Middletown firefighters reject tentative agreement, 11 to be laid off
The Middletown Firefighters union IAFF Local 336 decided to reject the City of Middletown's tentative agreement that would have saved the department nearly a dozen jobs.
According to IAAF Local 336, the firefighters didn't like many of the features in the city's proposal that left thousands of residents without adequate fire and EMS protection and therefore, couldn't accept the plan.
On the other hand, City Manager Doug Adkins says the city tried to work with the union by removing the "first emergency first" model that the union opposed.
"The proposal saved 11 firefighter jobs, added back four unfilled positions, and allowed the City to stay with the preferred operational profile," said Adkins. "To actively vote to eliminate 15 of your own positions, to reduce public safety personnel available to protect the public, and to guarantee the operational profile that the union stated was the sticking point in negotiations makes no sense to me."
But the union says that the recent public safety levy is now misleading to residents. According to Local 336, the tentative agreement called for significant increases in response times and gave concern for the availability of Middletown firefighters to even respond at all.
The union also says that regardless of whether or not they accepted the city's plan, the staffing level is still going to be rationed to a level that is insufficient to provide safe and adequate fire and EMS services to the city of Middletown.
The lay offs are set to become effective on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.