Fairfield, CT- Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick provided the following statement regarding the Fire Union endorsement:
“While we were disappointed to learn that we did not receive the endorsement of the Fire Union, we are not surprised given the partisanship involved in the endorsement process.
I am proud of my record as State Representative and First Selectwoman in support of our first responders. I supported the firefighter cancer legislation when I served in the Connecticut General Assembly and, as First Selectwoman, I have added many additional positions to our Fire and Police Departments. We are also working on a study for the Town to determine appropriate staffing and station locations.
We extended the Union leadership the opportunity to weigh in on that station study process.
Regardless of the union's endorsement, I will continue doing the job I was elected to do for the residents of Fairfield and everything within my power to keep Fairfielders and our First Responders safe. I look forward to the results of that fire station study so we can plan for Fairfield's future.
In the interest of transparency, I have attached the survey questions from the fire union and answers completed by Brian Farnen and me, and would urge all my opponents to do the same so the residents of Fairfield can see all candidates’ answers.” Said Kupchick.
Farnen added, “Although I am disappointed we did not receive the union’s endorsement, we will do everything in our power to support our Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians who continue to keep the Town of Fairfield safe.”
IAFF LOCAL 1426 QUESTIONNAIRE FALL 2023
Dear Members of the IAFF Local 1426,
As candidates for office, and having served in many elected positions, we strongly believe in the principles of transparency and accountability. It is essential for candidates to engage in open dialogue with all stakeholders, including unions, but without making binding commitments that could hinder our ability to govern objectively, and in the best interest of the public.
The issues and challenges faced by our community are diverse and complex. Making pre-election promises to bargaining units limits future flexibility in addressing these issues comprehensively and finding well-rounded solutions, based on data and experience. We do not want to run the risk of compromising our independence and ability to consider all perspectives when making policy decisions.
This can undermine public trust in our ability to act in the best interest of the entire community.
We are committed to being fair and honest. In that vein, we have answered the questions set forth by the IAFF Local 1426 with our philosophy for good government that extends to all public employees.
Brenda L. Kupchick First Selectwoman
Candidate for Selectman
1) Will you support pay parity between fire and police? YES // NO
We understand the importance of fair compensation for all town employees and will carefully consider all aspects of this issue before making any decisions, including analyzing market conditions, work responsibilities/job descriptions, and comparable municipalities.
2) Will you support NFPA minimum staffing standards? YES // NO
During the past three years under the Kupchick Administration, we have added six new positions to the fire department. Ensuring the safety of residents and firefighters is a priority for us. We will thoroughly evaluate all relevant guidelines and factors to make an informed decision.
3) Will you support the continuation of pensions? YES // NO
Pensions have long been an essential part of firefighter benefits. We have always supported maintaining pensions for Fire and Police and will engage in thoughtful discussions to address recruitment and retention challenges.
4) If the state account was to become insolvent, will you support the town continuing this coverage? YES // NO
We value the health and well-being of our firefighters and will work to find sustainable solutions to address any potential issues that may arise, including, but not limited to, advocating for the State to maintain appropriate funding for the coverage outlined in the Fire Cancer Fund.
5) Will you support the fire department assuming complete EMS delivery? YES // NO
EMS plays a critical role in our community, and we will carefully assess the best approach to ensure efficient and effective services for everyone.
6) Will you support the continuation of binding arbitration inside the town of Fairfield? YES // NO
We acknowledge the importance of fair labor practices and will take into account various perspectives before making any decisions regarding labor negotiations.
7) Will you support fair and respectful future negotiations for the firefighters? YES // NO
Open and constructive dialogue is essential for successful negotiations. We are committed to fostering a positive and productive negotiation environment.