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Worcester Firefighters Union Says Working Conditions Declining

By Tom Marino | May 15, 2024
Last Updated: May 15, 2024

WORCESTER – The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1009, the union that represents Worcester firefighters, released a series of social media posts on Wednesday, May 15, about the results of a survey of its members it commissioned.

The Local 1009 commissioned Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) to conduct the study. The City of Worcester commissioned ESCI for a study of the Worcester Fire Department in 2022.

Since the completion of the ECSI commissioned by the study, the Local 1009 says its members have “experienced few improvements” and “noticed a significant decline in working conditions, morale, and overall safety of our firefighters.”

The union says the survey revealed many respondents are often reprimanded for using sick time. Comments also revealed that “administration had gone as far as calling doctors’ offices to verify that the notes provided by the members are legitimate.” It also said that leadership has sent members to the homes of those using sick time to verify they are sick.

The results of the survey showed 90 percent of respondents expressed fear of negative consequences for using sick time and 81 percent “reported coming to work while ill or injured due to fear of using sick time,” according to the union.

The posts said that its members coming to work while ill “could cause major safety concerns while using apparatus or in the case of contagious diseases.”

The union concluded the series of posts saying policies related to sick time should be reviewed, “so as not to conflict with Massachusetts earned sick time law.”

The posts also indicated that there are more results to be released.

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