PRESIDENT’S REPORT – JUNE, 2012
To all 282 Members:
It’s a sad day when our injured firefighters have to wait 3 months for city approval for treatment and care.
Local 282’s leadership was handling Mark Reed’s difficulty getting final approval for his new prosthetic and therapy after his wife Nancy called in early March. Originally Mark was told he would receive it in early January. I spoke with Mayor Brown at the Irish Luncheon at the Irish Center on March 16, 2012. I told him we would give him the benefit of the doubt that approval would be imminent and not go public; because he gave his word earnest negotiations would be taking place. This occurred after the Mayor and I had tea at a Downtown coffee shop on February 21, 2012. We had one negotiating meeting on March 9, 2012 with confirmed future meetings scheduled for Saturday, March 24thand March 29th. Unfortunately, after the city negotiating team consisting of Patricia Folts, Commissioner of Human Resources; Omar Price, Director of Labor Relations; and their outside hired lawyers Sean Beiter & Mark Van Vessem confirmed the two dates mentioned above at a meeting on March 9, they cancelled the first and never officially cancelled the March 29thmeeting.
Due to the Mayor’s negotiating team not upholding his word, and another one of our members passing as a result of harassment when off I.O.D., resulted in our decision to ask questions about the I.O.D. procedure at the Fire Department budget hearing on March 10thin City Hall. (Read attached letter that was included in our PERB charges filled against city.)
282 filed unfair labor charges against the city for failure to negotiate in good faith on
May 8, 2012. The hearing will be held at PERB office here in Buffalo on June 13, 2012.
Rinaldo Award – Vacated 1-31-12
Local 282 will be filing a stay in State Supreme Court if needed; appeal has already been filed with the Appellate Court in Rochester. This latest award, along with the court decision, was sent to the IAFF and The State Association for review.
There may be a reconvening of the Panel in the next couple of weeks.
Our Attorneys’ sent a letter to Richard Curreri- Director of Conciliation for PERB headquartered in Albany asking for Rinaldo to be removed from the case. Rinaldo has been paid approximately $42,000 for this arbitration – ½ by 282. Curreri ruled there are no grounds for removal, but we may ask Rinaldo through a motion for recusal.
Local 282 has reached out to all our elected senators and congressmen, state senators and assemblymen & city council with individual meetings and written communication. Our message to all was we need your support in our effort to reach a FAIR Labor Agreement with Mayor Brown after 10 years.
Ross Russell and I met with Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes on June 1, 2012 to inform her of our current status on negotiations and hopefully a new contract that treats us fairly.
The letters and proper documentation have been filed by City Comptroller Mark
Schroeder and N.Y.S. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recommending the move to
an advisory status (soft). When this occurs, it will be the result of a collaboration of
hard work over the last few months by Phil Rumore from BTF, Jim Panus the new
PBA President and his Executive Board, Bill Travis the President of AFSCME Local 264
and Local 282.
The Control Board has 3 new Directors: Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive/member ex-officio; Bridgid Doherty and Richard Jurasek, President of Medaille College appointed by the Governor.
At Control Board Meeting on March 14, 2012 a motion made by George Arthur Sr. to have control move to an advisory (soft) status passed 7 to 1. At the special meeting on May 29, 2012 the control board voted to go soft 6-1 effective on July 1, 2012. George Arthur Sr. stated “This action of going soft should have occurred last year, if proper papers were filed on time.”
This correction bill would help almost 100 members hired in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Assembly Bill # A10126 and Senate Bill # 5378.
Local 282 has been the driving force for our members and other Locals’ members who have been harmed to be treated fairly. Now the NYS Professional Firefighters Association with President Mike McManus also agreed with us to push this bill to help other firefighters (around 150) across the State in addition to some PBA members.
Assemblyman Peter Abbate is a sponsor in the Assembly and Senator Patrick Gallivan and Mark Grisanti are co-sponsors for the bill in the Senate.
If it passes both houses, we will need Governor Cuomo to sign it to become law.
Vice President Tommy Barrett and I were in Albany on March 12thand 13thfor the NYSPFFA Rally and again on April 17thand 18thto lobby our elected legislatures about this bill. We met with Sheldon Silver’s Chief of State, Senator Gallivan, Assembly Members Abbate and Gabryszak, Ryan and Kearns who all support our bill.
During NYSPFFA Legislative Conference, May 21 and 22, this was one of the top focal points of discussion. I met with Vice President Kevin Gallagher of the IAFF and Steve Cassidy, President of Local 94 NYC Firefighters union. Steve will be contacting top elected State Legislators along with Governor Cuomo personally about our Bill.
