Monday, December 10, 2012

Rogue Deputy: Where's Our OT For Hurricane Sandy?

Before I get started, I should tell you that, one-on-one, Northampton County Deputy Sheriff Tom Bachik is very personable. Just like me! He's a good father, and his son is a great shooter on his Nazareth Middle School basketball team. In a few years, you'll be seeing that name on the sports pages. But when it comes to public sector unions and the public image of Deputy Sheriffs, Bachik is a one-man wrecking crew. He makes them all look like greedy pigs. He proved that again at last Thursday's Council meeting.

Years ago, it was Bachik, along with a few other deputies, who had a hissy fit over payments for high school football coverage. After he had finished his rant, he and those same few deputies could be heard in the hallway outside, screaming like little kids.

Executive John Stoffa solved their problem. He banned deputies from providing coverage at any more high school games.

More recently, it is Bachik who managed to piss off the entire court - all nine judges - after accusing them of playing favorites. That's something even I have never been able to accomplish. They actually issued an order banning him from their courtrooms. When Sheriff Randy Miller refused to tell the judges to pound sand, Bachik started a movement to have him fired. In addition, he wants the Home Rule Charter changed to make the Sheriff an elected position. That way, he can install some of his public sector union buds. The hell with professionalism.

The Express Times awarded Bachik and his pile of monkey nuts a turkey for that little stunt. "[T]hey should remember who is working for whom."

The latest incident involved Hurricane Sandy, which by most accounts is the worst storm to hit this area since we began keeping records. Northampton County went into emergency overdrive, and people like Emergency Management Director Bob Mateff were working 'round the clock.

When the Red Cross activated a shelter for people without power, it had to be manned 24/7 by Deputy Sheriffs. Sheriff Miller asked his Deputies for help. They agreed and were there, but have not been paid the overtime they thought was promised.

So Bachik, who was relatively restrained for once, went before County Council to complain. He knows they can't do a damn thing about a labor dispute, and he said as much before he started. But he plowed on anyway, essentially calling Sheriff Miller a liar. He submitted a letter from their union, but admitted it was actually only signed by about five of them.

He threatens to sue unless he gets his money, damn it.

Sheriff Miller declined to respond to Bachik, but turned about 30 different shades of red, and I thought I saw steam coming out of his ears.

One thing Sheriff Miller wanted in next year's budget was two more part-time deputies.That request went down in flames, probably in no small part due to Bachik's embarrassing behavior.

Other deputies are embarrassed by the guy. "He makes us all look bad," one deputy told me Friday. "He's not representing the union," added another.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Uncalled for 12:52 and you would be deleted if you said that about an O'Hare favorite.

Anonymous said...

what was so uncalled for. just hope the kid doesn't end up in daddy's union jerk shoes

Anonymous said...

Bachik is a good Sheriff's Deputy. They don't work for free and are not actively volunteering their time. Someone needs to speak out. If they worked beyond their normal shift wearing the uniform and shield, then dang it, they are entitled to overtime. Why is Bachik being made to look like the bad guy here? County Council should do the right thing and pay these fellows what they are do. In the future if Miller does not want them to be paid overtime to work, then don't ask. Simple.

Anonymous said...

The complaint is not about deputies working beyond their normal shift. Those who did got OT. The union also wants OT for those who worked at the shelter during their NORMAL shift. Those poor souls had to work when others stayed at home since the courthouse was closed. But they were deemed essential workers and like others who had to come in during that week, they should have been paid their normal shift. The majority of deputies, like most county workers that week got paid to sit on their butts all week. So it is preposterous for any of them to complain.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the "Public Servant". People used to donate their time to charities because they couldn't afford to give cash payments. Volunteerism used to be an asset before the Unions came into Northampton County. I'm not saying these Deputies should volunteer their time for every disaster or charity that comes along. However, if a deputy sheriff wants to give of his time for a favorite charity, he is no longer allowed to do so. If the deputy wants to be paid, then pay him. It's his choice. If a deputy wants to donate his time for a fundraising affair for kids, let him. If he wants to be paid, don't hire him. It's your choice. The Unions have made that a non-negotiable issue by insisting all deputies be made. What a shame

Anonymous said...

The only way to settle this thing is to make everyone come to work regardless of the situation. If you don't show up, you are not paid. If you don't show up, the county should allow you to take a personal day or a vacation day. You don't get paid for sitting at home. There are always little things to do at the courthouse (like pick your nose and scratch your worthless ass).

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Someone needs to speak out."

Nothing wrong with speaking out. Plenty wrong with making them all look like greedy slobs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Those poor souls had to work when others stayed at home since the courthouse was closed."

Incredible. What a prissie! He makes them all look bad. So sad.

Anonymous said...

New blog title: The Courthouse Coffee Klatch. Making housewife gossip look interesting!

