December 3rd, 2019 1:37 PM
The saga that is North Riverside's relationship to its firefighters and contracted paramedics is an epic fail. We're five years out from an actual contract between the village government and the unionized firefighters. Toss in the mountain of legal bills and the string of failures every time the village makes it to court or arbitration and you have to wonder what went wrong with common sense and compromise.
And, of course, the firefighters are not blameless in this mess either.
Maybe there is a small opening, though that opening seems to come with a long wide-open window. In November a majority of the village board seemed to agree to extend for five years an updated contract with Paramedic Services of Illinois to continue to provide paramedic services. That pact came with a promise that the village will engage in serious review of a proposal from Local 2714 to begin hiring permanent full- and part-time paramedics and gradually diminish reliance on contract hires through PSI.
Fire Chief John Kiser, who is wary of the constant carousel of PSI part-timers filling shifts, prudently suggests a task force of village staff, elected officials and firefighters to study this idea. We agree that getting all parties around a table is a good start for multiple reasons.
But first … first there has got to be a new contract with firefighters. There is no innovative, acceptable path forward so long as these unionized village employees are without a contract. We'd hope that, with frustration deep on both sides and an agreement to study the union proposal on paramedics, this could be the moment to compromise and settle this contract.
There won't be a better time.
Thanks for turning to Riverside Brookfield Landmark and RBLandmark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?
On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.
No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.
Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.
Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Riverside and Brookfield.
Lou treated the Maplewood Road families to a spectacular evening...
By Sheila Houlihan Daily
Posted: January 16th, 2020 12:54 PM
On: Louis F. Schauer, 91
You're stoned writing this.
By Loretta Rossini
Posted: January 16th, 2020 11:12 AM
On: New plan for 8 Corners church...
Looking forward to the potato pancake benedict.
By Tim Leimberer
Posted: January 16th, 2020 10:50 AM
On: Czech stalwart gives way to pancake...
This is a terrible location for this type of business, having...
By Fred Mertz
Posted: January 14th, 2020 3:09 PM
On: Daycare looks to locate on Ogden...
My heart bleeds for the families of St. Louise...as a proud...
By Brian Kuratko
Posted: January 13th, 2020 11:40 PM
On: St. Louise de Marillac School...
Drunk driving laws and the penalties that go with them generate...
By Fred Mertz
Posted: January 13th, 2020 7:52 AM
On: Decision puts red-light ticket...
View All Comments