Imagine if somebody tried to physically keep you from your workplace

You'd call the police, right? But what if it's the police who are blocking you?

Union members followed the MWRA crew to their next job on Fenno Street in Revere, where a city police captain refused to allow the crew to do their work.

"Your plan is faulty and we're not going to allow you to work,” Revere Capt. James Guido told MWRA Chief Operating Officer Mike Hornbrook, who accompanied another worker today.

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Comments

I wouldnt want to be a

I wouldnt want to be a flagger right now... The north shore is a tough place to be in that situation.

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Dis is Guido talkin

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We're just concerned about your... ahh... safety heah. We think it wouldn't be... safe... fah you to go down dat hole. Right, boys?

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Nice station you got here ...

... would be a pity if something broke due to lack of routine maintenance and it got flooded with sewage.

Don't know who you might call to fix it, either - after all, you said it was too dangerous for anybody to work out there.

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Picketing is one thing...

Interfering with lawful work is another. I'd say call in the national guard to set up a buffer, if the national guard wasn't otherwise occupied.

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I dont know any National

I dont know any National Guardsmen who are not cops of fire fighters myself. They may be out their, but I would guess a good number of them will be cops and fire fighters or wanna be cops and fire fighters.

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The article doesnt say if

The article doesnt say if the mwra actually had flaggers there. Maybe they didnt and they were breaking the law by not having a safe worksite?

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They didn't need flaggers

Look at Fenno Street in Google Street View.

You don't need a flagger there, except to wave hi to the 5 locals who might pass in an hour. Please.

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Actually Fenno Street in

Actually Fenno Street in Revere is a prime canidate for some sort of flagger or police detail. Its a slow road most of the time, but it is a hilly road, and connects 16/1/Broadway and at times can be a speedway between them all, especially when Broadway is a mess, which is in the morning, in the 2 oclock school hour and during rush hour, so alot. People use it as a short cut and it can get quite dangerous. Im not sure if a cop is really needed (as it is low traffic) but I would personally like to see someone there to guide traffic around and keep them away from the road work. Google maps doesnt tell you everything about the situation.

On a side note, is anyone else just amazed that the cop in question, in Revere, has the last name Guido?

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That's pathetic.

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The fact that the pollice wouldn't let the MWRA workers do their lawful and legal work is yet another indication of this country's going into a police state, if one gets the drift.

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the law

Does anyone know what the townbylaw in Everett or Chelsea says about road construction and safety?

This detail thing is going to be bad news. There has to be a way to just grandfather the law in. Any Police officer that gets on the job before 2010 should be able to get first prioity on details on construction sites. Then, once those officers are gone, the state can hire flaggars at $3 bucks less an hour. Companies should have to hire cops first, and then when there are none available call a flagger.

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It was Everett and Revere

It was Everett and Revere not Everett and Chelsea...

I thought I had read somewhere that Chelsea just passed an ordinance saying you have to have details in their city limits for any work anyway.

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Nice Tries

Stop making excuses for cop entitlement, Pete and RePete the Sock Puppet Operator, and come to grips with the reasons behind this change. Simple fact: Massachusetts is the only state that thinks every open manhole needs a cop to stare at it. Why do you think that is?? Why do you think that we are so special and different - other than never getting out of the state, perhaps?

Police abused their detail privileges, demanded details for every sidewalk repair and dead-end manhole, sat in cruisers in public view and read the paper and slept on the job (on a bike you really get to see more than in a car, you know), weren't working at times when they needed to be working, weren't paying attention at times they needed to be paying attention and now they had their toys taken away. If the unions had "policed" their own on detail abuses and detail racketeering, they wouldn't have gotten this kind of backlash.

Cops also work way too many hours - more than are allowed for truck drivers, military watches and medical personnel - and that may compromise public safety far more than a side street work crew. I have long been alarmed at the kind of overtime hours reflected in pay amounts to top-earning troopers. These guys need to drive a lot and carry guns and they shouldn't be sleep deprived on duty, yet the detail overtime numbers mean that many of them are.

If Guido et al think they are smart by pulling their little illegal obstructions - especially before an election with a tax repeal on the ballot - they are really out of touch with the larger reality and public perceptions. Entitled public workers throwing selfish tantrums are just the kind of free advertising the vote yes on 1 people love.

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Amen.

I'll buy a car, paint it two-tone blue and grey, get some fancy flashing lights; back, front and center, shot gun rack.

