Cold Spring Harbor Fire District — Disgusting Public Office Abuse
For over 30 years, the Cold Spring Harbor Fire District gave salary increases to Firehouse Attendants. Since 2006, the full time employees have had difficulty getting their bi-weekly salary and salary increases due to the district secretary occasionally working from her Florida home. March of 2008, the employees showed an interest in joining CSEA Local 1000 to protect themselves. The district failed to respond to the requests for voluntary recognition. January 2009, CSEA and the district began contract negotiations. The board of fire commissioners made negotiations a living hell. The district postponed as many negotiation meetings as possible, numerous Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) hearings were scheduled for district violations during negotiations, fire commissioners attempted to sue other fire commissioners, illegal votes were used at board meetings, and CSEA charged commissioner John Parker with violation of NYS Civil Service Law Work Place Violence Statues and Work Place Violence Policy for abusing an employee. At the end of 2013, an agreement was made on a contract. January 1, 2014- Chairman Bruce Hafner and the board of fire commissioners took it upon themselves to cancel the health insurance of 5 men who have worked for the district for over 30 years and were promised insurance when they were hired. These men also volunteered for the fire department. All 5 retirees have medical issues and rely on their health insurance. 2 of the men have since passed away. At the same time, Bruce Hafner had purchased $130, 000 worth of heart monitoring equipment that wasn't necessary. February 2014- the district fired an EMT-CC, claiming they were eliminating her position. Immediately after, part time Paramedics were hired. In April of 2014- a full time employee (also the CSEA president) took a medical leave from the district for spine surgery. He was given clearance to return to work (light duty) on June 6, 2014. The district would not let him return to work until he was 100%. This is an illegal act stated by 42 USC 12112 (The Americans With Disabilities Act) September 30, 2014- the same employee had to testify against the district at a PERB hearing regarding the termination of health insurance for the 5 retirees. The district did not have a substantial case and a verdict is still pending. November 27, 2014- again, the same employee was fired because his EMT certificate expired during his recuperation. He was hired off of the Civil Service list as an EMT. Although, during his 9 year tenure, he worked as a Firehouse Attendant and Dispatcher. 4 hours out of the 9 years were spent as an EMT. The employee gave the district a proposal to work part time until he passed his Firehouse Attendant Civil Service exam in March of 2015. There was no district discussion and the employee was immediately fired. The district was served papers from the law office of the employee who was terminated for federal, NYS, and Suffolk County violations for wrongful termination. December 22, 2014- the latest employee that was fired, had his unemployment insurance cancelled because the fire district claimed, "He voluntarily quit his job." A NYS unemployment insurance hearing has been scheduled for the employee and an investigation by NYS found that the district had lied about circumstances involving the expired EMT certificate. The employee's lawyers are also suing the district for harassment charges.