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Fulton firefighter’s union sues the city

The attorney representing the Fulton firefighters union commented on stalled negotiations in the years-long struggle for higher pay Friday.

A lawsuit was filed against the city of Fulton on Oct. 20, alleging officials continually change their minds on an agreement to raise firefighters’ pay.

“The reason we filed [the lawsuit] is because the city has acted in such a way that really demonstrates in a failure to negotiate in good faith with the union,” said attorney Sara Faulman. “The city has engaged in these bargaining sessions, they come to agreements and the city changes its mind. [They] come up with excuses and tell the union ‘we want to reopen these sections of the agreement’ that the union thought had been put to bed that both sides had negotiated over. The Missouri state constitution requires that the employer bargain in good faith. Taking a look at the facts here, the city has demonstrated that it has failed to comply with that requirement,” Faulman said.

According to the lawsuit, the city’s human resources department had concerns over paid time off for family illness and the term “just cause,” which it says strips managerial rights.

Faulman says the union wants the city to support the initial agreement the two parties reached in April, and eventually get a contract finalized.

“It makes it really difficult to have good labor management relations if you’re living in this kind of limbo period, where you don’t have an agreement, and frankly, where you have no degree of confidence that the other side, so to speak, is actually trying to work with you to get an agreement hammered out,” said Faulman.

ABC 17 reached out to the attorney for the city of Fulton for comment on this story, but we did not hear back.

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