Firefighter update: Deal was reached to extend Formerly-Grant-Funded Jobs through February 15

From the City of Long Beach:

The City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Paid Firefighters Union Reach Agreement to Extend Five Formerly-Grant-Funded Jobs Through February 15

Long Beach, NY – The Long Beach Paid Firefighters Union and the City of Long Beach’s have reached an agreement to stave off the layoffs for five formerly-grant-funded firefighters.

“This deal temporarily saves the jobs of five members of our union,” said Union President Bill Piazza. “We will keep negotiating to maintain these positions going forward.”

The agreement which was reached between the City and the Paid Firefighters Union included a deferral of the layoff date from January 1, 2015 to February 15, 2015 in exchange for a deferral of one week’s pay from all members of the Paid Firefighters Union to be paid back at a future date. Although the grant that funded these five paid firefighters expired on December 1, 2014, the City had already instituted a grace period of one month, as a courtesy, keeping the jobs available through the end of the year.

“Working together, the City and the Paid Firefighters Union negotiated a deal that kept these five positions funded for another month and a half, and we are pleased that the union accepted the initial offer we made several weeks ago” said City Manager Jack Schnirman. “These positions were originally funded by a grant, and they are now funded through mid-February by a concession of the Paid Firefighters Union members – a deferral of one week’s pay.”

The City’s combination department of paid and volunteer firefighters provides EMS and fire protection 24 hours a day, 7 day a week. [LINK]

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18 thoughts on “Firefighter update: Deal was reached to extend Formerly-Grant-Funded Jobs through February 15”

  1. What a total embarrassment for Long Beach, $h#t-can these two. And If the opportunity to find replacements should arise, find someone honorable and worthy of the job.

  2. Wtf! A deferral of pay to be made up in the future is considered a concession? That is ridiculous! It’s not a concession by the Union. Rather it is the City caving to public pressure and instead of negotiating for real long term solutions to the out-of -control salaries and pensions of the Fire Dept (due in large part to having to many promotions and “chiefs” instead of “Indians”), the City is “solving” the issue in the short run, hoping some out-spoken resident’s concerns of an under-staffed FD goes away by just increasing the burden on tax payers “some time in the future”. This is called kicking-the-can-down-the-road.

  3. If your chief concern is safety, you must know what LB needs is emergency medical services and ambulances. That can be provided at much lower cost than additional paid firefighters. Firefighters are trained as emts, but that is not their core function and not where their cost exists. And we hardly have any fires. And there are plenty of towns in Long Island with apartment buildings and density that do not have paid firefighters.

    The emotions should be put to the side and the City Council and residents should be focused on emergency medical services and ambulances. That is where our needs lie. The firefighters are great, and their service is appreciated, but that is not what we need. (And if the super towers are ever built, that will still be the case — and, if you were at the i-Star hearings, the developer’s experts stated that the fire prevention and safety technology to be incorporated into the buildings would make any additional firefighter support unneeded.)

  4. JG – I did not say rely on volunteers for EMS. EMS can be contracted privately or EMS employees can be hired at lower rates than FF. That is not anti-FF, it is economics. If our best safety is concerned, LB should get the best it can for its dollar and that is not through paid FF. And many have been whipped into a frenzy of fear that is not right. You make lots of good points about lieutenants and the lower echelon, but in addition, LB should move to EMS and ambulances. That would be best for LB. Not for FF, I get that. And I get the fear of this leading to no paid FF.

  5. I see your points – (can you see any of mine??) I just disagree with you and your unions approach. Given you’re a paid city worker, you too are a public figure and deserve every bit of counter points. I also find it hard to believe, with your online blog experience, that you don’t know what your fellow union boys are posting online with facebook – come on now – there are a ‘paltry’ 20 plus guys in your group, you all know who says what and when. As a taxpayer, bottom line is $$. I’m fairly sure that if the City went to private ambulances and all volunteer fire, the ambulances would arrive …the fires would be put out, big or small… and the safety of all would remain intact and the world would continue to turn. We agree to disagree. I truly wish you the best sir – just not on my dime.

  6. Actually, I, or anyone, does not have to get back to ‘you’ – all the answers, with the benefit of the citizens in mind, are being compiled and provided to the city. (You know, that neutral survey you also have issue with because it threatens your job). The City will make the appropriate adjustments. As a self proclaimed ‘dinosaur’, do you have the ability to deploy a hose line? Carry it up a high rise, six/seven flights? You looked winded walking back from podium at the council meeting. You probably can, who knows. But I Digress. No need for another long winded reply – it all sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown anyway. Best of luck….

  7. Civil ? As in the same civil behavior you and your Union boys displayed at the last council mtg? You have the nerve to say keep it civil??? Now that’s laughable.

  8. Thank you to all of the firefighters who put their lives on the line in this and every other city. Volunteer or professional, you are brave just the same. Though, that really isn’t the point. If you have a choice between a professional and a volunteer you choose the professional (obviously). Unless you are broke and out of options (obviously). Let’s not make this an argument over who is prettier instead of the OBVIOUS! The town is still B R O K E. All of the facade of LB was washed away in the storm so we have an opportunity to really look at ourselves and make meaningful decisions. Instead we are letting real estate robber barons stick up new, less convincing ones. We need a paid, professional fire department, anything else is settling for less than what we need.

  9. The town is broke, absolutely. Let’s fix it not make it worse! Failing infrastructure, shitty post storm work done on houses, no hospital, and your solution is get rid of the fire department. That is so absurdly dumb! People are trying to buy and subdivide properties in the canals. Houses would be closer together and we should rely on a volunteer fire department? It’s like saying -crime is getting worse. Let’s get rid of all the police and let the neighborhood watch handle it.

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