When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001, several New York-New Jersey Port Authority police officers were being paid by the Port Authority to do union business on a full-time basis. In fact, the Port Authority continues to fund union officials’ no-show jobs, that is , full-time jobs for the union at the expense of public safety. These union honchos are getting government benefits, raises and promotions while not doing any police work. This is happening all across the country.
In Arizona, the state Appeals Court is currently reviewing the constitutionality of taxpayers paying for the union’s staff. Phoenix police union bosses even threatened to illegally strike if the government stopped paying for union salaries and forced these union officials back to work protecting the citizens of Phoenix.
From National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior:
Phoenix police officers threatened to illegally strike, said they would “torch this place” during contract negotiations, and discussed “break[ing] it off in [the police chief’s] ass,” according to a brief filed by the Goldwater Institute in an Arizona appeals court. These and other salacious allegations about the union’s aggressive tactics emerged during a court case challenging an obscure portion of Phoenix’s labor contracts, which allows police officers and other city employees to work on union business while drawing a public salary.
Phoenix has some of the most generous release-time policies in the nation: Six police officers are allowed to work full-time on union business, receiving full pay, benefits, and 960 hours of guaranteed overtime, courtesy of the Phoenix taxpayers, and the union is also granted 2,000 work-hours from other cops. The Phoenix Police Department has estimated that release time costs taxpayers around $1 million a year.
Clint Bolick, a Goldwater Institute attorney, said release time is “the biggest scam in America that no one knows about.” He continued: “[When police unions use it], we thought it was the most flagrant abuse of taxpayer resources. Public safety ought to be the top priority of local government, and here you have police officers being taken off the streets and being assigned to union headquarters.”