Town Square

Fire board to impose terms on union employees

Original post made on Apr 6, 2011

The latest resolution from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors outlines almost three years of back-and-forth contract negotiations with the firefighters union that stalled with impasse after impasse. Now it looks like the next step is imposing terms.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 10:55 AM


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

This issue continues to be distressing. In a time when other public employees are making concessions, I haven't read or heard that our firefighters are willing to help out.

Based on the quotes above from the union rep, I wonder why he believes employees should have the option of taking home $750 and opting out of the health coverage. This wouldn't happen in most businesses today. I also take issue with some other comments of being treated with disrespect. I believe our community has been supportive of public safety employees and appreciate when they show up in an emergency.

In past articles and other public information available, it does seem, however, that the pay scale for public employees, including fire and police, is out of balanced. It's time for the pendulum to swing back towards center. I have no problem with our elected officials saying enough is enough.

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Posted by advise
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I don't feel sorry for fire fighters. They have a job with security. I know many, many people who are out of work, and without benefits. The unions have to stop the politics as usual approach. Of course, safety personnel are appreciated. I also appreciate my car mechanic, my baby sitter, my children's school teachers. FF have had it so good for so long, I don't buy into this crying act.

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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

"I'm not evil. I'm just a fireman," he said with a rueful laugh.

I believe Mr. Wurdiger is incorrect in his stance. That said I would very much prefer that Ms. Brundage not editorialize in her reporting. The description of Mr. Wurdingers laugh as "rueful" is a matter of opinion....NOT reporting.

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

The only question that matters is how easy is it to hire qualified replacement firefighters at the proposed compensation level. If it is easy, the firefighters are overpaid. Otherwise, they are not.

Given unemployment rates in California in double digits, it is very hard to believe that firefighters are not considerably overpaid.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

The Fire District has more than 100 qualified applicants whenever it has a vacancy.

Clearly these people do not think that they are applying for a low pay/low benefits/poor working conditions job.

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Posted by Fire them all!
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Joe Davis is correct!

Fire all these trained, experienced firefighters!

Let's replace them with lower paid, unregulated private contractors, that submit the lowest bid!

Let's start with the ones near his house, by replacing all the firefighters that service Emerald Hills. Actually, let's save even more money and close that firehouse and consolidate down to the one on Jefferson near ECR.

We bought those trucks with big ol' red lights and nice loud fancy sirens, they can make the additional distance in a couple minutes.

Why, how many times have they ever called on Joe's block? Probably a couple times a decade. What a waste.

Maybe RWC and Woodside only need one fire house. What's a couple minutes when you never use them, anyway?

Firefighters. More evil than teachers, in my opinion. Clearly the cause of our fiscal mess. Probably caused the Wall St disaster, too.


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Fire them all! has the right idea. I would just state that replacement firefighters should be qualified and competent, and that service levels should be maintained. It is easy to see that it is possible to do so and save a considerable amount of money.