CHICAGO (CBS) — So many people want to meet with Mayor Brandon Johnson, and it turns out the Chicago Fire Department’s union wants to be pushed to the top of the list.
CFD members have serious contract concerns – considering they are going on two years without a new one.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2 thus think it’s time for Mayor Johnson to sit at the table – be he as he may only three days into his term.
The firefighters would like to get one of the first meetings with Johnson – something they said they could not get done with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
"It was 684 days as of Monday," said Jim Tracy, the immediate past president of the IAFF Local 2. His term ended in May – but he says under former Mayor Lightfoot’s administration, they could not reach a deal.
"I wanted to sit down and have equitable conversations about what we’re going to get, and how we’re going to proceed," Tracy said.
In June 2020, Lightfoot stood in front of fire trucks and held up a contract. That deal was retroactive to 2017 – when the last labor agreement between the city and the firefighters’ union expired.
The latest deal expired in 2021.
"In her four years, we had nine months that we had a contract – and that’s it," Tracy said.
While Mayor Johnson is only days into his new term, Tracy believes the CFD members must be a top priority for the new mayor.
"When I was the president, he did not give me any promises or anything else. He said he will work with labor. So at least he just had a blanket statement," Tracy said, "where the past mayor stated she was going to take care of us, and nobody should be one day without a contract, and all the rest of this nonsense – and she walks out of office and puts it on his plate."
And now, Tracy – who still cares for the future of the union and its members – is hoping the new Local 2 president and Johnson’s administration talk immediately.
"He needs to sit at the table. I believe he will. I have confidence that he will do that," Tracy said. "He’s got a huge basket of stuff he’s got to deal with. I hope that we’re in the next week or two where a conversation can be held between him and Local 2."
While Tracy has faith Mayor Johnson’s team at City Hall will meet soon with the union, we did not hear back Wednesday night from the new administration on just when or if those talks will get under way.
News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago
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May 17, 2023 at 10:15PM