Thursday, September 04, 2003

Life in a Northeast town

I love this Boston Globe story that was farked today ...

Seems that in Cranston, R.I. (outside Providence), the mayor was not real happy with the benefits given to the city's school crossing guards.

Cranston Crossing guards work two 30-minute shifts each day. A different story I found from the Providence paper says the workers make $45 a day. But the city's 39 crossing guards also get health benefits for themselves and their families, life insurance, a pension, paid sick time and paid snow days.

Real-job benefits for a $225 a week job with summers off? The benefits have to be worth three times as much as the pay.

To simple Southerners like myself, who are looked down upon by many of the Yankee transplants who fled south from places like Rhode Island, this might seem like an odd situation.

But ...

The Cranston crossing guards have .... a union. They are part of the Public Service Employees Local Union 1033 up there in the sunny Northeast.

The Globe article focused on the mayor's hiring of a P.I. firm to watch the guards, several of whom didn't come close to spending 30 minutes at their crossings. The backstory is that the mayor attempted to fire the guards, who are - of course - a pretty significant burden on the small town.

Of course, the union sued the city and so far has kept the guards from getting fired. Seems they all have a contract that guarantees them employment through 2005.

And the unions wonder why they are seen as greedy and the enemies of society in general.

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