13 January 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong for cutting off cops from arbitration?

Hi folks,

It's always interesting to me to see stories about Glenn's latest antics picked up by strangely distant, out of town newspapers -- almost more often than he's mentioned here at home.

Why is that?

Anyway, the latest from Winona, Minnesota, carrying an AP story:

Winona Daily News - 6.0

Police chiefs: Arbitration in new budget could foster rogue cops

TODD RICHMOND | Associated Press Writer
MADISON — Wisconsin’s police chiefs want lawmakers to block a provision in the new state budget that allows arbitration for fired officers.

The change could allow bad officers to bypass local police and fire commissions’ discipline and win back their jobs as well as drive up the proceedings’ cost, said Doug Pettit, police chief in Oregon and the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association’s legislative chairman. The association wants legislators to put a moratorium on the provision pending more study.

Police union officials called the complaints a smoke screen. The change gives police officers the same rights as other municipal workers, said James Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, called the change “an outrage.” Pounding his fists on a Capitol railing during an interview, he said arbitration will cost taxpayers more and promised to introduce legislation that would restore the status quo.

Glenn makes it sound like arbitration was made available to dismissed officers simply to spend more of our taxes. That doesn't seem likely, does it?

It seems more likely it'd be a way of evening out disparities in how certain public employees are treated. Other municipal employees have recourse to arbitration -- why not the police? Anyway, as I said, I don't know the reason. Glenn?

In fact it's be worth noting that when State Representative Garey Bies, a Republican, introduced the Assembly Bill (57) to allow for these appeals to arbitration, they had in mind only those cases in which ... well, here:
...if an accused officer is subject to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that provides an alternative to the appeal process to a circuit court, the appeal process in the collective bargaining agreement applies to the accused officer and not the current law process that involves an appeal to a circuit court, unless the officer chooses to appeal the tribunal’s decision to a circuit court.
So I imagine some further set of shenanigans must be in play. Aren't you guys on the same page?

Regardless, this stands as yet another symptom of what John Dean and other traditional conservatives now understand to be symptoms of neo-con psychosis -- the belief that money is more important than fairness to people.

Glenn is perfectly correct, as always, when he asserts that spending tax-money stupidly is bad -- but he is also perfectly wrong, as always, for putting money ahead of good old fairness.



expat-hearts-wi said...

Hi there -

Could this be interesting for your blog? http://tinyurl.com/2lmx5h (Grothman on Medcaid Waiver - birth control access for teens w/o parental consent.. which is protected by the Supreme Court) - Feel free to delete this comment since it has no relevance to the police blog. I couldn't find any contact info for you. Cheers!

Mpeterson said...

ha, thanks. I was just about to post it.

Me: try mcep11@msn.com!