December 2, 2008

In Support of Pride

Justin Katz

How's this for a study in contrasts:

OF ALL THE COMMUNITIES EXAMINED BY CHANNEL 12, THE STATE POLICE HAD THE LOWEST RATE OF ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSIONS. MOST CITIES AND TOWNS WERE UP AROUND 40, 30 PERCENT, SOME IN THE 20S. YOU GUYS WERE AT EIGHT PERCENT. I THINK IT WAS OF 230 RETIREES, ONLY 19 HAVE AN ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY PENSION. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS LOW RATE TO? Unfortunately, we've had some troopers hurt to a degree where they have to retire. We closely scrutinize any request for a disability pension. I have refused two myself in the last two years, and those people have gone on to retire. I think the troopers take a lot of pride in their conditioning, and take a lot of pride in their job. We do not have a problem with sick leave. About four years ago, I surveyed the troopers of the state police and found, I believe, they use 1.5 sick days a year on the average. That's incredible. Now many, many do not use any time. I once went 10 years without a sick day, and there are many troopers that have gone longer than that.

One hears tales of public employees at the local level working the sick-time benefit to pump up each other's overtime. Perhaps the keepers of Rhode Island's ethical standards should spend some time examining the factors that make state troopers healthier and less — ahem — accident prone.

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I thought it was pretty interesting to see that 44% of the West Warwick firefighters and a similar number of their police were out on permanent injury disability. Providence and Warwick had similar numbers. Yet Pawtucket had the lowest rate in the whole state. Why? Because once you reach the retirement age, you get switched over to a normal pension plan. So the days of working your 19 years and 350 days then "getting injured" and collecting the more lucrative pension for life are non-existent in Pawtucket. Good for them.

And I liked the part about the person who is collecting the highest state paid pension out of anybody, after taxes. A retired Providence fireman. Even "no-show except for overtime" Doughty seemed stunned at that news and didn't have a great answer for it.

Posted by: James L. at December 2, 2008 8:38 AM

James L.
Your understanding of the highest paid pension seems to be clouded by your obvious dislike of Paul Doughty. The highest paid were not Providence Firefighters. They were
non union chiefs, part of the administration , appointed via typical RI
political games, now sucking the system dry. They were not the "evil" union workers.

Posted by: jay at December 2, 2008 3:18 PM

Jay, are you saying that all 44% of public safety employees out on disability in West Warwick are administration/non-union personnel? The point of this information is to contrast the percentage of each sector that has retired on disability. It's shockingly high in some municipalities. Why is that?

Posted by: Monique at December 2, 2008 9:10 PM

my post refers to the fact that James said he "likes" the part about the highest pension belonging to a providence fireman..,that is misinformation..,he's someone certainly not letting the facts get in the way of his his spin..,

Posted by: jay at December 3, 2008 7:37 AM
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