Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Watertown Firefighter's Union: "We're Not Afraid Of These Threats" | WWNY TV 7

    It's the great showdown mumbled about quietly for years by more than one CM and the attorney. Clipping the wings of a Fire Department deemed too expensive, but difficult to cut incrementally due to minimum staffing language in the CBA.
     The once 120 person department with five stations is smaller now but techniques and equipment are better, and building standards and alarms have  lessened the threat. Still, when something bad happens, it happens and life and property are at risk.
      Privately, the argument has been the insurance loss due to fires in the City is a fraction of the cost of the Department but public safety and piece of mind have a value not easily computed.
       I always assumed the push would be as in the 80s to reduce staffing by one company and closing a station, mostly likely the one on Mill Street.
       Whatever happens, don't expect immediate cost savings as the process is expensive and any settlement may include a buyout of some kind.
        Meanwhile, the media likes to cover the conflict and that's about as deep as coverage will get.
Watertown Firefighter's Union: "We're Not Afraid Of These Threats" | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Addison wants to cut the Deputy Chief position... I say why don't we cut her deputy manager? How much is he making a year? And what exactly does he do? Her job; that she should being in the first place? And why is he not responsible for any actions that he recommends to her? Is accountability to much to ask for in our CITY MANAGEMENT?

I say send both the City Manager & the deputy City Manager packing and make the mayor the chief executive!!! We would be so much farther ahead and actually be able to hold someone accountable for their job performance.

Anonymous said...

The cost savings would come immediately. It sends a strong message to any other departments who wants to stick it to the tax payers instead of being happy as overpaid low productive govenrment employees.

We will be plenty safe and then some, with 10 on duty. If the scat hits the blower, we can call them in. If they won't come, we can call in volunteers. If you really want to save lives, take the fire department money and spend it on drug rehab. That's what is killing city folks these days.

Anonymous said...

City Manager Addison doesn't even live in the city, so why would she care about our first responder staffing?

Anonymous said...

Time for Mayor Butler to step in again like he did with the concession stand nonsense and hold the CM'S feet to the fire to get this solved now. Don't forget that her contract is coming up for renewal pretty soon...

Anonymous said...

Why is the city manager hell bent on waging war with the fire department? It really just seems to be petty and vengeful on her part at this point.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the real union busting force lies in the shadows at city hall in the form or Ms. Addison's secret adviser Matt Roy. This man wields an alarming amount of unchecked power & influence behind the scenes at city hall. I think it's high time to shed a ray of light on this man & his role in our city government. But what do I know? I'm just a taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Ole Slye is going to be riding around in a Rolls Royce by the time this thing is settled. Damn, knew I should have been a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

save the money and spend it on the drug issues????? what are you thinking.. those people are choosing to kill themselves.. the accidental fire or accident is a mishap and thank God the fire department is there to help them.
Your so asinine on what you think.. think about it.. your sounding like Macaluso... duhhhhhhhh.

Anonymous said...

This is a showdown that is long overdue.
The taxpayers being abused and victimized by the unions has to come to an end.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks times are changing ! Every dept needs to make cuts to to save money. The day of bleeding the taxpayers year after year in tax increases and forcing us outside the city limits is coming to a screeching halt.

Anonymous said...

Gotta be cut.

Wont close northside station. State st better option.

10 on duty plenty.

Anonymous said...

8:41 I must agree that cuts across the board are needed, it just never happens. You might as well pack your bags and save some money. The CM already did.

Anonymous said...

Thank God the fire department is there to help them?
Not at all. Instead, Thank the TAX PAYER for the $9 million per year they shell out to do what could easily be done for $5 million per year.

Anonymous said...

And yet the COW $pent 9 million on the sewer plant, Countless Thousands of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to do away with a $34K a year job....

Anonymous said...

Hey 841 The current CM got a 5K raise, before that she was hired at 20K over the previous manager, she bought a house in the City, then put it up for sale, then sent emails to dept. heads saying she still lives in the City......She doesn't..Matt Roy was hired from a school district, The Managers "inner circle" is intent on destroying all workers rights, and creating a aura of distrust over the employees...The incident at the Water Plant is just a tip of the iceberg....

