Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Union Boss Gets More Face Time

      City puts out press release. Union goes on TV 7 to refute.
       So it was this morning as the Firefighters Union boss was chatting with Jeff Cole, telling the telegenic and personable anchor that he was surprised at the latest missive from the Third Floor which included bargaining positions and more assertions about sick and vacation time abuse.
        And on it goes.


Anonymous said...

The public does not need to be bothered with this day in and day out. This is why these negotiations needed to stay behind closed doors and those high priced lawyers and CM's need to get the job done. Quite the atmosphere we have created here. And it will go on.

Anonymous said...

So the firequeen leader is "surprised" the city said what it said. The release by the cm shows the union for what it is. No surprise here.

Anonymous said...

If there's sick time abuse then prefer charges against the employee and thats it, Same as with the Water or sewer plant there manned 24 7 365,(not with 15) time to move on, Policy for DPW and water and sewer is 5 days then a Dr.'s excuse....

Anonymous said...

It just needs to stop, the union has already said they are done negotiating so let it go to a judge and he will look at the facts and rule. Sick of hearing about it from both sides, but have to say the city is looking pretty underhanded in their press releases. Settle the contract and move on, there is a lot bigger problems in this city.

Anonymous said...

And channel 7 gives the union all the air time they want, to spread their union propaganda. Problem is, that all the people who watch 7 are dead and don't vote least around here they don't vote.

Anonymous said...

In South Portland, on the other hand, the use of sick time has nearly doubled since the city switched to the 24-hour schedule in 2001, according to Guimond. And that has meant more overtime to fill in, too.
“It’s a worker-friendly schedule, but it’s more expensive,” Guimond said.
From 1999 to 2001, he said, the department averaged 3,200 to 3,588 hours of sick time using a schedule where firefighters worked two 10-hour days, then two 14-hour nights, followed by four days off. In the last two years, the department has logged more than 5,000 sick hours on a 24-hour schedule, he said.
Fire chiefs in other states said they changed to the longer shifts at the request of their unions, even though some commanding officers contend it breaks up the unity of the force and causes communication problems.
“My command staff really does not like it,” Bergeron said. “It’s a communication problem rom group to group.”
The Portsmouth Fire Department hasn’t switched to the 24-hour schedule to avoid breaking up the family atmosphere of the department, said Portsmouth Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire.

“The groups become too individualized, too isolated,” LeClaire said. “If they took any vacation days, you could not see that crew for two weeks. It certainly doesn’t add to our mission where we have to be able to work together. We have to be able to train together.”

Wilbraham, Mass., Fire Chief Francis Nothe said his department adopted the 24-hour schedule in 2007, even though he was concerned about fatigue. The switch was made because Nothe felt an arbitrator would eventually rule in favor of the union-favored switch.

“Rather than have a bunch of angry employees, we decided to give it a try and see how it works,” said Nothe, who did not see a drop in sick time and increases in overtime costs. “We’ve been there ever since. It’s the new normal.”
On the other hand, not all firefighters like the 24-hour shifts.
In Lawrence, Mass., about one quarter of the department — mostly older firefighters — resigned when the department switched to 24-hour shifts, because it was more physically demanding.

The issue of firefighter fatigue has also been a concern for fire chiefs.

The International Fire Chiefs Association, U.S. Fire Administration and the Oregon Health & Science University released a study in 2007 about the effects of sleep deprivation on firefighters and EMS responders.

According to the report, fatigue can decrease a firefighter’s alertness, increase response time and reduce strength. Alertness falls after 10-12 hours of work and during the nighttime, it said.

Disrupted sleep patterns were recognized as a source of occupational stress for about one-third of 700 firefighters surveyed in 1994, the report says. Fatigue is common when firefighters are awakened by early morning calls.

Portland’s policy discourages firefighters from sleeping during the day and prohibits them from occupying fire station beds between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Let's hear both sides. How about mentioning the girls lacrosse team at WHS? They beat a heck of a good team in JD. Very proud of those girls and happy to see some if them getting some scholarship money to attend fine schools!! We should congratulate them and wish them the best of luck going into the regionals. Being recognized as a good program has brought plenty of scouts to our area offering the chance at a great education. Unfortunately, over at the cross town rival IHC, a guy named Robbins has depleted a good ladies lax program by forcing them to concentrate on soccer only. Any soccer scouts come here to offer money? Nope. He's been quoted as saying"if I see a stick in your hand, don't expect to get a lot of time in the fall." I'm not anti soccer, but I believe the way he rules over there is a detriment to a young lady's opportunity at a sport that clearly gives them a better chance for some recognition.

Anonymous said...

womans lacrosse...yeah right

Anonymous said...

Get real 12:21 and 2:48! The firemen are the ones who went public first. I see know problem with the city telling their side of the story, and the city side seems a lot more credible. Truth be told, the city called their bluff, as I'll bet the firemen only wanted their version of things public. The CM is doing what should have been done long ago and I applaud Mayor Butler and the City Council for drawing this line in the sand!

Anonymous said...

2:48, I agree for the most part. But excessive taxation that keeps our city down is a pretty big issue. I disagree when you suggest it isn't. If we don't get the firequeens under control, we will be locked in to another generation of public rape. It has gone on too long.

Anonymous said...

2:48 How can you say the city is in any way underhanded in releasing information? Unless of course you are a union member.

Not getting this information out to the public would indeed be sidestepping their obligation to keep the public informed.

Previous city leadership apparently cowered in fear of the CBU's that represent city workers and caved in to their every whim.
That's what got us to where we are.

Anonymous said...

The real facts, not the spin put on them, will all come out in a neutral forum and in front of a judge. Let's just wait to see how this all turns out before circling the wagons. When the dust settles we will see who has, and has not, been underhanded.

Tell me one thing tho, how can violating a contract be considered anything other than underhanded? Is this the way we want our leaders to behave? Don't you believe that this whole thing is wrong no matter which side you support? Can you imagine how much damage has been done to the collective bargaining process for the future? Who is going to want to sit down with someone who can not be trusted to do what they had agreed to? Shameful.

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

Pick a side: If you are basically anti-Union you love Addison and her PR stunts and she can do no harm.

If not that, well Jeff Graham is correct: "No one gives sh*t?"

That my fiends is the problem.

Anonymous said...

1:56 Looks to me like the "Real" facts are exactly what the CM put out.
Facts and figures that are backed up with data and easily verified.
If you or any of the other firemen have evidence to refute the data then I'm sure the public would enjoy reviewing.

The only thing that would suggest a spin being placed on things would be if the CM had stated that there was intent by the members to game the system with the sick days, etc. But that isn't what the report stated. It stated actual documented numbers.

The union is doing what they know works when they realize they have dipped to far into the well. Rather that bargain reasonably they insist that things be put before a judge and boom the taxpayer takes it on the chin once again.

Anonymous said...

You must be right . The city would never stretch the truth to make their case. Did anyone's taxes go down or did we just get a tax increase? Seems like we might be on the way to more taxation and less services for those dollars. Did this budget vote really cut spending or did it just shuffle money from one department to another?

Anonymous said...

If were so concerned about the tax base and taxes, why do we give out PILOTS and 40% assesment reductions to themilitary, remember Maple Courts? Never paid any taxes it was a write off for Ford Motor Co. and we gave them 200K in CDBG funds.....time to wake up people.