Citizens discuss state trooper dry cleaning debate - 519 citizens, 1402 responses

Jun 15, 2015

Earlier this month, members of the New Hampshire Troopers Association filed a complaint with the NH Public Employee Labor Relations Board arguing that a new ban on dry cleaning dress shirts and blouses was a violation of contract. On June 16, the Live Free or Die Alliance put the issue to Facebook members, asking the question, “Should the state pay to dry-clean the on-duty dress shirts of state troopers?”

A total of 84% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 70% majority opposed state payment for dry cleaning costs with 30% in favor. Of the remaining respondents, 11% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 5% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 519 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 1,402 responses. 

Many opponents of state coverage for dry cleaning costs argued that employees in other industries or the military were required to wear uniforms but did not receive reimbursement for laundry. “You want me to pay for the troopers dry cleaning when we don’t even pay for our military troops dry cleaning?” on commenter asked. “Have the officers claim it on their taxes like normal people,” a respondent said. “Shirts that can be washed at home should be,” another person wrote. 

Those in favor countered that the state should honor the conditions of the contract. “To be fair if the state wants to do away with this they should wait until the contract expires,” one commenter wrote. “The state is looking for a loop hole to save money,” a respondent argued. “These shirts don't have to be ‘just’ laundered. They need to be ironed to look professional. I think the state should still pay for their upkeep,” another commenter said. 

Those opting to discuss broader issues made a range of related suggestions. “I think the typical uniform should be for dress ceremonial purposes, as they are wool,” one commenter said. “I suggest in house facilities. This doesn't need to be privatized,” another respondent wrote. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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