The La Pine Firefighters Union is fed up with their fire chief. On April 1st, the union submitted a letter of “no-confidence” to Michael Supkis and fire district’s board of directors. KBND’s Caroline MacGregor has the story. After 7 firefighters left in one month, La Pine Firefighter's Union president Kevin Leehmann says the situation at the fire department has rapidly deteriorated. Leehmann says a total lack of communication from their chief is fueling ill will. "This isn't something that makes anybody feel good, and our union has to come out andbe more professional than our fire chief and that's unfortunate - that he's not able to act in a capacity of leadership” Eight grievances and two Unfair Labor Practices (ULP’s) are listed in the letter of no confidence to the board – of copy of which Supkis ignored, according to Leehmann. Along with a refusal to communicate, the union questions the chief’s qualifications, labor practice violations…a lawsuit involving St. Charles Medical over ambulance services, threats against union members and safety issues related to equipment maintenance. The district has been short staffed since December and firefighters say the chief is not making good on owed comp time. "We're anticipating that maybe this next board meeitng we can have a good discussion with the board and if the public's there, that's great, but if the chief doesn't resign on his own he'll have to be fired by the board.” Supkis did not respond to KBND's request for comment.
The La Pine Fire District Board Meets this Thurday, April 14th, at 9 a.m.