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Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

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Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Old 11-20-09, 01:04 PM
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Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Never mind war, poverty, AIDS, famine, etc. We need to go after the real enemy!


http://www.mcall.com/news/all-a8_5sc...,6238384.story

Union troubled by Eagle Scout project in Allentown

After layoffs, SEIU president complains about city's use of volunteers, contractors

By Jarrett Renshaw

OF THE MORNING CALL

10:59 AM EST, November 15, 2009

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.

"We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union," said Mayor Ed Pawlowski in an e-mail Friday. "This young man is performing a great service to the community. His efforts should be recognized as such."

Balzano said Saturday the union is still looking into the matter and might cut the city a break.

"We are probably going to let this one go," Balzano said .

The possible entanglement of a local Boy Scout in a union dispute underscores the frustration and anger SEIU members feel after being the lone city union to suffer layoffs in the ongoing financial crisis. It may also serve as a preview of future labor battles as the city tries to outsource some necessary jobs as a result of the layoffs.

Anderson, a junior and varsity soccer player at Southern Lehigh High School, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 301 of Center Valley.

He got the idea for the trail while taking hikes along the partially complete, 165-mile Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. He noticed there were a few missing connections to the trail in Kimmets Lock Park, which is on the Lehigh River near Dauphin Street. He already has logged 250 hours trying to carve out a walking and biking trail along the river.

"I decided to do my part in completing this part of the trail. In that way, others could enjoy walking along the river, without having to walk on the busy road," Anderson said in an e-mail Friday.

During last week's budget hearings, where City Council reviewed the Public Works and Park and Recreation departments' funding requests, it was made clear that the layoffs and early retirements -- all of which have led to the lowest city staffing levels in two decades -- are bound to create union disputes in the weeks and months ahead.

For example, the city currently does not have an electrician available because of the layoffs and an employee on an extended sick leave. As a result, the city has been forced to hire an outside union electrician to oversee the installation for the popular Lights on the Parkway holiday display.

"In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to let that go," Balzano said.

Greg Weitzel, head of the Parks and Recreation Department, which lost 17 full-time employees as a result of the layoffs and retirements, said the low staffing levels will require more outsourcing of labor and a greater reliance on volunteers.

"There are some things that we can do in-house and other things we will have to bid out," Weitzel said Tuesday. "We originally had plans to do more with our labor force, but now we have to bid out that work."
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Old 11-20-09, 02:06 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

So you're not supposed to get upset if someone gets a kid to do your job for free?

And I didn't realize it was the job of the SEIU to cure AIDS. Silly me.
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Old 11-20-09, 02:13 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Yet another negative story from my town/area.
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Old 11-20-09, 02:15 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
So you're not supposed to get upset if someone gets a kid to do your job for free?
Although the article doesn't say, it's far more likely that the boy scout approached the city with a request to build the path to fulfill community service requirements for the scouts - perhaps for his Eagle Scout badge. If there had been no layoffs, would the union be justified in complaining that a non-union person did the work?

Last edited by Bandoman; 11-20-09 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-20-09, 02:17 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

He fucked with the union. Can one earn a Union Beatdown badge?
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Old 11-20-09, 02:19 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

The union's job is to keep unions dues coming in. This kid pays no union dues.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:00 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Even the SEIU head office is distancing itself from <s>the pinkie ring thug</s> estimable local union leader:

Pennsylvania Union Leader Criticized for Threatening Legal Action Over Boy Scout's Volunteerism

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Diane Macedo

FC1
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A Pennsylvania union leader has come under fire after threatening legal action against the city of Allentown for allowing a Boy Scout to voluntarily clear a walking path in a local park.

Nick Balzano, president of the Service Employees International Union's Allentown chapter, said last week that the union might file a grievance against the city for allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to clear the hiking trail, instead of paying some of the 39 recently laid-off SEIU members to do the work.

Balzano's office did not return messages left by FoxNews.com, but the Morning Call quoted him as telling the city council that the union would be "looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails … There's to be no volunteers."

SEIU spokesman Matt Nerzig called Balzano's comments "completely unauthorized and insensitive" and said the union was "not at all" considering a grievance in this case.

"Not sure if it was out of context or just a bad moment, but we've got no intention of doing anything like that," Nerzig told FoxNews.com. "Not sure where he got the idea but he certainly doesn't have the authority to do so."

Anderson, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 301 of Center Valley, spent more than 200 hours creating the 1000-foot path in Kimmets Lock Park along with fellow scouts, friends and parents.

