The Globe reports on a breakthrough following eight hours of negotiations involving three city councilors as mediators. The Globe's Donovan Slack tweets the deal calls for a 1.5% drug-testing pay raise (an arbitration panel had awarded 2.5%) that will only apply to current firefighters.
Boston Fire Department
They called a meeting at 10:30 p.m. tonight. No immediate word on what could fire them up like that. One presumes it's one of those "emergency" meetings to get around the 48-hour notice otherwise required under the state open-meeting law.
The City Council met briefly this morning to urge Tom Menino and Firefighters Local 718 to get a room and hammer out a contract that's fair to both firefighters and taxpayers.
UPDATE: Administration to City Council: Just say no to firefighters; that would create a tidal wave of other unions demanding similar drug-testing deals. City council to administration: With all due respect, you suck. Councilor Ayanna Pressley: "There's some sort of conflicting shell game going on here."
Local firefighters union President Ed Kelly this morning offered to freeze for one year a 2.5% raise awarded by an arbitration panel in exchange for drug testing.
City councilors Mike Ross and Steve Murphy immediately congratulated Kelly for making the "significant concession."
After six hours or so of testimony and debate, the City Council adjourned tonight a without voting on the proposed contract for firefighters. The council will reconvene tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to continue testimony, but council President Mike Ross ended the session by saying councilors will vote on the matter "at a later date" (they have until mid-July to approve or deny the contract).
The fun starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2 in the council chambers on the fifth floor of City Hall. According to Council President Mike Ross, the council will not actually vote on the arbitration panel's proposed settlement until another meeting, as yet unscheduled.
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.
UPDATE: Mike Ross tweets the council WILL discuss the issue, along with an analysis of the award by an MIT managment professor brought in by the council, at today's meeting. Starts at noon in City Hall. No vote, however.
City Council President Mike Ross reports Thomas Kochan, a professor of work and employee relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management to review the 19% retroactive pay increase an arbitration panel recently agreed to give firefighters.
In a letter to Mayor Menino, Ross writes Kochan has already found "a number of differences in the estimates and methodologies used to arrive at them."
Rick Nohl was on scene when Marines used one of their vehicles to pull Engine 37 out of the mud at Moakley Park on Saturday.
We'll find out Wednesday, when the council considers a 19% retroactive raise for Boston firefighters awarded by an arbitration panel - the council has the power to reject the award.
This just in from at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley:
But firefighters will have to pee into cups at random intervals, the Globe reports, noting the amount is far higher than anything other city unions are getting.
Spotted on Winter Street outside the Corner on Tuesday.
Local 718 provides the tally for the Boston Fire Department between 8 a.m. on March 13 and 8 a.m. on March 16: 1,218 calls, including 8 fires (two of them multiple alarms).
UPDATE: Shortly before midnight, he tweeted: There are an awful lot of homes around here without heat, hot water and electricity."
One of the firefighters who mans Ladder 29 out of Blue Hill Avenue has been tweeting today in between runs - and it's a good thing it doesn't take long to tweet because he reports the company has been all out, responding to 20 calls as of around 9 p.m., including:
Boston Ladder 25 had to be pulled out of service last night when a car ran into it as it was racing to a minor accident at 1212 VFW Parkway around 11:40 p.m., Wednesday.
Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the driver of the car was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. No firefighters were hurt, but the collision damaged one of the hydraulic jacks used to lift the ladder, so it had to be replaced with a spare truck until repairs can be completed. He said the truck's emergency lights and sirens were on as it rushed to the first accident.