Is picking on a moron of a reader, “Dollar Bill”. But consider this story, reported in the NYT, on sexual and physical abuse committed by state union employees on the retarded (Oooh, $ Bill won’t like that term!). Here are some excerpts:
A New York Times investigation over the past year has found widespread problems in the more than 2,000 state-run homes. In hundreds of cases reviewed by The Times, employees who sexually abused, beat or taunted residents were rarely fired, even after repeated offenses, and in many cases, were simply transferred to other group homes run by the state.
And, despite a state law requiring that incidents in which a crime may have been committed be reported to law enforcement, such referrals are rare: State records show that of some 13,000 allegations of abuse in 2009 within state-operated and licensed homes, fewer than 5 percent were referred to law enforcement. The hundreds of files examined by The Times contained shocking examples of abuse of residents with conditions like Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.
At a home upstate in Hudson Falls, two days before Christmas in 2006, an employee discovered her supervisor, Ricky W. Sousie, in the bedroom of a severely disabled, 54-year-old woman. Mr. Sousie, a stocky man with wispy hair, was standing between the woman’s legs. His pants were around his ankles, his hand was on her knee and her diaper was pulled down.
The police were called, and semen was found on the victim. But the state did not seek to discipline Mr. Sousie. Instead, it transferred him to work at another home.
Roger Macomber, an employee at a group home in western New York, grabbed a woman in his care, threw her against a fence, and then flung her into a wall, according to a 2007 disciplinary report. He was then assigned to work at another group home.
Mr. Macomber, in fact, was transferred to different homes four times in the past decade for disciplinary reasons. It was not until last year, after he left a person unattended while he went into a store, that he was put on employment probation and eventually dismissed.
In the remainder of the cases, employees accused of abuse — whether beating the disabled, using racial slurs or neglecting their care — either were suspended, were fined or had their vacation time reduced.
In some cases, not even criminal convictions are disqualifying. Henry Marrero, an employee at a group home in Utica, was convicted of beating a 99-year-old man while moonlighting at a nursing home — slapping the man three times in the face and once on the stomach. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was barred from participating in federally financed health care programs. But he kept his state job working with the developmentally disabled.
The Civil Service Employees Association, one of the most powerful unions in Albany, makes no apologies for its vigorous defense of the group-home workers it represents.
But the union’s approach — contesting just about every charge leveled at a worker — has contributed to a system in which firings of even the most abusive employees are rare. Most disciplinary measures represent a compromise between management and the union, often reached at the urging of an arbitrator chosen by both sides.
Ross D. Hanna, the director of contract administration for the association, likened the union’s role to that of public defenders, saying it was required by state law to represent its members.
“If they’re brought up on charges, we have an absolute duty to represent them,” Mr. Hanna said. “That’s our job.”
He added: “When we know the person is guilty, we try to convince the person to get out of it by resigning. But if the person decides to go forward, we have to do our best job.”
This disciplinary system has made it possible for employees like Mitchell T. Lovett, who worked in several different homes on Long Island, to rack up 10 offenses — including twice punching residents in the face — before losing his job, according to personnel records.
Now admittedly, the full article is six pages long and has very few pictures, so we can expect $Bill’s attention span to lapse, but here is a liberal’s response to this horrific tale:
Yes, I’m sure the whole situation would be cleared up if we de-unionized these folks, and forced them to grovel back their jobs at $7 hour with no benefits. I’m sure the managers of those homes would just relish having some low-paid indentured servants to look after these people. What’s to argue? We all know how greedy and self-serving those union folks can be, unlike Lloyd Blankfein and Dick Fuld doing “God’s work” on Wall Street, right CF?
Now I’m not saying that this person, who probably has a college degree, thus proving the worth of that document, should be barred from voting or even procreating, although I would discourage him from either activity, but there’s a cognitive dissonance here that’s kind of frightening. Rapists and torturers must be protected because it’s unions that protect the “little people”. Were I the parent or spouse of someone in one of these group homes, I’d be outraged, but my guess is that $ Bill is either a union-protected teacher or perhaps one of these oppressors and, either way, he’s certainly happy with the status quo. Or he’s just nuts, but I’m betting he’s union.