Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mayor: City to Mount PR Blitz to Tell Their Side of the Story on Stalled Firefighter Showdown

   A year ago the City Manager was charged with researching and putting together a history of Firefighter collective bargaining agreements and how we got to where we are today in staffing.
   Now the Mayor has announced the details of that work and what he sees as the excesses of the CBAs will be revealed. In short City Hall is beginning a PR offensive to counter the lawn sign and radio spots from the other side..
    This is a long overdue policy as endless executive sessions and secret bargaining sessions do not help public understanding of the dispute between the Third Floor and a fifth of its workforce.
     At the center of the matter is management's right to determine staffing and while both sides now say they accept the 15 person model, clearly as budget constraints build that model will be reduced.
     Next week Council will decide on a tax cap override.  My understanding is Councilman Walczyk plans to oppose the override and I can't imagine too many others will think it a good idea to vote for it.

http://www.newzjunky.com/news2016/0510mayor_butler.htm

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mayor you are missing some logic here. The city can agree to a 15 person model but without making it mandatory that model becomes much cheaper. Without the mandate, no longer can the union game the system and time when they call in sick, because with the option of limping along with 14 that day, the gravy train is much harder to rob. That doesn't mean that the city thinks 14 or 13 is the ideal level, it means that its still safe to run with that number and call in people when and if a real emergency comes in. the idea that there is only one prudent number and any deviation form that is unsafe, simply does not hold up to reason.

Anonymous said...

I heard another fire department employee calling in and talking about the 24 hour shift again.

The city needs to make sure the public knows that 24 hour shifts are statistically proven to be less safe. Also,when someone calls in sick for a 24 hour shift, they miss three days in one. Can you imagine being on shift for 22 hours and then the big fire comes in? You are dead tired and can barely stay awake by that time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can offer how the new positions in the city are warranted. Or maybe they can show how much money they have spent in fees paid to this high profile lawyer which has gotten them nothing so far.. maybe they can show how some things are kept out of the police blotter to protect higher city officials, maybe they can show how much money they have spent on extra items into the arena which were well over the proposed amount, way over 10M they told the city taxpayers., lets put out the actual amount spent on this arena totally, with the items still not able to be used or not up to the accepted level., if they want to show things, lets show all the sick time for every department, lets see how many days/person is used per department, and maybe we can even know why Macaluso has any right to confront the people in the council chambers if they are talking or giggling on the show they are watching. Isn't that the police officers job who is in the room? If she could only see how incredibly unprofessional she looks and sounds, maybe she would think twice before she opens her mouth. Its always a treat to hear the things she is thinking about and how she offers her opinion. I truly think she belongs on a small school board so she can maybe learn from others what politics are all about. Never mind... the schools have enough troubles.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Dannie on this one. I say we give the Firequeens a 25% raise, hire more of their friends and family, and run that overtime machine like Hillary runs her mouth. What's the alternative? Are we going to just sit by and allow old people, babies, little dogs, the handicapped, those with ADHD, transgendered, or politically confused to just die in the streets? Tax and spend, but don't tax people near golf courses as they get exemptions. You don't.

Anonymous said...

Why not let Thunder Dome solve it? Two men (women) enter, one leaves. Winner takes all.

Anonymous said...

The Thunder Dome may be the other way forward on this issue?

Anonymous said...

I remember when the mayor wanted to look into the proper way to sell beer at the arena. He insisted on forking over money to consultant out of Albany to solve a problem that no one cared about and the authorities didn't care if laws were being broken, even if they were. It was the type of thing that anyone could have gotten the answer on by contacting the state liquor authority.

But now that its time to fix the negotiations that previous leaders screwed up, and save the tax payer from the bottomless pit fire department budget, the mayor thinks a local non expert should be used.

That position simply makes no sense. Labor law, union law and public employee law is extremely complicated and nuanced. Its the type of thing that people make careers out of because of its complexity. The city made the correct decision to hire the expert. And please quit lying about the cost. You guys who are in favor of screwing the tax payers with fire hoses, keep lying by quoting the total possible cost for the expert attorney, rather than quoting the actual likely cost.

Anonymous said...

Macaluso should have investigated sick leave abuse from other departments first before making such a statement. The sick time total for some 25 year employees averages less than 5 days a year and it is overlooked. The WFD could use this tactic as a biased or harassment towards a singular department.

Middle-Class Mike said...

The really great thing about City management, including your 20 year tender Mr. Mayor, was the City addressed costs vs. out lays and produced a surplus. Staffing has to be kept in line or that surplus will disappear, at which point Watertown will be compared to Syracuse down the road -- just another a debtor City that can't manage costs looking for a handout from Albany, NY. Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike'

Anonymous said...

1:37 Not to worry Sir, poor Dannie's real estate value is soon going to plummet. You see Obamy's new HUD Sec. Carlos Juan Julio or something like that is proposing assault on whitey white suburban neighborhoods. New regulations are now introducing fair housing so there can no longer be discriminating against minorities. All town planning boards now are required to present to the Feds or soon how many affordable houses are going to be available for Section 8, crackheads, single mothers. This is so we wipe out unfair treatment for the Black Lives Matter Fist pumping since they have just as much a right to live next door to Dannie whether he likes it or not.

