ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A dramatic moment Thursday in Rochester during the middle of a firefighter union meeting with community groups.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren walked in and handed the union leader a plan to end the controversial dynamic staffing program, but the union leader, Eddie Santiago, rejected the proposal, saying that mayor’s plan includes using union funds unlawfully.
The Rochester firefighters union released a statement following the meeting:
“Mayor Warren’s proposal on Dynamic Staffing was misdirected to the Rochester Firefighters, Local 1071 union, which has no control over Two Percent funds. The Mayor’s proposal has been shared with the Two Percent Committee and its legal counsel. Attorney Glenn Pezzulo, who has handled this litigation since its inception, has reconfirmed the fact that the use of the Two Percent Fund in the manner proposed by the Mayor would be illegal and a violation of Insurance Law Sections 9104 and 9105 and more importantly, the decision of Supreme Court Justice Thomas Stander which was incorporated into the Settlement Agreement and signed by the City on August 7, 2012.”
Here’s what Mayor Warren’s proposal looked like:
The proposal had two parts, including relocating four firefighters from their current position in the protective unit back to active duty firefighters, and moving $500,000 out of the Two Percent Fund to the city’s 2019-2020 capital budget.
As seen above, the mayor has already signed this discontinuance agreement and challenged the union to do the same — at which point they declined.
Union officials say the use of money from the Two Percent Fund is illegal, and that dynamic staffing is an issue of public safety — not money.
Representatives with multiple homeowner associations were also at the press conference and they said they stand by the union in their decision to not sign the agreement.
Mayor Warren left the meeting to meet with a burn victim who is also asking for an end to dynamic staffing.