Local 254 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents Massachusetts probation officers, has told its members to stop volunteering for community-based probation plans because a contract dispute with the state court system. The following excerpts of a Jul. 25 Boston Herald editorial speaks for itself:
“As a negotiating tactic, this is pretty low. Local 254 of [SEIU], this week directed its members not to work after regular office hours. This could cripple the crucial ‘Night Light’ program in Boston, under which probation officers check up on their charges with visits to their homes and haunts at night, not to mention other important after-hours programs in many communities. Though the union claims ‘a couple’ of members haven’t joined this boycott, ‘they will get religion as well.’ We hope it’s more than a couple, and we hope for a growing apostasy. Probation officers in Brockton were reported to have decided to keep working these extra hours. Good for them.
‘Night Light’ has greatly reduced gang violence in Boston, and was one of the big reasons the city went 29 months to last December without any deaths by violence to anyone under 17, a record that astonished experts – not to mention other cities – across the nation… If probation officers are not around for awhile, old habits of ignoring those conditions likely will be revived. ‘We could be going to funerals again,’ one probation officer told Herald reporter Andrea Estes. If this boycott results in funerals, the community will know whom to blame.”