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Why I Love Unions ... Another reason.

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  • #61
    Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
    A slight tangent:

    I don't disagree with your belief.. it makes sense. How does that stance change when a department is regionalized.. as in your example above?

    Right now I could work in city A, and volunteer in town B both in the same county. If the Fire Service were to reorganize into a county department I'd then have to stop volunteering?

    Just seems that there should be an exception when a department spans a large geographic and economic area and was comprised of many different organizational entities (separate VFD's..etc).

    I'm not ducking your question, just take a look at where resolution 43 originated; Prince George's County, MD.

    I have no desire to get into a slugfest with anyone about that area, but I believe that the entire area covers what you're talking about. It is also a very heated debate down there, and covers just about every IAFF local in the region.

    I guess my perspective is to say what is more important to you? Volunteering with a particular department; being a member of the county-wide job and an IAFF member, and not volunteering; being a member of the county-wide department, volunteering and not being a part of the IAFF.

    Those are questions that each person must answer for themselves. I am not a huge supporter of the IAFF, but very much believe in my local. For now at least, being a part of my local means being a part of the International; we'll see what the future holds.

    I really believe that the whole start of this "anti-volunteering" stance by the IAFF originated from your stated situation. It also changes by region; as FyredUp stated earlier, private ambulances are far more of a threat to both of our jobs than are volunteer/POC departments.

    I think people need to remember that the IAFF is a non-government entity. My department/city also has a policy against being a member of another department, save for the Air National Guard fire department, for obvious reasons.
    There is no infringement on any persons rights. It is simply an agreement between the IAFF and the people who choose to be a part of that organization.

    It is no different than really, than our residency rule. All city employees, including firefighters must reside inside the city limits as a condition of employment. The rule is not an infringement on our rights, as US citizens, because we agree to it at the time we voluntarily take the job. People argue everywhere that it is unconstitutional, when it really is not.

    If a person doesn't like the IAFF, it's policies or rules, they don't have to belong to it.
    Last edited by jasper45; 07-14-2010, 02:39 PM.

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    • #62
      Listen as much as I do not like the fact that careers are sometimes prohibited from volunteering on a vollie FD, I understand the issue.

      I am not career and I have never been a part of a union, but my employer prohibits me from using my skills for another business under a conflict of interest, whether I am doing a friend a favor or getting paid. It has always been that way. They are not saying I cannot use my skills elsewhere but not for a similar business, competitor or customer.

      On the flip side, should a FF be treated any different when wanting to volunteer? Governments, state, local and federal, are encouraging volunteerism in the community.

      This is a double sided issue.

      But if collective bargaining is allowed will that not solve the problem? Couldn't it be stipulated that the career guys can volunteer on a vollie FD? Couldn't there be stipulation in there stating that volunteering is acceptable without interior work to limit the exposure to cancer issues and physical harm?

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      • #63
        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
        The IAFF actually believes that there should be paid firefighters in every department?
        I believe I've heard that mentioned, at least in spirit.
        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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        • #64
          Those that bitch the most about the "big bAd IAFF" don't have a freaking clue as to what it does or how it has improved the working conditions of ALL FIREFIGHTERS.
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
            Those that bitch the most about the "big bAd IAFF" don't have a freaking clue as to what it does or how it has improved the working conditions of ALL FIREFIGHTERS.
            I am sure George W. Bush has done some great things that improved the conditions for Democrats, and Obama has done some great things already that will improve the conditions for Republicans. That doesn't make both of them perfect and there are still lots of bad things to complain about.

            Same for the IAFF.
            "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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            • #66
              Originally posted by zackman1801 View Post
              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.
              Yeah, really. This isn't what he's likely talking about either.

              Working an event like a concert or fair basically as "Security" is not the same thing as hoping in a PD car and answering 911 calls as a volunteer. This typically doesn't happen. This is probably what he was talking about.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                The IAFF actusally beleives that there should be paid firefighters in every department?
                Why is it such a big deal to think that firefighters should be compensated for their efforts?

                They actually beleive that volunteers are unable to provide high-quality fire protection in most communties in the US?
                Well, that could very well be true, but at the very minimum it's an opinion. No different than a person believing that volunteers do provide high-quality fire protection.



                I kind of find this whole thing a bit comical. The Bill is about allowing a group of employees (aka bargaining unit) to have the ability to sit down with their employer and discuss their working conditions and collectively make decisions regarding them. It's called Collective Bargaining for a reason! Is that really such a bad thing?

                Additionally, it's a bit amusing that people are trying to link this to the "volunteer" issue. The Bill already has a provision to restrict the ability to stop career personnel from volunteering. Plus, the ability of a group of paid firefighters to organize (form a Union) and then collectively bargain with their employer over employment conditions really has nothing to do with the volunteer fire service.

                So why does the volunteer fire service feel the need to push their way into (and seemingly oppose) an issue that really doesn't have anything to do with them, but could actually "help" them in the membership area?

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                  The IAFF actusally beleives that there should be paid firefighters in every department? They actually beleive that volunteers are unable to provide high-quality fire protection in most communties in the US?

