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rahm union buster

Mayor 1% continues his attack on public sector unions in Chicago with his attack now on firefighters.

CFD Truck 35 Arial Operations

Tom Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, has characterized the cost-cutting contract concessions the mayor is seeking from firefighters when their contract expires June 30 as “horrendous,” “insulting” and “ridiculous.”

Chicago firefighters “do a great job,” but they’re not “immune from the change and reform” needed to solve the city’s financial crisis and deliver “greater value” to taxpayers --- Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Fire Department: Firefighters salute as an ambulance carrying the remains of a fellow firefighter arrives at the Medical Examiners office Dec. 22 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
then the double talk and bullshit starts. It's ok for mayor 1% to use corporate media to demonize and target public sector workers but when he is seen as the villan that he is he cries foul.
“Our firefighters do a great job serving the city . . . They do hard work. We will make sure that they’re properly — not only compensated, but respected for the work that they do . . . [But] no part of the budget is immune from change and reform to get greater value for the taxpayers as well as greater service for the citizens of Chicago. . . . We’re not shying away from difficult decisions,” Emanuel said.

“You describe [the proposals] as cuts. [But] there are places that, while negotiations are private, that I would say are reforms.”

Former union president Bill Kugelman estimated that the mayor’s proposed concessions would take $7,000 a year out of the average firefighters’ pocket.


“They’re taking the pay grades down. They’re eliminating clothing allowance. Holiday pay would go only to those who work the actual day. We fought for everybody to get it. ... This is all anti-union stuff,” he said.

As for the mayor’s proposal to take the staffing level at double-houses from ten firefighters to nine, Kugelman said, “That was the main thing we went out on strike for in 1980 — for manning. And it’s proven itself” to be a safety requirement.

The Picket Line 1980 Chicago Firefighters Strike
The Picket Line 1980 Chicago Firefighters Strike
The Chicago Fire Department went on strike in 1980 for a contract. With the help of IAFF Mike Lass and J. Dale Berry they CFD negotiated it's first contract after almost 30 days on the picket line.
The Chief Grabbing the Brick
Chicago firefighters have been waiting for Emanuel to drop the other shoe ever since last fall.

That’s when the mayor made it clear he planned to take a hard line in contract talks — even though his own fire commissioner was “deathly against” closing fire houses or reducing the minimum staffing requirement on fire apparatus.

Chief Bobby Hoff CFD
Four months later, Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff abruptly resigned, leaving firefighters without a champion.

so nobody forgets what this asshole is doing to public sector workers in our city
“We protected the mayor’s personal residence from anarchists. You’d think he could at least pay us what we are owed,” police union president Mike Shields.

Rahm screws Cops after NATO

NATO Related Grievances Update

oh plus those pesky teachers
students 'got the shaft' under labor deal --Rahm Emanuel

Massive Chicago Teachers Union Rally Takes over Downtown

Union: 80 percent of teachers reject latest contract offer

Chicago Teachers Unionize Then Get Fired

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Comment Preferences

  •  Strike! (0+ / 0-)

    Let the city burn.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:51:06 PM PDT

  •  Rahm's the kind of Democrat (10+ / 0-)

    that makes me cringe at identifying myself as a Democrat.

    "The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles." Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan

    by psnyder on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:03:13 PM PDT

  •  Why did the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Mentatmark, blueoasis

    fire commissioner abruptly resign?

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Gee, I wonder what he'll do to CDOT? (3+ / 0-)

    Oh, wait...

    They're understaffed, even for the onsite consultants that Daley put in.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:22:54 PM PDT

  •  with all due respect...if I called 911 right now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nospinicus, Bush Bites

    and told the dispatcher I needed an ambulance because my wife was unresponsive and needed to go to the emergency room, an ambulance would surely show up.  So would a fire truck, with a full crew of about 5.  

    Why is that?  Is it because there's a danger my house may be on fire?'s because their contract says if an ambulance is dispatched, so must a fire crew be dispatched.  They stand around while the paramedics do their thing, and then go back to the station, and the ambulance...the only ones required...take the sick person to the hospital.

