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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wicked pissah decision

A 19 percent raise to pee in a cup? Where do I sign up?

I'm oversimplifying the arbitrator award that granted Boston firefighters a 4-year, 19 percent raise in exchange for random drug testing, but the upheaval from this decision should be amazing.

Not just what this kind of raise will do to already shaky city finances -- starting with demands from the other unions to match it. Or the squeeze that it will put on other city services, like libraries. Or what this will mean in other cities and towns.

There's also something a little unsettling to the precedent that public safety employees can now exchange wage concessions for meeting what should be basic demands of the job -- namely that they report to work clean and sober.

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