City fire contract offer leaked

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Offering a rare insight to contract negotiations with Warwick Firefighters, Warwick activist Rob Cote emailed photographs from two pages of the city’s proposal to the news media and public officials, including the Warwick City Council, on Tuesday.

Cote said the two sheets of paper were mailed to him at home in an envelope without a return address. The only accompanying comments were written in a green magic marker in the margins of both sheets with the words “thanks you jerk” and “bigger jerk,” as city demands pertained to issues Cote has criticized, including the use of department apparatus to make runs to food markets and the practice of allowing firefighters to substitute shifts for one another.

According to the documents, the city is looking to limit substitutions to one change of shift per person every two months. As it is now, Cote contends that substitutions have been used in place of sick time so that fire personnel are capable of collecting sick time pay, as well as for extending vacations and even enabling firefighters to work another job.

The city would prohibit the use of all department equipment “for personal matters, to collect food or supplies or to be used in any manner that does not constitute a bona fide emergency response action.”

Why and who might have mailed the documents was the source of speculation that even had Cote questioning what was the motive of making public a process that traditionally is conducted behind closed doors. Persons familiar with negotiations, from fire chief Jim McLaughlin to city solicitor Peter Ruggiero and former local fire union president Bill Lloyd, did not return calls.

In a statement released by his office, Mayor Scott Avedisian said, “I, along with my executive staff, am aware of the portion of documents that have been anonymously sent to a Warwick resident. While the documents appear to be authentic, upon review, it has been determined that the documents in question represent an incomplete version of proposals. Based on all previous years of contract negotiations, we expect all parties to fully participate in good faith bargaining. Despite this attempt to highlight certain contract proposals, the city will not conduct any negotiations relative to the contract through media inquiries. With that said, we will continue to work in the best interest of all involved parties, with the safety and well-being of our city’s residents and taxpayers being a top priority.”

Cote saw no benefit to either the city or the union by releasing the documents.

He speculated the union might have concluded that, by releasing information on the shopping trips and substitution of shifts, that he would perceive the mayor is addressing the situation and back off.

“It’s a convoluted way of thinking,” he said.

If anything, however, Cote is turning up the heat. As a result of his complaints, the attorney general is investigating Cote’s allegations that McLaughlin knowingly destroyed or at least failed to retain records on shift substitutions as required by state record retention law. Cote initially filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, which resulted in some of their staff coming to Warwick to conduct a training workshop with department staff Tuesday on the retention of public records.

Cote accused Fire Chief James McLaughlin of “lying” to the City Council over the use of “floaters” (personnel not assigned to a specific platoon) to cover those on vacation. The chief advocated for the retention of recruits who had completed training so as to build a core of floaters and thereby reduce overtime costs.

Cote said that his examination of first quarter records found that department personnel had taken a total of 1,105 vacation days, but “not one of them was covered by straight time.” That would mean they were covered by overtime at additional cost to the city.

Beyond the issues raised by Cote, the limited documents released reflect what would be significant changes in the running of the department that could likewise reduce costs. They include:

- Elimination of clothing maintenance allowance

- Elimination for the payment of unused sick leave

- Elimination of the requirement for nine fire engine companies

- Elimination of minimum apparatus, employee staffing and officer compliments

- A 1.5 percent pay increase for each of the three years on the contract

- That effective July 1, 2018 contribute 25 percent of their health coverage costs

- That employees retiring after July 1, 2018 likewise contribute 25 percent of their retiree health insurance

Ward 5 Councilman and chair of the Council Finance Committee Ed Ladouceur said he was “surprised” by the documents.

“I will be looking very closely at all the contract (fire, police and municipal) for serious changes,” he said.

Asked how this might happen, as the council usually doesn’t become involved until the sides have agreed to a contract and are seeking council ratification, Ladouceur said the council should be involved in negotiations and that one or two members should be a part of the negotiating team.

Ladouceur refrained from commenting on specifics raised in the documents and whether, for example, he favored having retirees co-pay for health insurance.

“I’m going to hold back on that until I see a list,” he said. Nonetheless, he said, “I’ve got things of significant concern to me.”

