• Mass. taxpayers may be forced to pay for hack days


    (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – According to a new court ruling, taxpayers in Massachusetts may have to pay public employees in Suffolk County to keep their offices open on Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day.

    Two years ago, lawmakers did away with both holidays. However, the unions negotiated and the holidays were turned into floating holidays for union members. Someone will have to foot the bill and according to a Superior Court judge, the state will have to pay.

    Judge Linda Giles ruled that the state cannot make cities and towns keep public officers opened unless the Commonwealth pays for it. This is not the ruling that Attorney General Martha Coakley had been working toward.

    "We're obviously disappointed in the decision," says Coakley. "We had defended the statute change; we've just gotten the decision so we're reviewing it to see what our options will be."

    Coakley doesn't know if her office will appeal the decision just yet.

    Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo is pleased that the state will have to pay state workers and so is Councilman John Correggio.

    "The state should pick it up because we don't get the local aid we used to get and so we need some type of assistance on the state end and probably on the federal end," says Correggio.

    Gov. Deval Patrick wasn't available for comment on the ruling Wednesday.

    FOX 25 received an e-mail from Boston Mayor Tom Menino's press office. They say that current city employees receive two floating holidays in place of Bunker Hill and Evacuation Day. Those days will be paid at normal rates, not overtime rates. Any city of Boston employee hired after the Jan. 1, 2013 will not get those two floating holidays.

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