New York: Arbitrator says city needs to return to nine-man firefighter shifts

  • Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
  • Published: 09/13/2019 12:00 AM

An arbitrator has determined the Lockport Fire Department's six man shifts are unsafe and is requiring the City of Lockport to restore minimum staffing levels of nine firefighters. In 2014, former Mayor Anne McCaffrey had dropped the fire department's ambulance service amid the city's financial distress and cut the department's minimum staffing levels from nine to six members per shift. The Lockport Professional Firefighters Association sued to restore the staffing level to nine per shift, and after an administrative law judge ruled against the city, it was determined that both sides had to negotiate the issue, which they did by seeking out arbitrators. Mayor Michelle Roman said the city received the decision from Michael Lewandowksi, an impartial arbitrator, on Thursday. Lewandowski determined the city had violated the union's collective bargaining agreement by unilaterally reducing LFD's minimum manning, finding that the residents would be safer with higher staffing levels.


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