Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issue first came to light last year with letter from Lynnfield town administrator.
Governor Patrick has announced new legislation aimed at closing loopholes in the municipal unemployment system that first came to light locally last year. Patrick noted that he convened a task force last spring to address loopholes in the unemployment system that have cost municipalities tens of thousands of dollars, and that the task force released its recommendations in November. Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus and 23 other colleagues from municipal government wrote to Governor Patrick last March seeking relief on the issue. A retired Lynnfield Police officer received a considerable amount of regional media attention at the time because his unemployment case – while also collecting a pension – is the one that led Gustus to draft…
Friday, December 7, 2012
Last spring, a state task force convened to examine problems with municipal workers filing for unemployment benefits. They've released some proposals.
State officials are apparently moving closer to resolving some of the issues in the unemployment system that had Lynnfield in the news earlier this year. The task force was convened by Governor Patrick back in March after Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus made news with a letter he and other local officials sent to the state seeking relief from certain unemployment claims involving municipal workers. A number of stories back then on this website and other state and local media outlets talked about some of these costs, from claims filed by school bus drivers in summer to the matter of a retired officer on a pension who collected unemployment when his allotted work hours ran out for the year. Back in March, Gustus reported that the …
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Boston Herald calls retired officer Hartley Boudreau "Poster Boy" for questionable municipal unemployment claims.
A Saturday Boston Herald report says that retired Lynnfield police officer Hartley Boudreau has had his controversial unemploymenent benefits reinstated by the Mass. Department of Unemployment Assistance. The report even refers to him as a "Jobless Claim 'Poster Boy,'" stemming from the late February selectmen's meeting when Town Administrator Bill Gustus said he had written to the state seeking help with the financial burdens towns sustain from dubious unemployment claims by municipal workers. Gustus was quoted in this Herald report as saying that "This is allowed under the current law. That’s why we asked them to change the law... We’re disappointed, but I’m not surprised." For his part, Boudreau told the Herald that he knew the matter …
Friday, April 20, 2012
Governor Patrick introduced bill earlier this year to tackle questionable unemployment claims in response to letter from Lynnfield town administrator.
Earlier this year, Lynnfield's Town Administrator Bill Gustus made statewide news by leading other town officials in asking Governor Patrick to crack down on municipal workers improperly collecting unemployment benefits. The story began with the February 27th Lynnfield selectmen's meeting, when Gustus reported at the end that he and a group of other municipal officials had written to the governor because of the effect these unemployment claims have had on local budgets. At the time, a 69-year old retired Lynnfield police officer ended up the center of attention in the matter for having collected unemployment, while collecting a pension, after he had done the maximum amount of detail work allowed for the year. The full text of the original…
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus was one of the municipal officials to meet with State Labor Secretary Joanne Goldstein on Tuesday in Boston about the problem of municipal workers filing dubious unemployment claims. It doesn't look like the offici
Friday, March 16, 2012
Lynnfield alone has spent about $120,000 in past three years on unemployment claims that are drawing increasing attention from state officials.
In the past three years, Lynnfield has spent about $120,000 on unemployment benefits for municipal workers whose claims were approved despite having circumstances that other jobless people might envy. Two weeks ago, Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus estimated that the town could save about $40,000 per year if state lawmakers and Governor Patrick can find common ground on tightening up unemployment laws. This Friday, he confirmed that this is about what the town has been spending on this in each of the past three years. In that period, according to Gustus, the town has spent: - $67,861.22 for nine bus drivers who filed for unemployment during times when school was not in session, typically summer. - $10,557 to teachers who have …
Thursday, March 8, 2012
State Republican lawmakers and Governor Deval Patrick both addressing questionable unemployment claims by municipal workers.
Less than 10 days after Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus wrote to Governor Deval Patrick about a retired police officer whose request for unemployment benefits was approved, some statewide changes to the system could already be on the horizon. On Wednesday, the Governor announced legislation aimed at preventing a repeat of situations like the one that saw retired Lynnfield Police Officer Hartley Boudreau approved for unemployment benefits while also collecting a pension and doing part-time detail work. However, state Republican lawmakers were quick to point out that Patrick's legislation only goes so far given the various issues that go beyond the Boudreau case. For example, Gustus told Lynnfield Patch last Friday that some of the …
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr invites officials to State House to discuss problems with current unemployment system.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Following up on a letter that Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus sent Governor Deval Patrick last week about the high cost of questionable unemployment claims, State Senate Republican leaders announced Tuesday they plan to hold meetings with town officials on the issue. "Lynnfield Town Administrator William Gustus and 23 other municipal officials recently sent a letter to Governor Patrick revealing several circumstances of exploitation of the unemployment insurance benefits program," said an announcement by State Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr. "Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), Assistant Senate Minority Leader Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), Senate Minority Whip Richard Ross (R-Wrentham) and Senator Michael Knapik…
Friday, March 2, 2012
Media spotlight focused on retired officer, but bus drivers in town have also apparently been known to collect unemployment during non-school time. Mass. towns and cities of all sizes have their own stories to report.
If the state were to implement reforms aimed at municipal workers who file for unemployment under questionable circumstances, the town of Lynnfield alone could save as much as $40,000 per year, said Town Administrator William Gustus during a conversation with Lynnfield Patch on Friday. Recently, Gustus sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick seeking state assistance on the issue - and in the space of several days, the effort showed signs of getting some results, not to mention ongoing attention from the regional media. (Editor's Note: For the background information in this story, scroll down and check out the various links at the bottom. For the material from Friday, read on.) So far, the story has mostly revolved around retired Lynnfield …