Every election cycle, union dues—paid with taxpayer dollars—go to democratic politicians, who, when in office thank their donors with immutable contracts containing generous wages and benefits.
This practice is called “RELEASE TIME”, just took a major legal hit in AZ—one that could result in a domino effect across the country.
“Release time”, provisions in their contracts allow these public employees to be released form their designate duties to perform service for the union, such as attending and managing grievance hearings.
Six officers work full-time for the union, with each getting 160 hours of overtime pay in addition. One works 500 hours a year as a union lobbyist—laboring on taxpayer dollars, we imagine getting his bosses to fork over more taxpayer dollars.
The union has access to 35 other officers it can free up fro duties for an unspecified time each year. Some police officers haven’t actually been working for the public since 1990’s.
Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that release time violates AZ constitutions, which prohibits the state and any local government in it from giving a gift or subsidy to any private individual or group without receiving a lawful public benefit in return.
The union was just one of the defendants though. The city itself, along with its mayor and city councilors, also fought the suit—despite the testimony of one officer that when he was released form his duties, his beat went uncovered, leading to a “huge safety risk to the citizens of south Phoenix.”
The judge indicated that her ruling applies to every union contract the city has signed.