MBTA Employees Chase, Catch Suspect in South Station

Two longtime MBTA employees chased and caught a suspect in an armed robbery at South Station during the morning commute on December 14.

Globe's McGrory: "Delivering a good image"

Two people deserve our thanks for reminding everyone that public service workers bring far more good to us than all that bad publicity suggests. First is 83-year-old Herbie Berman, a letter carrier who still delivers the mail to his beloved customers in the Adams Village section of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. Second is Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory, who begins his December 3, 2010 column about Berman this way:

He sat across from me one recent morning nibbling on an omelet and sipping milk in a landmark Dorchester restaurant called Gerard’s, as one lonely wish kept rattling around my head: I want to clone this guy.

I don’t merely want to clone him. I want to unleash an army of him on every public agency across this land, a move that would change the entire woeful perception of government in 2010.

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AFSCME's "Stop the Lies" video

Stop the Lies: AFSCME Video Tells Truth About Public Service

A striking new video from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees explodes the lies attacking public service workers--and the people who profit from those lies. Watch it and show it to everyone you know.

Mass 12th Graders Lead Nation in Math and Reading

 

Massachusetts teachers must be doing something right, no matter what the teacher-bashers say: Our high school seniors rank the highest in the nation in reading and math. You can see more about the National Assessment of Education Progress and their report card here

Why is this report an important sign that Massachusetts teachers are doing something right? Details from the NAEP website tell us:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.

Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time.

Congratulations, Massachusetts teachers! Keep up the good work.

"If Doctors Were Treated Like Teachers"

 

In the latest wave of teacher-bashing, charter schools are being praised and public schools demonized by pundits with have an anti-teacher agenda (or who simply don’t understand the playing field that public school teachers face). How do we get the public to understand what’s really going on? One English professor from New York made a strong case in his recent column for the influential blog "The Huffington Post"---What if doctors were treated like teachers, he asks, and what would that mean for the “patients”?

Working Mass Responds To Globe Columnist

When the Boston Globe's resident conservative columnist, Jeff Jacoby, trotted out all the myths about unions in his recent piece criticizing union donations to political campaigns, we at Working Massachusetts weren't about to let him stand unchallenged. So we didn't---we wrote this letter to the editor, which is in the November 8, 2010 edition of the Globe

Are Public Employees the New "Welfare Queen" Scapegoats?

An editor and writer at the influential website Alternet argues that public sector employees are today's "welfare queens"--scapegoats and boogeymen for the nation's economic ills. In his piece, "Right-Wingers Using Public Employees as 21st-Century Welfare Queens," Joshua Holland says, 

The image of the overpaid public sector worker with fat retirement benefits offers a compelling storyline for the Right. But it's a complete fabrication. [emphasis added]

Holland talks about "analysis by anecdote," delves into the studies that debunk the myth of the "rich" public employee, and reveals how bad things get for workers when public functions are privatized. He also makes this startling point about how Americans have been led to think of public employees:

The Right has made great political progress getting Americans to ask the question: "How come that guy’s getting what I don’t have?" It’s the crux of the politics of grievance. Progressives need to get Americans to ask a different question: "What’s keeping me from getting what that guy has?" At least part of the answer is the Right’s decades-long assault on private sector workers’ ability to organize.

State DEP, Springfield DPW Use "Candid Camera" to Catch Illegal Dumpers

 

People who dump trash illegally in Springfield can now be seen on a new version of "Candid Camera," but they're not smiling--they're getting caught and fined, thanks to the teamwork of MOSES members at the state's Department of Environmental Protection and Springfield's Department of Public Works employees.

Public Service Awards for "City Government at its Best"

"People are riled up over government waste and featherbedding. But taxpayers are getting more than their money’s worth from many municipal employees." So begins the October 18, 2010 editorial in the Boston Globe recognizing several Boston city employees who will receive Shattuck Public Service Awards this week. 

Many readers might be surprised to learn how municipal workers across the city's government are working to increase efficiency or bring new technology, methods or inspiration to old problems. "These awards aren’t handed out like candy," said the Globe editorial board. "The Boston Municipal Research Bureau is quick to confront City Hall at the first sign of wasteful spending or payroll bloat. Coming from the hard-to-please bureau, these awards are high praise indeed."

Check out the editorial and get inspired.

Two New Studies Prove Public Employees Earn LESS Than Private Counterparts

Just because "everyone knows" something doesn't make that something true. For example, consider the popular wisdom that public employees are overpaid. Surprise--two new studies from different, respected think tanks prove that state and municipal employees earn less than their counterparts in the private sector, even when benefits are factored in.

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