Breaking: Providence May Soon Be Burning

ubh51wui This has been going on for years and years now, but now we’re getting e-mail propaganda from the city about it. If you missed the Special Edition of Providence City News that just came out, here’s some highlights:

City Continues to Seek Major Reform from IAFF Local 799

The five-year effort by the City of Providence to bring reform to its contract with IAFF Local 799 has again been in the news. Local 799 recently inserted the issue into the Presidential primary campaign, reminding residents that the union has blocked reform for five years.

Pay to individual Local 799 members is three times the average for Providence families. Last year, 220 members of Local 799 were paid over $100,000. The median income for a family in Providence was $32,058 according to the latest census.

Nine out of ten members are not Providence taxpayers. Providence residents pay the high costs of the contract in property taxes, but only about 10% of Local 799 members live in the City of Providence.

Local 799 is the only City union with no co-share for Health Care. The City of Providence has contracts with seven different unions. Only Local 799 has refused to agree to a co-share of their health benefits, despite the cost to Providence taxpayers.

Overtime costs are excessive and unnecessary. City residents paid $660,000 in overtime to staff a rescue truck that would have cost no overtime except that provisions in the contract prevent the Chief from assigning personnel efficiently.

Providence residents have the most expensive fire service in the United States. The average American pays $104 per year. The average Rhode Islander pays $231 per year. Providence pays $374 per resident per year.

4 thoughts on “Breaking: Providence May Soon Be Burning”

  1. Paul Doughty

    Some facts:

    Many firefighters did earn over $100,000 – because their pay included $20,000 – 30,000 in retroactive pay. Until April of 2006, firefighters had not received a pay raise since the turn of the century.

    State law prohibits any municipality from requiring residency.

    Providence Firefighters have repeatedly and publicly offered to pay a weekly co-share for healthcare benefits – as part of a negotiated up-to-date collective bargaining agreement.

    Overtime has – and continues to be – a budget strategy employed by the Cicilline administration as noted by Director of Administration Simmons and former Fire Chief Costa in on-the-record comments before the finance committee as well as numerous news reports.

    As to the expense of fire protection, I have not seen the data or reviewed the methodology; anecdotally, I can state that Providence Firefighters’ salaries are no where near the top of any chart for like cities.

    Paul A. Doughty

  2. Ethan (the other one)

    Better get me a new name. This FF union makes the other unions rational by comparison.

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