Firefighters Union Wins Approval from Commission for Promotions

This story has been updated to include comments made by Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank.

In a closed meeting Wednesday afternoon at City Hall, the Covington City Commission sided with Local 38 of the International Association of Firefighters, which had filed a grievance in which it argued that eight of its members were entitled to promotions to positions that opened after retirements last year. The city later moved to eliminate those positions, but apparently too late according to an agreement between the city and the union.

The meeting took approximately four hours, ending just before 8:00 p.m.

The city commission voted to side with Local 38 in its grievance against the city by a vote of 4-1. Mayor Sherry Carran and Commissioners Chuck Eilerman, Mildred Rains, and Michelle Williams approved while Commissioner Steve Frank cast the dissenting vote. Had a majority not sided with the union, the issue likely would have headed to arbitration.

The River City News has collected only limited details at this time and will work to update this story as soon as possible. What seems to be the case is that last September when the previous city commission approved the elimination of the positions (which were ranks of captains, lieutenant, and engineer), it had missed a 30-day deadline to do so, as negotiated between the city and the union. 

Some on the city commission agreed that because of that technicality, the city would lose in arbitration.

The cost to the city to promote eight members of the fire department to higher positions and then the ripple effect that will cause through the department will be somewhere around $80,000 annually.

Frank weighs in on Facebook

City Commissioner Steve Frank offered comments through public posts on his Facebook page:

OK, I am glad that I am impossibly rich and if Covington actually fails; that said after tonights Union Grevance ; if I was actually somehow a person who depends on the system working right; I think I would leave Covington post haste. Even the Commissioners who were appalled by Local 38 are ashamded of their vote. Even if we are behind a legal 8 ball it was worth the worst downside risk....losing another $10,000 as a worse cased to avoid losing another $100,000 plus thousand a year for years on end to the assholes. Now that Local 38 has won; why should the FOP and ASCME who I've opposed but who have been I must admit, honest and real negotiators given the financial position of Covington anything but pissed off. My last words on the subject and yes I've been doing what I do BEST....drinking....Fuck LOCAL 38 AND THE SHIP THEY RODE IN ON. LONG LIVE COVINGTON FOP AND ASCME!!!!!!!!!

(snip)

 I own everything I've said. Fuck Local 38.

Local 38 is going to pay for what happened toinight. They pissed on Covington and I'm here to see that they suffer for it.

(snip)

I do have a good heart...but I will not abide injustice. We have been electing those who have been of, by, and for Local 38 even if that rips open bleeding wounds of the FOP and ASCME. I will not aplogize and I will eventually win. Fuck Local 38.

(snip)

I am this way because I win and I am going to win. Local 38 may have won a battle but I most assure you that they will lose the war. Whither you like me or hate me...one thing anyone who has ever opposed me can tell you.... I am the wrong person to ever be on the wrong side of. Local 38 will suffer and I will enjoy inflicting the pain.

(snip)

Last version. It is OK to hate me in the morning (I will look forward to it)... apparently it is 4 to 1 OK to for Local 38 to loot your pockets. 2 wanted to give them even more money without even asking and two didn't want to risk upsetting the fucks and just rolled over. It is OK to think that I would like to bury them and if I had any extra money to extend it would be for the FOP and ASCME who have been nothing but gentlemen through all of our financial trauma. What was required to keep Covington from financial implosion apparently isn't a problem for at least 3 of the new Commissioners and your Mayor. I spit in their general direction.

(snip)

If you live in Covington; Local 38 the Firefighter's Union isn't here to help you... they are only here to pick your bones clean. Of 113 firefighters; only 8 still live in the city. We pay the rest so well that they live in Ft. Thomas, Ft Mitchell and Edgewood and other parts that protect their own families with less manpower than they insist that you be covered by. Wonder why????? I don't...

A second grievance filed by a fire captain that argued he should have been made assistant chief was unanimously rejected. Local 38 President Chris Black tells The River City News that that issue will go to binding arbitration.

This story will be updated.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: via Local 38 Facebook

Follow The River City News on Facebook and Twitter. Have a news tip or feedback? Email RCN!