Providence Firefighters Sue to Stop Increased Hours

Providence Firefighters IAFF Local 799 filed suit yesterday to block Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s efforts to force an increase in the firefighter’s hours without additional compensation.

Earlier this month, Elorza announced he planned to eliminate an entire shift and require all line personnel to begin working 56 hour workweeks. He claims he has the right under a Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling issued earlier this year in the case of Town of North Kingstown v. IAFF Local 1651.

Under the collective bargaining agreement between Local 799 and the city, firefighters are schedule to work 42 hours per week. That contract is valid through June 30, of 2017. Elorza has reportedly offered the firefighters a flat $50 per week to compensate them for the additional 14 hours.

The suit was filed in Providence County Superior Court on Monday.

News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England
Here is a copy of the complaint: Doughty v Elorza

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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