Anyone remember Trayvon (the son that could have been Obamy's). Well he was just visiting a gated neighborhood and even though it was raining and the kid was suspended from school he still had the right to case out the homes in the gated neighborhood. I remember he was suspended for drugs and wasn't it stolen contraband?



Down down down goes the value of Dannie's house.

Anonymous said...

Great idea Joe, waste more taxpayer money on non-sense instead of trying to mediate and come to a good faith compromise and move forward. The hostility demonstrated by Joe & Theresa have only made matters worse.

Anonymous said...

Graham ... why do you allow posters to use insulting, bigoted and derogatory labels for the City of Watertown fire personnel on your website???

Would you allow any other company/organization or ethnic group to be "labeled" that way by your posters?

Jeff Graham said...

631 We allow reasonable criticism of all sides, including management of which there have been numerous shots posted here.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, are you purposely trying to be funny?
Albany ties the hands of the city and forces them to subject the city tax payers to this legalized extortion at the hands of the union, which that result in the city either losing or losing bigger. Yet you have the nerve to talk about asking Albany for handouts? Forget the handout and let Albany release us from this indentured servitude that Albany forces the tax payers to live under, where the fire union has their heel on the taxpayer's neck.

Middle-Class Mike said...

ANON 7:56 I said, "Staffing has to be kept in line or that surplus will disappear"

Your ranting about Albany, NY?

Every City has to contend with Albany, NY -- Watertown has had a surplus, for one reason and on reason only, City Management has made some tough fiscal decisions when necessary to keep it! MCM

Anonymous said...

Ultimate Revenge: Todd DeMar comes back de-thrones Butler, fires CM Addison & Slye and ends the contract dispute with the WFD. Now that is something I would pay to see. lol

Anonymous said...

This is really taking it to a new level. Where does it stop? I don't see how the City Manager gets anything done productively in the future on this matter. I think the relationship is beyond repair. For the good of the city I think we should consider a new city manager and a new city attorney. A fresh start is needed.

Anonymous said...

Not too much to be proud of here all the way around. With all in the infighting and public chastising I have to ask; are we becoming St. Lawrence County?

Anonymous said...

We need to cut and consolidate jobs throughout the city workforce , any one who is eligible to retire should retire and get out while your still young. The taxpayers are NO LONGER going to stand for high tax increases year after year so save your breath on why these increases should go on for the safety of the public as we no longer are listening and seen the light.

Anonymous said...

I really cant believe Theresa. I just watched the Steven Weed Production video of Monday night council meeting and she really needs to keep her mouth shut. She asked about the Sick leave again and said that grown men should show up for work when they are required. And criticized the day off for Dr. appointments. Why is it any different than when teachers are sick or take personal days off for appointments? They only work a few days a year too. They take whole days off for Dr. appointments. Why doesnt she ask about sick time, and that firemen collect one day off for every month worked, and when they are so good of an employee that they reach 180 days, the forgo their sick leave and don't earn any more. Is that fair? So by 16 or 17 years when you dont use too many days sick and you reach the 180 mark, now you work the same schedule and are penalized and don't earn any more sick time until you use one up then you get another after a month of work. How about their vacation? If they take 9 days or 15 days of vacation, they are charged that many days off but some of the days in the middle are actually days off already. They are the three days or nights off in the middle which they are already off, but are charged vacation on them. Is that fair? If you take a week off, you are charged the 5 working days off, not the 7 which are actually in the week. The firemen are charged the days off that they already are off, so why is that fair ms. theresa. Maybe you should do your work and fairness math on that. Fire men did not and DO NOT do home inspections without being asked in. They NEVER walked up to any door and said they had to walk in, NEVER!!! Maybe you can prove your insults and have that homeowner call the chief so he can see its proven. They also NEVER told you they had to do your inspection NOW.. They were in the area and if not a convenient time, they would have come back, Guaranteed!!! You really have an ax to grind, and it is proven by your humiliating insults towards them and unprofessional demeanor towards them in the council chamber room. When have you "scolded" anyone else in the room? Never but only for the firedepartment. I think this is discrimination and you should be held accountable for it. Did you ask any other department about sick leave. I'm sure they have just as much, and to say you were a RN and dont understand that some health reasons may keep you from work a few days a year, you really need to brush up on things. Allergies do not discriminate, and they are not a condition which says you cant do a job., but some jobs as the chief said, dont allow you to show up with certain conditions which flare up from time to time. Stomach issues are not a good thing to have when you cannot get to the bathroom, you should know this from your boyfriend who treats these conditions. If a dr. says you cant do a specific job, then you cant do it until you are better. Its like getting a cold, or respiratory illness, or pink eye and many others which may hold teachers from going to work and contaminating their children. Are they horrible adults because they take more than 5 days off to protect the children. Why don't they make all their dr. appointments during the summer? they are off.. It just doesn't work that way and you know that.

Anonymous said...

Jeff when does the national grid contract expire and how much is lost in revenue if current market value is paid the COW? This is certainly the critical topic to be addressed or is the current council kicking the can down the road.