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Northampton Firefighters Denied a Raise by the City Council

Northampton Fire DepartmentNORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Firefighters in the city are disappointed after being denied a raise by the City Council.

“You know we feel let down and abandoned by our employer,” said Scott Flynn, President of International Association Firefighters, Local 108.

The council voted down the contract 5-3 during Thursday’s meeting.  It comes after a three year negotiation process, which ultimately sent the two sides to arbitration. There a three member panel issued a settlement on June 24, 2013.  It granted the 65 union members a 2% cost of living increase for each year going back to the fiscal year 2011.  It also granted a 1% increase back to January 1, 2013 for members working the overnight shift.

“You know for an average firefighter it’s going to equate to about a thousand dollars a year for one at the top step less for newer employees,” said Flynn.

According to a memo from Mayor David Narkewicz sent to the council requesting approval of the funding, the settlement would cost the city $406, 000 from the General Stabilization Fund.

“It’s part of the frustration as we try to deal with less and less revenue from the state, less and less revenue from the Federal Government,” said City Council President William Dwight.

He voted to approve the contract, but understands why some of his colleagues did not.

“It’s very expensive and it would have an impact on the city’s finances,” said Dwight.

The council’s no vote means the city and union have to start the process all over again.

Meantime, the firefighters will continue to work.

Legally fire and police department aren’t allowed to go on strike.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • medic3

    The city of Northampton should hang its head in absolute SHAME!
    It has one of the most professional departments in Hampshire County. ANY FIRE DEPARTMENT ANY WHERE TREATED LIKE THIS SHOULD LOOK FOR EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE AND TELL THAT CITY WHAT IT CAN DO WITH ITS UNEDUCATED, SELFISH, TWO FACED LYING SELF.
    I hope someone from the city council sees my post. You make me sick. Everyone of those men and women deserve a simple raise and an ounce of respect. You AGREED to an arbitrator and agreed to follow its recommendation.
    Northampton fire members, you may not be able to strike, but you CAN informational picket. Off duty, you can stand on public property and hand out the facts. And name names! Let your city you chose to love and protect and lay down your very lives for if need be, know who the @$$’s are.
    I live in a community that neighbors you and we HONOR our fire fighters. We applaud and support them.
    I have NEVER been a fan of Northampton and this is the icing on the cake.
    I only hope none of those maggots never ever need you. But if they do I know in my heart you will be there for them unlike how they are not there for you. God bless you all and keep up the good fight. But seriously, lateral slides onto other town departments and leave those base-tards high and dry. It would serve them right!!!

  • Samuel

    City leadership should be forced to follow ‘public servant’ and officials be a volunteer position of leadership. When we began paying politicians was the beginning of corruption. If they were first businessmen and community leaders then they would be something to look up to. Serve your term then go back to you job.
    The only thing they seem to be able to agree on is their own raises! I hope the firefighters keep track of the votes to the negative when the fire calls go out…