Wednesday, June 1, 2016

City Takes Aim Watertown Firefighters' OT & Sick Leave | WWNY TV 7

       The key difference this year in this fight is that the City is scrapping the executive session griping and going public. 
        Labor negotiations in all public domains have been kept on the down low for years. The reason ? It produces better results for the union.  In school districts they all agree to keep the results secret till after they are voted on. Timid administrators and their lawyers never explain the true costs and the media is conditioned to just get the annual percentage numbers.
        However, the clearly disparate attitude at the top for police and fire is curious. If you are going to use the same rhetoric, you'd have to talk about the cops driving around on cell phones or sitting in parking lots chewing the fat
        In a world with fewer fires and more crime, the old notion of a fire department pales and the pitting of the two uniformed services against one another finds a receptive audience.  However such a war of words invites scrutiny and retaliation some may find unwanted.
       Conflict sells, and the local MSM is loving it. The rest of us just keep paying the bills.
        City Takes Aim Watertown Firefighters' OT & Sick Leave | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fire fighters are a prehistoric outfit. Yes they have their uses but what do they really do.. Codes... come on lets give me a break.. Para Medics on a take the easy calls basis to justify their positions... They need just what their getting.. Good for management and the elected council and mayor.. Dont let Mr W ride the fence as his boss does....

Anonymous said...

The union for the 5-0 will get their pound of flesh for being used to advance the city's cause. Nothing is free in this world.

Anonymous said...

Kind of funny to listen to Live at Five and hear the chastising by Crazy Ray and another crazy telling everyone that we have a council with no experience, and should have listened to them on voting in the new mayor and council. Butler alone has been on council for 8 years, hardly a new face with no experience. And the argument that a banker can't make financial decisions as well as a small business owner is a poor comparison. Macaluso was under Jeff's tutelage for how many years. So is she a slow learner Jeff, or just has the fortitude to put a lid on the excess spending based on your years of executive session leadership? Jennings is obviously not afraid to speak his mind and worry about the harm to his future political career.

As a taxpayer I want every dollar looked at. I doubt this council is taking the challenge on because they just don't like the fire department. Come on, roughly 2 staff for each Captain position? No one can afford to live in Watertown anymore. Last one out, shut the lights.

Anonymous said...

8:34, why do you think most of the fire fighters do not live in the city? Not just because they can't afford the taxes but because they would rather have a volunteer department on call to take care of the fire protection for their own homes and families.

Anonymous said...

Fire department pension padding tricks.

When doing training overtime opportunity
The person doing the instruction overtime opportunity
Visit school's or march in a parade? overtime opportunity
Attend any event in uniform officially overtime opportunity
Volunteer for anything overtime opportunity
Need extra overtime the last year's but your name is not up, gift a younger brother to pass (cash) and your in.
Take every additional manpower call, even if for only a hr and get paid for a 1/2 shift per contact and often at overtime rates.
Plan your vacation/sick days to get holiday and max overtime.
Do all your shopping and as much of your side business you operate while on duty you can. Amazing how much you can do via cell and computer

All done with a wink and nod from the chief down.

Anonymous said...


People need to understand a few things. First the ratio is wrong; Misrepresented by the CM. The other thing to remember is that the Captains are not just standing around directing the actions of others.
They are equally engaged with the firefighters in the actual operation. Because they are actually working Captains their ability to keep track of more people is simply not possible or safe.

Look at the staffing levels in any fire department with a similar structure and you will find that this model is not only the norm, but necessary for them to be able to keep track of their people. Few people understand the responsibilities, and stresses, piled onto a company officer engaged in a risks venture. The ratios may seem obscene to the average person, but they are standard practice in hazardous operations where things can go from bad to worse with little warning.

Anonymous said...

6:25 go back to sleep.

I think they are looking at peer data and you do not stack up when compared.

Anonymous said...

8:34...that's why no one listens to Crazy Ray. I get it, his buddy lost and he is upset but all of your points are valid. This current council has the burden of cleaning up messes from the past and it won't be easy. Macaluso has always been a bit overmatched but I don't think we can dispute her service and, I believe, her sincere love for the community. I wish all council members were like her and minus the need to play "politician."

Anonymous said...

