As published in the Record Journal on Friday February 22, 2013
Editor: What good is an agreement if it’s violated? More importantly, what is the ramification if either party does not adhere to the agreement issued by the State Labor Board? It all comes down to this: taxpayer dollars! The fact is that Wallingford Mayor Bill Dickinson closed town government offices on Monday, February 11, 2013. Mayor Dickinson then issued a memo declaring that all employees must use vacation time or lose pay for that Monday.
However, the binding agreement states that the town is not allowed to close town government offices and demand vacation time to be used. Furthermore, town government offices have been closed in the past and have fulfilled their obligation to pay employees — so why is this situation any different?
There will certainly be grievances filed by affected unions, which will result in a multitude of work hours being spent on the case. In addition, add the expense of the town’s labor attorney, which can be even more costly. The end result is a huge bill for taxpayers.
According to a Record-Journal news story (Saturday, February 16), the mayor stated: “I don’t want to feel like we are giving money away when it isn’t warranted.” In this instance, he is doing just that. He is wasting time and taxpayer dollars on a poor labor decision (which is not his first).
Perhaps the residents of Wallingford need to realize it’s time for a change and bring this town into the twenty first century by not wasting taxpayer dollars!
(The writer is President, Local 1183.) CHUCK BALLARD, CARMEL, NEW YORK