Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy wants to throw a pity party for his colleagues who are frustrated or upset by the need to vote up or down on a labor arbitrator’s bloated contract award to the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association. Let’s hope it’s a small affair.
Bostonians respect their police officers and don’t resent their average $109,000 annual salaries, which include overtime and detail work. But residents also know that the city’s long-term safety depends on extending the school day and increasing the number of pre-kindergarten seats. A new police contract that adds $83 million over six years to the city’s personnel budget squeezes out a lot of important work. And then there is the issue of basic fairness: The arbitrator’s 25.4 percent raise for the police over six years is roughly double that received by 30 other city unions.