Anonymous said...

Saying that cuts will lead to inadequate coverage during fires is a slap in the face to all of the volunteer departments who have assisted the city in the past.

Anonymous said...

9:51 you are wrong! If that was true there would be some reporting from the WDT.

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

I've spoken my piece and here it is again - FYI:

Some say that I am emotional over this issue – yes; I am. At the same time, we need more emotion, but it must be rational, level-headed emotion with fair and honest discussion. Hot-headedness is one thing, but lacking rational thought related to the issue is different than just anger.

FUNDAMENTIAL QUESTION: What is the justification for such major cuts – which happens to strike at the heart of excellent training and experience base of the department, which puts the department and public safety both at risk – that is wrong and poor leadership.

ANALOGY: I see these proposed dramatic cuts coming as they do in one swell swoop as tantamount to getting rid of all the Sergeants and Squad Leaders with combat experience in an infantry unit before sending new troops into combat for the very first time.

That makes no sense – and neither does this.

As I've said before and will continue to say: Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes the place of public safety (police or fire department). They may be or seem to be top-heavy, that is until we need them fully-staffed and ready and trained and we find out they are not - what then? Suppose it's your house, your family, your property.

A simple Rick Perry oops won't suffice.

Anonymous said...

When the talks finally go to arbitration the city is going to get slaughtered. The union has 3 studies in hand from the last 15 or so years that all state the manning is where it is supposed to be. Every single one says that. Add to that the fact the city spends money hand over fist on studies, useless crap and god knows what else adds up to an arbitrator siding with the firefighters. Mr. Graham voted against hiring this fancy labor lawyer IIRC. He could see where this road ends, I don't know why anyone else can't. Negotiate the easy stuff that saves money. Responses, 24 hour shifts and hammer the state to fix the retirement issue. Minimum manning is here to stay with the WFD, like it or not and the city is going to spend a small fortune to figure it out the hard way.

Anonymous said...

I see the Oswego school system is cutting due to lack of tax base. These problems will occur in the COW once National Grid contract expires. Once this happens we will not have to worry about over paid COW employees. Is our council worried? Are our employees worried? Arenas, fences, bedbugs, etc. seem to be where are energies are spent. Grab what you can now and leave your children nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hey 111 check it out..........Fishers Landing......

Anonymous said...

8:54 she is allowed a summer home. Work harder so you can own one!

Anonymous said...

WDT spanx CM and council!

Anonymous said...

Sorry 624 she doesn't live in the COW....Wonder how the worker is at Parks and Rec. that had the panes of glass fall on him???? Maybe he'll sue the COW and have a summer home..

Anonymous said...

3:27 He can have a job selling dogs. I cannot afford Gardner's and his salaries.

Anonymous said...


I know for a fact that the city was told that the glass panels were too heavy and that the removal of them was too complicated and posed real risks. They were also told that the carts were too flimsy to carry that kind of weight. I pray for the employee that got hurt and place the blame for this squarely on the people who failed to listen. AGAIN!!!!

Was nice to see that Ms. Gardner was concerned for his safety tho. Her statement to WWNY showed no concern at all for him and she appeared to be smirking about his condition. "He is fine"! REALLY? Nice concern from a very selfish department head. Wonder if she would be so casual if they had fallen on her.

Anonymous said...

7:28 please support the employee with any legal action if possible.

Anonymous said...

Will some of the medical bills and lawsuit costs come out of the snack bar "profits", or are these common costs not charged against the operation and hidden in another budget.

Anonymous said...

Hey659 what overpaid COW employees are you talking about??? Remember the COW conducted a study and found out most of their employees were underpaid....

Anonymous said...

Not the dept. heads. You mean the Fox Lawson study?

Anonymous said...

Yes Fox and Lawson...Most employees were underpaid when compared to other Cities of the same size..