Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WDT: Fire Talks Go Nowhere

     Contract talks have collapsed and the union representing city firefighters has declared impasse, a move not likely a surprise to the City.  The effort to eliminate minimum manning through collective bargaining was never a high probability as there is no incentive for the union to do so as it's unlikely that would be granted if the matter went to binding arbitration, the final step under the Taylor Law.
     Other than capitulation, the other option is litigation resulting from intentional breach of the contract.
       Last year's rejection of the fire grant, the hiring of Terry O'Neill as labor counsel, the agenda of a firefighter candidate for Council and private talks between a Mayoral candidate and the union all became issues in the campaign, and it will be interesting to see how all this works out.
       Council members met in executive session last night to get an update.
    http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-city-firefighters-union-declares-impasse-20160120

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

One incentive the union should have for relenting on the guaranteed OT provisions, would be the incentive to, "do the right thing" instead of looking like spoiled union thugs concerned about overtime.

There is a reason the voters picked the inferior mayor who was willing to play hard ball with the union thugs. There is a reason the fire code guy came in last int he election. Its because the public is not in favor of overspending on overkill unjustified minimum staffing.

The union has an opportunity to look reasonable here and win the support of the public. Sounds like they don't care about that and just want their overtime.

Anonymous said...

We all knew the firefighters would balk and writting their own ticket on overtime and scheduling.. I,m wondering now when the next series of strange fires will break out>/??

Anonymous said...

Let the media circus begin. Wont be long before the mud starts the fly followed thereafter with a property tax increase paid for that the good citizens of this fare city. The city will put up good fight but its only for show, there is only one logical end to this mess.

Start saving your pennies folks.

Anonymous said...

If you would listen you would hear the union asking the city to fill vacant positions to LESSEN overtime. The city is creating the overtime issue by not filling vacant positions and turning down free funding that would have filled these positions on advice from their high priced out of town attorney. Maybe the city should "do the right thing" and actually negotiate instead of bringing a thug lawyer in that only has lining his own pockets in his interest. Just wait, I am sure he will be asking for money soon. Remember when the city manager and the unions used to sit down and iron out a contract without lawyers and threats. That was when we had a city manager that knew what they were doing instead of using the federal government way of throwing money at a problem.

Anonymous said...

Cue the fire hater guy. Lets hear about the unchained CO2 tank again, we have not heard that story in a couple weeks. Lets hear your conspiracy theory on fires, we have missed your pathetic rants so much

Anonymous said...

If anybody thinks that Demar running for council was to benefit the fire department you sure do not have a clue as to what was going on. I know several firemen and they will all tell you Demar was NOT supported by the fire department and was only running for his own personal vendettas.

Anonymous said...

So 806 have you ever wondered why there's no cutbacks in the Police Dept.......Don't bite the hand that drives you home when you're drunk..

Anonymous said...

Let's just go the route of a volunteer department. Can we get Butler to go for a study and appeal to the citizens directly that we need to change up this dept. once and for all.

Butler screws any backdoor agreement he had for the union vote and the citizens wind up the winners. The council should demand to see what investigation by the police dept. has been done on both the car and the warhouse fires. Can we expect this at the very least?

Who will be the first to step up and go this direction?

Anonymous said...

850 By not hiring the city is saving money and you know it.. your objective here is strictly for your union.. We want the city to hire less people for the department and take the clauses mandating anything from the union and put it in the managers hands.
I am also begining to feel that possibly looking into volunteer firemen or at the bare minimum volunteer drivers and EMTs to work the dept would be the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Awesome 907. I never get tired of hearing from the resident crybaby. :D

Anonymous said...

Demar was running for Council as a result of Butler, Doheny, and Coon finding they had someone who was dumb enough to do their bidding and was green lighted to run as an attack dog against the Mayor.

Anonymous said...

As a elderly city resident and taxpayer, I just wish they would leave our public safety departments alone. We need firemen and policemen and that is why I chose to live in the city for these services as well as garbage pickup and other services not provided in the county. I also choose to pay higher taxes for these services than I would if I lived in the county. If I wanted to wait 20 minutes for a volunteer to show up to help me or wait 20 minutes for a cop to show up I would have moved years ago. These services are about all us city taxpayers have anymore, leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

I side with the firefighters on this one. Why should they want to save the taxpayers any money? This has become their cash cow for years. Screw the taxpayer. I want my children to be safe, and all that BS. Butler will produce for them, just as he promised in his secret little meeting. So taxpayers, suck it up and pay your fair share. Dumbasses.

Anonymous said...

2:50 Agree agree agree but let's move forward and force Butler's hand, push hard for volunteer fireman and EMT's, this can be done and has been done and exist in many local communities.

Why not get someone to introduce this issue hard at the next council meeting and then watch the sh## hit the fan.

This is why Butler was voted in to run a more efficient city with cost cutting wherever can be had.

I have read a couple of threads above with this same concept.

Anonymous said...

Get a new city manager who will actually negotiate in a fair and good faith manner and you will have a deal. I see lots of WFD signs in yards around the city. I haven't seen a one that supports city manager Sharon Addison.

Anonymous said...

Hire a blood sucking downstate lawyer and see what you get. No progress, only dragging out the process to line his own pockets. What a waste of taxpayer dollars. How much does Slye get paid to offer his personal opinion at every council meeting? Funny, I don't recall voting for him. For less than what we paid for the downstate guy we could of hired an attorney to work solely for the City instead of bleeding us dry like both these guys do. Next time you're mugged or your house is on fire call either one of those guys, I'm sure they'll come right over to help you out. But expect a bill.

