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  • Why I Love Unions ... Another reason.

    Collective Bargaining Could Become Law
    The initiative will require employers of career firefighters to meet and discuss issues.

    By Susan Nicol Kyle -

    Firehouse.com News

    Collective bargaining for all of the nation's public safety workers is a step closer to becoming law.

    The measure -- that's been in the works for about 16 years -- has been included in the House Supplemental Appropriations Bill.

    IAFF and FOP officials are working closely with legislators to insure that the amendments presented are acceptable, and will gain the necessary votes.

    "We've had bi-partisan support in the past, and we still do," said Barry Kasinitz, IAFF director of government affairs.

    He sees the inclusion of the measure in a bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and relief from the massive oil leak as the perfect vehicle to move it through.

    Supplemental appropriations -- considered as a must pass bill -- is expected to be concluded before members of Congress take their month-long August recess.

    Kasinitz said the collective bargaining initiative will require employers of career firefighters, EMS personnel, police officers and other public safety to meet and discuss issues.

    He was quick to dispel information that the measure is a quiet maneuver to eliminate volunteer fire departments. "There is nothing here that in any way hinders the volunteer fire service," Kasinitz said.

    Further, he said if career firefighters want a union, they should be able to form one.

    "We are not doing this to increase the number of career firefighters or the number of union members."

    A number of articles and blogs have surfaced accusing the IAFF of trying to bolster their ranks and snuffing out volunteers across the country.

    Kasinitz vows that's not the case. He said the measure will enable career public safety officers to work in more safe environments and address other issues with their employers.

    The NVFC is remaining neutral on the bill.

    The organization took the stance after an inclusion that offers job protection for career personnel who want to volunteer when they are off-duty.

    The section reads: "to permit parties in states subject to the regulations and procedures ... to negotiate provisions that would prohibit an employee from engaging in part-time employment or volunteer activities during off-duty hours."

    If the measure is signed into law, unions will not be able to stipulate or negotiate that as a condition of employment, volunteering is not allowed.

    "That protection is very important," said David Finger, NVFC governmental affairs director.

    The proposed legislation does not, however, prevent the IAFF from kicking those who volunteer out of their locals.

    The CFSI is monitoring the legislation as it does with all emergency services-related issues. But, it is not actively involved, explained Bill Webb, CFSI executive director

    More crap.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    More crap.
    Yeah, that would really suck if an employer was prevented by contract from forcing, coercing, or otherwise intimidating employees to volunteer on their time off.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
      Yeah, that would really suck if an employer was prevented by contract from forcing, coercing, or otherwise intimidating employees to volunteer on their time off.
      Read the article. This is referring to allowing unions to kick those out - basically ostracize them - if they volunteer elsewhere.

      The proposed legislation does not, however, prevent the IAFF from kicking those who volunteer out of their locals.


      So basically the legislation says the unions can't negotiate that you can't volunteer elsewhere, but the unions can still kick firefighters out of the union for volunteering elsewhere.

      That's crap.
      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-13-2010, 10:54 PM.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #4
        why? The unions should be free to have rules for membership. Its not an unreasonable request, and there are legitimate reasons behind it. Volunteers are great, but if you don't like the rules of the union, don't join it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nameless View Post
          if you don't like the rules of the union, don't join it.
          It's really not that simple.
          I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

          "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

          "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
            It's really not that simple.
            Since I can't comment on states besides NY, you don't have to be in the union to have the job. You also still benefit from the contract that is negotiated for you. So it is that simple.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nameless View Post
              why? The unions should be free to have rules for membership. Its not an unreasonable request, and there are legitimate reasons behind it. Volunteers are great, but if you don't like the rules of the union, don't join it.
              You are intitled to your opinion but, unless you know the whole story don't judge. I live in a rural area of KY that on my FD I have made numerous runs by my self in the daytime. I was it for several minutes before help arrived whether it was additional staff from our vfd or mutual aid. Now to my career Fd, we recently formed a local and are hopeing (at least I WAS) hoping for favorable passage and finall a seat at the table in negotations. My career Dept and my VFD have no situation where my IAFF affiliation and my Volunteering would or should be an issue. I would have to say I disagree with the clause and would easily leave my local if requested as my volunteering in my community and protecting my family means more to me.
              Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                It's really not that simple.
                Sure it is. We are a union shop, however if a member chooses to leave the union, he/she is able to do so and remain employed. There is I believe (1) member in this situation out of approximately 2000 members. Whether this is chosen as a political statement, out of disagreement with the rules of union membership, or other reason, it's possible.

