Watertown firefighter contract battle nearing an end?

  • Source: TWC News - Northern NY
  • Published: 08/08/2018 07:42 PM

A longstanding battle between the city of Watertown and their fire department continues. With arbitration coming in the next few months, there's hope for a resolution. The union has been without a contract since July 2014. The big sticking point is a "minimal man" rule. Firefighters say there must be 15 people on duty at all times to keep people safe, but city officials have argued that's too expensive. Monday, council members informally voted to hire two additional police officers, at a cost $75,000. But when the Fire Department proposed hiring additional firefighters a few months ago, they got pushback due to budget concerns. That sparked a response from some councilors, who say the fire department should have the same level of support as police. "When it comes to the two departments asking for personnel, the fire department gets a lot more pushback every time so I just wanted to make that note,” said Watertown City Council Member Cody Horbacz. “I think it's the way in which they get that pushback."


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