San Jose Firefighters Turn in Their Gear

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) — A dozen San Jose fire fighters turned in their gear for good Friday after coming off their final shift.

By the end of the weekend, 49 firefighters will have lost their jobs to city budget cuts, dashing their aspirations and exposing residents to longer response times.

“This isn’t just a job, this is a career. For many of us, it’s been a dream,” said rookie firefighter Michael Hidalgo, who said he worked five years to land a job there. Click here to listen.

The San Jose Fire Department is grappling with what’s now become a familiar combination of budget cuts and a contract stalemate.

The loss of so many firefighters means longer response times on emergency calls, with potentially deadly consequences, said union chief Randy Sekaney.

Backfilling, he said, “is not going to even begin to fill the service reduction gap that’s created by the loss of these four engines and this fire truck.”

Mayor Chuck Reed said there was still a chance to undo the cuts if the firefighters agree to concessions similar to those sought from San Jose’s other public employee unions.

“If the agreement is reached next week or next month, we could reinstate them, put them back on the job,” he said.

Reed asked the other unions for ten percent pay cuts to help deal with the budget shortfall. The firefighters did agree to some of the concessions, but Reed said another $6 million in givebacks is needed to balance the budget.

Both parties are likely to agree to binding arbitration that would begin in November.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Citizen says:

    This is f@##@%^&* absurd!! We are the most understaffed FD per capita in California, and yet we lay off heros. We should be laying off indefinately the majority of bureaucrats that came up with this peabrain idea. Save the heros not the zeros!!!!!

    1. GRJ says:

      YES, AND WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, THE SISSY PRIVATE SECTOR BANKERS TURN TO THE TRAINED GOVERNMENT DISASTER WORKERS TO KEEP THE PEACE. PRIVATE SECTOR BANKERS RUN LIKE SISSYS WITH THEIR CASH, WHILE WE PICK CLEAN THINGS UP . THATS A FACT.

  2. jenny says:

    Whay the heck…… what’s going on with Arnold…. out of his mind????

  3. Farmer Joe says:

    imo all county/city employees need to pitch in and help pay for your health benefits as well as other concessions. But since you wont stop crying about ur brother in arms getting laid off.

  4. Mon says:

    And the Moonshiners that pay no tax on the unregulated drug sales will pay a lawyer to sue for loss of property…
    NO TAXATION should = NO REPRESENTATION…
    PAY YOUR WAY…
    Hawai can wait…

  5. Mrs. Kramer says:

    Are you aware of the pork in the CA Redevelopment Agencies that divert tax dollars from being able to pay teachers and firefighters? Governor Brown wants to do away with them. But they are promising they will be good IF they can keep getting tax dollars.

    Search “Governor Brown Redvelopment Agencies” to see much fraud, waste and corruption that takes money from the firefighters’ coffers.

    http://www.sco.ca.gov/Press-Releases/2011/03-2011_RDA_Review.pdf

    If you want to see some real corruption, check out what is going on with the Administrative Offices of our Judicial Branch. They have spent $5ooM on a computer system that does not work and want to spend $1.5B more…while firefighters are being asked to take pay cuts.
    search “judicial council watcher”

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