WORCESTER, Mass. - A local union president says a survey taken by Worcester firefighters shows the department is dealing with "a significant decline in working conditions."

The city of Worcester hired a consulting firm after the line of duty deaths of firefighter Christopher Roy and Lieutenant Jason Menard. They hoped to better understand administrative practices in the department. The study led to a number of proposed improvements, but Worcester Firefighters Local 1009 says instead firefighters have seen a major decline in safety. 

Since then, the union has done its own survey of its members on a number of topics including safety, procedures, leadership and morale. Some 90% of respondents expressed fear of negative consequences for using sick time, and 81% reported coming to work while sick or injured due to fear of using sick time.

The union says they have an obligation to the city to release these results.

"Largely we don't, there are no issues with money," said Local 1009 President Will Mosley. "There are no issues with equipment. We enjoy the job, the purpose that comes with it and working with each other. I think the results of the survey really outline that we have a toxic work environment and it outlined that there is a clear separation between the administration of the department and the rank and file members."

Mosley says the union has decided to steer away from a no confidence vote for now, saying they need to gather more information from members. 

The city of Worcester sent Spectrum News 1 a statement, saying:

"The City of Worcester has demonstrated a strong commitment to the opportunities outlined in the 2021 ESCI report which has resulted in many positive changes in the daily operations of the Worcester Fire Department. The overall health and safety of the membership is a priority for the City’s administration, balancing the needs of the community with the needs of the department. Membership remains steadfastly dedicated to the public they serve and to the oath they take as a Worcester Firefighter. In December of 2023, Local 1009 filed for arbitration with the Joint Labor Management Committee, triggering the collective bargaining process for a successor contract. We understand this can be a long and frustrating process for Department members who serve the community every day. It is the goal of the municipality to finish this process as quickly as possible with a positive outcome that benefits all parties."