Fire chief, union statements on ruling

A story on Friday’s front page (and online here) details the newest twist in a lengthy labor-management dispute between the city of Everett and the firefighters’ Local 46.

Here are the full statements provided by both sides to The Herald via email on Thursday. City officials declined to comment further. Union President Paul Gagnon had an afternoon flight and did not have phone service.

Fire Chief Murray Gordon:

“We are pleased this Unfair Labor Practice complaint is now in the past, and we look forward to continuing to provide high-quality service to our community.”

Union President Paul Gagnon:

“The firefighters are disappointed with the PERC commission’s appeal decision. This decision upholds the City of Everett’s decision to reduce the service to the citizens and reduced firefighter safety even though they increased the taxes. Taking away our ability to provide a timely response to medical and fire emergencies will unduly add risk to the citizens. Despite this ruling the City’s choice to reduce service is irresponsible. This PERC decision is a loss for firefighters and the citizens we serve.

On a personal note, I have been consistent with my message that this issue has never been about the money. It’s always been about fighting for the proper staffing levels. Congratulations to Mayor (Ray) Stephanson and Fire Chief (Murray) Gordon for winning their battle to cut services to the citizens of Everett.”

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