Tempe Firefighters Vote No Confidence in Tempe City Manager, Charlie Meyer

Jan 11, 2010, 16:30 ET from Professional Firefighters of Arizona

TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in history Tempe firefighters approved a "vote of no confidence" in regards to the management style of Tempe City Manager, Charlie Meyer. Over the course of three days, Tempe firefighters went to each fire station in Tempe and collected signatures from every firefighter for a petition regarding the "no confidence" vote. More than 125 signatures were gathered.

"Tempe firefighters have enjoyed productive, mutually beneficial labor management relationships with three prior city managers," said Rich Woerth, president of Tempe Firefighters. "Unfortunately, Tempe's current city manager has chosen to abandon the approach of mutual respect and productivity by refusing to recognize representatives of the Union and circumventing its processes."

City Manager Meyer was appointed by Tempe City Council in December 2007. In this role, he is responsible for implementing all City Council policy decisions. In a letter to the Mayor and City Council of Tempe, Local 493 affirmed that since taking the position, Meyer has undermined the protections and processes afforded by Union membership, forcing mandatory meetings at stations to discuss issues while firefighters are on duty.

"The City Manager has had two years to meet with firefighters. Why is he now forcing these meetings, while not forcing them with any other employee group," said Woerth. "If he wants to do a station tour to learn about the service we provide that is great, but don't do it as an official issue discussion."

Woerth goes on to say, "We have made it clear that we wish to have Union representatives represent us on all fire related issues and we view Meyer's actions as divisive. As a result, we are asking the Mayor and City Council of Tempe to take immediate action to address the problems."

The Tempe Fire Department is a professional career fire department consisting of six fire stations housing eight engine companies, two ladder companies, one scene support and one battalion chief. Each engine and ladder company is staffed with four firefighters 24-hours a day. Fire department services include emergency medical, fire suppression, hazardous materials response, fire prevention, public education, and organization-wide disaster preparedness activities.

SOURCE Professional Firefighters of Arizona