In the midst of the worst fiscal crisis we’ve seen in many years, an obscure North Shore agency has voted to lower the retirement age for police and fire dispatchers from 65 to 60. The Salem News’ Chris Cassidy reports:
Thanks to a subtle change in job title, some North Shore emergency dispatchers will be able to retire five years early under new rules approved by the Essex Regional Retirement Board.
By reclassifying police and fire dispatchers as “signal operators,” the board recently allowed the group to retire with maximum benefits at age 60.
The change affects Boxford, Hamilton, Ipswich, Topsfield and Wenham. Naturally, defenders of this outrage say the move was made in order to rectify an injustice. Naturally, the extra cost to taxpayers is said to be negligible. Naturally, we are told that dispatchers work under an incredible amount of stress.
Guess what? I’m feeling pretty stressed right now. In what rational universe are new benefits approved in the midst of a budget meltdown — a meltdown that taxpayers are going to have to fund? The arrogance of this money grab boggles the mind.