Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- Arizona taxpayers who are being represented by lawyers from conservative think tank The Goldwater Institute will be in court Tuesday to fight "release time."

Residents are challenging the release time provisions found in a contract between the City of Phoenix and local police labor unions.

"Public service is a public trust," said attorney John Riches. "Public employees owe a duty to the public that hired them and pays their salaries. The public expects that they perform those jobs."

Riches maintains that under the practice of taxpayer-funded union activism known as "release time," government workers are released from their jobs to perform full-time union work, while still collecting government salaries and benefits.

Instead of doing work for the public, release time employees spend work hours doing political activism, such as electioneering or lobbying, recruiting new members and even soliciting grievances against the government employer.

According to the Goldwater Institute, release time violates a state constitutional provision known as the "gift clause," which requires public dollars spent to have a corresponding benefit.

Release time happens across the country and critics of it argue that it costs taxpayers over $1 billion dollars yearly.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.