New York: Minimum staffing battle ends between Watertown and fire union

  • Source: WWNY-TV CBS 7 Carthage
  • Published: 11/14/2019 12:00 AM

Watertown officials say it's the end to the long drawn out battle between the city and its fire union over minimum staffing. City Manager Rick Finn says the rule that forced the fire department to sometimes work with fewer than 15 firefighters was rescinded last week. Watertown has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to get rid of a minimum staffing agreement between the city and its firefighters union. That agreement requires 15 firefighters to be on duty at all times. "I felt it was a waste. We could have taken that time and money and spent that repairing the relationship with the fire department and getting back to the table, negotiating a contract that's fair for both sides and we didn't do that," said City Council Member Cody Horbacz. "In retrospect, it is a lot of money but our aim was to save taxpayers money," said Mayor Joe Butler Jr.


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