In the News

Mayor Sarno Responds to Some City Councilors and Firefighter Union Leadership Jeopardizing Merit Bonus Pay

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, "I am not surprised by City Councilors Justin Hurst, Tracye Whitfield, Victor Davila, Kateri Walsh, and State Senator Adam Gomez antics; but I am disappointed that the Union leadership of the IAFF Local 648 lead by President Chad Jacobs would allow itself to be used as a ‘political pawn’. No one has been more supportive of our public safety divisions than myself and my Administration. I wonder how the rank and file of the IAFF Local 648 truly feel about the possibility of losing out on this merit bonus pay. If union leadership doesn’t want to receive this merit bonus pay of up to $5,000 and ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’, then my Administration will continue to move on to our other brother and sister unions and other investment priorities. By the way, our Springfield Fire Department has responded to 6,000 fewer calls during this COVID-19 pandemic.

My Administration, after reviewing the recommendations from my Cabinet Heads, has and continues to issue merit pay to acknowledge and show our appreciation to all of our dedicated city employees who have continued to go above and beyond throughout this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.  We have been consistent in our approach on who qualifies and what amount would be received.  Across the board, from our non-bargaining employees to our union members, the amount of merit pay can reach a maximum of $5,000 – with no exceptions.  Again, we have been and will remain consistent with our merit pay in rewarding all of our brave and dedicated city employees for going above and beyond – from our men and women in the Springfield Police and Fire Departments to our Public Health Care and DPW employees and other front line workers.  We have already thanked and rewarded our non-bargaining employees and the AFSCME Local 3065 – Parks, DPW, Police Garage Foreman.  I believe my Administration is one, if not the only one in the Commonwealth currently extending and issuing this extra benefit.

Per collective bargaining law and Human Resources (HR) statutes, any changes in pay and/or working conditions, in this case the merit pay allotment, must be negotiated in good faith with our local Unions.  Working with HR Director Attorney William Mahoney, we have already reached out to our Unions and explained the process to them.  They have been very appreciative and thankful of this outreach.  I would hope that the Union leadership of our brave and dedicated Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 648, can understand and accept that they are receiving the same merit pay as our Police Officers, our Public Health Care Workers, every other frontline and essential worker in the City who has gone above and beyond throughout this pandemic.  My Administration will not treat or reward one group of essential workers as more deserving then others.  We will remain consistent with our merit pay allotment and acknowledge and reward our brave and dedicated Firefighters with the same $5,000 max merit pay as we have for every city employee that was deserving.” 

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm