2017-02-16 / Letters

Firefighters are forming unions, but why?

To the Editor:

In light of all the fire department union controversy in the last few weeks’ papers, I’ve been thinking. Why are they all going union? Are they scared or intimidated by the new or current leadership?

Are they in fear of their jobs or policy? Do they just want more of a voice, or is it what everyone seems to be afraid, or that they want more money?

In the past Susan Och has been very outspoken about dislike about the fire department operations. With her now being the township supervisor were they worried for their own future and there family’s well being?

They have a new chief coming in from out of town unknown to the area and the citizens. Why could they not hire or promote local firefighters. Just a month ago a lieutenant from Glen Arbor resigned, why not hire him or I’m sure other local personnel applied? Why are we paying someone to move into the area for a job we could have placed local.

Do the firefighters not trust their current chief? Do they not get a voice in decisions or policy? Does he make bad decisions?

Look at Glen Arbor again, within months of them unionizing there was a lawsuit against the chief. I don’t recall the entire suit but I believe it was for their schedule. Article posted said 400 hours a month to which the chief was quick to blame the union for. I hope he is filling in some (of) that open schedule and lessening the blow to his personnel as would be appropriate for a good leader!

Glen Arbor Township also spent thousands of dollars fighting against the union and the lawsuit, for what reason? Because the chief or supervisor were afraid of losing some control? ...

Jesse McCalski
South Manitou Trail
Lake Leelanau and Sarasota, Fla.

Editor’s note: A grievance was filed against the township after the union vote and was resolved before the contract was ratified. Glen Arbor Township spent $23,000 in legal fees to “protect the interest of the township” during the negotiation process, Chief John Dodson said. We know of no lawsuit filed recently naming Glen Lake Fire and Rescue.

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