"...staffing levels in any fire department with a similar structure..."

Lets see...how do we explain this so a city fire fighter would understand? Oh I will just give it a shot...
We are going to change the structure. Understand???

Anonymous said...

This CM, Mayor and council are leading the charge to get city finances under control, Good for them!
Does anyone really expect the fire dept and unions to go along with this?
While unions can have a positive effect they also bleed every dime they can out of who ever it is that they in contract with, all while minimizing the efforts exerted and contributions to the success of the bargained with entity by their members.
It is collective blackmail and greed, simple as that.
Pay, benefits and job security should all be tied to productivity and performance.

volunteer who cares said...

lets see, I have been a volunteer firefighter for approx. 10 years now. I go to work everyday (make less than 1/2 of a watertown firefighters wage) then when I am needed, I rush to our fire barn to help save someones home,life or just to help a neighbor in time of need..my benefits suck,sick time is almost unheard of and I get 2 weeks vacation a year.. I understand that this profession is sometimes dangerous to all of us, paid and volunteer, but my job as a volunteer firefighter is to save lives and property when needed, and that includes those city firefighters living in our community.its sad that money and benefits has become the driving force of the firefighters union..

Anonymous said...

Ok 9:01, I am confused. You say you are a volunteer, but, you get paid, take vacations, etc. Sounds like a real job so please clarify. As for public negotiations, the answer is no. And this is a prime example. These shouldn't be in the open. I know that education is killing us, teachers are overpaid, the same ole yada, yada, but they get it right by keeping it behind closed doors. This "public" negotiating is really doing us a lot of good. We have a divided community, there will be continuous lawsuits/grievances, who knows if the decisions will even stand. But Mr. Graham is right on one subject. It does feed the media beast. And that seems to be what this blog, Newzjunky, the Times, etc...wants.

Anonymous said...

Nope, you're wrong 10:27, but then again you've already admitted to being easily confused.
Get it out in the open.
Let the public know how badly they are being shafted by the unions in these public employee contracts.
We have the right how our tax money is being spent!
If you don't care to have all the benefits you enjoy as a public employee put out for taxpayer review then get a job in the private sector.

RJL said...

I can tell you people are pissed at the members right now, and the City Manager. You can hide your head in the sand all you like. But it's a fact. Five people here saying all is good doesn't make it so. Sorry. Jeff told it during the election. This year would require more than a hope plus a prayer to make it work. He spoke of the Waffling the New Mayor had done as a C/M. He stated he would most like do the same. Jennings worries about the public health more than public safety. Seems like the rest are roped down into the same behavior. You can laugh and He-he all you want. Time will prove all. Their first problem they made (for them) is to drag it all into the public. It was all sneak around closed table stuff between Mayor Butler and the Dept. before the election. Why put it all out there now?

ray lear said...

It was just me telling it like (I) feel. To bad you don't agree. But if the election was held again today. Still wouldn't vote for a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

9:01 volunteers and has a regular job that doesn't compare to the Watertown paid firefighters. Not to hard to understand.

I do not see how you think keeping it all behind close doors is the best for anyone. The WFD can put pressure on to get more, go to arbitration and rake the taxpayers over the coals. I think we have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Don't Volunteers also get money off their assesments of their primary residence, Don't bitch if you volunteer you signed up for it just like the US Army...............Let's have the WDT do an Expose' on the fireman over the years ordered back to work, or the one the COW hired a private Detective to watch him stack wood on his Home on the Gifford St. Rd. this was around the 80's....

Anonymous said...

RJL, 4:16 and Ray Lear, 4:19, same guy. Couldn't you fit all that in one post? Didn't think you could type that fast.

Look, everybody knows you're Jeff's biggest goonbah, do you think they're going to tell you any different? Only the CEO of Ihop might have had a chance for your vote other than Jeff in the mayoral race. Can't see the forest for the trees buddy.

Anonymous said...

Well said 7:40, well said. The city will be better off in the next couple of years..just have to fix a few messes left over. Some are gone.

RJL said...

7.40 and his little sister 9.33. Two out of five. Thank you for the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

At least you have different posters Ray. Now go back to shaking the ex mayors pom poms, head cheerleader.