Firefighters union plans legal action against York

The budget cut proposal is not sitting well with everyone, especially not the firefighters union who plan on taking legal action against the city for what they say is a breach of contract.

“One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is call the four members getting laid off and tell them they are getting laid off because they were young families,” union president Fred DeSantis said.

Of the 75 city jobs that could be cut, 46 are police officers and eight are in the fire department.

“It’s going to be a lot of stress because you don’t have as much time to rest,” DeSantis said.

He says less firefighters means more overtime. Their 42 hour work week would have to expand to 56 hours per week per firefighter.

“The things they are implementing are breaking the contract and there will be grievances and unfair labor practices.”

The layoffs are a result of a lack of money. Mayor Kim Bracey calls the impending lawsuit that will force the city to spend more money they don’t have disappointing.

“To know we may face more legal cost and for them to be OK with that it’s not quite the teamwork I was hoping for,” Bracey said.

Hoping for a better outcome are the workers at the employment facility in York, Crispus Attucks.

“It’s never a good time when people are put out of work but especially now,” said Michael Jefferson.

They are already struggling to find people local work and worry about the negative effect the proposed layoffs will add.

“You really have a trickle down effect for the people we have to serve, the city works getting laid off might have higher skill levels and be more acceptable to employers so they will push those people even further down on the totem pole,” Jefferson said.

City council will hold hearings on the proposed budget cuts in December.

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