Instead of sending DISABLED Yonkers Firefighters Christmas Cards this year, Mayor Spano sent them a letter telling them that he was going to be reducing their monthly benefits by hundreds of dollars a month.
Many of the Firefighters who received the notices are suffering from disabling injuries and illnesses including Stage 4 cancer, serious burns, and 9/11 illnesses, along with crippling injures to their legs, backs and various other body parts.
These Firefighters and Fire Officers have been found to be fully disabled due to job-related injuries by BOTH the City of Yonkers and the State of New York.
Despite Mayor Spano trying to make nefarious accusations that there may have been some impropriety or illegality in the granting of these benefits, the record will show that these benefits have been legally and justly paid for over 30 years with the full knowledge and consent of the City of Yonkers. In fact, this same very issue was litigated in the NYS Supreme Court which found the payments to be proper and justified.
The City’s outside legal counsel on this issue are upstate New York attorneys who have made a fortune off of trying to deny disability benefits to police officers and firefighters throughout the State. It appears the City’s Inspector General fully relied upon the opinion of this “outside” legal counsel and never gave the Firefighters Union’s counsel an opportunity to be heard and present him with various legal opinions and decisions and other evidence to support the Firefighters’ legal position. Regardless, we intend to challenge the legality of this outrageous action taken against our DISABLED Firefighters by the City of Yonkers and we will present ALL of the evidence in Court.
We are confident we will prevail on behalf of our DISABLED Firefighters and those Yonkers Firefighters who, God forbid, may become disabled tonight, tomorrow or any time in the future trying to save the lives and property of the citizens of Yonkers.
This Christmas may not be so Merry for these DISABLED Firefighters but Local 628 will do whatever we can to to overturn this action by the City and to bring as much joy and comfort to these DISABLED Firefighters.
Yonkers Fire Department
I.A.F.F. – Local 628 President