City of Ogdensburg floats new offer for firefighters union, union says “no”

Ogdensburg Fire Department
Ogdensburg Fire Department(WWNY)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - The union representing Ogdensburg firefighters says it won’t entertain the latest contract proposal from City Manager Stephen Jellie.

Jellie is asking for the fire union to make concessions in the way members receive hazard pay in exchange for reinstating a laid off firefighter.

The firefighter’s contract contains a clause that pays firefighters an extra three dollars an hour when a shift is assigned fewer than six members.  Members get additional pay for every subsequent reduction.

Right now, the department is staffed with four or five fighters per shift, meaning all firefighters are receiving the hazard pay.

Jellie says the current hazard pay clause is “fleecing the residents of the City of Ogdensburg.”  He’s proposing a new clause that would only kick in if a shift had fewer than four firefighters assigned.

Jellie says his offer will remain on the table for five business days.

“We sincerely encourage President Jason Bouchard to meet with us and work out a solution,” Jellie wrote in a email Friday.

In a statement, firefighter union President Jason Bouchard called the offer “hollow,” saying the union doesn’t want to participate in “unnecessary discussions” and fight about it in the media.  The union has a contract in place that expires at the end of 2025.

“He (Jellie) has repeatedly acted illegally with respect to an existing multi-year contract, and has declined to honor or respect the city’s commitments,” Bouchard’s statement reads.

Ogdensburg currently has 20 firefighters on staff.

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