Mayor Daryl Finizio announced today that 25 layoff notices issued to personnel and set to go into effect at 5:30 a.m. this morning will be rescinded for two weeks.
The suspension of the layoff notices will be extended until 5:30 a.m. on July 17. The action comes a day after a vote to approve an agreement with the firefighters’ union . Finizio said the delay will allow the council to again reconsider the agreement at its July 16 meeting.
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“While the council is currently deadlocked on ratifying this agreement, members of the council who have initially opposed the agreement have indicated that they may change their vote if they gain a better understanding of the proposed agreement,” Finizio said. “In the coming two weeks, the city administration is fully available, as we have been in the past, for members of the council to meet at length with administrative staff and/or to submit questions to the administrative staff. I am confident if the councilors avail themselves of this opportunity that there will be no confusion as to the details of this agreement when the council next meets on July 16.”
Rocco Basilica, president of New London Firefighters Local 1522, said on Monday that the agreement includes a number of concessions by the union in order to establish a pension plan and avoid the layoffs, which were . Basilica said the concessions include reducing the staffing level per shift from 18 to 16 and giving up two raises of 2.25 percent in July and 2 percent in January.
Councilors opposed to the agreement said they had not had adequate time to review the details. Councilor John Maynard said he also felt that it would be too expensive to the city to start the department on the Municipal Employees Retirement Fund, saying it would represent a $4 million cost bonded over 30 years. The council had an even number of voters because Council President Michael Passero, a firefighter, recuses himself on issues related to the fire department.
Finizio stood by the proposal.
“The tentative agreement creates substantial savings for the city, avoids all layoffs, and enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of the New London Fire Department” he said. “The administration continues to fully support this agreement and we are pleased this agreement has been strongly supported by the fire union as well.”