Manhattan Seashore imposes 1-year contract that firefighters union had rejected

Manhattan Seashore imposes 1-year contract that firefighters union had rejected

Manhattan Seashore firefighters are about to have new work parameters that they aren’t pleased about.

The Metropolis Council this week voted unanimously to approve a one-year contract proposal for Manhattan Seashore Fireplace Affiliation, although union representatives urged the physique to pause that call and rethink.

The town provided its “final, finest and last supply” to the affiliation in April after two years of negotiation with out decision. The union rejected the proposal and negotiations got here to a standstill that very same month.

However the council on Tuesday, Sept. 20, imposed the phrases of the April proposal anyway.

Tuesday’s public listening to was the end result of these lengthy negotiations, which additionally prompted a fact-finding listening to by a third-party in an try and quell disagreements over firefighter salaries, promotions to management positions and staffing.

The mediator issued a fact-finding report earlier this month and offered non-binding suggestions, a few of which sided with town whereas others backed the firefighters.

The council may’ve chosen to enter into a brand new settlement primarily based on these suggestions, however determined that the April supply was finest for town.

The contract, amongst different issues, will give firefighters a 3% increase, efficient the next pay interval; reclassify the fireplace marshal and fireplace inspector as civilian jobs; cap at one per shift the variety of firefighters who can take trip at a time; and change suppression staffing from a continuing of eight individuals to a minimal of eight.

The brand new phrases take impact Saturday, Sept. 24, and can final one 12 months.

Mayor Steve Napolitano mentioned on Tuesday that it’ll take a protracted course of to rebuild belief with town’s firefighters.

“This is a chance for a brand new starting,” Napolitano mentioned, “to repair what’s damaged.

“Typically relationships should be reset,” he added. “The division survived the 1993 (contract negotiation) deadlock and it’ll survive this.”

The town will, certainly, revisit firefighters’ considerations, Napolitano mentioned, with negotiations set to restart quickly to find out the division’s work parameters for the next 12 months or longer, as soon as the upcoming contract expires.

Governments usually begin negotiating new agreements about six months previous to the present phrases ending, metropolis spokeswoman Jessica Vincent mentioned Wednesday.

“It is a unhappy second,” Napolitano mentioned. “We couldn’t attain an settlement we (on each side) thought would make the division sustainable.”

Councilwoman Hildy Stern, throughout Tuesday’s listening to, ensured residents that town’s management wouldn’t make selections to harm town’s public security.

“We’re residents right here too,” Stern mentioned. “We’re defending our households, neighbors, mates and all of you with these proposals, which we imagine wholeheartedly will do the most effective for our group.”

The council’s proposal makes an attempt to resolve extra time points and provides administration extra flexibility, Stern mentioned, addressing extreme work hours that trigger firefighters’ house and work lives to undergo.

“Now we have the identical objectives,” Stern mentioned. “Our proposal is giving administration the power, autonomy for the fireplace chief, to make higher choices for the Fireplace Division.”

However with this contract, firefighters have mentioned, they’ll nonetheless must do extra work with much less assets.

The one worker allowed on trip per shift, for instance, will result in shift switching, union management has mentioned, as a substitute of the firefighters getting an precise break day.

Metropolis officers, in the meantime, have mentioned they believes provisions like that can stop firefighter burnout.

“These are options,”  Stern mentioned, “not cuts which can be penalizing the Fireplace Division.”

The affiliation’s legal professional, Rob Wexler, requested the council Tuesday to take a two-week pause earlier than voting to speak with the union instantly and hash out one thing that each side are glad with.

“The affiliation is disheartened since you disregarded the fact-finder’s report with out dialogue,” Wexler mentioned, noting {that a} council decision to undertake the “final, finest and last supply” was on the assembly’s agenda, making it seem as if the council had already made its alternative earlier than Tuesday.

The events will seemingly start negotiations for a “hopefully honest and balanced long-term settlement” within the new 12 months, Vincent mentioned.

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