    It's all about justifying future staffing needs by pointing to the number of calls made over the past year.  Ditto with non-injury accidents here in Portland.  

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:07:57 PM PDT

    •  That happens at my building all the time. (0+ / 0-)

      Some senior falls in her apartment, an ambulance AND a fire truck shows up.

      With modern building features -- such as firewalls, sprinkler systems, etc. -- becoming standard, most of what the fire department does now is EMS.

      Check out this chart:

      Structure fires have been more than halved since the 90s, but the size of the fire department has remained the same.

      I mean, thank god we have them, but do we need as many as when the city was one giant tinder box?

      "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

      by Bush Bites on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:50:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would say no, but then I'm not the Union Pres (0+ / 0-)

        Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

        by Keith930 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Having done both FF and EMS? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When you're called, there's no flag on the 9-1-1 dispatch saying

        89 pound female, building with elevator sized appropriate to rolling stretcher.
        So your 2 or 3 man EMS crew arrives "with beef" as if you need to carry a person down 7 flights of stairs, you need more than a crew of two, as the bottom man has 70% of the weight.

        Think 400 pound shut-in, add 150 pounds of EMS gear, and tell your two medics to "suck it up" we're overstaffed and under-budgeted.

        Option 1: Call for a Engine or Ladder crew.  Patient codes in the apartment, family "settles for millions" is the headline.

        Option 2: "Suck it up".  After a year-plus of training at City expense, your prized medic goes out with a pair of herniated disks and a spinal compression fracture.  Retires @ age 28 at 3/4 pay disability.

        Option 3: Continue with the current system, as that Engine or Ladder can be made "available" as-soon as it's determined they're not needed.  Yes, they are not in the firehouse.  Yes, they may be two minutes further away from a fire in their district.  

        They may also be 2 minutes closer.

        The real question is:  Does Chicago FD staff all companies fully, or do they run some Engines and Truck companies a man or two light?  It's the justification for 6 to 8 man Heavy Rescue companies, where those Firefighters are trained in all aspects of company operations, and can step in as hosemen or laddermen upon request.

        Thus you can staff some, not all, of your Engine companies with a driver and two hosemen.  Some Truck companies with a driver, an LT, and two laddermen.  Need more help?  Drop a box for the Heavy Rescues, each of which serves multiple districts.

        Reduce three or four men per district, city-wide and you start closing that budget gap.

        Determining exposure class, time and day of the week, and appropriate staffing of companies given those conditions, helps minimize the risk to the Department, and the public.

        No real need to roll up to a vacant 20 story office building on a Saturday with "all hands".  It's insured.
        Different story @ 11 AM on a Wednesday when there's thousands of lives at stake.

  •  Hey, union people, (0+ / 0-)

    Emanuel is facing a $600 million deficit largely due  to oversized union pay and contract ineffciencies that have gone on for years.

    The mayor is trying to solve the problem by establishing fiscal sanity and the unions keep pushing for fiscal insolvency.  Check the national statistics and Chicago firefighters are among the highest paid, contribute less to their retirement and and have some of the best benefits. It's no wonder Chicago taxpayers voted for Enmanuel, it was a question of economic survival.

    •  funny then explain this magic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, marina, JeffW

      all along negotiations with transit workers has been that the agency was broke. but when it seems all the unions were turning against the mayor all of a sudden the city finds $80 million!

      After months of warnings about fare hikes and service cuts unless labor unions came up with $80 million in concessions, CTA President Forrest Claypool on Wednesday called off the threats.

      The agency, he said, has suddenly come up with the cash, mostly through "one-time savings" that will not be available in 2013.

      "I have learned not to be surprised about the CTA,'' said Javier Perez, a vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

      Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -Aristotle

      by Hyde Park Johnny on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you've worked for the City... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for at least 5 years, or maybe 27+, like I did, we'll compare notes.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scott Walker calls cuts "reforms" too. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hyde Park Johnny, blueoasis, marina, JeffW

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 01:05:21 AM PDT

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