City of Buffalo firefighters and police officers camped out at the mayor's fundraiser. They've been working without a contract for years and they want the mayor to know he's not playing fair.
Passersby honked in support of hundreds of buffalo firefighters and policemen picketing Mayor Brown's fundraiser at the Buffalo Chophouse downtown.
"It's a shame that the city does not seriously want to negotiate a fair and equitable deal for both the city and the firefighters," said Daniel Cunningham the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282.
Brown's supporters had to walk right in the middle of the protest. They weren't met with loud boos from the crowd. Organizers say it shouldn't have to come down to this but feel they have no other choice.
"There is no support from the mayor there is no support from a lot of the elected officials and you know we feel that it's about time that we get a little bit more vocal here," said Bob Meegan the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President.
The firefighters union and the city have been in dispute for over eight years. However a 2005 arbitration agreement granted firefighters a 5 1/2 percent pay raise that began in 2007. But the union was still unhappy with several other provisions of the agreement, mostly health insurance and injured on duty benefits.
"I personally think the mayor is grand standing trying to make a name for himself and his platform and unfortunately the employees of the City of Buffalo don't get their fair share," said firefighter Tim Nowak.
A judge vacated the entire arbitration agreement in 2009 but firefighters were still getting the 5 1/2 percent wage increase. We contacted the mayor's office and they said they have no comment at this time. But in a recent press release the mayor says he is forced to honor the judge's decision and will stop the pay raise immediately. Not welcome news to firefighters.