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Why I Love Unions ... Another reason.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by LT2387 View Post
    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.
    So your volunteering is masking a real issue in your local community? A system where "numerous runs" are covered by a single responder begs for a more permanent solution.

    I'm personally not against volunteering where it has no effect on another local, but it also shouldn't be used to as a method to cover poor public policy and help deny there's real problem. Of course this is only exacerbated by the tanking economy. It's a lose-lose right now. The people can't afford what they need.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by firepiper1 View Post
      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.
      That is an outstanding point! The union fights for minimum staffing citing safety reasons, then the membership goes and volunteers in a VFD where proper staffing is not even considered. Sort of kills the Union's position at work, no?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
        That is an outstanding point! The union fights for minimum staffing citing safety reasons, then the membership goes and volunteers in a VFD where proper staffing is not even considered. Sort of kills the Union's position at work, no?
        Minimum staffing isn't considered?

        Then why do departments utilize automatic aid?

        Sorry. The simple fact is a career firefighter should have the right to choose if he wants to volunteer. The should be no consequences if he/she chooses to.
        Train to fight the fires you fight.

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        • #19
          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.
          You still have to pay. So, yes it is more complicated then simply "not joining".
          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."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by KCFireguy View Post
            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.
            If you are covered under presumptive laws...this is a huge problem as you note. With everyone looking to save a dime nowadays I'd think twice before giving someone a reason to deny you a disablity pension.

            FTM-PTB

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
              You still have to pay. So, yes it is more complicated then simply "not joining".
              One must pay the adminstrative fee for adminstration of your contract. The bulk of the money a union spends usually falls into this category.

              FTM-PTB

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              • #22
                Originally posted by FFFRED View Post
                One must pay the adminstrative fee for adminstration of your contract. The bulk of the money a union spends usually falls into this category.

                FTM-PTB
                Right, Complicated.
                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


                • #23
                  Originally posted by firepiper1 View Post
                  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.
                  Volunteers volunteer pretty much where they live - it's the nature of the beast.

                  We have two career staffed departments in our county - one federal, one municipal. All of the other fire protection is via volunteers. This isn't because the towns with the volunteers are trying to cheap out - it's because the money isn't there to fund full-time paid staff.

                  Putting on one four FF staffed engine would easily triple the fire protection portion of our property taxes, and that would be to cover over 100 square miles with a population of about 4000 (year round - in summertime it can approach 10,000).

                  With around 250-300 calls a year, there are weeks that we don't go out the door at all. And days when we might go out several times.

                  The neighboring townships are similar.

                  This is a chiefly rural area. Volunteer firefighters are how we provide the service. So it is in many parts of the country.

                  The two IAFF locals at the career departments are tolerant of volunteers - they appear to understand the situation and realize that the volunteers aren't stealing their jobs. If anything, they are providing a benefit to the communities, as many of the union members have served as chief officers in their volunteer departments.

                  I can understand the union's stance in areas that are on the cusp of going to career staffing, but methinks there aren't a lot of those, comparatively speaking

                  As for volunteering for and getting paid by the same organization - that's not a union issue. That goes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. It was the county-based fire departments in Maryland that learned that lesson the hard way, much to the chagrin of those who wanted to do so. In that case, FFs worked at one station in the county and gladly volunteered at another. That was found to be violation of FLSA.

                  Oh - and the cops do do it - posse's, reserves, etc - for no pay, or for a fraction of what the career staff is paid. It's just not as prevalent.
                  Last edited by tree68; 07-14-2010, 08:37 AM.
                  Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                  Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                  • #24
                    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.
                    In other words, they know there is not enough support for this bill on it's own. Must be a good reason there is not enough support.
                    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
                      In other words, they know there is not enough support for this bill on it's own. Must be a good reason there is not enough support.
                      This is what gets me angry, even ignoring the controversy of the bill. It has NOTHING to do with the legislation it's tied to!

                      Tying a Collective Bargaining rider to a "must-pass" defense appropriations bill is BS. Situations like this make me wonder if Presidential Line-Item veto was a good idea.
                      So you call this your free country
                      Tell me why it costs so much to live
                      -3dd

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                      • #26
                        Here's my opinion.

                        There is a bill going through in PA that will allow for volunteers that have been active firefighters for a minimum of 5 years will be covered by workman's comp for cancers that are related to firefighting. This will cover that issue.

                        If I don't want to join the union, I still have to pay the same as you, but I don't get the same benefits from the fees. All I get is the benefits from collective bargaining and possibly pension administation. That does not seem fair to me. This is the same as teachers here.

                        As for police not volunteering, there are several police officers around here that are also volunteer firmen.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                          This is what gets me angry, even ignoring the controversy of the bill. It has NOTHING to do with the legislation it's tied to!

                          Tying a Collective Bargaining rider to a "must-pass" defense appropriations bill is BS. Situations like this make me wonder if Presidential Line-Item veto was a good idea.
                          It would be nice if we had some sort of rule that would prohibit bills from dealing with more than one subject at a time.
                          "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
                            ...


                            As for police not volunteering, there are several police officers around here that are also volunteer firmen.
                            I think the point being made was you don't see cops working paid at one department, then volunteering to be reserve officers or whatever at another police department.
                            Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
                              If I don't want to join the union, I still have to pay the same as you, but I don't get the same benefits from the fees. All I get is the benefits from collective bargaining and possibly pension administation. That does not seem fair to me. This is the same as teachers here.
                              This is not the case everywhere. In our state you do not have to pay dues nor be a member of the Union. You are basically covered under the same contract and get all the city benefits, but none that come directly from the union. Then when you need the Union you pay 6 months back dues and are granted full membership and Union counsel for your pending issue.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mrpita View Post
                                I think the point being made was you don't see cops working paid at one department, then volunteering to be reserve officers or whatever at another police department.
                                really? because there are quite a few around here that work for either county or other larger towns as a career and work reserve times during large events. It happens more often than you would think.

                                I see the pros and cons of volunteering and joining a few depts, but the fact of the matter is, if i cant make a living working for a career dept. then i should be able to support myself how i choose.

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