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Collective bargaining bill hot topic with area fire unions

            Area firefighters were among a group of 30 fire union officials in Independence Monday discussing possible effects of the controversial Senate Bill 5 now being considered by Columbus legislators.

            Dave Boatman, president of the North Olmsted firefighters union and Brandon Dimacchia, who heads the Bay Village firefighters, said Senate Bill 5 was a primary topic of conversation among the fire union officials from across Northeast Ohio.

            “There are definite concerns throughout the area about the possible impact of it passing,” Boatman said after the meeting Monday. “There’s a strong belief that there is a lot of misinformation being spread about it at the state level while they are considering it.”

            He said firefighters and all workers covered by collective bargaining and binding arbitration clauses in it believe its elimination would take away needed protections.

            “It’s a system which has worked for many years and which provides basic workplace protections for those type of employees,” he said. “They provide a system which provides a clear way of handling workplace dealings for employers and workers to work from.”

            DiMacchia said the fire unions want to ensure that a fair system remains in place for firefighters and governments.

            “We’d like to see the binding arbitration stay in place,” he said. “It’s worked in our city for both the firefighters and city by providing a fair system for us all.”



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