In a Buffalo News article, management issues and manpower are front and center. The Mayor of Buffalo demoted Fire Commissioner Michael S. Lombardo earlier this year, blaming high overtime as one reason why he opted to find someone else to head the department. There has been an ongoing dispute about overtime and a connection to increased sick time use.
The BFD Management claims manpower is the cause and some believe it could also be related to "Pension Padding". Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating the possible connections in a number of NY Departments.
Officials hope that the 22 new hires will help ease the sky rocketing overtime of the past few years. As of the fiscal year that ended last June, the city shattered a record paying $9.4 million for overtime in firehouses. In the current fiscal year, overtime costs are hovering around $7.6 million.
The Mayor and the Fire Departments Union are in the process of trying to negotiate a new contract. FF's have worked several years without a completed contract.
The Mayor named a new Commissioner and a Deputy saying the Department needs new direction. FF's who conyinue to provide uninterupted services are hopeful and more than willing to help negotiate a fair contract.
To read the entire article click here
Another related article: Overtime really adds up for city police, firemen
Ecerpt from the above linked article:
Last year, thanks in part to overtime, more than 100 police and firefighters earned more than $100,000. Among them is a police officer who made almost $190,000 and a firefighter who earned more than $174,000. Both received more than $100,000 in overtime.
This in a city the U.S. Census Bureau says is the second poorest in the nation.