Saturday sickout sparks fiery accusations from Supt. McConnell

Chief,Union Leader fan flames making case before media

Thomas Perumean
February 16, 2020 - 9:38 am
Saturday sickout sparks fiery accusations from Supt. McConnell



With nearly 50 Firefighters calling out sick on Saturday, a press conference Saturday Afternoon Fire Superintendent Timothy McConnell ran the numbers: "Of the members who were scheduled to report for work today, called in sick, 47 out of 137 individuals who were scheduled to work."

McConnell then laid into the supposed work action: "People not showing up for their sworn duty, at the worst time in the world, is I believe unconscionable."

"And doing so at this time reeks of extortion," McConnell doubled down.  "This is bad, this act by Union leadership could absolutely cause and is a public safety issue."

Union Leader Aaron Mischler attended the same conference and dismissed the Superintendent's comments:  "The pull ups today were within the normal ranges of pull ups on a regular Saturday during Carnival Season." 

Mischler then went on the defensive, putting issue back on directors of the Fire Department, "You may have a few extra because of their retalatory action of cancelling vacations, but the guys are exercising their rights as firefighters.  If they're sick they're sick, they're stressed out with having their vacations taken away.

Finally, Mischler appealed for Mayor LaToya Cantrell to intervene to end the labor impasse, "Having these work hours they're having to work through 96-to-120 hours a week, we're asking her to come to the table."

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