- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Officials say the Providence firefighter’s union should reimburse the city for overtime pay after several union leaders called out of work to picket an event hosted by Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare tells WPRI-TV (https://bit.ly/1OvGc2q ) three members of the union’s executive board called out of their Friday evening shifts to picket a happy hour event at a Federal Hill restaurant. Two more also called out Saturday - both citing union business.

Pare estimates the city paid $3,000 in overtime since each paid absence meant that other firefighters were called back to make sure the city had 94 firefighters on duty. He says the union should consider reimbursing the city because picketing “is not union business.”

Union leaders say picketing is a fundamental act of union business.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, https://www.wpri.com

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