                  Please inform me how the volunteer fire service is competetion.

                  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.

                  This is right from the article you posted, so why do you keep going off about those who want to volunteer can't?

                  The issue about volunteering stems from those depts and those areas where the dept is combination and you have FT members on other depts being POC or volunteer with another combination dept.

                  Now this measure only states that unions are not allowed to stipulate that volunteering is not allowed, it makes no mention of management making such a stipulation. Where I'm at, the previous mgmt frowned upon FF's volunteering elsewhere and majority of those who did volunteer, resigned their volly spot to be FT. The new chief doesn't care if FF's volunteer and we do have members who do so, although not in depts where there are other FT IAFF members. I also know of a larger city here that no volunteering is a stipulation for employment, there are several members of that dept that do volunteer, but are grandfathered.

                  So it now becomes more interesting that the non-union management can stipulate the ceasesation of volunteering outside of the FT work, yet you feel compelled just to bash on the union side of things, correct?

                  As for the volunteer side of things, well the argument has been out there numerous times in any career vs volly thread with people taking their sides. Frankly there are many career depts with more training hours, more actual calls, etc that can provide a better service. There are some volly depts that can make the same type of claims, but there is a big difference when it comes to standards, such as health and wellness. Tough to comply with when you have volunteers who will dictate their job as being "exterior only" or "driver only" and then there are depts with the "take what you can get mantra".

                  As for this bill, the collective bargaining just gives all career FF's, police officers, and public safety personnel the opportunity to negotiate in good faith and fairly. You don't have public safety unions having the ability to strike, as some did in many years past, that is why there is arbitration from a neutral third party. So much talk about unions striking to strongarm are baseless. What I see a failure to mention by many anti-unionists here is the fact of how many unions have reopened contracts and conceeded concessions because of economic times.

                  They actually beleive that volunteers are unable to provide high-quality fire protection in most communties in the US?
                  Meanwhile on the flip side of things, there have been a mention of several volunteer FF's walking off the dept because of a tift with the chief or governing board etc. Tough to argue about high quality when there are examples of people walking off.



                  From Gonz: Those that bitch the most about the "big bAd IAFF" don't have a freaking clue as to what it does or how it has improved the working conditions of ALL FIREFIGHTERS.

                  Absolutely. There is a lot, especially in regards to safety etc, whic ALL firefighters benefit from because of what the IAFF has done. Furthermore, within our state the PFFW worked hard for and secured presumptive cancer, heart and lung, and infectious disease laws. Which means if one gets cancer or infectious disease, it is assumed it was from the job. This benefits all firefighters, not just the career, in this state.
                  Last edited by jccrabby3084; 07-14-2010, 06:55 PM.
                  The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by mrpita View Post
                    OK, when they "work reserve times during large events" are they volunteer, or are they hired as temporary paid positions?

                    Either way, being paid at one dept. and vollie at another is far less common in their realm than it is in ours. Further, I would be surprised if the FOP held a much different opinon (of those paid members who volunteer elsewhere) than that of the IAFF.
                    True it is far less common but it still does happen.

                    My question is why is the IAFF so concerned about their firefighters being volunteers elsewhere. If they are concerned with injuries that might be had on the job how come they dont have policies in place that limit where their members can work. What if one of their firefighers wanted to work as a police officer, or maybe a coal miner, a construction worker, or a logger? All of them are extremely high risk occupations, but it seems that no one has any problems with members working these jobs, Why is that?
                    Could they, or more importantly would they speak up about something like this?

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by zackman1801 View Post
                      My question is why is the IAFF so concerned about their firefighters being volunteers elsewhere. If they are concerned with injuries that might be had on the job how come they dont have policies in place that limit where their members can work. What if one of their firefighers wanted to work as a police officer, or maybe a coal miner, a construction worker, or a logger?
                      The issue isn't about career FF's volunteering elsewhere, as it moreso where they volunteer. The issue is moreso about FF's who work for one dept then volunteer for another department where there are already other IAFF members. The issue is that union FF's shouldn't be doing work of other union FF's for free. The IAFF is looking out for the best interest of their members, they don't concern themselves with loggers, miners, construction, etc.
                      The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
                        The issue isn't about career FF's volunteering elsewhere, as it moreso where they volunteer. The issue is moreso about FF's who work for one dept then volunteer for another department where there are already other IAFF members. The issue is that union FF's shouldn't be doing work of other union FF's for free. The IAFF is looking out for the best interest of their members, they don't concern themselves with loggers, miners, construction, etc.
                        But the fact is they are not doing the work of other union firefighters.

                        They are occupying a volunteer position. Thier volunteering is not taking a career position from anyone.

                        The "career" positions do not exist. They are not taking away a job from any union member.

                        That is my issue when an IAFF members uses that line of thinking. How can you take a way a job from somebody when a job or position does not exist?
                        Train to fight the fires you fight.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                          But the fact is they are not doing the work of other union firefighters.

                          They are occupying a volunteer position. Thier volunteering is not taking a career position from anyone.

                          The "career" positions do not exist. They are not taking away a job from any union member.

