Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Scranton Mayor Doherty lays-off Police and Firefighters

09.26.11

SEPTEMBER 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Scranton Mayor Doherty lays-off Police and Firefighters

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 3rdt- The Department of Labor (DOL) Rapid Response Team, a group of people affiliated with community organizations that help recent unemployed workers learn about programs available to help them adjust to the job loss such as learning to file for unemployment benefits, and job training, met with the employees laid-off by the City of Scranton.

The meeting was held at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 building on the O’Neill Highway in Dunmore Borough.

On July 29th, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty announced the city will lay-off 13 police officers, which are members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 2, and 8 firefighters, which are members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Union Local 60.

Scranton will have 135 police officers and 129 firefighters. Because of the lay-offs, firehouses within the city will be out-of-service, meaning each day as many as three fire-houses could be closed.

David Gervasi, President of Local 60 told the newspaper because of the lay-offs on September 2nd three Scranton fire-houses were closed. “Four of the ten companies in the city were out-of-service,” Mr. Gervasi stated.

Because of the shorage of personel, firehouses in East Scranton, Petersburg and on Wyoming Avenue rear downtown Scranton were all out-of-service on September 2nd.

Mr. Gervasi said Mr. Doherty, who is currently serving his third term as Scranton Mayor, told the residents of the city he did not intend to close firehouses, but he has. “Call them brown-outs, but your neighborhood fire-house is still closed,” said Mr. Gervasi.

The DOL Rapid Response Team met with the FOP, and IAFF members on August 24th. The DOL group included William Cockerill Jr., the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Labor Liaison to the United Way of Lackawanna County and Ronald Vogel Jr., Regional Representative of the Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership, Rapid Response Coordiation Services.

Mr. Gervasi said “effects bargaining” negotiations are being held between the City and Local 60 regarding the laid-off workers. Under the IAFF contract, should the city hire any firefighters in the future, the laid-off workers will be rehire in the senority they were first hire by the city.

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