He noted that as a private contractor he has had to adjust his prices to reflect what the market can bear, and that he feels some of the benefits granted employees in better times are no longer affordable.

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Justanidiot

eyes is an idiot an eben eyes knows that arguing in comments sections is stoopid

Friday, February 16
Daydreambeliever

What happened to the list of comments ?

Friday, February 16
Thecaptain

1/15/18

COMPLAINT

The complainant respectfully requests that the enclosed complaint pertaining to the Warwick Fire Departments records retention policies be investigated in view of certain evidence to be brought forth within the body of this complaint.

FACTS OF THE CASE

During the month of May 2016 and again in December of 2016 this complainant (Robert Cote) made certain records requests for documents which identify requests for leave under the Warwick Fire Dept. contract. These certain requests for leave fall under the provision of Section 2 page 17 of the Warwick Fire Dept. contract entitled “SUBSTITUTIONS” (SEE EXHIBIT 1). The requests to obtain these documents were made after Cote received answers to certain questions, from Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin, during the city budget hearings of 2016.

Specifically, during the budget hearings of 2016, Cote requested the criteria for “SUBSTITUTION” under the contract specifications. Cote was informed on record that the employee must obtain written permission for the request for leave, and that after the request for leave was granted, that “the information is entered into the system”.

At this time, Cote and McLaughlin had several minutes of conversation as to the type of data entered into the “system”, if that data could be printed as a document, and that Cote would request that particular document through the APRA process.

During the month of May and again December of 2016, Cote requested any and all documents relative to “SUBSTITUTION”. Cote received the answer from the Warwick Fire Dept., that no such documents exist (SEE EXHIBIT 1).

After several conversations with city council members and several months later, Cote received from certain city council members, documents that in fact did exist which pertain to, and identify, requests for leave under the provision of Section 2 page 17 of the Warwick Fire Dept. contract entitled “SUBSTITUTIONS” (SEE EXHIBIT 2) - Warwick Fire Department form 109 CHANGE OF SHIFT.

-1-

Cote then received several months of the Warwick Fire Department daily personnel sheets which contain within, two tables. The first table identifies the names of fire fighters out on leave and which also indicates those fire fighters who, under the provision of Section 2 page 17 of the Warwick Fire Dept. contract entitled “SUBSTITUTIONS”, did in fact perform what is commonly known as a “CHANGE OF SHIFT” identified on the FF On Leave table, under the column “Leave Type” as COS (SEE EXHIBIT 3).

Subsequently, during the budget hearings conducted May 31 2017, Cote again questioned Warwick Fire Chief McLaughlin as to the particulars of documentation of firefighter requests for leave under the provision of Section 2 page 17 of the Warwick Fire Dept. contract entitled “SUBSTITUTIONS”. Please copy and paste link below to hear the testimony of the chief. Scroll the time bar to 7:30 mark for his testimony.

http://www.audio.warwickri.gov/budgethearingsFY2018/warwickbudgethearings-05-31-17e.mp3

During this testimony, Cote questioned Chief McLaughlin as to why Cote was unable to get copies, or to view the completed FORM 109 CHANGE OF SHIFT DOCUMENTS. Cote was informed by Chief McLaughlin during this conversation that the Warwick Fire Department disposes of these documents. The chief re-iterates the policy of disposing documents 3 times during this conversation. Please listen to the link provided at the 9 minute mark. The chief clearly openly states that “the document with signatures is disposed of”.

Subsequent to the budget hearings, Cote received WFD attendance records indicating that 1391 requests for leave requiring form 109 to be filled out and retained, had been removed, destroyed, or discarded under the guidance of Warwick Fire Department Chief James McLaughlin. This activity is a direct violation of the State of Rhode Island Records Retention Laws, specifically Section LG2.6.4 which indicates request for leave shall be retained for the period of 4 years. (SEE EXHIBIT 4)

Attached also, is EXHIBIT 5, the breakdown of men and number of requests for leave per man during the period of July 1 2016 – May 31 2017.

