SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 14, 2014

Benton: GOP sees hope in Senate, House

(Continued)

I’d say that’s a fair assessment of how the race in the 6th District stands at this point, although Tisei recently released a tough ad taking aim at Tierney’s support for Obamacare.

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Former Beverly Mayor William Scanlon made a valiant effort to defend the new contract he negotiated with police in a letter this week. But his own words betray the lopsided nature of these agreements as they apply not only to police officers in Beverly, but municipal employees everywhere.

Scanlon writes: “Police departments all across the state and beyond suffer from the prospect of sick-leave abuse by some officers who, after working a highly paid detail ... have been known to call in sick the next day and take advantage of their sick leave allowance. Healthy day programs create an incentive for more desirable behavior... .”

First off, “sick days” are supposed to be used when an employee is sick — not for when he or she simply doesn’t feel like coming in to work. Secondly, why should cities and towns have to reward employees for not abusing their sick leave? Better to impose punishment for such abuse.

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Congratulations to new Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera for implementing a new dress code for city workers and reviving the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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Beware: The Service Employees International Union has made it known that it would like to extend the Pacheco Law to projects commissioned by cities and towns. The law effectively shuts private contractors out of all sorts of work undertaken by state entities — at significant cost to taxpayers.

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Datebook: Warren Tolman, Democratic candidate for attorney general, will hold a meet-and-greet for North Shore voters on Sunday, March 30, at 2 p.m. at The Pickled Onion in Beverly.

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