Ogdensburg’s fire department could see more job cuts

Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - There’s talk of cutting more jobs at Ogdensburg’s fire department.

The ranks have gone from 27 firefighters to 21. City Manager Stephen Jellie says the number could drop to 16.

He says a federal grant may be the key to keeping jobs for now.

But the city still wants contract concessions in exchange for keeping staffing at 20 for the long term.

The firefighters’ union says it can’t negotiate with a city that doesn’t honor contracts.

“You don’t get to selectively decide what laws you’re going to comply with and what contracts you’re going to honor. That’s just not the way it works,” said Paul Larrabee, NYS Professional Fire Fighters Association.

“The city has got to reduce expenses on the personnel side of the house to be able to return tax money to the citizens. And it’s desperately needed. And to put money in the areas of the city that we have ignored for years,” said Jellie.

The city won a court victory recently ratifying its right to cut jobs. The union is appealing.

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