By Wyatt Earp | December 19, 2009
Well, it took six months, but the city finally agreed to a new police contract. We had been working without one since July 1st, and this is the longest we’ve been kept waiting in recent memory. The arbitration board decided we were worth the following:
1. No raise the first year. A 3% raise in the second and third years.
2. Our health care coverage will remain intact. (Thank God.)
3. We can be furloughed for 30 days once a year.
4. After 2012, officers with five years on the job may move out of the city.
The last two points are the ones that have everyone talking. The furlough is ridiculous, and naturally it was the major issue that the mayor and commissioner wanted to shove down our throats. The commissioner can now pick officers at random and lay them off for 30 days straight. No pay, no pension contribution. An officer will only receive 7 days notice beforehand, and there are no set rules for the furloughs. You would think the FOP would fight this insanity, but you would be wrong. Our FOP, like most unions, is useless as teat on a nun. The rat bastards – President John McNesby, specifically – not only didn’t fight this, but they also conveniently forgot to put this item on their press release and their website. Nice, huh?
The residency issue is also controversial. Philadelphia issues a residency requirement for every city employee. We all must live inside the city limits, no matter how terrible the crime, corruption, and/or municipal services become. It was the one rule that most employees wanted discarded. No one ever thought they would see the day, however, because if city employees were able to leave this town, the tax base would go with them. And make no mistake; the taxpayers in Philly never get service – I guarantee my neighborhood won’t see a plow today – while the ‘hood gets everything. It’s infuriating. So, when this decision came down, I received a lot of calls and e-mails. They all asked the same thing: “When are you moving out?”
The short answer is “Never.”
Contrary to some of my posts, this city is not yet lost. And contrary to what you may think, I still like living here. I am in a great – newly renovated – house in a terrific, quiet neighborhood. Why in the world would I want to load up the truck and move to Beverly (Hills, that is) just for the sake of moving? Personally, I think that is idiocy.
Besides, moving to the suburbs means higher taxes, higher school tuition, and higher home costs. Randal lives in the suburbs, and he always gets hosed on taxes and fees. Even if I sell the Earp Ranch for fair market value, we would still need to borrow money to afford anything decent in the ‘burbs. No thanks. If my co-workers want to flee, more power to them. I’m staying, and I’m staying for the foreseeable future.
Long story short: The great things in this contract are completely outweighed by the idiotic ones.