City Council President: Firefighters won't get their contract without 'meaningful concessions'
City Council President Mike Ross, joined by councilors Mark Ciommo, Charles Yancey and Chuck Turner, said today they were prepared to vote against a proposed firefighters contract unless firefighters make significant concessions.
Ross said that while it's unfair firefighters have gone four years without a contract, he's not prepared to give firefighters a larger increase than other municipal employees have gotten just "to come to work sober" when the city is shutting libraries and community centers the year after it closed schools. He said the $74 million price tag is just too much in times like these.
Ross noted that firefighters in other parts of the country - and other municipal workers in Boston - have agreed to wage reductions or deferrals to save jobs.
"I'm certainly prepared to vote this agreement down, if the best interest of the community dictate," he said.
Ciommo echoed Ross, saying that while "the city is in good financial shape; we do have reserves," the proposed contract is not sustainable for the long term.
Yancey questioned whether the council can ask for givebacks because it's not legally allowed to get involved in labor negotations and blasted the Menino administration for getting the council, firefighters and the city as a whole into the mess it's in now.
Turner said the settlement is just not affordable.