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  • #16
    Catch22,
    The difference between a construction worker , sub teacher, or a truck driver is that those jobs do not have presumtive health issues or are a conflict of interest. Be careful though, some of those jobs might be stepping on the toes of union positions and could label you as a scab. Most carreer firefighters have a second job. This is not realy an issue. The issue is what that job is and how it effects the bargaining unit. A good example might be a part-time commercial ambulance job in a city that has a fire based EMS. I am a mortgage broker which does not have any of the issues mentioned.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Catch22
      That's not always the case, either. I had no idea about union rules, etc. for numerous months. I have yet to take any "oath." I have a helluva time getting information or a lot of anything else out of the union, but, by God, they don't miss taking their money out of my check every two weeks.
      You sound a little bitter. Just because you didn't bother to find out about the organization you were joining doesn't give you an excuse to break their rules. This is a very simple matter - if you want to belong, follow the rules.
      I am a complacent liability to the fire service

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by ChicagoFF
        You sound a little bitter. Just because you didn't bother to find out about the organization you were joining doesn't give you an excuse to break their rules. This is a very simple matter - if you want to belong, follow the rules.
        Not bitter at all. To tell the truth, I didn't know I was a member until I saw my dues coming out of my check. Apparently, I signed (without knowing it) the agreement to have my dues pulled out. No problem, I planned on joining anyway. However, I have a hard time with an organization that I'm paying to be in telling me how to spend my off time.

        As for a simple matter, I don't see it that way. There's a lot of things I have yet to see the IAFF ask for my opinion on, yet they're touting that it's my opinion because I'm a member. I think the big boys might be a little surprised if they'd take the effort to find out what the membership as a whole thought. Now, if they did that, I wouldn't have a problem one with it, because that's how the majority feels. It'd be like letting the Senate decide who's president without a vote of the public.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by KeithA8
          I love this topic!!! I also feel very strongly about it. The only effective way I could get my point across is to use an annalogy. So here it goes:

          Lets pretend you work in a union shop making wigits. Your contract is about to expire and your e-board is negotiating a new contract in good faith. As the talks go on the company is not willing to meet the request of fair wages and benefits. This results in a strike. While on strike some members deside to work full time across the street at the competing non-union wigit shop. While working there for much less pay and benefits one employee has a work related injury and is unable to perform his job for several months. During this time his union comes to an agreement with management and the strike is over. The union shop is short one employee due to the injury and has to fill the position with an over time employee at time and a half to fill the work demand. The injured firefighter is using sick time the union negotiated for him and the employer is also stuck paying him anyway. Is this fair to the employer? Does this put a strain on the relationship between the shop owner and the union? Was it hipicritical to work for the competitor?

          Now lets put the fire service spin on it. Lets say you feel obligated to volunteer in the town that "trained you". You respond to a call on your "own time". You know the time that is your right to do what ever you want to do in this free country of ours. On this call you break a leg and are going to be out of work for six months. The city you work for has to fill your spot with an overtime firfighter. You are using sick time that your union negotiated in good faith for you. Who is realy paying for this injury? The city tax payers! Should the city tax payers pay for fire protection in your little village? Is this fair to the city tax payers? Is this being loyal to your employer? How does the city fathers feel about this? Will it put a strain on the unions relationship with the city? Resulting in a more difficult negotiation in the next contract? The city will certainly bring up the question of why should we give you a raise if you are willing to do the same job for nothing across the street? Does your little village right a check to your city to cover their cost of this whole thing? NO!!! Is this a conflict of interest? YES!!! What if you have a presumtive health care claim. Will your city willingly pay it if you are a known volunteer? NO WAY! The city will want proof your claim is a result of your employment with them and they will use the argument that you did the same job else where. And to be honest they have a point. Now your union will have to spend stupid money on an attorney to fight this for you when you went against them in the beginning when you chose to volunteer on "your own time".

          The argument I often hear is that this employee could have broken his leg sky diving on his own time. While this is true it is not a conflict of interest to sky dive and it is your leisure choice. This is why we have health care benefits and sick time.

          I also completely understand the feeling that you owe your volunteer dept. something. There are many things you can do with out being a conflict of interest. ie: help out at there fund raisers, offer to help out with training, offer to do a clerical job. Giving back to your community is a wonderful thing and I encourage it. Just don't put yourself in a position where you put the interest of your family, union, and employer at risk. Many dept.s in this country are never going to be full time and they shouldn't be. Why pay a carreer staff to respond to 2 calls a week? These communities need volunteers. But if your little village can't function with out you they have bigger problems than they realize.

