BOISE, ID – The City of Ketchum must return to the bargaining table to negotiate a labor contract with its unionized firefighters. That’s the ruling by Fifth District Court Judge John Butler. The City claimed negotiators were at an “impasse.” Ketchum firefighters disagreed. So they sued earlier this year.
Firefighters also took issue with the city’s adoption of a new employee handbook last year. Lawyer James Piotrowski represents the firefighters. He says that handbook allows the city to fire employees “at will” but that hasn’t always been the case. He says, "The 2005 handbook doesn’t prevent the city from terminating employees. It just requires that there be some sufficient cause to do so."
Judge Butler ruled that Ketchum firefighters are bound by the 2005 version of the city employee handbook. Ketchum’s nine full-time professionals joined the International Association of Firefighters in 2009. At this time, representatives with City of Ketchum have not returned phone calls for comment.
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