Monday, May 23, 2016

Tit for Tat Continues

     The union representing city firefighters is out with their own press release this morning refuting the Mayor's assertions about contract negotiations.
Firemen Assist a Weekend Accident Victim (Photo: Newzjunky)

      Again there is griping about "confidential" this and that. Public employee unions like things to be confidential and regardless of the occupation don't like public disclosure of pay, pensions, and benefits as most people don't make that much.
      Mayor Butler is certainly within his right and operating in the public interest by discussing the actual terms and conditions of the CBA althouth its a legitimate criticism to suggest firemen are being singled out vis a vis other public employee pay and benefits scenarios the Mayor and some Council Members actually benefit from.
      At the end of the release, the firemen ask for the process to go to binding arbitration as that is a pretty safe haven under the Taylor Law.
      As an outsider, I don't sense the public is that engaged other than to say "there they go again".




http://www.newzjunky.com/news2016/0523firefighters_union.htm

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a person who talks to a lot of voters, I know the voters are in favor of reigning in the cost of fire department.
Its not a fair criticism to whine about being singled out as a department, because the other departments actually are utilized to their capacity on thins the tax payers support and in addition they have no contract outlawing their position form being cut.

Anonymous said...

I have a big appetite for jokes that make fun of Hillary and Bernie, but that SNL skit is the least funny skit Ive seen on SNL in a while and that is saying something. I quit watching when they started dancing and wish I had not wasting time watching up until then either.

Anonymous said...

This release did not help the city...at all. The union had no choice. This shouldn't be made public. This is why everyone hates politics and the administration in the city. It has put the CM, the parks lady, the city attorney, etc..in really bad spots. But, this is the environment that has been encouraged by the media and this blog. No wonder Jay Donovan is a celebrity now. That's a real shame.

Anonymous said...

If you take out the normal union rhetoric, the firemen have a lot of valid points and I think they are right that the city leaders have an agenda and I do believe that if it goes before a judge the city is screwed.

Anonymous said...

7:52
As a small business owner in the city I also interact with a lot of taxpayers in this city and that is NOT what I am hearing. What the majority are saying is they want their essential services maintained especially public safety and want the city to quit funneling money into ice arenas, monuments and parks and other feel good projects.
I feel the Mayor was wrong to start negotiating in the public and the firemen had no choice but to fire back. Sit down settle the contract, get rid of the expensive lawyers and move on. There are many places to cut costs without impacting public safety but they seemed to be focused on one thing and not exploring all options.

Anonymous said...

Boy the mud is flying. It's the classic trade-off between unknown safety risk and certain fiscal realities. How much safety does an addition dollar buy? Nobody knows but everybody cares.

Anonymous said...

8:05, we know your type. You have no problem with juvenile and unfair mockery of one side, but when it effects your beloved Democrat party, you go all wet on us. Relax, faux American, SNL leans way over backward for your type. The only reason you are challenged is because this time they went the other way. Think of it as a transcomical event.

Anonymous said...

I think these comments are spot on. Here is the main issue. This city in the past has spent millions of dollars on an arena that will never recoup that investment. Actually, when all is said in done I am sure more positions will be added over there. Add this to the various legal "czars", legal counsel, etc. that has been $$ spent foolishly over the past decade and I actually begin to side a bit with the Union here. You can't have it both ways. Seems that's what we are seeing here. Most of the populace can't follow or understand all the information being released by both sides. That's why we hire and elect the people we choose to handle these situations and keep them behind closed doors. But, this is what we are dealt and it continues to divide this community as it has for some years now.

Anonymous said...

Yup 8:26, the city may very well have an agenda. Now I ask you, deep thinker, what the hell is wrong with that? I'd be disappointed if the city had no agenda at all. That's what they are supposed to do, plan, and pay bills. That bill part is what this is all about. The firequeens have been screwing the taxpayers for a long time. Hopefully, the city's agenda calls for ending that.

Anonymous said...

The Union is proposing a gimmick (24 hour shifts) that will save in the short run but not in the long run. Overtime hours will still be there, pension costs will still be there etc. The biggest part of most budgets is the salary. If you do not rein in salaries (ie lower salary of less employees) you will not control the costs.

Anonymous said...

Once the city reels in the staffing issue then what needs to follow is reeling in the salaries of the fire dept.

The WFD as well as the WPD are grossly overcompensated!

If Daugherty feels so strongly that the city and the firemen are at great risk then he should do the right thing and seek employment elsewhere as a matter of principle. I would surmise that like most of the city employees he already is a non-resident.

Anonymous said...

You were spot on with your discussion on why 24 hour shifts would be a poor decision for the city Jeff. Dan, you missed his point.