In addition to the above activity of destroying and disposing of documents, the Warwick Fire Department failed to file any Certification of Records Destruction Forms as required under RIGL Title 38 (See exhibit 6), and is in violation of numerous aspects of Title 38 to include but not limited to Sections 38-1-10, 38-1-1.1, 38-1.4, and 38-3-6 (SEE EXHIBIT 6A)

-2-

Resident Cote now comes to the Secretary of State and to the Attorney General and makes the following allegations:

1. The Warwick Fire Department took deliberate steps to knowingly and willfully withhold documents requested by Cote through the APRA process which specifically addressed requests for leave.

2. The Warwick Fire Department has knowingly and willfully had a continuous pattern of destruction of documents, specifically request for leave documents, in direct violation of the State of Rhode Island Records Retention Requirements.

3. Official WFD documents indicate that on average there are 1400 requests for leave annually and as of this date, all of these requests from the past 4 years have been discarded and or destroyed, in direct violation of the State of Rhode Island Records Retention Requirements.

Resident Cote respectfully requests a complete investigation of the Warwick Fire Departments ongoing policy of destruction of records, a complete review of the protocols that are required under 38-3-6, and a levying of any and all applicable fines for violations committed on the part of certain appointed officials of the City of Warwick.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Cote

Friday, February 16
Thecaptain

After filing this complaint, and the SOS performing its due diligence, on Tuesday Feb. 13th, after reviewing the WFD records and protocol, the SOS felt it necessary to conduct a records retention training workshop for the WFD. Why would they conduct a training session if records were being kept in accordance with state law? Lets see if Warwick man and his buddies can stick to the facts.

Friday, February 16
WwkVoter

is the warwick beacon censoring (selectively deleting) these public comments now?

Friday, February 16
Notmycaptain

Seems that way. Also seems as if you know who doesn’t think we can read since he reposted the entire article for some reason. Maybe the more he replays it in his head the more it makes sense. Beats me!

Saturday, February 17
Thecaptain

Notmycaptain,

Obviously you can't read, as I did not re-post the entire article. The posting was the actual complaint submitted to the Secretary of State which resulted not only in and investigation, but also in a training program for the WFD. (obviously you don't read and/or was unable to comprehend) Thanks for making my point.

Now that we have established that you can't read, can't comprehend the concept of analysis, and keep posting opinion and not fact, go have a beer with Corrente. Two of a kind.

Saturday, February 17
Notmycaptain

Robbie, please, PLEASE, don’t talk to me about opinions of all things. I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to handle most opinions people have about you.

And trust me, I am an avid reader. If I couldn’t I would assume that Ivy League education and Master’s Degree in Organizational Management would have been a complete waste.

But, since we’re talking opions here’s mine (from someone who has no cat in this fight other than being a resident of this fine City). 1,300 + form 109s were destroyed. Big deal. From what I understand the information on those forms are put into a digital format. You then received those “digitized” print outs. You got the information requested. Granted, from following this story for a bit I’m still a bit unsure what the issue is. The forms were destroyed, you received the info anyway, the department will be trained on record retention, the forms won’t be destroyed again, end of story. In my point of view this is a colossal waste of everyone’s time.

If Jim covers a shift for Ted then Ted owes a shift to Jim. It’s a wash. Having owned multiple businesses in multiple states, I find it extremely hard to believe that Jim wakes up sick in the morning and calls Ted ( who just so happens to be waiting by his phone with no other plans, work, commitments that day) to cover his shift rather than using a sick day. You know why I find that hard to believe? Because I live in the real world. I don’t live in a fantasy world where I expect everything to be perfect. Seriously though, does it happen? Yeah, maybe here and there. Do I think it happens as much as you say? Absolutely freaking not! If so, these guys deserve some sort of an award for coordinating something like you accuse.

I read somewhere that the WFD Budget makes up 7% of the City’s overall budget. Can you confirm?

Again, I applaud you for taking such an interest in the finances of this city. I really do. I just simply cannot fathom some of the accusations you come forth with. Maybe I’m jealous of the amount of time you can devote to such frivolous activity or maybe I’m just so happy that you never worked for one of my companies.

Speaking of beer, I’d love to have one! I’d like to have one with you though! Not Mr. Corrente. I would even buy considering how tight your pockets are.

Happy Shoveling!

Saturday, February 17
Warwick Man

Cat you imagine how much overtime will be spent hiring back people to shovel out the 3” of snow around the hydrants. Oh that’s never happened?