          So if you are an IAFF member who volunteers - remember the oath!!!
          KeithA8...

          Of all the arguments for not vollying this has got to be one of the most idiotic I have ever heard. Please explain to me what the difference is between paying overtime to cover someone who is injured volunteering or if he falls off a roof doing a side roofing job? The way you are portraying this is it is only wrong to have to pay overtime to cover IF the Union firefighter is injured volunteering not injured scabbing on his side job.

          Look, if you want to argue the point that the IAFF says don't do it, or the usual argument that you are taking a Union job (however ludicrous that is in very rural small town America), or presumptive health care issues, those you can at least justify. But the scenario you painted above is just plain silly and frankly indefensible.

          FyredUp
          Crazy, but that's how it goes
          Millions of people living as foes
          Maybe it's not too late
          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Catch22
            Not bitter at all. To tell the truth, I didn't know I was a member until I saw my dues coming out of my check. Apparently, I signed (without knowing it) the agreement to have my dues pulled out. No problem, I planned on joining anyway. However, I have a hard time with an organization that I'm paying to be in telling me how to spend my off time.

            As for a simple matter, I don't see it that way. There's a lot of things I have yet to see the IAFF ask for my opinion on, yet they're touting that it's my opinion because I'm a member. I think the big boys might be a little surprised if they'd take the effort to find out what the membership as a whole thought. Now, if they did that, I wouldn't have a problem one with it, because that's how the majority feels. It'd be like letting the Senate decide who's president without a vote of the public.
            Then quit complaining and call the union and quit. It really is that simple.
            I am a complacent liability to the fire service

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by wilson10
              You tell me what department REQUIRES that you belong. They cannot force you!
              Actually that is the case here in Canada where we have closed shops. The union has the right to represent ALL non mamagement employees, conversely you must be a member in good standing of the union in order to remain employed.
              A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

              Comment


              • #22
                I find it humourous that all these people who have problems with the union's policies have no problem accepting all the benefits they are entitled to BECAUSE they are members of the union. I would have more respect for their position if they refused the raises,pension and benefits that union members fought for over the years.
                A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

                Comment


                • #23
                  Fyredup:
                  Maybe you should go back and read it again sloooowwwwwwwwwlllyy. It is a perfect argument. The difference I am stating is leisure activities is not a conflict of interest. If you are a scab roofer than it is just as bad.

                  Put yourself in the shoes of the union. They have the best interest of the members in mind. That is who they represent not the volunteers. In most cases a volunteer house is not a rival organization. BUT in some it is ie: combo dept. My point is there is nothing wrong with being a volunteer - unless you are a dues paying IAFF member. Than it's hipicritical to do it for nothing across the street and expect your local to fight for better pay and bennefits. The city knows it and WILL use it against you. They have where I am and many other places around the country. Like I said before if your little village is going to burn down because you are not a member than they have bigger issues.

                  Catch22:
                  Your local needs a swift kick in the back side if they did not orientate you with the IAFF (which is why you pay a start up due). They also should have you take an oath. It realy isn't fair to you that you were thrown into something without knowledge or the ability to make a decision to join or not. If you are in a closed shop it still should have been done. Your e-board should read the national by-laws and follow them.
                  Last edited by KeithA8; 11-08-2006, 04:03 PM.
                  IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Fyredup:
                    Yeh I guess you are right because that battle is too far up the hill. Your perspective on your union is from an angle I will never understand. On your down time look up the term "conflict of interest". Then apply it to my previous responses.
                    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by KeithA8
                      Fyredup:
                      Maybe you should go back and read it again sloooowwwwwwwwwlllyy. It is a perfect argument. The difference I am stating is leisure activities is not a conflict of interest. If you are a scab roofer than it is just as bad.

                      First of all this is just BS. The point you were trying to make is it is somehow far worse that the city has to pay over time to replace you if you get hurt volunteering versus skydiving. There is no difference and to try and say one is somehow worse than the other as far as cost to the city and use of benefits is just silly. It has nothing to do with conflict of interest and frankly you know it. Use an argument that has some basis...it is against the IAFF rules, it is a presumptive healthcare issue, or the sometimes, but not every time plausable, you are taking someone's job.

