The union correctly says that the city is required to replace the three firefighters who retired last year. Sottile has said he offered retirement incentives and wanted to save money by leaving the positions unfilled. The union filed a grievance in response.
Sottile filed a lawsuit to prevent the grievance from going to arbitration even though the contract clearly states that they should do so in the event of a dispute.
Last week, a state Supreme Court judge ruled the firefighters had a right to bring the matter to arbitration. Sottile is appealing that ruling.
Sottile is pulling the old bait and switch now and trying to shift the "problem" to lawmakers who have suggested the Mayor does not have a solid court case in the position he has taken refusing to abide by the contract - THAT HE SIGNED.
Alderwoman Jennifer Fuentes of Ward 5 and Common Council Majority Leader Bill Reynolds, D-Ward 7, already have suggested Sottile's case is weak. They both realize and agree that according to the contract authorized by the previous Common Council and signed by the mayor, the Firefighters have every right to seek arbitration.
“Unfortunately, some of our employees in the police and fire departments don’t recognize the seriousness of the economic (situation) that we in the Northeast and the entire country are in,” Alderman Charles Landi said.
Alderwoman Andi Turco-Levin, R-Ward 1, who took office this year, said the latest contracts were negotiated during a time when an economic crisis was looming and she feels that not "enough consideration was given to these issues when contracts were negotiated back in 2007".
Sottile's e-mail demanded that those who think the city should give up its court case give clear ideas on how to pay to fill the three positions.
Sottile wrote, “I am being advised by some members of the council not to appeal the decision and hire three firefighters immediately. I am asking those of you who feel that these positions should be filled please give me some suggestions on how we can pay to fill these positions from the current budget.
“I would be happy to review your suggestions to see if this can be accomplished.”
Here are a couple good, solid ideas: cut some of the fat you have in that front office in your "economic development" department - who haven't economically developed shit but a drug store in 10 years or created any meaningful jobs for our residents and ax a few of the other do nothings you have wearing ties and suits and hire the three Firemen - just like YOU agreed to do when you negotiated the contract. At least they will actually do some work for their taxpayer paychecks.
If you don't like that one - fire whatever attorney you wasted our money on who helped you negotiate that contract. Don't blame the Fireman who came to that table in good faith.
Or better yet "Mayor" .....offer to cut your pay to make up for not thinking ahead or negotiating a better contract with better language in regard to retirement incentives.
Try this in the future Jimmy - think ahead for once and really do your job - and include that flip flopping Landi in this - Blaming the unions for everything when it's you two that constantly screw up is making you both look like asses every time you open your mouths.