Then I'll buy a uniform that makes me look like I'm ready to invade Poland.

Pay ME 1.5x and 2x my standard pay rate while I sit in the car, with flashing lights on, read the paper and drink coffee.

The only thing the state owes the cops is some notice so that their incomes don't drop precipitously with no notice.

The cops had the franchise and the ABUSED it at our expense. ABUSED it. Why should flag work cost 1.5x? Seriously.

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flagwork costs that much

because thats what THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS DIVISION OF LABOR sets the flag rate at. The state wont save much.

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String 'em up

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Car Pundit, a lawyer and former state trooper, calls for prosecution of the cops who blocked the workers:

Those protesting cops are no better than criminals. And I don't say that lightly.

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Do contracts matter any more?

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Detail rates have always been a part of contract negotiations between the Police and the State/Cities/Towns. By getting rid of details Deval Patrick has violated/negated all of those contracts. For fair labor practice purposes, the the cops should be compensated for that loss.

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exactly right operator

Imagine taking or keeping a job, or getting a mortgage because of a promotion or contract you signed, and then find someone nullifies that contract? This is UNFAIR labor practice.

Too many people are jumping to conclusions here too. If the work needed to be done, they could have just hired the cops anyway.

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And now.....

National Unions like Keyspan and NSTAR, AFL/CIO, Teamsters have to obey Union regulations with cops in the same UNION! They now have to hire cops at strike/protest/picket wages! (sometimes $75+ an hour) for a legal protest of their own union!

Deval never thought of any of this I guess..

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Well said Pete

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You said it Pete. It's like having a mortgage but then 10 yrs into it the bank calls and says; "oh, by the way, we just raised your interest rate 5%...learn to live with it." This whole "detail" thing is a bad sign for all unions. Our contracts are legal/binding yet DP has violated the cops' contracts by doing this. This is scary, I hope the cops win in the end. If they don't...this sets a bad precedent.

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Left Sock, You're So Smart

I agree with all your canned talking points, and now I have a pat story to tell!

Very good work copying and pasting that ... I'll be back with more that you are sure to agree with!

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swirlygirl....

I hope you dont think we are the same person, because we are not. And this isn't about cops sleeping on the job, working overhours, or even manholes on deadend streets. This is about contracts negotiated with towns that left specific clauses for detail work in them. Many police Unions gave up medical benefits, payraises, vacation time, pensionalble overtime that would cost towns money, and other benefits so this added benefit was left in. Towns saved money (and make it with surcharges), and unions made money, and the streets were safer with more cops, and more cops available for criminal responses as well.

You probably dont know that many towns and cities allow companies to shut streets without details. And do you know about how New Hampshire cops have pensionable overtime that probably costs taxpayers more than MA ones?

And now you are saying the backlash is because of cops sleeping in cars and not doing their job instead of saving money for the state? You said it all right there. You must be one of the jelous ones.....

You want to say that cops arent doing their jobs or sleeping in cruisers then go ahead. I dont disagree with you. But thats another issue.

But what happens during that first fatal crash that happens on a state road where a PRIVATE company was in charge of the safety of the roadway. Guess who is going to pay up the multi-million dollar settlement? Thats right, the State of Massachusetts.

And if you are so against working overhours, why dont you petition the state to change firefighters 24 hour shifts to 8 hour ones? Id love to see the outrage at that one...

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Keep it up

Jealous ones? Nah ... I work half the hours for that kind of pay (although the years spent in grad school to get to this point were kinda lean).

The "safety issue" is bullshit. My father worked highway construction for another state for 30 years. They never had cops doing flagger jobs, and there was never a safety issue or even close to it. The cops were out doing the job that they were trained to do and that they were supposed to do - they patrolled the roads in the area and nailed speeders in the construction zones, something I've VERY RARELY SEEN in MA. That lack of enforcement itself is a severe safety issue!!! So much better to go stare in the hole. I've only recently seen the cops at truly active sites step out and direct traffic. Prior to that, they stood their and chatted while cars tried to figure their way around the mess and did nothing to help buses get by trucks, etc. Many was the time that I thought to myself "give a 20 year old a stop-slow sign ... at least he or she would actually do the job!".

I'm not voting yes on 1, but others will look at this entitlement festival to bolster their own decisions to do so. If people feel that the only way to drop the curtain on this theater of the absurd is to pull the dollars out from under it, they will do that. I'd like to say there is a better way, but I find it amusing that local officials will whine and moan when the state actually acts like a state, but whine and moan louder that the state isn't giving them enough money ever and always wahhhh wahhhh. Perhaps places like Revere and Everett should have their local aid rescinded if they don't stop this extortion?

