Posts Tagged International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790

Carpentersville avoids firefighter layoffs

The Courier-News has an article about Carpentersville saving firefighters from layoffs.

The jobs of two Carpentersville firefighters that were destined for the chopping block have been saved thanks to a compromise between village officials and the union representing the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790.

Due to the village’s budget deficit of about $400,000, Carpentersville officials said cutting the two full-time firefighters as well as three civilian employees was necessary. Four part-time vacancies in various departments are also being eliminated.

After members of the union learned the fate of the firefighters, they began negotiating with the village to help keep the jobs while still addressing the village’s budget woes.

Village officials said in a press release the negotiations resulted in an agreement that modifies work schedules and identifies “swing shift” employees who will not be assigned to regular duty shifts — a 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off duty — but will work shifts to fill vacancies created by other employees’ vacations and authorized time off. Officials said the agreement removes the need to pay overtime to firefighters who traditionally filled those vacancies, thus generating an annual overtime savings of $85,000.

Carpentersville Village Manager Mark Rooney said cutting personnel or services to address budget deficits “is always a last resort.” Rooney said if the swing shift schedule works as expected no full-time firefighters will be laid off for the duration of the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires in 2016.

In turn, the union has decided to withdraw a grievance it filed last month, which disputed the village’s decision to lay off two full-time firefighters.

The agreement comes as a relief to Lt. Rick Nieves, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790. “We used to have 13 firefighters on every day and now we’re down to 10 on certain days,” he said. “So we still have some work to do with the village. But for now we’re here and we’ll deal with it.”

… in 2010 the village had 207 full-time employees. As a result of reorganization, layoffs and not filling open positions, currently there are 175. Personnel and labor costs account for about 70 percent of the village’s overall costs, according to Rooney.

thanks Dan

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Layoffs coming to Carpentersville (update)

The Daily Herald has an article about a delay in laying off fire firefighters in Carpentersville:

Carpentersville has delayed the planned layoffs of two full-time firefighters while union officials discuss cuts they can make to save those jobs, Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said Friday.

“I’m very optimistic that the firefighters union will help us find a solution to avoid the layoffs,” Rooney said. This action comes after the union met with Rooney on Wednesday to discuss the pending layoffs of the firefighters who were originally going to be let go March 28. There are 32 full-time firefighters, and the two at risk of losing their jobs have the least seniority.

Rather than work with a specific dollar amount, the union will instead make cuts from its recent contract and present the proposed savings to Rooney. The village board has final say and will vote on the new fiscal year budget April 1.

The extension gives the union time to consider what cutbacks it can take. Three years ago during contract negotiations, the union agreed to several concessions so the village would not lay off three firefighters. The concessions included reduced holiday pay, no salary increase during the first year of the contract and a reduction in overtime pay.

The union last fall agreed to another employment deal, which is what’s being reviewed.

“We are actively discussing our options with our members,” said Lt. Rick Nieves, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790. “We are happy to see the village extend the timeline.”

Last month, Rooney announced staff cuts of the two firefighters and three other village employees to help plug a projected $429,000 deficit. Rooney said similar negotiations are also afoot with the union that represents the other three employees.

In the aftermath, firefighter Chris Scholl, a Carpentersville resident, publicly questioned whether the village is really in a financial bind and created an online petition to oust Rooney over what he calls his “poor management of village affairs.”

As of Friday afternoon, 114 people had signed the petition. Scholl said most of them have family members working in the village or are firefighters elsewhere.

thanks Dan

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Layoffs coming to Carpentersville

The Daily Herald has an article about a budget shortfall in Carpentersville and subsequent layoffs:

Carpentersville officials have announced villagewide layoffs and other cost-cutting measures to help plug a projected $400,000 deficit.

The village intends to lay off two full-time firefighters, a part-time records clerk in the police department, a community service officer and a part-time ambulance billing clerk in the fire department, Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said Thursday.

“At this time, this is all that I foresee,” Rooney said of the layoffs, adding that things could change depending on the state’s financial situation and declining sales tax revenues in the village. Carpentersville officials have not laid anyone off since 2011.

There is a chance the village could hire the two firefighters back, depending on the outcome of a federal grant for four additional firefighters. The village is amending its application by asking for two extra firefighters and money to keep the other two, Rooney said. Moreover, the union that represents the firefighters will fight to keep them employed, said Lt. Rick Nieves, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790.

In addition to the layoffs, the village will not fill three part-time positions in the finance, IT and fire departments, Rooney said.

Two code enforcement officers in the community development department will be cross trained for two community service officer positions and do both jobs as a hybrid, Public Safety Director Al Popp said.

The two firefighters have eight years of combined service and are the least senior of the 32 in the department, Nieves said. Their last scheduled day is March 28.

The village expects to save between $235,000 and $245,000 with these moves and more money in subsequent years, Rooney said. Declining property values, the economy and increasing costs of union contracts are the reasons Carpentersville finds itself having to cut staff, Rooney said. The pending layoffs in the fire department come almost two months after the village and its full-time firefighters settled a contract dispute that primarily focused on staffing levels at the three stations.

If the union is unsuccessful at retaining those two employees, there would be 30 full-time firefighters and 28 part-timers in Carpentersville. “They claim that there’s a budget shortfall and we’re meeting with them again the seventh (of March) to look at the issues, like how this is going to actually affect the fire department,” Nieves said. “We’re very surprised (about the layoffs) after the recent (contract) issues we’ve had with them. We didn’t see this coming.” Rooney said the union had two chances during negotiations to save the firefighters on the verge of being let go, but instead chose to “protect the lieutenants’ pay and hours over protecting their two junior members.”

Nieves said he thought the language in the contract was already enough to protect the two firefighters.

Rooney said the layoffs will have no impact on the community’s safety, pointing to the current complement of fire personnel, mutual aid and the village’s capacity to use as many part-timers as they see fit.

thanks Dan

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Carpentersville Firefighters Help Local Families

The Daily Herald has an article HERE about firefighters in Carpentersville who worked together to provide Christmas gifts for two low-income families in their district.

“To me, this Christmas, they are saviors,” said one of the mothers

“If it weren’t for them, my kids would not have gotten a Christmas, I’m very, very thankful.” the other said

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