Boston – The state Senate’s abolition last week of two controversial public employee holidays turns out to lack the teeth proclaimed by both Democrats and Republicans as examples of good-government, taxpayer-attuned reform.
But that seemingly bold stroke does little to affect state workers accustomed to vacationing those days or, outside Suffolk County, two others of their choosing.
“It doesn’t affect our members,” said Ray McGrath, political director of the state chapter of the National Association of Government Employees, which claims 15,000 members. “We have it in our collective bargaining agreement.”
Senate budget committee aides said the amendment, which must survive a conference committee with the House, would not affect any collective bargaining agreements, instead leaving the negotiations to management and employee unions once their current contracts expire, meaning the budget rider itself would have little immediate impact.
“I would concur with that,” said Sen. Michael Knapik, R-Westfield, the amendment’s sponsor.