Letter to the Editor: Firefighters union doesn’t believe vote of no confidence in Troup is necessary

Quincy Firefighters Local 63

Quincy Firefighters Local 63 has an obligation to serve and look out for the best interests of our members.  We will show support for our other local unions and do what we can when we can.  

Comments made by Robert Megee, president of the Quincy Police Benevolent and Protective Association Labor Unit 12, state that Local 63 were not present (at the July 10 Quincy City Council meeting) because of “ill perceived self-interests.”  I give credit to Megee for having the courage to speak his mind and stand up for what he perceives as wrongs and a lack of leadership. 

Local 63 did not believe a vote of “no confidence” was necessary and that it was nothing more than a symbolic gesture and slight towards the mayor and city administration.  Local 63 is fully aware of the issues and turmoil in the city — first with the issues of the city health insurance, the handling of the Police and Fire Commission Board, the never-ending saga of the Quincy Police Department contract negotiations and so on.  

Local 63 did take the lead in trying to address city health Insurance. We had our legal representatives and board meet with city administrators to try to reach a compromise over the impact it had on our members and families. We were met with complete resistance from the city of Quincy, and our legal representation advised that it would be a costly fight. There would be no guarantees of winning and possibility of reverting back to the previous year’s tier system, which would have negatively impacted more of our members.  That was too great of a risk to take.

Local 63 does have its own union contract approaching this coming year in 2024. We have been aware of the issues that other labor unions are having in their dealings with the city and negotiations. We know about and hear about the issues of health insurance. We are taking all this into account and weighing our options to best serve our members of Local 63.  

As president of Local 63, I answer to our members of Local 63.  Mr. Megee, I appreciate all that you do for your organization and the strength and fortitude that you showed at the city council meeting.  Local 63 not giving a vote of “no confidence” does not mean we are not happy with the current situation, but we are patiently observing and gathering facts and information to best support our members of Local 63. 

On a final note, Local 63 understands there is strength in numbers and unity in the labor unions, and those numbers give us power. I don’t tell Megee how to run his organization, and I don’t need his opinion on how to run Local 63. 

I will take his degrading remark, as it was my decision to sit this one out. 

Local 63 offers nothing but support to QPD Local 12, the Machinist 822, the transit union and all workers for the city of Quincy who consistently have to deal with these issues.  

Kevin Hickey
President
Quincy Firefighters Local 63

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