Peoria City Council and Local 50 Fire Union ‘in discussions’ about unfair labor practices, keeping fire engine

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Firefighters representing Local 50 Fire Union met with Peoria City Council Thursday and Friday morning to discuss a possible settlement regarding unfair labor practices in exchange for keeping one engine open.

Local 50 President Ryan Brady said union members are prepared and hopeful to sit down with city leadership by next week.

“We would be willing to drop the unfair labor practice in the event one fire engine is maintained going into next year,” Brady said.

Brady said he doesn’t know which engine would be maintained and argued the fire union having input on which station closes would be contrary to what they’re trying to do. That’s a question for the chief.

Engine 4 is still set to close Oct. 1 while Engine 20 has a little more leeway.

Brady said next week, the union and the city council are “not really meeting to sign any proposal,” saying said both sides are in the same ballpark, but they still have a few things to figure out first.

He said the union wants to keep at least one of the engines open until they reach an agreement.

He said, “This in no way shape or form is tied to the motion that Councilman Grayeb made on the floor publicly last Tuesday night.”

Brady said the unfair labor practice started in May 2018 and discussions have been ongoing at the very least for 12 months starting back in April 2019.

In a statement sent to WMBD, Peoria City Council members confirmed they are in talks with the fire union.

Since April, the city and Local 50 have been discussing the negative budget impacts of COVID-19 on the fire department and the number of machines in service.  On Sept. 1, the city council voted to decommission two machines. Since then, Local 50 and city administration have been bargaining over the impact and implementation of the reduction of two machines.  In an effort to address the impact of that decommissioning and to settle an unfair labor practice filed by the union, Local 50 presented the city with a proposal to restore machines back into service.  Local 50 voted to settle the unfair labor practice if the city would restore one machine into service, at least through March 31, 2021.  The resolution of this matter will be presented to the city council at a date to be determined.  

Peoria City Council

Both parties will meet next week to continue those discussions.

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