Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Washout On the Sidewalks of New York

To make an understatement, I am no great fan of the New York City municipal employees labor unions (nor, with a few exceptions, of the public employee unions anywhere else in the state).  Having stated this, I am the first to recognize that even the scumpukest of the scumpuke unions do perform some very vital and salutary functions for society from time to time.

And now may well be one of those times.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long made it his policy to discourage the use of personal automobiles (at least by those who have no special political connections -- "protektzia" in modern Hebrew), and to use public transportation.  This is not particularly inappropriate for an urban area such as New York, which does have a well-developed public transportation system.

But on account of Hurricane Sandy, the New York City transit system has now been shut down since last night (as has the Long Island Railroad and the other commuter rail systems).

Well, here is Bloomie's pronunciamento to the City employees:

"Because of yesterday’s storm and its lingering effects, all New Yorkers should exercise caution and allow extra time for travel on Monday morning.  City government will be open on Monday and City employees are expected to report to work. If mass transit services have not yet been restored in a City employee’s neighborhood, and the employee has no other safe and feasible way to travel to work, then the employee should use their judgment and delay their arrival – there will be no penalties for transit-related lateness. If the employee determines that they cannot come to work, they should use annual leave or comp time to stay home. There will be no penalties for transit-related unscheduled leave time."

This is ambiguous.  There is no penalty for "transit-related lateness," but there is no public transit.  Query:  What happens if someone decides to walk to work, but does not arrive until almost noon, and then has to turn around and go back home?  Is that employee going to be penalized?  Will that employee be compelled to burn annual leave or compensatory time?

And what if the employee lives in an area subject to the Evacuation Order signed by Bloomie less than 24 hours ago?

Methinks that there will be more than a few union grievances filed in the coming weeks on account of the situation.


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