Union Slams FDNY Order On Opinion-Based Materials

NY 1 - January 27, 2012

A union representing firefighters spoke out Thursday against a department directive aimed toward prohibiting members from keeping opinion-based materials in firehouses.

The Uniformed Firefighter Association said this would prevent firefighters from keeping items such as Bibles, newspapers or even flags.

The union said the rule violates the First Amendment rights of their members.

"This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in some 30 years of dumb. The Fire Department has created an unconstitutional solution to a nonexistent problem," said attorney Ron Kuby.

"I don't care what their intentions are. We're not going to allow them to impact our members' rights. We're not going to allow them to infringe on our members First Amendment rights," said UFA President Steve Cassidy.

The Fire Department said it simply reissued the order because firefighters were complaining about inappropriate materials posted in their workplaces, adding, "it's a shame that the union--instead of standing up for the rights of all their members--instead chooses to put the interests of some above the concerns of others."