Saturday, February 17
Thecaptain

Notmycaptain,

Your condescending tone wreaks of lack of education. I'm sure that you have never been to a budget hearing or made an APRA request.

Over and out.

Sunday, February 18
Thecaptain

Name and number of change of shifts for WFD

Name # of COS

SMITH EHREN 27

BELLAVANCE RICHARD 26

DELPOZZO ANTHONY 23

SALISBURY JAMES 22

LAVOIE GARY 22

SILVA KEVIN 20

FONTENAULT KEITH 20

DEFUSCO MICHAEL 20

MARAIA MATTHEW 18

SIRR JONATHAN 16

SULLIVAN CHRISTOPHER 16

PETTIGREW BRIAN 16

BRADY THOMAS 16

ULLRICH NICHOLAS 16

BERTHIAUME TODD 15

BRULE ADAM 15

PERRY JOHN 14

ROUSSEAU AARON 14

WALSH PETER 14

HEROUX MICHAEL 13

SINOTTE THOMAS 13

LEMAY NORMAND 13

MARTUFI BRIAN 13

ALSFELD EDWARD 13

WHITE JOHN 13

CHAMPAGNE STEPHEN 13

BUBAR ROBERT 12

MAYMON THOMAS 12

FRANCIS SETH 12

KRETCHMAN MICHAEL 12

JOHNSON ROBERT 12

DELBONIS MATTHEW 12

MCDERMOTT JAMES 12

MYRTLE NICHOLAS 12

LIBRIZZI CHRISTOPHER 12

VALE DANIEL 12

ROCHA JUSTIN 11

MADISON II 11

LEDOUX AUSTIN 11

ANTONELLI RAYMOND 11

LECLAIR CHRISTOPHER 11

CLIFT JOSHUA 11

HALLORAN JOHN 10

SISSON ANDREW 10

HANKINS DAVID 10

BOULAY KYLE 10

D'ANTONIO JOSEPH 10

ANDREWS DAVID 10

CAPWELL SCOTT 10

BOYNTON MICHAEL 10

VARRAS NICHOLAS 10

HOXSIE RANDALL 10

HALL CHRISTIAN 10

PACHECO NATHAN 9

TITUS TRACY 9

FURY JASON 9

DURSIN RYAN 9

SAYLES JENNIFER 9

SCHMIDT MICHAEL 9

MORSE DAVID 9

WEATHERS DANA 9

WOOD MATTHEW 9

ANTHONY MATTHEW 9

RICE ZACHARY 9

ANGILLY DAVID 8

KING DAVID 8

PARMENTER ROBERT 8

GUERCIA STEPHEN 8

CHARPENTIER JASON 8

CRAVEN NOAH 8

SULLIVAN KYLE 8

PELLA JOHN 8

WATERMAN JASON 8

RICHARD DEREK 7

JARBEAU MATTHEW 7

MAGNAN STEPHEN 7

BELLAVANCE CODY 7

CONLEY KYLE 7

COOK ERIC 7

TURCO DANIEL 7

HENRIKSON CHRISTIAN 7

COOKSON MICHAEL 7

CARVALHO MICHAEL 7

BEDARD TIMOTHY 6

MORLOCK CARL 6

COLOMBO BRANDON 6

CIAMBRONE STEPHEN 6

HAMMOND DOUGLAS 6

CROWLEY PATRICK 6

GINAITT BRADFORD 6

SUTTON ANDREW 6

TORRES ALEX 6

MORETTI MICHAEL 6

WINNES CHRISTOPHER 6

FAUCHER JONATHAN 6

BRADLEY DANIEL 6

HANNON EDWARD 6

PETRARCA ANTHONY 6

LUSIGNAN GEORGE 6

BARLOW BRYAN 6

CAVANAGH MATTHEW 6

COONEY RICHARD 6

O'DONNELL MATTHEW 6

JESSOP THOMAS 5

SWEENEY JUSTIN 5

ANDREWS DANIEL 5

GABRIELSON JACOB 5

BURKE MATTHEW 5

MAHONEY DAVID 5

MAXFIELD JAMES 5

PICARD TIMOTHY 5

SAVARIA MARC 5

LOIGNON MICHAEL 5

LATTINVILLE MARC 5

BROWN KEITH 5

DANELLA ROBERT 5

SCALZO MICHAEL 4

RICCI CHRISTOPHER 4

LUCIER COLBY 4

RUSSELL RANDY 4

SMITH STEPHEN 4

DUCHARME JOESEPH 4

DEROBBIO DANIEL 4

FONTENAULT MARCEL 4

MILLER JUSTIN 4

REYNOLDS JESSE 4

DOAR PHILIP 4

ECCLES JUSTIN 4

ZAINO CHRISTOPHER 4

SCHERMACK-MOORE BENJAMIN 4

OATLEY GARY 4

INGEGNERI BRANDON 4

LETOURNEAU PAUL 4

