Labor Relations Grinch, Cinch To Win City Hall Door Prize

Labor Relations
The Grinch Who Stole Labor Relations

It’s Christmas week, time for peace and love and goodwill to mankind (and city employees) right? The folks who work in the city’s Labor Relations Office either have a twisted sense of humor poking fun at themselves, or enjoy sticking it in the eyes of city labor unions that must cough up concessions this holiday season or face the layoff hatchet.

Could the Labor Relations holiday door adornment be part of the Finch administration’s new green initiative? Is this the idea of Labor Relations two top dogs Larry Osborne and City Council President Tom McCarthy? The Wizard of Oz and Big Mac wouldn’t do that, would they? Why don’t you stop in and ask? Oh, that’s right, you cannot just walk in. You must push the button (see that box next to the door) that declares your existence. Buzzer me in, baby! Ya never know when union reps might show up with hatchets, stilettos and bayonets!

Or maybe Santa Claws!



  1. Off the subject.
    I hope I don’t sound like a ass kisser, but in all these times of ugliness and strife in Bridgeport have a read of Lennie’s new book “Only in Bridgeport” it contains hope and a view of what could be AGAIN in our lives. It makes for comfortable reading about our city, well worth the price, makes a good present too!
    Perhaps I’ll buy the mayor a copy, he can use it as a text in seeing how a good city–was.

  2. It’s not just Christmas that is stolen there. Remember when I was selected for layoff from the security position at the Zoo? The position being cut from the budget was for a Service Assistant at the Zoo. For 10 years, I was a Security Guard at the Zoo. It turned out that I was that Service Assistant so I checked the difference in pay between the two positions. The security position paid $700 a year more. So I filed a grievance. I for a while heard nothing of the grievance and the Union (NAGE), well what can you expect? Last year I got a letter from Labor Relations. The letter stated that I had won the grievance and would receive the difference in pay for the security position, but for a period of one month. Total, $120 out of a 10-year total of $7000. Lennie, how many books could I have gotten with $6880?

  3. Poor taste???
    Even if pointing fun at themselves, it is tasteless and classless.
    Here is an office totally incompetent at doing their job (just look at the outside legal counsel bill this office runs up) but they refuse to negotiate, investigate or otherwise legislate long-term savings or proposals if Sherwood cannot verify with a simple calculation.
    Let’s call for an investigation into the workings or not-workings of this office and we can call it Labor-Gate.

  4. When someone goes to work (having a paying job) for any governmental entity, they are entering what is termed “public service.” Their position allows and expects them to provide a specific service to and for the benefit of the public, directly or indirectly. But the operating concept is “serving,” not reigning over. How does this door speak to you?

    One of our most famous CT entrepreneurs is Stew Leonard who made satisfying and pleasing the customer a reason for his firm’s success. Now contrast that understanding with a buzzered and closed door with an attempt at Grinchy humor!!! The ever-smiling male behind this City door perhaps has no clue about the way this office has been corrupted by the labor practices outlined in this column for the past year anyway. The moves by Finch and McCarthy make City “labor relations” into a modern oxymoron!!!

    The Grinch is green, as is Mayor Finch’s vision of a gated labor relations office and the “Bridgeportland” of the future. However, the Mayor’s financial scene is distinctly non-green, which is why reports to the Council and the public at large are basically secret, or underground. In Finch’s first year he went around the community with a spiel about the state of the City and a whiteboard on which he showed the pretty steady diminution through the Ganim and Fabrizi years of what once had been $55 Million of unrestricted fund balance, more than was required by City Charter. By the last audited year that sum was slightly under $10 Million and since no one is answering the question today, whether we have such a real value at this time is a probable NO!

    It’s the type of number that on a Scoreboard would cause serious concern. The fact that no one knows or is willing to talk about it means no one is proud of the trend, nor can really defend being out of compliance. Of course, if you are already out of compliance with procedures in so many areas, why worry about another one.

    I understand that certain Library employees were proposed for hire in June with compensation budgeted. Multiple signatures are required for the hiring I understand, yet six months later they are still proposed, Library has not been able to extend hours, etc. Yet another professional consultant to work on selling sewer viewpoints to Republican suburbs can presumably get those signatures in an ‘Annex minute.’ Surprise, it’s Bridgeport, but not a process that will get any governance awards. And many taxpayers would rather see open and accountable financial process as a representation of the ‘green machine’ than hear about more rain barrel programs. By the way, last week the CT Post talked about turning sludge into energy, didn’t they? Well if the City and one or more suburbs combine their systems under a regional WPCA, then the City would not have any sludge to sell, would it? Your s–t and everything else that would be drained, rinsed, settled and dried out leaving a remainder, sludge, (that cities like Milwaukee turned into commercial products like Milorganite) would belong to the WPCA, wouldn’t it? So what is Finch preparing for? Perhaps he is planning to turn over all of our CSO system assets and liabilities as well as future responsibilities along with a program for earning revenue (hopefully net of additional expenses). FIRE! AIM!! READY!!!

  5. When I asked about the door buzzer installed on the labor relations door I was told there had been a threat against Larry Osborne’s life.
    I do know one thing Labor relations could be eliminated with hardly a ripple. They farm out most negotiations anyway. Just think of the salaries we could save by eliminating this department. Most of the heavy negotiations were farmed out to David Dunn’s consulting firm.

  6. *** It’s only Xmas humor, no? Cities & States continue to borrow from Peter to pay Paul, rainy day fund balance is “0,” credit maxed out, lower payscale workers get laid off or fired to pay for new admin. depts that bring in “0” revenue, unions are shaken down for money to meet payrolls, pensions, etc. All under the financial covert type transparency that really undermines the thought that more money is going out than coming in, no? Will it get worse before it gets better? *** Someone say “HUMBUG!” ***


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