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Full Boston pension database: Your Tax Dollars at Work



Full Boston pension database: Your Tax Dollars at Work

For the first time, here are the 12,700 City of Boston retirees listed by name, annual pension, date of retirement and last job.

To search on this database, click the magnifying glass icon (at right) and enter names and more. Use the scroll bar at bottom to move the data over to the right to sort by highest to lowest. Send any tips or questions to [email protected] See other payroll databases here. Follow the Watchdog newsletter for related coverage.

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Could ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores return home to New York? Giants hire former Miami exec as GM



Could ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores return home to New York? Giants hire former Miami exec as GM

Could a return home to New York be in store for former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores?

The New York Giants are expected to interview Flores, according to an ESPN Friday report. Flores, a Brooklyn native, has already been interviewed by the Chicago Bears for their head coaching vacancy and is a name that has been mentioned in connection to the Houston Texans’ opening, as well.

Flores was fired on Jan. 10 after three seasons with the Dolphins, when the team went 24-25. His dismissal was a surprise around the NFL as he took over a roster devoid of talent in 2019 and squeezed five wins out of the team before then producing back-to-back winning seasons in 2020 and 2021. Dolphins owner Steve Ross attributed the decision to Flores’ methods of communication and collaboration within the organization.

The Dolphins have since lined up at least seven known interviews: Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Los Angeles Rams running backs coach Thomas Brown. The latest of those interviews — with Joseph and Brown — are wrapping up on Friday, according to NFL Network.

Frazier, Quinn and Joseph have previous head coaching experience. Daboll, Quinn and Joseph have had a previous stop with the Dolphins, and Brown is a former Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator.

Flores was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn before playing college football at Boston College. When the Dolphins topped the New York Jets, 24-17, on Nov. 21 at MetLife Stadium, where the Giants also play, Flores wore an FDNY shirt to the postgame press conference as a tribute to his uncle, a retired firefighter for Ladder 118 in Brooklyn.

The report came as the Giants announced Friday that they hired Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen, who was a longtime Dolphins executive, to fill their general manager vacancy.

The Giants’ hiring of Schoen could also lead to him pulling Daboll from Buffalo to join him with the Giants. ESPN also named Daboll and Quinn as additional candidates for the New York coaching job.

Schoen and Flores never crossed paths in Miami as Schoen joined the Bills in 2017, two years before Flores was hired by the Dolphins. They’ve been in the AFC East together for years, though, with Flores’ 15 years in the New England Patriots’ organization both as a scout and assistant coach coincided largely with Schoen’s time with the Dolphins.

Schoen first joined Miami in 2008 as a national scout. Five years later, Schoen became the Dolphins’ assistant director of college scouting, and in his final four years in Miami, he was director of player personnel, working his way up to fourth in charge.

Schoen’s decadelong tenure with the Dolphins gained him experience under Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, Dennis Hickey and current general manager Chris Grier. Since working under Bills general manager Brandon Beane, the two, along with coach Sean McDermott, have transformed Buffalo into the AFC East’s top team and a perennial contender.

According to the Giants’ press release, Schoen “led Miami’s preparation, assessment and acquisition of potential professional and collegiate free agents. Schoen was heavily involved in Miami’s NFL draft preparations, including evaluation and draft board construction while also serving as a key liaison between the coaching staff and personnel staff” during his tenure with the Dolphins.

Still with connections in Miami, Schoen could potentially look to poach executives from the Dolphins.

Flores went 0-6 against Schoen’s Bills in his three seasons with the Dolphins.

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Dolphins lose receiver Kirk Merritt to New Orleans Saints



Dolphins lose receiver Kirk Merritt to New Orleans Saints

One of the Miami Dolphins’ top practice squad performers has signed with his hometown team.

Kirk Merritt, who spent two years blossoming on the Dolphins’ developmental unit, has signed a futures contract with the New Orleans Saints, joining the NFL franchise he grew up rooting for as a Louisiana native.

The Dolphins, who are searching for a new head coach after firing Brian Flores last week, have been in the process of re-signing some of the team’s practice squad players.

Tailback Gerrid Doaks, receiver Cody Core, cornerback Javaris Davis, offensive tackles Adam Pankey and Kion Smith. and defensive back Quincy Wilson have signed with the Dolphins to futures contracts.

Merritt was one of Miami’s top performers during training camp, and he contributed in three games his first two seasons.

