Arbitrator: Ogdensburg owes firefighters $520K in back pay

Ogdensburg Fire Department
Ogdensburg Fire Department(WWNY)
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 5:42 AM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - An outside arbitrator says Ogdensburg must pay its firefighters half-a-million dollars in back pay.

The firefighters’ union, IAFF Local 1799, announced the ruling in a press release Tuesday.

The arbitrator says the city owes almost $520,000 dollars for the last 17 months.

It has to do with the number of firefighters working on a shift. The union’s contract says five people must be working at all times. The city staffed fewer than that.

Union president Jason Bouchard said in a statement, “The award by the arbitrator validates the union position that city officials failed to honor the terms of its legally binding contract each time it failed to have five firefighters on duty. In fact, the arbitrator’s award clearly indicates that this was neither incidental nor an honest mistake.”

An estimate of the amount owed was given in December. City officials said at the time it would be difficult for the cash-strapped city to pay the award.