We would expect an employee at any job to be alert, awake and active for the period we are paying them. No one is effective if they are expected to stay awake for a 24 hour period. This would be even more crucial in a position where lives could be saved or lost based on cognitive abilities of the position.

Anonymous said...

10:24 the issues are not related. They City decided to provide quality of life to the citizens of Watertown they would redo the ice arena. You can argue that it is not necessary but not that they money should have gone to firefighters.

The CIty is saying we do not need the coverage the firefighters provide. In other words, the quality of life is maintained with less firefighters and hence a lower budget. You can agree or disagree but I am not hearing arguments to justify either side

Just because they can go to 24v hour shifts does not mean we need all of the firefighters. We have less fires than 20 years ago so it seems we can cut staff. Unless they are saying the firefighters were better 20 years ago

Anonymous said...

The WFD is stretching to say the Mayor is being misleading.

What is misleading is their statement that overtime is directly related to number of firefighters employed. What is correct is overtime is related to the mandatory shift coverage that has no correlation to actual need. Are they saying we need that many firefighters and that we can do it for 24 hours. Do I want a firefighter that has been busy for 24 hours fighting the fire at my house. Or are they saying our job is so easy we can work for 24 hours and not endanger ourselves or others.

Anonymous said...

And How many people are standing around in the photo?

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

7:52 - spot on ... good job in your statement.

... I agree and have been pressing that angle since "day-one" ... we are about to see what falls out real soon: either rational common sense or council horseshit. Then we all will see how difficult it is for them to put the shit back in the horse FYI: this is an line from the movie: The Distinguished Gentlemen with Eddie Murphy).

Anonymous said...

Layoff a few of them , keep negotiating, and dont settle until the city is in charge of setting limits not the union.
This is a major issue council and we the taxpayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Yes the city has an agenda. They want to shut off the blank check gravy spigot feeding the fire hose and protect the tax payers from the unnecessary bloated fire department labor spending.

10:03, you are an idiot as always. I said I have a big apatite for making fun of the criminal pants suit and the commie professor. But the SNL skit is not funny because it doesn't make fun of their real short comings. think about it dummy...if you had to list ten things about Hillary to make fun of, would the fact that she doesn't like people make the list? Of course not. In fact, she probably likes people in her own twisted way.

Anonymous said...

11:07 do you support raises for management? Please dust off your calculator and see the results. Then see the overall rise in salaries for management in the past 5 years, to include new hires that were given more than their predecessors. Then determine the percent rise in salary under the account code for management. They are all paid too much! No raises for anyone until a formula for merit is instituted.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe some of the mentality here on the issues. Many do NOT know anything about management or fire operations but they all are CEO of this agenda. 7:52 How are other departments utilized to their capacity. When you see DPW, National Grid, Telephone Company, or Police to mention a few start their day at the diner or coffee shop, how much do we pay them to have breakfast. Drive by Shorties and you can see a State Police Satellite station there with sometimes 10 cars. How about the many police officers on the road today and those in the office? Crime is still there and our taxes are going out the gas pipes since they now drive vehicles which get maybe 10 miles to the gallon. How about the DARE officer or desk sergeant who pushes papers. Are these two jobs really effective and needed that they make a difference. 9:39, you are in the MUD. Insurance costs are rising ever year for your car and home and the agents all have nice cars and boats. Why don't you cut those costs and stop insuring your property and vehicles. Take the minimum and SAVE but you make that choice for protection. EXACTLY!! 11:55 Just one question? ARE YOU EDUCATED? You think your police and fire are overcompensated, check how much a State Police Officer makes while in the academy and then when he/she are out. 12:23 most of these types of jobs allow for rest because of the schedule. Also show me a cop who works all night and doesn't find a quiet spot to rest.... I know they do so that's not an issue for you to contest. 12:33 The city say they don't need coverage at some times, but what are their credentials other than penny counters. They have paid for three studies over the years, costing maybe 250,000 of your taxpayer money which has said to keep manning where it is, and don't change anything. Their consultants say this along with NFPA and other standards, but they are the expert???? I know they aren't after watching some of them make decisions in the council meetings. Yes fires are down, because of the prevention work they do, so why penalize them for the good work. The crime rate and drugs are on the rise, so maybe that isn't working but what do we do? Add more cops. That will fix the budget. 12:58 other positions like corrections work 36 hours so they can work other jobs or get summers off. They protect against the inmates who are not in cells anymore, so how is that safe? But the big STATE allows it, so they must know. 5:49 "Apatite" Really? Get a dictionary or check the spelling on your Obama phone before you hit send.
Lets end this bull and just worry about what we have to worry about and support those who risk their lives, add cancer to their lives and work hard to protect our community. Is this really worth the money they make? I really don't think so, but am glad there are those out there volunteer or paid who add to our daily protection.