Cambridge Fire Must Answer For Canceling Important Safety Committee After IAFF Local 30 Filed Grievances

February 14, 2019

The Department of Labor Relations issued a three-count complaint against the City of Cambridge, given credible allegations that the City canceled a safety committee because of Cambridge Fire Fighters, Local 30, IAFF aggressive enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement. Attorney Patrick Bryant presented evidence to the DLR that led to the issuance of the complaint.

The Cambridge Fire Department and Local 30 agreed to create an "After Action Review" Committee to investigate CFD responses to fire incidents. Previously, the CFD did not have an established method to review responses to critical incidents. The new Committee therefore was be tasked to evaluate the CFD response, identify strengths of the response, document unanticipated challenges, and recommend changes to protocol, policy and training.

The first Committee report, which provide a comprehensive review of a CFD response to a fire alarm, resulted in a Training Bulletin issued to all Cambridge firefighters.

At the same time, Local 30 file grievances on unrelated matters, alleging that the City violated the collective bargaining agreement. In response, the City canceled the new After Action Review Committee. Local 30 produced credible evidence at the DLR investigation that demonstrated the City specifically canceled the Committee because an Assistant Chief was upset about Local 30's "aggressive" filing of grievances. From Local 30's perspective, the City preferred that firefighters to be uninformed about how to better respond to fire incidents, so long as Local 30 files grievances.

The issuance of the complaint means that a hearing will be held to establish whether in fact the City engaged in the behavior as described and whether such actions violate the law.

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