The Hiller Instinct: Firefighters' Contract
Not because they don't know what they're going to do, but because they're in no hurry to make it public...and they shouldn't be.
Despite the 19% pay raises the contract calls for, I'll bet the councilors will approve it...because they'll put their own financial futures ahead of the city's.
Bottom line: support from the firefighters union can determine who wins a city election, especially if other unions go along with them.
In the city election last November, the firefighters endorsed 11 council candidates, and they all won.
The Union did not endorse Councilor Chuck Turner, so it's relatively easy for him to say he'll vote against the contract, which gives firefighters bigger raises than any other city employees.
In the presidential election in 2008, there were almost a quarter million votes cast in Boston. But in the mayor's race last year, there were less than half that.
And the number will be even smaller in 2011, when councilors run for re-election, but the mayor doesn't...and when unions may be the single biggest bloc of votes. Councilors can count, and i think that's why firefighters can count on getting their contract.
No one likes to be wrong. But this time, I hope I am.
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