|Monday, January 31, 2011 – Anne Kramer|
|The public safety unions in Baltimore say they will protest the June meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore.
Bob Sledgeski President of the City Firefighters Union tells WBAL Radio his group, the Fire Officers Union and the FOP will set up a picket line at the gathering of Mayors from across the country because they have had enough of the way Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been treating their organizations.
He says the three unions had been supportive of then Council President Rawlings-Blake but things changed last year.
“I guess shortly after the blizzards last year it started to become apparent that when she started through the budget process that the fire department and police department, public safety was not one of her priorities. And the men and women who go out and do the job everyday despite having one hand tied behind their back she wasn’t supporting them,” says Sledgeski.
He says they then had rotating fire house closures, understaffed departments and understaffed police departments. The Firefighters Union President says they have had enough of the way she has treated public safety employees.
Sledgeski says the unions want a meaningful debate with the Mayor over issues like pay and pension.
And he says they don’t buy the talk that there is no money.
“There appear to be two sets of numbers in Baltimore and two sets of books and two stories. When the citizens or employees of Baltimore hear from the Mayor it is always we are broke, we have to take stuff from you, we can’t do anything and we have to close rec centers. When they go to talk to the Wall Street bankers, it is the City is great, we are thriving and we have everything under control. We want to see that Baltimore. I don’t care about the bankers on Wall Street, I think our citizens deserve to see that Baltimore,” says Sledgeski.