Practice squad players become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, and signing futures contracts, which are minimum-salary-based deals, virtually allows them to train with an organization in the offseason. However, it doesn’t guarantee a training camp spot.

Regardless of who is named Miami’s next coach, it is likely the team will infuse an arsenal of new receivers.

Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins’ 2021 first-round pick who led the team with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns, DeVante Parker, a seven-year starter, Allen Hurns, Lynn Bowden Jr., who spent all of 2021 on injured reserve, and Core are the only receivers under contract in 2022.

And considering Parker and Hurns’ contracts are voidable, it is possible that they could be released to create more cap space. Parker is slated to earn $5.75 million, and another $500,000 in per-games-played bonuses. Hurns, who spent all last season on injured reserve because of a hand injury he suffered in training camp, could earn $2,575,000 if he makes the 53-man roster, with another $600,000 in per-games-played bonuses.

If the Dolphins released Parker, who has started 64 of 93 games, it would potentially clear $3.55 million in cap space. Releasing Hurns would create nearly $3.2 million in cap space.

The Dolphins already have a league-high $74 million in cap space to work with this offseason, but the franchise has numerous avenues available to create another $20 million-plus of cap space to spend on free agents and re-sign their own free agents.

Will Fuller, a free agent added last offseason who only played in two games, Albert Wilson, who started five games last season, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins and Preston Williams are the receivers expected to become unrestricted free agents.

Williams is a restricted free agent, but it’s questionable whether the Dolphins will place a right of first refusal tender on him, which is worth nearly $2.5 million, because of his struggles last season.

Fuller, who started 17 games during his three seasons in Miami, caught six passes for 71 yards in eight games.

Tight ends Mike Gesicki, who primarily served as a slot receiver last season, and Durham Smythe, who started 41 games in his four-year career with the Dolphins, are also set to become free agents on March 16.

It is possible that the Dolphins could use the franchise or transition tag to retain Gesicki, who finished second on the team with 73 receptions for 780 yards and two touchdowns. The last day to use the franchise or transition tag is March 8.

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Why they walked out: King Soopers workers on life on the margins



Guest commentary: Support the King Soopers strikers

Talk to the men and women who walked the King Soopers picket lines and you’d hear why they were out there, in the cold and freezing rain, striking for a better life.

They started as high school kids looking for some extra cash to pay for that senior trip. Or they heard about the decent wages and upward mobility. Others lost their jobs during the pandemic and desperately needed work.

They stay because they’re scared to lose insurance for their children. Or they don’t want to let down their co-workers they view more as family.

These are the workers of King Soopers. More than 8,000 of them — encompassing 68 stores across metro Denver — walked off the job on Jan. 12, striking for livable wages, better benefits and more security at their stores.

Friday morning, on the 10th day of a walkout that included bitter public posturing and a temporary restraining order, the two sides announced they had reached a tentative agreement to end the labor dispute and bring union workers back into stores.

Details of the agreement were not immediately released, but the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, Kim Cordova, said in a statement that the agreement “addresses the company’s unfair labor practices and ensures that our members will receive the respect, pay and protection they warrant.”

Joe Kelley, president of King Soopers and City Market, said in a statement that the deal would “put more money in our associates’ paychecks and secures health care and pension plans.”

Throughout the strike, the union argued that its workers were being left behind as Colorado’s rising cost of living far outpaced wages, while the company said the union was rejecting millions in wage increases.

A recent Economic Roundtable report, titled “Hungry at the Table,” found more than three-quarters of workers at grocery stores owned by Kroger — the parent company that owns King Soopers and City Market stores in Colorado — are food insecure, with a rate seven times greater than the national average.

“The data demonstrate that workers’ financial distress, housing insecurity and food insecurity are not resulting from their personal failures but rather, from Kroger’s companywide policies for cutting costs and increasing profits,” the report’s authors noted.

Here are some of King Soopers workers’ stories:

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Brandy Ruiz walks the picket line outside the King Soopers where she works in Denver on Jan. 19, 2022.

“You have have to take action”

Single mother Brandy Ruiz sees her 16-year-old son working diligently at school. He gets good grades, studies hard and has college in his sights.

She wants to be able to pay for that schooling, to reward him for his strong work ethic — but it’s hard.

“I just don’t have the finances,” Ruiz 38, said Wednesday outside the King Soopers on Speer Boulevard in Denver, where she’s worked for six years. “It hurts.”

