Westwood Firefighters to Picket at WHS, Ahead of Town Meeting


Photo by Westwood Minute/Darlene Wong Cancell.

An “informational picket” by the labor union Westwood Firefighters IAFF Local 1994 and their supporters is planned to take place on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 5 p.m. at Westwood High School, right before Westwood’s Annual Town Meeting that will also be held at the high school. It will be the second picketing session of the day and appears to be the last of a daily grouping of scheduled picketing sessions.

Westwood firefighters have been protesting what they say is more than 650 days without a contract from the Town of Westwood.

Monday evening’s informational picket appears to be the last of several daily picketing sessions that were scheduled from Friday, April 26th through Monday, May 1st. Earlier on Monday morning, a picketing session is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Westwood’s High and Gay streets intersection and in Islington Center. 

On Saturday, Westwood firefighters and supporters were out with their signs at these same two locations.

Just a few days earlier, Westwood’s Select Board had entered a contractual understanding with the police union, Westwood Police Association Massachusetts Coalition of Police, AFL-CIL, Local 174. Select Board unanimously approved entering two Memorandums of Agreement with the police union, that cover FY 2023 to 2026, and which will include wage increases.

Following Select Board’s decision, the firefighters’ union posted a message on Facebook stating, “Residents of Westwood, we always answer your call for help, please answer ours. We are at day 665 and no closer.” The union asked for support and continued, “The environment at the department for the past few years has been extremely difficult and this added burden for our members and families is an additional stress we don’t need.”

Westwood Firefighters IAFF Local 1994 has invited neighboring firefighters, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts District 2 members (PFFM District 2), and residents to attend Monday evening’s picketing session.

On Sunday via Facebook, Norwood Firefighters Local 1631 strongly encouraged all off duty members to attend Monday’s picket session in support of Westwood firefighters.

Also on Sunday, PFFM District 2 also posted on Facebook the information from Westwood Firefighters Local 1994 about the Monday evening picketing. PFFM District 2 includes among its members firefighter unions from Boston, Brookline, Dedham, Framingham, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Needham, Norwood, Walpole, Watertown, and Wellesley.

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