More hidden Mass State Police pay surfaces. This time? Millions in perks

Troop F is locked in public battle with Boston police over who patrols — and thus earns lucrative overtime and detail shifts — in the Seaport District. Troop E is at the center of an overtime scandal, in which at least 30 troopers allegedly put in for shifts they didn’t work. Meanwhile, there have been a handful of other controversies and major turnover in the top ranks.

…Under fire for failing to disclose pay data, state officials last week quietly released new State Police figures, revealing more than $3.4 million in additional payouts over four years.

Most, if not all, of the money appears tied to a single, generous perk: Troop F members got a $40 per diem for driving their own cars to work.

Troopers cashed in on the opportunity, earning up to $13,000 each year in per diems alone, and adding to salaries that included five- and six-figure overtime payouts.

…For State Police, the commuting perk is just one of a handful of benefits outlined in the State Police Association of Massachusetts contract, which covers most employees.

For example, staffers earn $75 a week if they commute at least 75 miles each way to work. They get a monthly $62.50 clothing stipend if they wear “civilian clothing” 10 days or more each month. And employees who work a five-day workweek get an extra 17 days off per year, in order to be fair to those who work four days on duty, then get two days off.

More hidden Mass State Police pay surfaces. This time: millions in perks – The Boston Globe



Purchase of Mount Ida is an insult to UMass Boston

[UMass Boston] …students — who make up the most diverse campus in New England — are getting another painful lesson about where they stand in the university pecking order. As low as it goes.

…The 72-acre Mount Ida campus will give UMass Amherst students a pastoral base of operations for internships and academic collaborations in Boston. Meanwhile, UMass Boston students have endured months of administrative turmoil and cold-hearted cost-cutting on a campus infamous for its crumbling infrastructure.

…And now Meehan, with customary rubber-stamped approval from the UMass board, is taking on debt at Mount Ida that is estimated to run from $55 million to $70 million.

……The memo states that the university will cut the funding for the centers and institutes that require the biggest subsidies. They include the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, the Institute for New England Native American Studies, the Labor Resource Center, and the Center for Social Policy.

…Mills is closing the deficit by slicing away at programs that make up the heart and soul of UMass Boston. The cuts are not coming from the top. They are coming from the most vulnerable — children, women, veterans, and minorities.

…The cuts will reportedly save up to $1.5 million out of a $430 million operating budget. Meanwhile, there’s enough money in the overall system to take on debt-ridden Mount Ida and send its students to UMass Dartmouth at a reduced rate.

Purchase of Mount Ida is an insult to UMass Boston – The Boston Globe


State Police pay higher than reported, data hidden for years

Revelations about an alleged overtime scam, a wave of suspensions, and hefty pay for Massachusetts State Police troopers have sparked scrutiny of the state’s largest law enforcement agency.

…Payroll records for an entire 140-trooper State Police division — including some of the department’s highest earners — have been hidden from public view and weren’t filed with the state comptroller for several years, the Globe has found.

…The records also show that 393 troopers normally assigned to other State Police divisions worked detail and fill-in shifts for Troop F, collecting another $6.4 million.

In the entire department, at least 299 troopers — about 14 percent — made more than $200,000 last year.

…On Tuesday, Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin revealed that 20 active troopers and one retiree face sanctions in an overtime abuse scandal in Troop E. The troopers allegedly logged hours they did not work, with some alleged violators putting in for as many as 100 no-show shifts.

On Friday, State Police said nine of those troopers were suspended without pay, nine more retired, and one was kept on active duty.

…There has also been infighting within the State Police, with unionized troopers arguing that higher-ranked nonunion workers should not be assigned to work overtime shifts.

…At least 79 percent of Troop F made more last year than Governor Charlie Baker, who earned $151,800. The percentage would be even higher if you included the pay that some workers received in 2017 for time spent in other State Police divisions.

Fourteen Troop F members earned more in overtime than in base pay.

State Police pay higher than reported, data hidden for years – The Boston Globe


A Drag Queen Dressed As Elsa Saving A Boston Police Wagon During A Blizzard Is Too Perfect


I think we can all agree that life’s stressful moments would be vastly improved by the presence of a helpful drag queen in a Disney princess gown.

A Drag Queen Dressed As Elsa Saving A Boston Police Wagon During A Blizzard Is Too Perfect


Harvard can save West Station, bu tthe question is are they willing to back up claims of being a good neighbor by putting their money where their mouth is?

[State Representative Michael] Moran’s district includes much of Brighton and Allston, including the site of a massive project that would take down a decrepit Mass. Pike viaduct, straighten the highway, and free up dozens of acres, now owned by Harvard, for new development.

…In a public comment letter also signed by other elected officials representing Allston and Brighton in the House, Senate, and Boston City Council, Moran urges the state to “monetize the total benefits” to Harvard — the “single biggest beneficiary” of the Pike realignment — to guarantee the construction of West Station sooner rather than later. In other words: While Harvard has already committed to covering a third of the station’s cost, the state should hit the school up for the majority of it.

…In general, the Greater Boston region, which might otherwise have become the eastern end of the Rust Belt, shouldn’t take its universities for granted. Yet there are some problems that only an institution like Harvard can solve. It would be a shame if the university stood aside as a major transit hub — the key to an urban vision for Allston — fell victim to bureaucratic inertia.

Harvard, only you can save West Station – The Boston Globe