Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 14, 2014

Fire chief test court case adjourned

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The city and its firefighter union will return March 20 to New York State Supreme Court to hear arguments over a lawsuit stemming from a recent change in eligibility for the fire chief civil service exam.

The City of Lockport is seeking to stop the arbitration of a grievance the Lockport Professional Firefighters Association has filed against it, primarily by saying the union is taking action against the wrong entity. The matter was supposed to be argued Thursday, but the LPFA requested an adjournment until next month, deputy city attorney David Blackley said.

In December, the union filed a demand for arbitration with the state Public Employment Relations Board. The union is trying to stop the change, which makes the municipal training officer eligible to take the exam.

According to the LPFA’s Dec. 19 filing with the relations board, making the municipal training officer eligible to take the fire chief civil service exam violates the agreement the union has with the city. The agreement says the MTO can only be promoted starting with lieutenant, the grievance contends.

The city's filing said the change was instituted by the city Fire Board and ratified by the Civil Service Commission.

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