San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/06/14, 8:36 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> Mayor Carey Davis broke a tie late Monday to impose new terms and conditions of employment on the city’s firefighters.

The vote implements budget cuts approved 5-2 in June, including the closure of a fire station and the elimination of so-called constant staffing. And, both the fire union president and attorney warned the decision means the union will sue.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury ruled last month that the the city could reject its existing contract with firefighters, but she rejected the city’s request to explicitly rule that they could therefore impose a contract of their choosing.

Fire union attorney Corey Glave sent an email to the mayor and council before the meeting saying that the proposed terms violate Public Employees’ Retirement Law and the city charter, and President English said he wouldn’t let that slide.

“Your firefighters put their lives on the line each and every day,” English said. “30,000 calls a year. We’re committed to the community – some for 10, 20, 30 years.”

English and others cast blame on City Manager Allen Parker, saying Parker hadn’t negotiated in good faith. Parker said he’d met every time the union was available, and had tried to meet with them more times than that.

Councilman Rikke Van Johnson was absent. Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, Councilman Fred Shorett and Councilman Jim Mulvihill voted for the imposition, while the opposition consisted of Councilmen John Valdivia, Benito Barrios and Henry Nickel.

To read entire story, click here.