Boston Daily Helps Albert Arroyo Find a New Job
Dear Albert Arroyo,
Hello there, sir. Boston Daily here. As you know, we’ve been reading the nonstop coverage of your employment status. After you created news by appearing at a hearing yesterday, the Globe has now mentioned you in 19 columns or stories, and the Herald dropped your name in 11 recent stories.
It’s a spotlight even brighter than the one aimed at you during a bodybuilding competition, and we imagine you’re tempted to just throw up your hands and be done with the Boston Fire Department. But where else could you go?
We think you should look in to the Newton Fire Department. Under a new contract, that city’s firefighters aren’t required to submit a doctor’s note when they call out sick.
Arbitrators just settled a six-year battle between the city and its fire department. But instead of the random drug testing that has bogged down the negotiations between Boston and your union, the previous Newton contract’s clause that required firefighters to get a doctor’s note every time they called out sick was the big bone of contention.
In its unanimous agreement on Aug. 6, the arbitration board judges agreed that the measure was unfair. They added, “… there must be some modification to the city’s current practice of requiring all firefighters — no matter what the circumstances — to visit the city physician before being eligible for paid sick leave. In particular, this issue is divisive; as it resulted in many days of grievance arbitration and has impacted the stability of labor relations between the firefighters’ union and the city.”
Sure, you’d still need get medical approval for a disability claim. But think of all the time you would have spent finding a doctor to say you’re disabled that you could instead dedicate to your weightlifting regiment in the gym. Although you’d have to be selective about how often you call out—the new contract does allow your supervisor to send you to the city physician if he or she is suspicious about an absence. But what reason would they have not to trust you?
So, best of luck to you and your abs, whether they decide to stick it out in Boston or make a move for the suburbs.