Judge Blocks Demotions For Firefighters - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Judge Blocks Demotions For Firefighters

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On Tuesday a judge blocked the city from making the demotions tomorrow so that the firefighters have a chance to be heard. It buys them some time but the union says the firefighters have already lost so much--money for one but maybe their rank too.

"There's no logic behind it, "Joe Schulle President of Local 22 the International Association of Firefighters and Paramedics said.

Schulle wants to demote nine lieutenants and five captains within the fire department.but what he wants to make clear is that it's a huge blow to some of the city's bravest.

"This is very damaging to the members, their careers and their families. They have stressful jobs to begin with, Schulle said. "They've earned these promotions nothing was given to them they were earned."

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said during a news conference. That the issue goes back to the spring of this year when the firefighters' union approached the city about granting automatic promotions.

The mayor's office declined saying the law doesn't require them to do that and that promotions are up to the discretion of the commissioner of the department. In May the union took the issue to court.

Gillison said, "Those individuals who on May 30th were told that if you continue and if you want this promotion subject to the Commonwealth's review, if that is reversed, you will return to your previous status. In essence that's where we are it was never the city's position that this should have ever been taken at all we don't play with people's lives that way."

Turns out, a judge ordered the city to grant the promotions...and it did. But the city appealed and a higher court overturned the decision.

The next hearing is Wednesday at City Hall. The union says the firefighters have already lost a 10% immediate raise and they will continue to fight this in court.

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