ANDERSEN ERIK 4

BINGHAM ROBERT 4

JENSEN SCOTT 4

BRADLEY THOMAS 4

PELLA NICHOLAS 4

LAMIROY MARC 3

WAGNER CARL 3

BOGOSSIAN GERARD 3

CEMBOR ROBERT 3

LINDELL SHANE 3

CARREIRO MICHAEL 3

CONWAY KEVIN 3

ANGILLY PETER 3

PARENTE NICHOLAS 3

RICHARDS MATTHEW 3

KAZARIAN ANDREW 3

CABRAL MICHAEL 3

GIBLIN THOMAS 3

ANDERSON BRIAN 3

ALBRO CHRISTOPHER 3

LEVESQUE JOSEPH 3

BELLAVANCE VICTORIA 3

GRASSI BRIAN 3

MERNICK MICHAEL 3

CULLEN STEVEN 3

COBB BRIAN 3

STEERE MILES 3

MADISON 11 3

PELLICCIO GARY 3

VAIL JUSTIN 3

LARSSON STEVEN 3

O'NEILL JOSEPH 2

MILEWSKI CHRISTOPHER 2

DUNLAEVY HENRIK 2

PETIIGREW BRIAN 2

MONTEIRO MICHAEL 2

CAMPBELL JOHN 2

CAMPAGNA VINCENT 2

SUGRUE THOMAS 2

DEGUILIO NIKOLAS 2

ERBAN JASON 2

HAYES KEVIN 2

DANELLA DAVID 2

NARODOWY GLENN 2

BARIBAULT TIMOTHY 2

PACHECO THOMAS 2

FAMIGILETTI CHRISTOPHER 2

RAYTA MICHAEL 2

KELLER MICHAEL 2

VINER STEVEN 2

JORDAN JAMES 2

PRATA TIMOTHY 2

RUSHTON ANDREW 2

CAHOON STEVEN 2

GONSALVES STEPHANIE 2

MCDERMOTI JAMES 2

Sunday, February 18
Warwick Man

Hey Captain, many of those guys you listed were in school bettering themselves and the department (on their own dime) How would you expect them to go to class if they had to work? You do realize it’s ILLEGAL to call in sick to go to class. And You certainly can’t get a day of vacation here or there when you need it not how system is designed. YOU COULDNT BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH WITH YOUR LIES..... Tic Tock, your relevance will be over soon, if it ever it ever existed in the first place

Sunday, February 18
Thecaptain

List the men that were in school and the dates instead of making an unsubstantiated claim.

Sunday, February 18
GoodJake

Yes it's common sense that if FF A worked 3 days for FF B, then FF B will also show 3 days as payback. So you can cut the list in half. Maybe it is better to get paid leave for training. Like another commenter stated earlier 7 % of the city budget. I believe you have a vendetta or jealousy issues with the firefighters obviously.

Sunday, February 18
Thecaptain

To Notmycaptain and Good Jake,

It seems that neither of you actually understand the budget process. The fire department budget is not 7% of the city budget, it is 15.9% of the CITY BUDGET. Maybe you have forgotten (or just dont understand the operations of the city) that the budget is broken into 2 pieces. School budget and city side.

The city budget was $143 million dollars. The fire dept. budget was $22.8 million dollars. Now if you perform the simple arithmetic you will see that the WFD makes up 15.9% of the budget.

Are you guys related to Corrente? Clearly you have no clue as to the finances of the city.

Saturday, February 24