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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Lockport Professional Firefighters Local 963 voted unanimously against accepting the retirement incentive offer put forth to them by the city, according to a press release from the union.

The press release follows below in its entirety:

On October 10, 2014 Mayor McCaffrey offered a written retirement incentive to the Lockport Firefighters for the first time. The Mayor made it clear on October 6, 2014 that this was a take it or leave it deal not subject to negotiation and if we refused it she was going to layoff five more firefighters.

The Fire Union met on October 14, 2014 to discuss the offer. Thirty five of thirty eight Union members were present, including all members who face these threatened layoffs. The motion to accept the offer was defeated unanimously with no abstentions. The membership feels that if the Mayor wants contractual changes she should negotiate them and not resort to extortion.

This incentive was initially suggested by the City hired negotiator because it is a benefit to the City.  In addition to preventing layoffs, it helps the City cash flow by forcing retirees to take their buyouts over four years instead of in a lump sum at the time of retirement. The City would have no costs in 2014.  Also it eliminates a large amount of vacation time each year which reduces the amount of time shifts will be at minimum manning and generating overtime.

In 2013 the Lockport Police Department was offered a retirement incentive. The LPD offer was part of a fully negotiated contract. The LFD offer was stand alone. For the offer to be accepted, the Lockport Firefighters would have to terminate all arbitrations, grievances and court cases regarding manning, staffing and equipment usage. In addition the Union had to agree to remove the manning clause from the contract.

We ask the Public, the Council and the Fire Board to demand that the Mayor act in a fair manner and offer the incentive with no strings attached or to negotiate in good faith a complete collective bargaining agreement that settles all issues, instead of subjecting the Fire Department to an additional five layoffs after having eight members laid off at the beginning of the year.

NOTE: Story edited at 8:35 p.m. to add link to previous story about retirement offer.

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