                      Put yourself in the shoes of the union. They have the best interest of the members in mind. That is who they represent not the volunteers. In most cases a volunteer house is not a rival organization. BUT in some it is ie: combo dept. My point is there is nothing wrong with being a volunteer - unless you are a dues paying IAFF member. Than it's hipicritical to do it for nothing across the street and expect your local to fight for better pay and bennefits. The city knows it and WILL use it against you. They have where I am and many other places around the country. Like I said before if your little village is going to burn down because you are not a member than they have bigger issues.

                      The ONLY time a volunteer is a threat is if he knowingly volunteers into a fire department that is using them to not have to hire career firefighters. This is completely believable in some places and totally ridiculous in most of rural America where the budget of the fire department couldn't pay 1 guy's salary let alone staff the entire department.
                      We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

                      FyredUp
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by KeithA8
                        Fyredup:
                        Yeh I guess you are right because that battle is too far up the hill. Your perspective on your union is from an angle I will never understand. On your down time look up the term "conflict of interest". Then apply it to my previous responses.
                        If you look up ludicrous I will look up conflict of interest.

                        You would be much better served in trying to prove your point if you used a valid basis for your point of view instead of some silly analogy.

                        I can't help but wonder if you volunteer to do anything your community...

                        FyredUp
                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ChicagoFF
                          Then quit complaining and call the union and quit. It really is that simple.
                          Since when is voicing one's opinion considered "complaining?" That's one of the great things I love about this country, I don't have to agree with the status quo and I'm free to voice that opinion. Your solution would be the same as a president telling everyone that doesn't agree with him that they can move to another country. I pay my dues, I support the union on a various number of aspects, I just disagree with this one. I doubt I'm the only IAFF member who doesn't agree with every policy or by-law we have.

                          Originally posted by Smoke 20286
                          I find it humourous that all these people who have problems with the union's policies have no problem accepting all the benefits they are entitled to BECAUSE they are members of the union. I would have more respect for their position if they refused the raises,pension and benefits that union members fought for over the years.
                          No more than those who have problems with our country, yet enjoy it's freedom of speech and other benefits. Like I say, I'm sure there's others out there who have policies and by-laws they don't agree with. I don't think that makes them bad union members. If we chose to agree with everything Schaitberger and the other top dogs said, we'd all be nothing but puppets.


                          Originally posted by KiethA8
                          Your local needs a swift kick in the back side if they did not orientate you with the IAFF (which is why you pay a start up due). They also should have you take an oath. It realy isn't fair to you that you were thrown into something without knowledge or the ability to make a decision to join or not. If you are in a closed shop it still should have been done. Your e-board should read the national by-laws and follow them.
                          I couldn't agree with you more. I've been trying to talk them into incorporating something into the orientation of new firefighters, but haven't got it done yet.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Fyredup:
                            As a matter of fact I do. I live in a small rural town in CT that actualy has 2 paid personel. Their title is "maintainers". Their job is to maintain stations and equipment including mechanic work on the trucks. They also respond to calls during their working hours. But they do it for free on their off time which is against many labor laws. (you can't volunteer for your employer) They are not IAFF members. What I do is help them out, at their request, with technical training. I do this on average one night a month. A few things I won't do such as do anything that requires me to put on turn out gear. Obviously the people I'm training have all the appropriate gear on, but I don't cross the line that could label me as doing something "hazardous in the firefighting field". The members I help train understand my position and the unions position and they respect that. My city actualy has contract language forbiding any emergency type work outside of our job. ie: EMS, firefighting, police, and even dispatching.
                            IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Plain and simple THEY ARE SCABS! They should be removed from the union.
                              We need to stand together.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by spidermann
                                Plain and simple THEY ARE SCABS! They should be removed from the union.
                                We need to stand together.
                                If you say so. But do tell me what you call the paid firefighters you know that do construction, drive truck, lay carpet, install flooring, are electricians, plumbers, mechanics, painters, and so much more on their off days? Oh wait, the fact that they are taking jobs from another Union member doesn't matter does it? It only counts if YOU feel they are screwing a Union firefighter not any other Union Brother or Sister. Hypocrisy at it's finest.

                                Fyredup
                                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                                Millions of people living as foes
                                Maybe it's not too late
                                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                                Comment

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