The junior at Southern Lehigh High School said he took on the project in an effort to earn an Eagle Scout badge and allow others to walk along the river while avoiding the busy road nearby.

In the process, he said, he and his team also transformed what was once a run-down section of the park into something residents and visitors can enjoy.

"The volunteers and I removed trash, many old tires and recyclables from this former illegal dump-site," Anderson told FoxNews.com.

"My trail will become a part of the 165-mile Delaware and Lehigh (D&L) Heritage corridor," he added.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said Anderson's work was a "great service to the community."

"We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union," he told the Morning Call.

In a letter written Tuesday to Balzano, U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said the union official owes the teen an apology.

"I am astounded, that you would threaten to file a grievance against the City of Allentown because the administration wisely chooses to make volunteer opportunities available," Dent said. "Especially when this type of frivolous grievance could add to the tax burden of the citizens."

"An apology both to the scout involved and to the public would be appropriate," he added.

The SEIU has been the only Allentown union to suffer layoffs amid the ongoing economic crisis.

Anderson's troop leader Tony Martocci declined to comment for this story.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:06 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by grundle View Post
Never mind war, poverty, AIDS, famine, etc. We need to go after the real enemy!

Did you just imply unions should end war, poverty, AIDS, and famine? I am at a loss.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:08 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

And he resigns.

http://www.mcall.com/news/all-a1_5sc...,1983128.story

Allentown union official Nick Balzano has been a political punching bag all week because he threatened to file a grievance against the city for allowing a Boy Scout to clear a walking path in a city park.

Three days of taking body blows nationally from conservative pundits, a rebuke from the Lehigh Valley's congressman and even a lashing from his own union led Balzano to voluntarily resign his position Thursday as head of the local Service Employees International Union.

Balzano said he and seven other executive officers of the local SEIU stepped down.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:36 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

I think we've all learned a valuable lesson from this: Don't F with the Boy Scouts.
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Old 11-20-09, 05:09 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I think we've all learned a valuable lesson from this: Don't F with the Boy Scouts.
It's true. They really don't have much tolerance for gay people.
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Old 11-20-09, 05:14 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

I believe this is the argument the union was using:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KLni3wbndls&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KLni3wbndls&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
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Old 11-20-09, 05:19 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Even though he provided the service for free, I hope the Scout was still tipped based on the value of the work.
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Old 11-20-09, 11:07 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Another union rep showing his true colors.....I'm not surprised.
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Old 11-20-09, 11:36 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by TheNightFlier View Post
But, but hes taking jobs from working families........

Another example of unions being out of touch with reality.
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Old 11-21-09, 12:22 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post
Even the SEIU head office is distancing itself from <s>the pinkie ring thug</s> estimable local union leader:

Thanks for posting that.
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Old 11-21-09, 12:23 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by Decadance View Post
Did you just imply unions should end war, poverty, AIDS, and famine? I am at a loss.

No. I meant that someone had targeted the wrong "enemy."
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Old 11-21-09, 12:24 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by TheNightFlier View Post
Thanks for posting that. I'm glad that my thread has had such an impact.
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Old 11-21-09, 01:15 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Yep, the guy resigned because of your dvdtalk post. Quick, go make a wikipedia entry.
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Old 11-21-09, 01:43 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Eagle Scout projects are laid out months in advance. The city didn't bring in this teenager to do something they wanted done but didn't have the labor to do anymore because of layoffs.
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Old 12-08-09, 09:40 AM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by pedagogue View Post
Another union rep showing his true colors.....I'm not surprised.
I agree with your view that American jobs should not be protected in any way.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:36 AM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
I agree with your view that American jobs should not be protected in any way.
It is this type of hyperbole response that gives me no hope for America's future.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:39 AM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by sracer View Post
It is this type of hyperbole response that gives me no hope for America's future.
Agreed. That was the worst thing I've ever seen posted here.
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Old 12-08-09, 11:02 AM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

I am just surprised to see a grundle thread with so much support for his position. Well done grundle.
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Old 12-08-09, 03:32 PM
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Re: Union is upset because Eagle Scout cleaered a walking/biking path in local park.

Originally Posted by dogmatica View Post
Eagle Scout projects are laid out months in advance. The city didn't bring in this teenager to do something they wanted done but didn't have the labor to do anymore because of layoffs.
My Eagle Scout project took nine months from the beginning planning stages, approvals from all relevant parties, gathering finances and materials, actually preforming the service, to the final write up and board of review. I wouldn't be surprised if the approval by the city for the project was given well before the layoffs of union employees even occurred.
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