A recent remark the Lancaster Town supervisor made about government employees has unleashed a strong response from the Civil Service Employees Association.
CSEA members and labor demonstrated at last night's town board meeting against supervisor Dino Fudoli. Fudoli was asked to retract his statement when he referred to government employees as a "non-producing part of society."
"I said let me make myself very clear. I am not anti-public employee, I am just pro-taxpayer. Wouldn't that tell you right there I am not against public employees?", said Fudoli.
Supervisor Fudoli has set off a firestorm with local unions. He made the remarks in a Buffalo News interview a couple of weeks ago as he discussed his views on reducing the size of government. Fudoli believes his words are misunderstood.
"I wasn't challenging their productivity. I was just stating the fact that there is their is the producing side of society which is the private sector and then the services side of the society, which is the public sector," said Fudoli.
The Town of Lancaster is currently in active negotiations with four of its employee unions. The union contracts expired last December.
CSEA labor relations specialist Rob Mueller and other unions are outraged with the statement.
"I wouldn't second guess where his motivation came from in making his comments," said Mueller. "His statements took me by surprise because, I can only speak for CSEA, but we were certainly giving him the benefit of the doubt."
Mueller, unions and their supporters have called on the supervisor to rebut his comments.
"That he publicly retract his comments and apologize to all public service workers," said Mueller.
Still, Fudoli believes the public workforce is important to the region and told WBFO & AM-970 News he will not retract his statement.
"If they've misinterpreted what I said, then I'm sorry they misinterpreted. Am I going to retract my statement or anything, absolutely not.
Fudoli insists he was not taking shots at public employees and calls the unions response a bullying tactic as they continue contract talks.