                Union dues will still be taken from the member's pay, but are no longer "dues" but rather the administrative fees for certain benefits. These handle certain costs - the union administers our health plan, collective bargaining, and I believe pension, etc. The member will forfeit the right to have union representation at disciplinary hearings, investigations and so on. There are a myriad of other issues to consider, that the member should judiciously weigh prior to making a decision, but ultimately the member CAN make that decision.
                Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LT2387 View Post
                  You are intitled to your opinion but, unless you know the whole story don't judge. I live in a rural area of KY that on my FD I have made numerous runs by my self in the daytime. I was it for several minutes before help arrived whether it was additional staff from our vfd or mutual aid. Now to my career Fd, we recently formed a local and are hopeing (at least I WAS) hoping for favorable passage and finall a seat at the table in negotations. My career Dept and my VFD have no situation where my IAFF affiliation and my Volunteering would or should be an issue. I would have to say I disagree with the clause and would easily leave my local if requested as my volunteering in my community and protecting my family means more to me.

                  You too are entitled to an opinion, but I doubt that you have the whole story if I don't. So please don't judge until you get the entire story.

                  When it comes to cancers and other maladies that can be related to firefighting, how well do you think the conversation with the city is going to be? "This cancer is job related" "Well, you're a volunteer, it could easily be caused by firefighting activities there. Get them to cover it."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Im sorry but its a current IAFF guideline already and not just based on this law.

                    Also from a employer stand point, I say it's wrong. If a guy volunteers Id say he is a liability for disability. How about hearing damage or lung problems? If Im a paid employer Id bury it in the guy and win saying it can be proven he volunteered and long-term damage might of came at the cost of his employment elsewhere.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nameless View Post
                      When it comes to cancers and other maladies that can be related to firefighting, how well do you think the conversation with the city is going to be? "This cancer is job related" "Well, you're a volunteer, it could easily be caused by firefighting activities there. Get them to cover it."
                      I am covered by workers comp on my vfd, just like my career. I got injured a few years back and WC even covered the salary missed by my off duty job.
                      Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LT2387 View Post
                        I am covered by workers comp on my vfd, just like my career. I got injured a few years back and WC even covered the salary missed by my off duty job.
                        It sounds like you're trying to use a different situation to explain away my hypothetical. What happened? you got a hurt at a volly fire? well see what happens when its cancers or a career ending injury. There's going to be a lot of fighting back and forth. Seen it happen. If you work for a mid sized city, they probably self insure so they'll put up a fight. Maybe if you work for a small time organization there will be less of a fight, but I doubt it.
                        Last edited by nameless; 07-14-2010, 12:47 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you are working part time or being a volly in the city where you live is one thing, but as a former chief in a full-time dept, I didnt like guys working part time in cities where they didnt live. How could I argue at budget time that we are worth X dollars a year with salary and benefits and need a certain number of guys on duty to do the job safely one day and then have people go do the same thing for $15 an hour with 2 guys on duty the next? The cops dont do it and neither should we.
                          I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nameless View Post
                            Since I can't comment on states besides NY, you don't have to be in the union to have the job. You also still benefit from the contract that is negotiated for you. So it is that simple.
                            I am not sure about all of the rules. I did however work in a place (in NYS) where you had to be a member of the union in order to work there. Don't join the Union then no job for you.

                            What is telling about what a horrible piece of legislation this must be is the fact it can't stand on its own. It had to be attached to a bill that is sure to pass.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are some valid points, however, it should still come down to a personal choice if someone wants to volunteer, without having to be ostracized by the union for making that choice.

                              It's still a load of crap.
                              Train to fight the fires you fight.

                              Comment

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