Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 28, 2014

Former Buffalo deputy mayor resigns Lockport post

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Samuel Iraci has resigned as the city’s negotiator in contract talks with its five unions, four of which are working without an agreement.

“He is not working for the city any longer,” Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said.

Iraci submitted a letter of resignation this week, in which he cited a busy work schedule as the reason for his departure, McCaffrey said. The decision was mutual, she added.

Iraci did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Before coming to Lockport, Iraci resigned in 2012 after four years in an administrative assistant position with the City of Tonawanda. He served as Elmira city manager for 10 years and was a deputy mayor in Buffalo for six years during Jimmy Griffin’s administration.

So far, only the Hickory Club Police Benevolent Association, the city’s police officers union, has a contract with the city. The other four employee unions don’t have a deal with One Locks Plaza yet, including the Lockport Professional Firefighters Association.

The firefighter union saw seven of its members laid off last month as a result of the 2014 city budget, reducing the number of firefighters in the department to 38. With the department’s four platoons and minimum manning requirement of nine firefighters, that number leads to more overtime, the union has said. 

LPFA has said the city, specifically former Mayor Michael W. Tucker, wasn’t willing to go back to the negotiating table and even blocked Iraci from making a deal. At the Feb. 11 State of the City address, Tucker denied both claims, stating the city was willing to talk as firefighters and supporters picketed outside.

Kevin Pratt, the LPFA president, said he enjoyed working with Iraci. But it’s unknown how his absence will affect talks, as Pratt said the union wasn’t expecting to get back to the table yet. McCaffrey has been mayor for less than a week and there are a number of challenges facing the city, ranging from financial issues to potholes flooding city streets.

“She has a lot to do, she’s only been on the job since Friday,” Pratt said.

McCaffrey said the Common Council will discuss how to proceed with contract negotiations for all four union contracts.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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