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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Firefighters Have a Contract

Today we get news of a final contract between the city and the fire fighters. This is great for the fire fighters, the city, and for public safety.

While I haven't made any comments about the situation on this blog I do have a few observations from the negotiations:

  1. There are many details about the negotiations that I don't intend to get into but when you step back and look at the negotiations it is a shame that they drug on so long after 34 years of relatively smooth negotiations that almost always wrapped up by the contract expiration. When you look at the two parties involved and the issues being negotiated the only thing that has changed in the history of these negotiations is the city manager doing the negotiations. Many of the fire fighters have long tenure from 10 to 17 to 24 years in many cases. Past negotiations have had a civil and collegial tone to them but not so this time. The city went so far as to publicize the average salaries to the Enquirer which is a real act of bad faith. The timeline of the negotiations is illustrated by a chart posted on the local's website:

  2. During the campaign I got to know many of the fire fighters well. They worked very hard for my campaign - giving their time after work for a couple of hours or giving up a Saturday to help me knock on doors. We can all rest assured that these men and women will do everything they can to protect our property and /or health.

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