Let me just say up front that I think removing these tolls is a bad idea. We should disincentivize driving and incentivize taking the train. It’s better for the environment. It’s much better for national security (take that, Mullahs). It’s more efficient use of public infrastructure.
That being said, the unions are completely out of line here. This is a governance decision and if it leads to elimination of some public sector jobs, well, frankly, great. We should run as efficiently as possible and people are expensive. It’s easy to get another job right now. Anybody who can be replaced by a radar gun, a calculator and a few thousand little plastic boxes isn’t “entitled” to anything, in my mind.
The grounds for the lawsuit are apparently an alleged violation of open meeting law because the board went into executive decision shortly before voting on the matter. Now, the Globe article is short on details and if there actually was a violation they should be held accountable. But for one thing, that’s not what the unions are really after here. For another, anything involving litigation strategy, negotiation strategy or collective bargaining strategy with the unions is fair game for executive session. If they met to discuss how to handle the unions’ reaction to this in executive session prior to voting on the matter, that’s A-OK.
Since common sense would dictate that the unions don’t know exactly what was said in executive session, this lawsuit seems like a fishing expedition to gum up the works because the unions are mad about potential layoffs. Guess what, that’s a governance decision. I don’t see why we should keep unnecessary employees around at the state level while the local level has been bleeding teachers and police and other employees who have much more of a positive impact on society. And I certainly think that it’s the elected and appointed officials who get to make those calls, not the unions.