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Wed Sep 14, 2016, 11:22 AM

Ruling: Cities can pay public employees for doing union business

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that cities can pay public employees to work on union business.

In a decision with statewide implications, the justices, in a 3-2 ruling, rejected claims by the Goldwater Institute that such deals between governments and unions amounts to an unconstitutional gift of public funds. Justice Scott Bales, writing for the majority, said the deal between the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association benefits both the city and the taxpayers who are footing the bill.

That logic drew a stinging dissent from Justice Ann Scott Timmer.

“No public purpose is served by diverting officers from safeguarding the public to work almost unchecked for PLEA,” she wrote for herself and Justice Robert Brutinel. “The city has no control over how PLEA directs the officers on release time and is not even told what the officers do for PLEA.”

Read more: http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/ruling-cities-can-pay-public-employees-for-doing-union-business/article_8948e823-ab87-5048-b55e-5af1ba049802.html

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Reply Ruling: Cities can pay public employees for doing union business (Original post)
TexasTowelie Sep 2016 OP
LiberalFighter Sep 2016 #1
MichMan Sep 2016 #2
TexasTowelie Sep 2016 #3

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Sep 14, 2016, 11:48 AM

1. It encourages better relationship.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Sep 14, 2016, 11:55 AM

2. Just because they can doesnt mean they should

I'm all for unions, but they should be the ones responsible for paying their own staff, not the taxpayers. So just because cities can pay doesn't mean they should, but that would be established during bargaining.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 14, 2016, 12:17 PM

3. If they are working on providing benefits to the union members

(acting as a liaison for city employees, organizing meetings for employees, preparing documentation for occasional meetings, etc.), then I would say that it is a reasonable expense and it should not impose a hardship on the employee by requiring them to use leave time or not get paid. However, it does cross the line when political campaigning, electioneering, and trying to sway the votes of public officials and that cost should not be borne by the taxpayers and the union should pay those expenses.

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