Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pants On Fire?

Here's the story - The Firefighters union, who were in good graces with the Mayor of Kingston for delaying their raises are now in a slight conflict with their former buddy. They filed a grievance claiming that the city must fill three positions left vacant when three firefighters retired last year through a retirement incentive program.

Sottile filed a lawsuit last year to prevent the Kingston Firefighters Association Local 461 from seeking arbitration on the grievance. Problem is that the Firefighters are following exactly what the contract - that Sotille agreed to and signed - says.

Seems like Sottile has a slight habit of agreeing to things and then renegging on them later - that's not how it works in big boy land.

A state Supreme Court judge has ruled that the union has the right seek arbitration on whether Mayor James Sottile must fill three firefighter positions left vacant. Once again and to be clear, the contract that Sottile agreed to says the union has a right to bring the matter to arbitration.

Sottile said Wednesday the city has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court Appellate Division. Talk about wasting the taxpayers money!

The mayor said he will not fill the positions until the matter is decided through the court system. That is fine - that is what he should do - that is his right.

But then he says:
“I am not going to do it. The city of Kingston is not in the position to ... hire firefighters. You have to be able to have the right to manage and when you take control out of management’s hands, that is not a healthy organization.”

The decision said the union has the RIGHT TO ARBITRATE - not that they are correct in saying the three new firefighters need to be hired.

On a more stable note, Tom Tiano, President of the Firefighters said the decision was a victory for the union, but it did not settle the matter of whether the three positions would be filled. See? Tom understands

“We are very pleased that the judge has ruled in our favor,” Tiano said.

Tiano said that the contract is clear that when there is a grievance it must be resolved by an arbitrator. He also said it is clear in the contract, which was approved by the Common Council and endorsed by Sottile, that firefighters must be replaced.

“We are willing to abide by an (arbitrator’s) decision, and it seems to me that the city should honor the same thing,” Tiano said.

Sottile said if some ruling does wind up directing the city to hire back the firefighters there will be consequences.

Probably said while stamping up and down in his City of Kingston Taxpayer paid boots.

“Either raise taxes or lay people off,” Sottile said. Hey Jimmy, try that in the overloaded front office once in awhile.

Tiano said the union was “disappointed” to hear such comments from the mayor.

Looks like yet another honeymoon is over and Sottile has another union President is fight with. Point is, boths sides need to abide by what is right and what they agreed upon - no matter how that comes out.

Like we have said in the past - vote for the person not the party - ya hear us Democrats?


Anonymous said...

This union is totally our of control and the Mayor just keeps bending over for them. Lay them off.

Jeremiah said...

This seems like such a waste of time to take to court.

If the contract says go to arbitration, then just go there. Filing a lawsuit does nothing but waste time and money. The mayor has a better chance getting an arbitrator ruling in the city's favor then he ever would trying to fight a black and white contractual issue in court.

And besides even if the arbitrator rules that the city must hire, then the city still has the right to manage and lay off those new hires. I know someone that happened to in another city, even the state did it back in the 90's. Imagine being hired, sworn in and given a layoff slip in the same day. It happens.

This is just a waste of time that could have been used more productively.

Anonymous said...

As a City of Kingston Democratic Committee member I'll be very happy to show Jimmy the door next year.

It's time to end the maddness!!

Anonymous said...

Vote for Cahill in 2011!!!

Anonymous said...

Geessshh!! enough is enough!!Get that boob out of the Mayor's office. what a royal screw up. Also take his attorney with him. Bye bye!!

Anonymous said...

There is only one thing worse than being a dunce---and that is adding hopeless levels of arrogance an ddisrespect to your duncehood.
Thanks, Jimmy, for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Just getting Sottile out of office is not the only answer, we have to make sure he take Noble, Reynolds,Hoffay, Senior and Landi with him or it will be more of the same just with a different leader.

Anonymous said...

Please get Hoffay out of there!! His way of representing is to wet his finger and stick it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Once Hoffay is out I believe he will be a lesser influence on Reynolds. As to Landi, he is just out there hanging by the skin of his knuckles. Get Noble alone and he will show he has a mind that can separate himself from the Mayor's policies.(Sometimes) Besides, Noble is the only one whose salary does not come from UC or a NYS agency(except for council pay). As he is a person in the private sector, I am hoping he will show more gumption in the coming months. Yet at times, I get the feeling that Noble is tired of the whole process.