BTW, firefighter shifts are "on call" not "on duty" in the sense that they do get to sleep over - not the same as being paid overtime to sleep in your cruiser.

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Negotiated contracts are legal/binding

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I couldn't have said it better Pete. Details were part of negotiations and now that the state took them away they owe the cops compensation. Sorry Swirlygirl...anyone who is looking at this reasonably would see that this is true. Try to control your cop-hating attitude for a minute and look at this objectively. Two things are clear here, the state just acted unfairly and broke contracts, and, the cops have a right (just like any union) to protest. Since you seem to love those firemen...think how you would feel if the state took away something from them (like the right to wash their cars with city money or something like that).

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I said you must be jealous

because you thought the reason for cutting back on details was safety which it was not. It was money. Im glad you make the money these guys do in half the time so you can live your nice life. Maybe if these guys worked a little harder in grad school they could be like you? Is that what your saying?

THIS IS ABOUT LABOR AND CONTRACTS THAT WERE SIGNED.

Just like the MA department of education cant make all teachers teach summer school, the state should not be able to neg contracts that were signed by unions WITHOUT COMPENSATION. Its an unfair labor practice and the police told the MWRA to shut it down untill these contracts are settled.

And I hate to tell you, but many states have police details. NH, Maine, Florida, NY, CT. NYC has their own traffic division! And Im still not disagreeing with you that some roads dont need cops.

But it makes me laugh when I see the poll that asks people whether they would want to pay a flagger $40 or a cop $40 and they say the flagger! That shows ignorance or jealosy.

And no, firefighters are PAID for the 24 STRAIGHT HOURS that they are in the station.

Hey, we all chose the job we wanted. Many cops chose to be cops because there was that opportunity of overtime and details that were in these CONTRACTS.

And back to the safety thing. Im sure you got your information on actual construction vehicle crash statistics and not from dated empircal stories from your father.

Please. This is the sort of thing that leads to communist revolutions or facist states. The state needs to be fair with labor contracts.

google earth. Thats funny.

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Our Governor Governor Patrick is a MAVERICK REFORMER

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Our Governor Governor Patrick is a MAVERICK REFORMER who forced law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth to forgo their monopoly on flag work for which tax payers and utility customers had to pay inflated rates.

Cops who had a law-enforced anti-democratic and anti free-market right to exclude competition in the flag work labor market and for no good reason.

This isn't an anti-cop change, this is an anti monopoly and pro free-market.

Cops will just have to moonlight doing other work or compete in the labor market for flag work. Let the best flag worker win.

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thats fine...

but the union flagger rate is basically the same.

And that still doesnt explain how contracts are going to reflect how cops gave up benefits to towns in exchange for detail language.

Why not have illegal aliens do the work and give out more alien work permits and lower the minumum wage too? Theres a great free-market principal for you.

THE ISSUE HERE IS CONTRACTS
THAT WERE SIGNED BETWEEN TOWNS AND UNIONS.

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Well ...

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The contracts are with cities and towns, not the state. The state can change the regulations if it wants to. Maybe the police unions should have had the foresight to realize the details wouldn't last forever?

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State projects on local roads though?

It simply sets a bad precident for Union/labor negotions. I see home rule petitions and lawsuits tying up this move (a piggyback law anyway, as state reps WERE NOT allowed to vote on this)

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Probably just as well

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That the big MWRA sewer project down the VFW Parkway is largely finished.

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vfw parkway

Now that was an embarrasment to the police. The problem here I think is that road has more than 4000K cars a day. So the staties will be sitting in their cars on those roads in the future.

Theres the next step. Eliminate state troopers on roads like that where the Boston police could easily do the job. (and I dont mean details, I mean regular patrol)

Is there even a need for the state police except for the MA pike and special operations? Theres some money you can save for the state right there.

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AMEN

Our Governor Governor Patrick is a MAVERICK REFORMER who forced law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth to forgo their monopoly on flag work for which tax payers and utility customers had to pay inflated rates.

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contracts

But what happens when arbritators find out and give the Unions more than they would have gotten if the detail language wasnt put in? Then that $3 an hour you save is gone and the state/towns lose money!

Just horrible labor relations and it will backfire.

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