Saturday, November 21, 2009
Have You Looked at the City of Kingston Firefighters' Contract Lately?
I am 100% behind Mayor Sottile's lawsuit against the Kingston Firefighters Union. The lawsuit attempts to block the union from grieving Sottile's refusal to hire new firemen to replace those firefighters who took the recent retirement buyout. There is one problem. The firefighters' contract clearly states that manpower is to be replaced within 60 days of a vacancy or before the next training class. In addition, the firefighters' contract says there shall be no layoffs...............This contract was obviously negotiated during better economic times. However, I believe that if the starting negotiating positions of the mayor and the union were public knowledge and if the Common Council had more say in the negotiations at the time 2 years ago, these pro-union clauses of 1) mandatory replacement of retirees and 2) No Layoffs would not have been in this contract....... Let's do better next time for the taxpayers. The only way we will be able to correct this problem in the short term is to encourage the union to open the contract, which is unlikely. The sure way to correct this problem in the short term is Municipal Bankruptcy which would automatically cancel all of our Kingston union contracts.