New London firefighters will march from the fire department to city hall on Monday evening to protest the proposed layoffs of 25 firefighters and 10 police officers.
Mayor Daryl Finizio sent out the layoff notices as part of the city’s massive budget cuts. According to his staff, there had been 16 layoffs as of Friday evening. Up to six pink slips were issued to public works employees.
First responders worry the cuts could affect the safety of the public and the city council president said he thought he and the mayor agreed to increase taxes by 8 percent to avoid drastic cuts.
“We worked with his finance director and his department and we passed his budget with a significant tax increase, which we did not want and we did that to avoid layoffs, so we believe we were misled,” Michael Passero, president of the city council, said.
Finizio said layoffs are the last resort, but jobs would be cut unless the unions made contract concessions by July 1.
Union officials said there's nothing to negotiate. They believe the money is there.
“We don't feel it's necessary at this time. They money is in there, it's been approved and we just want to move on,” David McElroy, vice president of the police union, said.
The rally begins at 6 p.m.