- Published on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:25
On Monday night, I joined a special caucus of the Albany Common Council for a discussion regarding the contract between the City of Albany and the Council 82 police dispatchers. Now, hey – while I’m considered anti-union, I am certainly NOT considered anti-fair. That said, it is not fair for the police dispatchers to be without a contract for 68 months and counting….if you went to Albany schools and your mathematically challenged…that’s since 2010.
The dispatcher’s negotiations with the City reached an emergency status in which a “fact finders” report (only permitted at “emergency” stage of negotiations) was developed. Yeah, I’m only repeating…don’t ask me what exactly that is…I’m just the anti-union messenger.
Apparently, however, I less anti-union than some on the Albany Common Council – and those “some” were elected by claiming their solidarity with their union supporters. (Funny how that changes after election day!)
Frank Commisso, the younger, presented a resolution in support of a City and union compromise which would hurt each side of the negotiations a little less and would help the citizens maintain their emergency lifeline (dispatchers) while not digging a deeper hole in their pocketbook.
Councilman, Mike O’Brien, hereafter known as MOB, supported Commisso’s call for action with case law claiming the non-union council people should su8pport the compromise resolution because there’s not only legal precedence but “it’s fair,” he claimed, “doing nothing is fair to no one.” (I nearly applauded but my Councilmember, Conti, was already shaking with nervousness with the direction of the conversation and two spectators taking notes.)
In response to MOB’s case for support of the negotiation, Judy Doesschate, tosses her homemade case law across the table at MOB in an attempt to make a case for “doing nothing” to assist the city/union reach a contract compromise. (Aside, the man leaving the meeting alongside me laughted at the ignorance exhibited by JJ, Judge Judy, with “I can’t imagine that woman at home – who could she be married to??” To which I replied with a chuckle, “Judge” Keefe….my new friend busted a gut, “that explains so much!!”)
Non-lawyer, JJ, disputes MOB – Ya know she’s married to a demoted/certifiable Judge. Commisso stopped JJ’s immediate continued embarrassment of herself by declaring this discussion illegal by explaining slowly that “they are not negotiating with a union, they are negotiation amongst themselves.” Duh. (I guess she sees all the union members in the peanut gallery snickering at her ignorance of the term “negotiation.”)
At about this point with Commisso leading the discussion, turns to Richard Conti, my Council…I call him mumbles as his castrated passive aggressive nature permits him only limited discussion “on the record.” “What was your question, Richard?” Conti looks at the ground, legs keeping time with the air conditioner, he is even unable to utter, “nothing.”) Commisso moves on.
As with all Council/Mayor cockblocks, the anti-union reps (at this point I’m listing them as Conti, Igoe, Herring, JJ, Fahey…so far) claim that health care is a deal stopper. Prez McLaughlin states that has never been an issue and Conti, quibbles, “It has too!” To which he is shut down. Throughout the discussion, many of them remained silent and, with the queries by one member, I hold out hope that Ms. Applrs will show enlightenment with her vote.
Commisso tries again – this has been going on for five years and is costing the City more to fight it than to reach an agreement with the union. Judd Krasher jumps in, and I’m not even going to mention the results of his Pepper Jack’s diet, pointing out that “we,” [Common Council] “are all on the same team with the dispatchers. They’ve taken on many added responsibilities and we are refusing to help them! If,” he goes on, “we were in the same position, you better believe we’d be sitting right where they are and demanding a contract.”
Barbara, the real lawyer at the table, let’s Judge Judy know that a resolution is not in violation of any law – AND points out the other fallacies in JJ’s argument against taking any action in reference to the police dispatchers request for fairness.
I don’t know how it happened but it appears that I turned out to be the biggest union supporter in this Council Caucus room of those elected by the unions….Interesting, huh?