Using the Legislature to Increase Union Leverage
Senator Frank Ciccone, who was a leading voice for legislation to generate some monopoly business for a particular media purchase agent and who makes $161,168 working for the Laborers’ State Council, wants to provide micromanagement-level oversight of quasi-public entities:
In a letter that went out to the top administrators of these agencies on Aug. 25, Ciccone posed a series of questions, such as this: Does the agency give bonuses to any of its employees? Does it pay overtime?
Does it provide any form of compensation to its board members, including “travel, lodging, meals, training and, or education and if so, please provide a list of all compensation and/or reimbursement that board members received in FY 2011?”
Does the agency make “charitable and non-charitable contributions” and, if so, did its “employees or board members receive any benefits from [these] contributions, such as tickets, meals or golfing?”
Each letter also asks the administrator of each agency to “please list all gifts, benefits or other compensation that vendors or consultants gave to employees or board members in FY 2011.”
That looks to me like an information-gathering effort for his union employer and its other allies in labor. Just another indication of why it doesn’t have to be illegal to be corruption in Rhode Island.
It occurs to me, incidentally, that public-sector unions are essentially quasi-public entities, inasmuch as they collect their revenue directly from government revenue and conduct their activities with in and for the purpose of government operations. Surely, they should be receiving bullying letters and demands from legislative boards, especially considering the recent antics of executives in the National Education Association Rhode Island.