                          That is my issue when an IAFF members uses that line of thinking. How can you take a way a job from somebody when a job or position does not exist?
                          I've watched many of the posts here for a while, and you're line of thinking is in outer space!

                          If the IAFF members were not volunteering for the combination department, the staffing would be supplemented with paid positions. This in turn strengthens the union.

                          See how it works now?

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                            But the fact is they are not doing the work of other union firefighters.

                            They are occupying a volunteer position. Thier volunteering is not taking a career position from anyone.

                            The "career" positions do not exist. They are not taking away a job from any union member.

                            That is my issue when an IAFF members uses that line of thinking. How can you take a way a job from somebody when a job or position does not exist?
                            Are you "punking" us, or do you really not understand this issue, thru your purely blind hatred?

                            This isn't about departments that are volunteer, and volunteer alone, or even non-IAFF career departments. There are plenty of departments that are volunteer alone and will always be staffed that way.
                            The issue arises when a department is a combination, in which the professional staff is organized as a part of the IAFF. Perhaps the department uses one or two professional members to staff an engine and then relies on volunteer members to fill the other spots on a company. When members of a different IAFF local "work" as a volunteer on that rig, while those employed by that department, as IAFF members of that local are staffing it as their career, is where the problem is.

                            Maybe the positions are only volunteer or not career, but the members from the other IAFF local are helping to take away other career positions or over-time from other IAFF members.
                            This is an organization trying to help IT'S dues paying members, which you are not. As far as I know, this issue doesn't affect you in the least. Your department is not an IAFF affiliate, so even if IAFF members volunteer in your department, the IAFF could not care less, because they are only taking work away from non-IAFF members; perhaps even money out of your very own pocket.


                            It's really that simple.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I think he's got the whole "the IAFF won't let anyone volunteer anywhere" mentality. Which is wrong, but they won't listen. Go volunteer all you want in an all-volunteer department or combo departments without a local. Start dabbling in combo departments that have IAFF locals, and that's where the issue arises, if there's a problem at all, it still has to be brought up by someone.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by jasper45 View Post
                                Are you "punking" us, or do you really not understand this issue, thru your purely blind hatred?

                                This isn't about departments that are volunteer, and volunteer alone, or even non-IAFF career departments. There are plenty of departments that are volunteer alone and will always be staffed that way.
                                The issue arises when a department is a combination, in which the professional staff is organized as a part of the IAFF. Perhaps the department uses one or two professional members to staff an engine and then relies on volunteer members to fill the other spots on a company. When members of a different IAFF local "work" as a volunteer on that rig, while those employed by that department, as IAFF members of that local are staffing it as their career, is where the problem is.

                                Maybe the positions are only volunteer or not career, but the members from the other IAFF local are helping to take away other career positions or over-time from other IAFF members.
                                This is an organization trying to help IT'S dues paying members, which you are not. As far as I know, this issue doesn't affect you in the least. Your department is not an IAFF affiliate, so even if IAFF members volunteer in your department, the IAFF could not care less, because they are only taking work away from non-IAFF members; perhaps even money out of your very own pocket.


                                It's really that simple.
                                I understand what you are saying, but maybe I simply don't comprehend the logic.

                                So let me get this straight.

                                The IAFF ebelives that if a department has a few career members to handle the day to day admin, maintainence and other routine functions of the fire department, the entire staff of the department should be career, or at a minimum part-time career (from other career departments) irregardless of call volume, and even if the supplementary volunteer staff is sufficient to handle the call volume?

                                So in the eyes of the IAFF, it is wrong for a career member of another department to volunteer for a combo department, even if the community is unable to finically support a fully career department, or if the run volume simply doesn't justify a fully 100% career staff?

                                If that is the logic, it simply shows how narrow minded and focused the union is on jobs and notreally worried about a community ability to deliver quality fire protection at a reasonable cost to the community - the taxpayers. The purpose of a fire department is simply to deliver quality fire protection (as well as rescue and EMS, depending on the community)to the community. The purpose of the fire department is not to provide jobs, which based on your postd, seems to be the sole motivation of the union rules. If it can be done by completly by volunteers, fine. if it requires a few career members with volunteer support, fine. The idea that if a department isn't delivering jobs, but is instead using volunteers to deliver that service is somehow commiting a horrible wrong against the fire service makes no sense to me.

                                I'm sorry, but this concept that volunteers are simply a roadblock to more full-time staff, which appears to be the attitude of the union, is simply one that I can't, and will never buy. Volunteers have the same right to those positions as a yet-to-hired-career, or in most cases in most ciommunities never-to-be hired, member , and if the volunteers are still providing the service, even if the funds are available (which in most places you describe, they are not, and never will be), they have the right to remain in that role.

                                perhaps even money out of your very own pocket.

                                Nope.

                                Our volunteers are making my life easier. I have no desire to see any additional paid staff. In fact, I think the one more per shift we are hiring soon is a mistake and waste of money. The fact is we deliver a higher level of fire protection per call than any neighboring combo department, because of our volunteers.
                                Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-15-2010, 04:04 PM.
                                Train to fight the fires you fight.

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