Submitted By Todd on July 1st at 3:35am
Nearly 30 Boston firefighters with pending disability claims filed for retirement yesterday, just two days before a new state law ends a controversial benefit that allows them to significantly enhance their pensions if they claim career-ending injuries occurred while filling in for a superior at a higher pay grade.This scam has been a favorite - have a fake slip and fall when you happen to be covering the shift of a higher pay level co-worker.
Of the 29 who filed yesterday, 25 said they were filling in for a superior at the time of their injuries, according to city officials, which makes them eligible for a pension benefit at the higher salary scale. That perk, which can add hundreds of thousands of dollars over a retiree’s lifetime and cost taxpayers millions, will not be available to anyone filing after today.A recent Boston Globe series highlighted a series of similarly grotesque special retirement arrangements - like politicians being able to double their pensions if they were thrown out of office by voters - causing a bit of a controversy.
“This is highly unusual,’’ said Kathleen Kiely-Becchetti, executive director of the Boston Retirement Board, of the number of firefighters who filed for retirement yesterday while their disability claims were still pending.A pension reform measure was passed by the Massachusetts legislature, and for some strange reason it corrected only those egregious transgressions highlighted in the Globe series. If a new blight makes the headlines, will the legislature rush to amend?
The race to file yesterday is the first obvious reaction to the sweeping pension law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Deval Patrick earlier this month. The claims filed by the firefighters yesterday - and an expected rash of new claims today - could cost Boston taxpayers millions in additional payouts at a time of major budget constraints, fire officials said.Breaking up the Democrat/Union partnership should be Job One for all supporters of the great American fiction known as good government.
Some firefighters have sought the enhanced benefit after filling in for a superior for just one day, leading critics to call it the “king-for-a-day’’ provision.Saving the country has a simple first step - never vote for a Dem.