Thursday, November 10, 2011
Kingston Fire Dept No Layoff Clause Cries Out for Contract Talks Open to Public
Does anyone remember what Common council members along with Mayor Sottile agreed to a No Layoff clause in the present Kingston Fire Dept Contract? This lack of accountability cries out for union contract negotiations open to the public. There is no law which states that union contract negotiations have to be secret. If we had open negotiations, the Kingston Fire Union would not have obtained a No Layoff clause in their present contract. The public would have screamed bloody murder. Instead, we now have what looks like an impossible situation with an $8 Million Fire Dept. budget which could be cut in half (by using Volunteer Firemen) if we had the ability to threaten layoffs (as Governor Cuomo threatened with the CSEA and PEF unions). The only way to reset this Fire Contract with the Tri-borough amendment is to declare Chapter 6 Municipal Bankruptcy. In the meantime, many Kingstonians are harmed and are suffering by losing their homes and leaving the area. Let's error on the side of the taxpayers and Keep all of our future union contracts open to the public, including the school district union contract negotiations.