Atlantic City Firefighters Considering ‘Vote Of No Confidence’
We have learned and confirmed that an emergency executive board meeting of the Atlantic City Professional Firefighters took place (last night) on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
The agenda featured a series of highly critical issues as follows:
- Emails/OPRA Requests Being Denied
- Direct Bargaining
- Regressive Bargaining, Bad Faith
- Retaliation, Discrimination and Other Grievance Issues
- The Creation of a Committee to Explore a Vote by Ballot of "No Confidence" by the Membership of Local 198 Related to Matters Involving the Management of the ACFD
- Current Status of Contract Negotiations & Litigation
The Atlantic City Professional Firefighters have been placed under tenuous working conditions for many years now.
The staffing levels have been cut to dangerous levels. They have worked with a shortage of apparatus.
In May 2022, we blew the whistle about Ventnor and Margate fire engines that were serving Atlantic City in a manner never before seen in Atlantic City history.
We obtained a copy of an email that was sent at the time to Atlantic City Commanders.
There was a serious shortage of required apparatus due to mechanical failures.
It had become so bad at this point in time that both Ventnor and Margate apparatus were saving the day for the citizens of Atlantic City.
Atlantic City Engine 5 was running with Ventnor equipment, as seen below.
Atlantic City Engine 6 was served by Margate equipment, pictured here:
We're not done, yet.
Engine 3 was running with Engine 6.
Engine 2 was running with Engine 23.
We reached out at the time to John Varallo, President of the Atlantic City Professional Firefighters.
Varallo politely confirmed the accuracy of our report at the time and said:
"First and foremost, my members and I are extremely thankful that Margate and Ventnor have offered assistance in our time of need. There is no doubt this is an extremely serious situation, “ said Varallo.
"It’s time we put all of our heads together and correct this dangerous situation. I am confident that will happen immediately," said Varallo.
Varallo’s professional and civilized approach worked.
It's also very important to note that there were no reserve engines. This had reached the crisis stage.
We called for The City of Atlantic City to address these serious deficiencies.
We contacted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, to apprise him of this crisis situation. The Governor was very receptive and immediately moved to address the problem.
Thanks to Governor Murphy, the Atlantic City Fire Department is now receiving much-needed new apparatus.
This is a very positive development.
However, Atlantic City Professional Firefighters are facing significant challenges across the board. Hence, the reason for last night’s emergency executive board meeting.
We have obtained a copy of the wide-ranging agenda as follows:
Time will tell, however, because of the long list of significant problems currently plaguing the Atlantic City Professional Fire Department.
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