Gov. Patrick, unions, and “civilian flaggers”

So, the Beacon Hill Institute’s Facebook Feed directed me to this WGBH story about how Gov. Patrick’s pledge to save money on police details is working out. If you remember, our governor said the state could save money by having ordinary people direct traffic around fallen trees and construction sites rather than cops racking up expensive overtime. He took a lot of heat from police unions for this, and I have even seen lots of bumper stickers criticizing the plan.

Read the story linked above and you will learn all you need to know about trying to reform such a unionized state. First, because of union power, most places are exempted. For those that are not, because of union-generated “prevailing wage” laws, you have to pay the civilians almost as much as the cops were making. ($32 an hour to hold a sign?????)

What a debacle. But it shows that not even the governor can get a small sensible reform through a state dominated by unions.

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