Ruiz hasn’t gotten a raise from the grocery store chain in four years, she says. Meanwhile, her son, now 6 feet tall, constantly needs new clothes and eats like a full family. She knows he needs braces but she can’t afford them right now.

The 38-year-old has thought about getting a second job to make ends meet. But she believes in commitment, in progressing and growing with a company.

“It feels a bit unfair,” Ruiz said as she tried to stay warm on the sidewalk, a sign around her neck pleading with customers not to shop at King Soopers. “I’ve shown my half; I’m just looking for a little incentive from their half.”

Over the past few weeks, she’s had to explain to her son and nieces and nephews why she was standing outside her workplace with a sign. Ruiz pointed to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday as a fitting example.

“When you believe in something big,” Ruiz said, “you have to take action.”

1642792942 639 Why they walked out King Soopers workers on life on

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Josie Penley walks the picket line outside the King Soopers where she works in Denver on Jan. 19, 2022.

“Colorado is very exepensive”

Every Friday night, Josie Penley’s 9-year-old grows excited.

It’s ramen night.

A lot of nights have turned into ramen nights in Penley’s house, as the single mother of two tries to make the numbers work every month on $20 an hour.

When the 30-year-old started at King Soopers a dozen years ago, the $9.14 an hour wasn’t bad. But that’s when rent cost $600 a month, not the $1,150 she pays now, and before she had two other mouths to feed.

“I’m not asking for $30 an hour,” she said Wednesday outside the Speer Boulevard store. “But Colorado is very expensive.”

Her boyfriend moved in after three months — more out of financial necessity than anything, Penley said. She relies heavily on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which provides food and health care referrals to low-income families with young kids.

“I make too much for food stamps,” Penley said, “but not enough to live.”

She sticks with the job because she feels she can’t just leave the insurance benefits, and she recently got sick with COVID-19. So did most of the deli staff, Penley said. Her job in optimum wellness requires her to touch everything the customers touch.

“We want and deserve hazard pay,” Penley said.

“Everybody deserves a livable wage”

Michelle Kissinger’s day begins at 4 a.m., hurrying to make her 5 a.m. shift at the King Soopers store just east of Green Mountain Park in Lakewood.

The 52-year-old mother and grandmother works a full shift as a pick-up shopper, then embarks on her second job, driving for Door Dash food delivery. After 12 hours of work, she hurries home to make her daughter dinner, then does it all again the next day.

“My daughter told me, ‘You love this job more than you love me,’” Kissinger said as frozen rain blew sideways Wednesday morning while she picketed outside the Lakewood grocery store. “That just about broke my heart.”

She yearns to work a 40-hour week, but needs the second job to actually buy food and clothes for her daughter.

Kissinger used to sing and dance at work, a bright and cheery presence among staff. But as workers leave, the remaining staff is being worked ragged, she said. COVID got her and has run through many of her co-workers.

“Everybody deserves a livable wage,” Kissing said, donning her union sign. “Nobody should fear not being able to feed their families.”

1642792942 845 Why they walked out King Soopers workers on life on

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

King Soopers employee Moses Carrasco stands on the picket line outside the store where he works in Wheat Ridge on Jan. 19, 2022.

“Cost of living keeps going up”

When Moses Carrasco’s kids were born, he knew he needed good benefits. So he started working at King Soopers — a place he heard had decent pay and the chance at upward mobility.

Within six months, he earned a promotion and took home $16.49 per hour.

That was 14 years ago. Now Carrasco, 43 with grown kids, is making just $3.30 more per hour than he did when he first started — not even enough to keep up with inflation. And everything else about the job is deteriorating, he said.

“The benefits keep getting worse, cost of living keeps going up and raises don’t follow suit,” Carrasco said outside the Wheat Ridge grocery store at 38th Street and Sheridan Boulevard.

As more and more workers leave for better-paying jobs, he said, employees are being asked to do more with less. Six year ago, the deli employed 16 people, Carrasco said. Now it’s down to six.

He worries about employee safety, from COVID precautions and operating heavy machinery to robberies.

“There’s security now that we’re on strike,” he said. “But not when we asked for it.”

1642792942 308 Why they walked out King Soopers workers on life on

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

King Soopers employee Candace Arellano walks the picket line outside the store where she works in Wheat Ridge on Jan. 19, 2022.

“Only job I’ve ever known”

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