BY TONY BOUZA
On my birthday, The New York Times’ lead editorial centered on police impunity and labeled arbitrators as the villains. Quite a gift. Thank you.
The Times are idiots.
Union problems got so bad here that they (city leaders) undertook a desperate nationwide search for a chief in 1979. That’s how my interest—about which I’d already written extensively—deepened and widened.
What is/was the problem?
Lord Acton had it right. Look at the Church.
We agonize over the issue, but the equation is simple.
We elect mayors and they appoint police chiefs. These guys and dolls are always up-from-the-ranks functionaries (as I was) and union members.
The unions don’t strike. They don’t even picket—yet, a leader of theirs was a principal speaker at Trump’s nomination, and they humiliated and defeated New York’s mayor.
The unions have a lot of members—it’s a growth industry—and a lot of money. They wander legislative halls—dispense cash and influence legislation. They also pick the principal villains cited in The Times’ editorial—arbitrators. It is a hotly sought perk that pays well. We’ll see how Minnesota deals with the recent proposal for gubernatorial selection of these beauts. The governor is certain to gain new friends among police unions.
The equation is a simple one, yet no one seems to get it: Legislators and mayors are elected—union leaders get laws passed and people elected. Mayors appoint chiefs—who are union members—the principal task of the union (now that they’ve garnered all the wages, benefits and working conditions available) is to protect the leaders in the ranks who set the tone and shape the culture—blue lives matter. The 2 percent thumpers in the ranks don’t even get a mention in the august Times.
Jo, Jo, Jo, as they say in Spain.
I met with a police executive. You are management—they are labor. It’s an adversarial relationship (Duh!). You’ve got to fight the union.
The city’s fate was sealed when he demurred. He needed their cooperation. He would work with them. They’d accomplish a lot more in a collegial effort.
Requiescat in pace.