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom Kenney,
What, do you not agree that Lazy-Ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty is the Poster-Child for the entitlement minded folks that create the culture that Michael Morse described when he aptly noted that “You’re a Chump if you don’t get yours”?
Come on, Tom. Give it up.
I’m thinking EMT could do a photo-shoot of his hero, Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, and create a Poster entitled “Giving Selflessly” with Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty sitting in his recliner with a bag of Cheetos watching Oprah and “Rescue Me” reruns with a caption at the bottom of the poster that reads:
“3+ years and counting. I got a Union card and the Taxpayers got a Tax Increase. Don’t be a Chump, join the Union so you too can get your’s while the Chump Taxpayers trudge off to work every day to pay for it all. After all, we’ve EARNED it.”
What do you think Tom? You’ll sell far more of these posters that you do of your silly calendars. Heck, you could even boost the sales by telling people the the proceeds will go to those that “gave selflessly”.
Face it, Tom. As long as you defend the actions of Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty, you lose all credibility.

Tom Kenney
12 years ago

Buzzzzzzz…..shoo fly, shoo!!!!

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Good boy, Tommy-boy.
Finaly you replied without defending entitlement minded Lazy-ass Pauly “No Show” Doughty.
This is good progress.
I take it we are in agreement.
Good luck with the Poster drive.
By the way, you miscounted the number of paragraphs in your prior post …it was 11 paragraphs, not 10. But don’t worry, it’s a minor detail …like having to wait ’til year 3 before you get your COLA.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.