1/03/2010

LFD Contract Ratified

Posted by MJ

LUSJ reported :

The Lockport Professional Firefighters Association and the City of Lockport have agreed to move dispatching duties away from the fire department and reduce the minimum staffing level. In return, firefighters will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus, a 4-percent retroactive pay raise for 2009, and 2-percent raises every six months starting today and running through 2012....
...Under the new contract, the city can keep a minimum staffing level of nine firefighters per platoon, per shift and a maximum of three on vacation at one time. The previous level was 10 firefighters per platoon, per shift with a maximum of four on vacation at one time...
Would anyone here not be happy with a guaranteed 4% raise a year in our current economy?In return the city gets help on the overbearing overtime. It is nice to see that vacationers alone can no longer require overtime to be initiated. The minimum shift manning is now set at nine though I recall quotes saying that the city was hesitant to put a number in the contract. Maybe that's part of the trade off.

28 comments:

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

You don't get sick days at McDonald's Rocketboy?

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Someone took a sick day when not really sick?? Wow, I have never heard of that before!

Anonymous said...

What does an ungodly amount of sicktime mean? Aren't most, if not all City employees covered under the same sicktime policy. Your focus on sicktime/overtime could have much more meaning if it was City wide, not targeted to one Dept. You could review past City budgets to get accurate overtime amounts of each Dept, or contact the Clerks Office to and ask about sicktime use in each Dept. or you can just continue to believe the local media

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Research average sick days taken in the public sector vs. the LFD. Guess what Rocketboy??...the LFD averages less sick days per man per year than public sector employees!

Do you want to try a new angle now or are you done? Now get back to the french fry maker..it's beeping.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just wasted a minute of my life reading these comments.

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Does the Lockport Fire Dept. run a paramedic ambulance? Are the guys on the ambulance in close contact with sick people everyday? Would it be safe to assume the constant contact with ill people would sometimes make them sick?

Factor that in to your equation Rocketboy.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the Town is any less safe than the City? Can you say Volunteer Fire Department!

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

I believe in certain situations, yes the town is less safe. You may have 1 Niagara county sheriff car protecting the whole town at any given time and if you have a fire or medical problem you are at the mercy of the "availability" of someone being able or willing to respond. I believe volunteer fire co's are set up to fail due to an antiquated system.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but perhaps instead of asking if the city is safer the better question is does anybody in the town feel unsafe?
There's always degrees of safety.

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Bottom line is the extra degree of "safety" worth the $2.5 million in a City that already has one of the highest tax burdens in the Country? If a partial volunteer Fire Department works for the City of Tonawanda & North Tonawanda (who both have similar industrial and resdential density issues as Lockport)it can work for Lockport and save the taxpayers $.

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

Rocketboy, totally agree with your list and what points are specifically 'safer' than than the other, but the question is, do people feel unsafe in the town?
I agree, if my xmas tree catches on fire the city would be there faster, but do I feel unsafe sitting next to my tree here in the town?

Anonymous said...

In a Buffalo News Article titled " Firefighting Tug of War " Published on December 7, 2008, the NT and Lockport depts were compared. In comparing the 2 depts NT's budget is aprox $200,000 less than Lockport, they have aprox 13 less paid FF's, and do not provide paramedic transport. Lockport collects aprox $750,000 a year in ambulance revenue. Subtract $750,000 from $2.5M and the actual budget is roughly 1.75M. Thats $300,000 less than NT's combo dept. Where is the savings by switching?

Anonymous said...

Thats a good point about NT. In the article I found it appears as though Lockport is only 2/3 the size of NT -they have 33,000 residents vs Lockports 22,000. They employ 37 firefighters and have 50 volunteers. I wonder what their overtime costs are vs Lockport. They do offer medical support but not ambulance transfers. They contract with a private company for that, I wonder if that costs the city or do they make money from it? I would think you would have companies bid for the right to provide it.

The big difference is though they have done this for 100 years. I can imagine the rancor that would exist if Lockport ever tried to supplement with volunteers, the paid guys would not be great partners I imagine.

Anonymous said...

The average City of Lockport taxpayers pays about $280 a year to have a paid fire department with a less than 3 minute response time.

If you look at their job performance it is top notch...but people want to complain because of a few sick days??

$280 dollars a year per taxpayer or $23 a month. Even twice that average assesment at $560 sounds pretty reasonable to me.

3000+ calls a year or roughly 1 out of every 8 residents called 911 for an emergency. I bet that they did not mind paying their tax bill.

How about the mother of the little girl who was saved from a house fire..was $280 too much too pay? How much is the life of a child worth? Bleeding the taxpayers dry? I don't think so.

Let's not compliment the LFD for the work they do, let's complain about a few sick days.

Anonymous said...

Is the $280 a year per person or per household? Couldn't this same coverage be supplied through rural metro or someone as it is in most communities in WNY? Sick time aside the firefighters don't realize what everyone in WNY but them (and teachers) have had to accept in terms of concessions from their employers, everyone else's pay and benes is going down, while theirs goes up. They just don't seem to get that everyone thinks they do a tremendous job, I don't think anyone can argue that, but the city can't afford a Cadillac anymore without industries such as GM paying taxes to support it.
I didn't see one important part, did the firefighters agree to go to the single insurance plan every other city employee has agreed to? This would be a huge money saver.

Anonymous said...

Yes the firefighters accepted the single insurance carrier at the same time the other 4 city unions did. All 5 city unions are on the same health plan which saves the city a lot.

MJ said...

I don't think many would criticize the job the LFD does. They do a great job ensuring the safety of everyone including themselves. They should be commended on their performance.

My concern is the fighting of efficiencies. The LFD is still around 13% of the budget. And the taxpayers cry at any raise of the tax rate. $300,000 is a big chunk of money to throw into the budget especially when changes can be made to lower that overtime without affecting base pay or worker safety.

As for the ambulance: the one Annon mentioned revenue but what is the actual profit? As for the fire rate the per household cost would be more fit for this explanation (as opposed to per resident). But it's a dead topic for the next few years. I'm happy with the contract. It's easy to swallow for a public sector contract and some surprising concessions were made. I do agree though that public voting on contract provisions would be nice. I have also mentioned it in the past.

Rocketboy said...
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Anonymous said...

You two are talking about the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda having a combination Fire Dept. but if you listen to the response for a fire they both call each other. If the combination thing works then, why do they call each other? I think because when you call paid/carrer firefighters you know they are responding and you know they are qualified to mitigate the problem at hand.

Anonymous said...

"Yes the firefighters accepted the single insurance carrier at the same time the other 4 city unions did. All 5 city unions are on the same health plan which saves the city a lot."
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I don't believe they did accept this when the other unions did as they were waiting for their own contract to be finalized and they naturally wouldn't give in on this until everything else was settled. You might be remembering that Tucker put the retirees in the single insurer plan as that was in his power to do.
Does anyone know for sure did the active guys go to the single insurer?

Anonymous said...

The 5 city unions went to single carrier 5 years ago.

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