The latest extra-contractual agreement for Warwick firefighters, as reported by Mark Reynolds in the Providence Journal, is the sort of thing we should watch for across the state:
An unauthorized practice has overpaid retiring city firefighters for accumulations of vacation time since 2015, a Providence Journal investigation shows.
Asked about documents and information developed by The Journal, Mayor Joseph J. Solomon said Friday he was ordering a halt to the practice. …
“I know the contract that Scott Avedisian signed was not the contract that was voted by the City Council,” he said.
That last detail makes this deal substantively different from the other side deal, unearthed in October, because Avedisian denied even knowing about that one.
These side deals — and the next level, at which employees take resources and time without even the cover of somebody’s approval — show the sense of entitlement and impunity. Government employees in Rhode Island already get employment agreements well beyond what the market would set, but that isn’t enough. It’s never enough.
One wonders if the motivation isn’t greed so much as seeing how much they can get away with. And why not? When there are never any consequences, grabbing more and more becomes a game.