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Fire Lt. Clancy: We Will Not Stop in our Endeavor to Prevent Layoffs

Garden City Professional Firefighters Association president says fight is far from over.

Lt. Peter Clancy, Garden City Professional Firefighters Association president, says fight is far from over.
Lt. Peter Clancy, Garden City Professional Firefighters Association president, says fight is far from over.
In a letter to the editor submitted Wednesday, Fire Lt. Peter Clancy, president of the Garden City Professional Firefighters Association, is seeking the help of residents to help prevent the recently approved firefighter layoffs:

First and foremost, I would like to thank the many residents who attended the Feb 7 village board meeting and voiced their opinion in opposition of the proposed layoffs.

Unfortunately the vote was carried 6 to 2 and now six career firefighters are to be laid off and one career lieutenant is to be demoted. We will not stop in our endeavor to prevent these layoffs. These layoffs not only affect the six firefighters who are to be laid off, they affect the safety of every resident and business in this village, including ALL firefighters, both career and volunteer.

We would also like to take this opportunity to clear the air regarding some information that is currently circulating regarding our current contract negotiations. As stated before, we have been without a contract since June 1, 2009. We have never walked away from the bargaining table. We feel that throughout negotiations, mediation and arbitration, we have made a good faith effort to settle a contract.

This is the first time that we have ever had to proceed to arbitration, which is a costly process for both sides and should be used only as a last resort, and not as an alternative. We are still working with the village negotiating team to come to an agreeable settlement. We have offered numerous concessions, including contributions into healthcare benefits, limited retroactive back pay and reduced raises for several of the years affected.

We are aware that no municipality is immune to the financial crisis that plagues our nation and we too feel the economic restraints, same as everyone else. All we are seeking is a fair and equitable contract.

Normally, as firefighters, people ask for our help, but we are now asking for your help. We consider this far from over and we need your support to help prevent these layoffs. We need you, the resident, to speak out!

Contact the Board of Trustees to ensure that they know layoffs and service reductions in the fire department are unacceptable. Mayor Brudie stated it was very early in the budget process, and Mr. Cavanaugh stated that with his involvement in the finance committee he did not perceive layoffs as being necessary at this time.

The safety of you and your loved ones should not have a price tag on it.

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GCRes1 February 13, 2013 at 06:52 PM
You can't be serious. The quote, FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, can mean almost anything. They offered "contributions to health care", but how much? "Limited" back pay, but how limited? "Reduced" raises? Reduced compared to what? Whatever pie in the sky raises they came up with initially? If it is a raise, it isn't a reduction of anything. Clearly, 6 trustees thought they were still asking for too much. Laying off 6 firefighters saves the Village $950,000 per year. That means the laid off firefighters cost the Village about $154k each, per year. They receive gold-plated healthcare and other benefits that would be the envy of any private sector employee. And then they retire on lucrative pensions. They are OVERPAID, and there are TOO MANY OF THEM.
GCres2 February 13, 2013 at 07:43 PM
and if you ask GCRes1 he'll always tell you the glass is half empty too. the union apparently made concession offers. something you werent expecting from them and it proved you wrong. you dont know how much and compared to what. or do you? are you in the know? if so please share. as a taxpayer we all know that that cost of the firemen is shared amongst all of us which probably comes down peanuts per year. just another one of your scare tactics.
Steve F February 13, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Notice the volunteers from the GCFD did not back the paid members one bit. In fact some of them cheered after the vote. There have been numerous issues between the paid firemen and volunteers and who is really concerned with the residents of this village. Keep in mind, layoffs were made, but we still have paid firemen responding 24/7 so lets stop the panic about no one responding. For all the money we spend in village taxes you would think we could get a dedicated ambulance and at least a paid EMT 24/7.
GCRes1 February 13, 2013 at 09:11 PM
GCres2: Yes, the Union claims to have made "concessions." Well, if they were sufficient to justify maintaining the department at current staffing levels, we'd have a deal and no layoffs. So the concessions obviously weren't enough. I don't know, but I am willing to bet that they weren't real concessions at all, and that they weren't remotely close to what is needed. And why would they be? -------------------------(1) The Union is protected by absurd pro-union arbitration rules that give them everything they want; and (2) Layoffs don't scare the union leaders because they only hurt the youngest firefighters that aren't on the union committee that negotiates with the Village. So layoffs have always been out there as a possibility. The union reps say "who cares?" ----------------------------- You refer to savings of almost $1 million as "peanuts." Laying off these 6 people saves the equivalent of almost 2% of the current annual budget. The savings are HUGE. I hope they try to find 6 more to lay off.

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