Local 282 needs everyone who has been injured & believes they were treated unfairly to file a grievance. Forms are in the Union office that is partially filled out with contract sections violated already printed.
Our Attorney has sent a letter (attached) asking for the light duty job description. No response to that letter yet. We have an arbitration being scheduled over the city’s interpretation of “What constitutes Light Duty”
List for Division Chief and Battalion Chiefs ended 1/3/12. There were vacancies in both ranks that should have been filled.
List for Captains and Lieutenants ended 5/14/12 with vacancies in both ranks.
Grievances have and will be filed over not filling vacancies prior to expiration of lists per Article XVIII 18.2
Pay to play – I support Vice President Tom Barrett’s response to the Brown Administration again blaming us for skyrocketing overtime in the Chief ranks, when the real cause was the city’s failure to promote.
NYS Appeals Court turned down the city’s request for an appeal that arbitration must be held over the city ending Promotional Lists in February 2006. This ordered arbitration will be scheduled as soon as possible.
Our Lawyers were prepared to seek an injunction stopping the promotional exam on May 19th. The City of Buffalo Civil Service Rules state, they must tell applicants how the test will be scored prior to the test. This information was not printed on test announcement. Only after the city agreed to inform test takers how it would be scored did we agree to drop our injunction to stop the exam.
Court date is set for June 6, 2012 on the city’s failure to promote Division Chief and Battalion Chiefs to openings prior to expiration of the list. This court date was just postponed by the city until June 14th, 2012.
Tom Barrett and I met with new PBA President Jim Panus and Vice President Kevin Kennedy. We have been in touch on a regular basis. Please read the latest Blue Line article “Promises, Promises”. Just substitute 282 for PBA and firefighter for officers. The Brown Administration is treating Police, Fire, AFSMCE Local 264 (Bill Travis’ union) and all other unions the same with disrespect.
Judge Deborah Chimes ruled on May 8, 2012 that the city must have an arbitration case over city making past and future retirees, with regular and disability pensions, pay for their Medicare Part B. The city started making our members pay in 2008.
Arbitrator Bantle ruled on March 17, 2012 that Commissioner Whitfield’s Order # 8 (14 day no overtime penalty box) interpretation was illegal. Whitfield’s new order now includes I.O.D. which is legal under 1994 Foster Award. A settlement is being worked out for all who were penalized for working overtime while in the penalty box.
Fire Investigation work hours Arbitration
Arbitrator Trela ruled all 282 members assigned (working) at Fire Investigation must work same 2 days/2 nights schedule as all 282 members working in firehouses, except for the officer in charge of Fire Investigation. We are still waiting for Deputy Commissioner Tomizzi to abide.
No Officer in Charge of Fire Investigation Arbitration
Arbitrator Lewandowski ruled that the city charter doesn’t provide for an officer to be in charge of Fire Investigation. He ignored 40 years of past practice. The city charter supersedes any contract language.
Health Insurance – Campagna Award
City must pay 100% of health insurance cost for all members and retires. The city appeal was heard in Appellate Court in Rochester on May 16, 2012. Decision should be out in four to six weeks.
The city has taken position that no grievances will be settled at Step 3 Hearings. Therefore, all have to go to arbitration which takes time and money. This is the same tactic the city is taking with PBA, AFSCME Local 264 and White Collar workers Local 650.
Skipping on Promotional List
We are still waiting for Commissioner Whitfield to give us his answer to why the city skipped Fitzgerald and Weitz. This was ordered by Arbitrator Rabin. February 12, 2011.
The agreement was reached with an arbitrator present over Order #5 dated January 28, 2010. Doctor’s Note and those who were penalized. (copy attached), still hasn’t been signed or followed by Commissioner’s office.
Most Fire Companies have used their money to upgrade their televisions, chairs, recliners, grills and other day to day needs that usually would come out of their commissary or assessment. Please follow the by-laws by voting for purchases and going through house chairman and Trustees. There is a concern being talked about by higher ups that some members of fire companies are using their rank to influence what is bought. If this is true and continues, there may be inquires sent to the N.Y.S. Comptroller’s office to review our Fund.
General President Harold Schaitberger has appointed me to the Elections Sub-Committee at the IAFF Convention July 22- 27 in Philadelphia.
Visit www.IAFF.org online to keep informed of events and happenings to other IAFF Locals across the country.
282 Member & President
June 2012 President's Report Attachments.pdf