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letters | boston’s other fall classic

It’s not union-bashing to care about how public money is spent

I TAKE exception to Joan Vennochi’s suggestion that complaining about police and fire union demands for more money amounts to union-bashing (“Why the union-bashing?,” Op-ed, Oct. 17). I have no problem with public-safety workers earning fair wages that increase at the rate of inflation and are in line with the private-sector pay increases other Boston citizens have received.

In exchange, I want some changes. Just as the private sector must continuously improve efficiency, so must the public sector. The Fire Department must be reformed. The use of police details must end for many reasons, including that too many construction sites have no details, and too many that do not need them have several officers standing with their backs turned.

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In other states, civilian flaggers do the work more efficiently at lower cost. There are many well-qualified unemployed people who would be thrilled to perform this duty. I agree with Vennochi about tax breaks given to businesses, but that is not what the problem is about. The candidate who takes a stand against excessive union demands gets my vote.

Alan Wright

Roslindale

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