Las Vegas police union: Oh, those secret benefits

Victor Joecks

Remember how leftist politicians say again and again that government has cut to the bone?

Here’s just another example of how their rhetoric doesn’t square with reality.

Police work can be difficult, dangerous, and seriously inconvenient, so the Metropolitan Police Department pays extra for jobs that are especially so. Some officers draw extra pay for the danger or expertise their jobs require; many get paid extra for working nights or graveyard shifts.

However, seven executives of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, who work nights and weekends only when necessary and who are not essential in protecting the public, for years have received both assignment pay and shift pay. Although they are paid at public expense, the arrangement was never publicly disclosed until written into the last police employee contract, and then only partially.

Oh it gets better. Taxpayers are paying the salaries of these executives to lobby the government for salary and benefit increases.

Even though the union officials are the department’s adversary in contract talks, disciplinary and policy matters and in lobbying elected officials for better pay and benefits, their regular wages are paid by the department, and in¬directly by taxpayers, rather than from union dues. Many large police departments pay union officials directly as Las Vegas does, but not all.

Yet, although union executives have received the extra 12 percent since 2001, the union contract never mentioned it until last year when an assignment-pay provision was written in for the first time. The 4 percent shift pay for union executives has never yet been mentioned in the contract, even the current one.

Local government experts said it’s inappropriate to exclude the extra pay from the contract where the public, media, and other police officers can see it.

Be sure to read the whole thing.