BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The city firefighters union issued a statement Friday, calling the city’s proposal to possibly layoff or furlough firefighters after they are risking their lives on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic a “slap in the face.”
The city is trying to recoup a $103 million budgetary shortfall for fiscal year 2021, which starts on July 1. The options were presented to several city unions, including fire and police, last week.
“None of these options proposed by the city are acceptable and we believe it to be a slap in the face to each of our members, as they are on the front lines of the response to this global pandemic,” President Richard Altieri said.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Mancuso said he was “furious and disgusted” by city leaders.
Maryland will see a $2.8 billion shortfall in just the final quarter of this fiscal year.
On Saturday, governors Larry Hogan and Andrew Cuomo, of New York, issued a statement on behalf of the National Governors Association asking the federal government for $500 billion to help support states struggling with a budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firefighter union is in active negotiations with the city, Altieri said, “so ensuring that our current rights are protected and whatever future benefits we can gain during uncertain financial times is critically important.”