MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The legal battle between Morgantown firefighters and the city over holiday refunds will continue.
According to an agreement reached last week by the city and Morgantown Firefighters International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 313, the two sides will continue to negotiate the issue that began in 2019.
It has since evolved to include firefighters’ claims that new staffing rules have reduced pay and were enacted in retaliation.
During a hearing Wednesday that lasted most of the day, the two sides agreed to a stay in any future Fire Public Service Commission hearings and a stay of the city’s warrant, which Monongalia County Circuit Judge Susan Tucker in allows to stop court hearings.
The deal is being facilitated by Judge Tucker, according to attorney Teresa Toriseva who represents the firefighters.
Now both sides are developing a timeline to “fully develop” witness testimony and other evidence that will be presented to the Fire Public Service Commission later this year for proposed mediation.
After the agreement was reached, IAFF President Chuck Campbell released the following statement:
“The 48 union members who brought these retaliation and reduction claims before the public service and in court are happy to move forward.” Frankly, we are thankful that the Civil Service Commission and the courts exist to resolve these cases. Public safety prohibits firefighters from striking, and West Virginia law does not allow us to demand collective bargaining. We rely on public service commissions and the courts to keep it all fair.”
Since January 2019, four mediation attempts have been unsuccessful.