YONKERS, NY – May 12, 2014 — Yonkers Tribune have confirmed that Yonkers Firefighters – I.A.F.F. Union Local 628 President Barry McGoey and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano have agreed to submit their contract dispute to a mutually agreed upon arbitrator who will be have the authority and power in an Interest Arbitration proceeding to impose a successor agreement to the Firefighters’ long-expired contract.
Like many other City of Yonkers (CoY) employees, the Yonkers Firefighters’ contract expired 5 years ago, on June 30, 2009, and as a result, Yonkers Firefighters have not had any raises or cost of living adjustments to their salaries since January 1, 2009. Former Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone refused to settle the expired labor agreements during his last two-years in office, opting instead to saddle his successor, current Mayor Mike Spano with the burden and responsibility to negotiate new contracts with the CoY’s workforce.
Upon winning the mayoral election process Mayor Mike Spano was quick to attack the Yonkers Firefighters. It seemed then, and continues to this day that Mayor Mike Spano’s was hell bent on damaging the Yonkers Firefighters’ reputation and standing among Yonkersites in an effort to gain an advantage at the bargaining table. Mayor Mike Spano undoubtedly knew that Local 628 had historically led the way in contract negotiations with past mayors and almost every other union in CoY had historically lined up after the Firefighters and agreed to almost identical terms to those the Firefighters negotiated. Mayor Mike Spano’s plan did not work; indeed it backfired on him. I.A.F.F-Local 628 President Barry McGoey refused to submit under the onslaught made against him and the Yonkers Firefighters who he represented. Instead, McGoey fought back, winning countless battles in court, in arbitrations and probably more importantly in the court of public opinion.
Although he wouldn’t orally confirm or comment for this story, I.A.F.F. – Local 628 President Barry McGoey has repeatedly stated that he would never betray the trust bestowed upon him by his membership and that he could not in good conscience agree to some of the egregious and detrimental changes City Hall was seeking to make to several contractual provisions, especially to GML 207a which applies to sick and disabled Firefighters.
Sources close to McGoey state he is extremely pleased with the arbitrator selected as the “neutral” panel member for Interest Arbitration and that McGoey believes the arbitrator will recognize the dangerous work that Yonkers Firefighters perform and will not make the monumental changes to GML 207a that Mayor Mike Spano has attempted to impose as a condition of settling the contract.
It is understood that I.A.F.F. – Local 628 and CoY have agreed to appear before the arbitrator as early as the week of June 1, 2014, and will continue to do so during the summer months, until an agreement is ironed out or an Interest Arbitration Award is handed down.