Five unions in North Adams will file intimidation charges against the mayor after he allegedly ousted from City Hall a union representative looking for figures on the city's health insurance plan, said Cindy Polinsky, the Massachusetts Teachers Association representative.This has prompted me to write the following open letter that is being sent to City Hall as well as others:
... The mayor told the North Adams Transcript on Tuesday that his door is open to any union employee who wants to "see the real figures." The city uses Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
"Their union leaders have told them a lot of things - a lot of things are not true," he told the Transcript.
Those statements prompted Bryant Elementary School teacher Eileen Gloster to go to City Hall on Wednesday with Polinsky, where the mayor told Polinsky to leave and threatened to call police, she said. "His way of interacting with people is disturbing," Gloster said.
To the Honorable John Barrett, III;Something is amiss here. I don't know what it is, but before the legal disputes start costing the taxpayers of this city serious money, I sincerely hope that the mayor puts this to rest by explaining, in detail, exactly what the city pays for and gets in its current health insurance policy.
This letter is express my concern as a resident and taxpayer of North Adams that the recent antagonistic developments involving the North Adams Teachers Association and yourself have now simmered beyond the boiling point. While I am still willing to keep an open mind about the facts of the matter, the recent confrontation between you and a teacher and her union representative has left me with the impression that, at the least, your conduct was less than gracious and, at the worst, a possible violation of the National Labor Relations Act. This incident only stokes the fire that the rumors of your blocking the switch of the municipal employees health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield to the GIC, may be motivated by factors other than what is best for the residents of North Adams.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have never given much credence to those who have willy-nilly accused you of everything from the kidnapping of the Lindberg Baby having the city pay for your personal automobile.
However, in this instance, I have met both Eileen Gloster and Cindy Polinsky. They both seem to be very reasonable and mature people who would not in any way cause a ruckus at City Hall. Hence your ejection of Polinsky from the building along with the threat of calling the police, combined with your subsequent short explanation to the Boston Globe that these two women's story "left out a lot of parts", creates gaping holes in any sort of logical explanation of the incident.
I am left wondering why you simply will not publicly release the financial information regarding the current city Blue Cross Blue Shield policy. A simple copy of the bill(s) will do.
Your constituents would surely be open to explanations why a possibly more expensive Blue Cross policy is a better "value" to employees and the city than a potentially cheaper plan through the GIC, but without the actual figures to begin a fact based comparison, this ongoing drama leaves a doubt-filled cloud over city hall.
131 Marion Ave
North Adams, MA