Anonymous said...

Disagree with koffee klatch analogy. That's a defensive attempt to minimize the embarrassment of getting caught making another money grab. The public would otherwise never know that they are asking for OT for regular hours worked.

Anonymous said...

No one gives a shit about the woes of deputies and their side jobs at football games.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"New blog title: The Courthouse Coffee Klatch. Making housewife gossip look interesting!"

Yet here you are, commenting away. What does that say about you??

Anonymous said...

Bernie, stop muddying the issue. A job offer was made to the deputies. Terms for compensation for the job were presented to the deputies by the administration; the deputies did not make any demands on how to be compensated. The rate of pay was initiated and offered by the administration. The deputies should not be penalized if the administration erred. If these row officers are the "professionals" you claim they are, then they should admit when a mistake is made and take ownership for it instead of hoping that it goes away. To assert that the deputies are greedy for requesting what they were offered is ridiculous. Instead, you shoud be attacking the "idiot" who made the "deal". Again, the incompetence of the "professional" is being overlooked.
Since the deputies are currently in contract arbitration, the fact that two part-time positions were not approved actually benefits this association. Everyone knows that the last thing to ask for during contract negotiations is more manpower. It is a cardinal sin. If the actions of Deputy Bachik were responsible for these positions being eliminated, his fellow union brothers should actually be thanking him. Appears the Sheriff and County were attempting to get Council to help "support" their arbitration arguments, and Council should be praised for taking the stance it did and not getting involved.

Anonymous said...

Are these hourly employees and did they work outside the standard workweek in excess if 40 hours? State law trumps any well intened public official. Even salary workers may be entitled to straight time OT for extenuating circumstances such as Sandy.

Here is a question, did local police and public works get compensated for overtime?

Forgive me if I missed something here as I may have missed something.

Anonymous said...

Bushism. Lol

Bernie O'Hare said...

No muddying. Your public demands do make you look like greedy pigs. I don't know how it could be viewed any other way. Also, if this is a matter of contract law, you better research the theory called "offer and compromise."

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:43, As one of the other commenters explained, these guys weren't working at all that week bc the courthouse was closed, but they were still getting paid. Those who were at the shelter and who did not work more than 40 hours that week think they are entitled to OT.

Anonymous said...

They are asking to be compensated for having to work when others got the same money for drinking beer and watching Price Is Right. Their problem should be with their loafing compatriots; not with taxpayers who are required to actually work for their wages.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Cry me a river. They worked, but did not work OTT. Does anyone believe in service anymore?

Anonymous said...

Appears to me you are getting your info from the wrong person. That fake sheriff reverend continually has his head up Stoffa's rear end to know what is going on except what John ate for dinner last night. Seek out the Union board if you want the truth.

Anonymous said...

Again Bernie, stop persecuting the deputies. Find out why those in charge offered the payment and actually admitted such to the County Executive. The problem is not with the deputies, it has EVERYTHING to do with the management. Put your hatred towards public sector employees aside and focus on those responsible for the problem.

Anonymous said...

Bachik makes the deputies look no worse than the fake sheriff chaplain who has self-appointed himself as the personal bodyguard to one of the judges. You should be looking into his claim that he ran the Philadelphia Sheriff's Union when in fact he never worked for this organization.I believe lying on your application is a terminable offense. I am waiting for the day those crosses on his lapel catch on fire.

Anonymous said...

Yet here you are, commenting away. What does that say about you??

To read your somewhat informative posts not concerning the soap opera inside a court house where no one goes and no one cares about except lawyers and criminals.

Anonymous said...

The only way to settle this thing is to make everyone come to work regardless of the situation. If you don't show up, you are not paid. If you don't show up, the county should allow you to take a personal day or a vacation day. You don't get paid for sitting at home. There are always little things to do at the courthouse (like pick your nose and scratch your worthless ass).


In the cold and dark? Yeah, that's brilliant.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:00, Since I get about 70% of my tips from the place you think no one cares about, I disagree. And I like writing in detail about every aspect of the County, including this rogue deputy.

Anonymous said...

He should have been fired a long time ago. There have been numerous complaints made about him, you name it, he did it. He is an embarassment to the uniform. Most of those guys there are good honest men, and he sullies that reputation. The encounters I have had with him, both on a personal level and a professional level, left me disgusted. He doesn't speak for the union, he doesn't speak for anyone who wears a uniform. To call him a rogue deputy is one of the nicer things anyone has said about him.

With regard to the overtime issue, if there is even an issue, this was a disaster. Everyone had to come together and help each other out. Be greedy now, and it will come back at you later.

-Former County employee

Anonymous said...

I hope Former County Employee and commenter 4:53 isn't a former co-worker who was fortunate to be allowed to resign despite taking race relations back to the 1970's.