Anonymous said...

12:06, the only mugging we have to worry about, is the fire department mugging the tax payers on a daily basis. Next time you or a loved one has a major medical problem like cancer or a cardiac event, why don't you take them to urgent care, you blithering idiot? Perhaps you are smart enough not to? Because in that case you understand that professionals have areas of expertise and are not all the same?

The best way to handle these fire thugs is to divide and conqueror and keep them spending money until they quit being unreasonable. It would be a good idea to look into contracting fire protection out to a privet company too. Let them know you mean business !

Anonymous said...

7:43 your hatred and never changing misinformed rhetoric is old. Number one, volunteer fire departments can not get enough people to handle what they do now, it is like that nationwide. It is a system that is dying across the country. Like it or not, that is the way it is. I think you will find if you break down the cost per capita in the city versus in the county you will find the cost is lower in the city for full time protection versus volunteer service. The county has these figures, research it yourself if you don't believe me, but you wont.
Contract?? To who? There was one private fire department in NY years ago and it failed miserably. The way private fire departments work is by subscription, be careful what you wish for. The only private fire departments are out west and most have gone bankrupt and are back to full time municipal departments.
Do you even live in the city?? My guess would be no.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:43 seeing how you're so well versed in the costs associated with running the fire department ;please do explain why the police departments budget and fire departments budget are not too far apart. The police department has manpower numbers smaller than the fire department of at least 10 fewer, but has almost the same multi millon dollar budget amount. Hmmmmm so the police department must make how much more per year per person? But yet you claim the f.d. is the force driving up the budget. Rather than rant show us some true numbers to back up you're ranting. What's the overtime done with the police department since they switched to 12 hour shifts??? I'm sure you can inform all of us with your vast knowledge of how the world turns in your head. Show us facts vs spewing unfactual hot air.

Anonymous said...

7:43, you are so misinformed it is not even funny. Why don't you for just once state something different than you do every time this subject surfaces. I have yet to hear any facts to back your claims.
Come to a council meeting and speak, then the whole world can see what a misinformed idiot you are.

Anonymous said...

10:00, I never said anything about volunteers. I said Sub it out! I can write the advertisement for it:
Wanted: Contractor to bust the stranglehold current city employee union thugs have the taxpayer in. Any bid under ten million per year will be accepted. Requires coverage by at 15 firefighters per shift...or 14 or 13 if someone calls in sick.

What kind of idiot are you to assert that "per capita" is the pertinent metric?

1:18 did that excuse work with your parents and teachers when you were young? Two wrongs don't make a right. If the police department jumped off a bridge would you jump off a bridge? If so, I have it on good authority that the entire police department just jumped. Please follow suit.

Anonymous said...

Hard to justify paying these guys when people will do it for free

Anonymous said...

I see our FEMA money is being put to good use to line the pockets of union firefighters with another one of their grant programs for smoke detectors. Doesn't code require smoke detectors? Is there anyone that doesn't have one? Of course not! What a load of crap. The city manager should direct the fire department to knock the crap off and quit suckling at the teat of government grants.

Anonymous said...

D><: You are missing your mark. Practice more. It might help. Squeeze, front sight, breath control. I don't have a dog in this fight. I will say this. Anyone that thinks the union has anything in mind but its own interests is a fool. But who cares. Watertown wanted this, now you folks have it, as it were. I imagine you will be seeing a lot of the heavy rescue truck. hahahaha

Anonymous said...

Hey 253 it's OK when the LEO's get "FREE MONEY" for STOP-DWI patrols, and it's gotta be on OT for them?? However do away with the Zodiac Boats and the overnight training requirement along with the North Face sleeping bags...

Anonymous said...

It's very nice to see our firefighters have enough free time to run such a BS PR campaign. I loved that post claiming to be an old lady.

Anonymous said...

Get use to change! Taxpayers want a new direction in 2016 Meaning Scaled done more efficient city work force . Like any businesses in Watertown, when the economy changes you need to do scale back the work force and make adjustments in filling vacant positions and cutting out ALL OVERTIME . Work your 40 hours and spend time with your family. I know its not easy to go from overtime checks to the regular 40 hour week but the residents in the city can no longer afford the poorly written contracts of yesteryear.

Anonymous said...

The point you are missing is the union does not want overtime, they are asking for vacant positions to be filled which would eliminate overtime. The city has created the overtime problem themselves.

Anonymous said...

so many well=-misinformed people writing here.. Its so much fun to see the ignorance and postings of those who really don't know and the jealousy taking range to just sit and write..
get your facts..go to council meetings and see what is happening. Understand the deliberations. As for the contracts of police and fire, the city has agreed to them over the years along with the workforce. They have mutually agreed to do what they do for the price specified. Nobody was hostage and nobody can claim they didnt know. Both agreed and gave up something for something else. to just take it back now is crazy and you wouldnt want that either. its mutually agreed and should be mutually agreed to relinquish and change. Thats what is fair. Make teachers teach on Saturday.. That would help make our kids more educated, but i'm sure the teachers would have a say in that. Make taxes go up but i'm sure many citizens would want a say in that too. Cut your welfare benefits, and i'm sure you would love a say in that too. Make you get a job, and i'm sure you would crab about that too. Hand out free phones, and watch the lines grow and let those who don't work, have a better plan than i have.. now have a job fair and career building seminar, and the lines will be as long as the table of presenters.. Nobody shoving because nobody will be in front of you.
Just saying..