7
   

Eagle Scout Runs Afoul of City Union

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:49 am
Full article
Quote:
In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.


OK, I'm slightly torn here (although not for the union). I think scouts doing projects are great, but I also think the city should be doing their own maintenance and not taking advantage of child labor. Of course, our cities would be better places if local communities chipped in to help maintain our facilities. Thoughts? I understand and don't support the union position here, but I know we have some experienced union folks in A2K land.
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 11:00 am
@engineer,
The kid's going to do the labor one way or another; it's a requirement for Eagle Scout status.

He's allowed to pick his own project.

Federal parks take advantage of kids in pursuit of the volunteer portion of the Eagle Scout requirements.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 12:05 pm
@DrewDad,
I'd rather he clear park trails than build more unused benches at some local church. I noticed in the article that the union/city agreement bans volunteerism. Why would anyone agree to that? Shouldn't we encourage groups to do civic related activities? That's what the "Adopt a Highway" program is about. I've seen Cub Scout groups doing roadside cleanups. Our cities would probably be better places if we all did some level of volunteerism.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 12:15 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:


OK, I'm slightly torn here (although not for the union). I think scouts doing projects are great, but I also think the city should be doing their own maintenance and not taking advantage of child labor. Of course, our cities would be better places if local communities chipped in to help maintain our facilities. Thoughts? I understand and don't support the union position here, but I know we have some experienced union folks in A2K land.


Let the troop clean and clear out the trail. That would cement emotional and community ties for that generation.

AS for further maintenance? Hopefully, the city gets the point that this public area needs to maintained. That is the further obligation of the city to carry on the trails up keep.

A possibility for a wonderful compromise is at hand. The city should provide tools and supervision. On an annual level (or even a greater commitment), the Boy Scout Troop could lend a hand in maintaining the land but at a volunteer level. It should be considered as an internship or an apprenticeship where the volunteers learn horticulture, gardening, landscape engineering, or whatever practical science is prevalent in the practice of maintaining the public trails.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 01:15 pm
One of the requirements for achieving Eagle Scout is to plan and carry out a service project. It's a demonstration of leadership and public service. Figures a labor union would have a problem with that.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 01:53 pm
Quote:
"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.


What, are they looking to bust his kneecap or something?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 01:53 pm
@McGentrix,
I think that these young people should do your job for a couple of months or a year and you can pay the mortgage, buy groceries, etc from your savings, McG.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 02:23 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Thoughts?

I think the incident teaches the Boy Scout a valuable lesson: No good deed goes unpunished. If you do the right thing as best you can tell it, you will get in trouble with the powers that be. It's a lesson that cannot be learned early enough in life.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 02:28 pm
There is an obvious answer here.

Just have aspiring Eagle Scouts do union organizing as their volunteer work.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 02:34 pm
He's got his good deed done. Nobody can take that away from him. Now, with all the publicity, think of his future potential.

Come his 18th birthday, he too can pose for Playgirl, albeit probably for slightly lower recompense than Levi, ..., ummm, then again, maybe some women just couldn't resist a guy that could tie them in "nots".
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 02:38 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

Quote:
"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.


What, are they looking to bust his kneecap or something?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 02:41 pm
@engineer,
If voluntary labor is prohibited by the contract, that should be the end of it, assuming the city knew of, and approved the scouts efforts. I do not know why any city would let something like that slip into a labor contract, but if they did, it's just something they are going to have to live with. The full article kind of skirts that particular issue.



0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 03:43 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Just have aspiring Eagle Scouts do union organizing as their volunteer work

They'd learn valuable and practical life lessons:

How to wolf whistle at that uppity hottie of a she-lawyer-b!tch who wouldn't give you the time of day, let alone save yer life if yere drownin';
How to break someone's kneecaps without breaking a sweat;
Where and how to properly bury a body in a construction site;
How to bribe neighborhood politicians and the all important follow-up ...
How to make sure the politician in your "pocket" is actually doing what you're asking her or him to do;

dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 03:47 pm
here in Albuquerque we adore our volunteers, especially the ones that clean and pick up trash from city trails and streets. The city gives them special birght orange vests to wear, and uniformed men to protected them from careless drivers and real nice vans to drive them from trail to trail to street, the even bring them water in a big jub they all get to drink from. We in albuquerque love our volunteers and treat them with respect.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 03:49 pm
@dyslexia,
That's mighty progressive of ya! Wink
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 04:58 pm
@tsarstepan,
Okay. I'm moving you out of the pro-union column.
0 Replies
 
 

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