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  • #31
    Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    .Technically, the increase would be paid for via future revenues and would be an expense paid and therefore would not actually be a part of the owner's profit.
    Right, if revenue remains flat (ie, the owner doesn't raise his prices), then any increase in expenses, be it utilities or wages, decreases his profit. So you are telling him how to spend his profits - on your increased wages.

    So unless a worker (or a union) comes to the table with a "give me more pay and I'll give you more income to cover it" proposal, what incentive does the owner have to pay the worker any more?

    If the worker determines that withholding his services is the appropriate answer, that amounts to extortion - "pay, or else."

    The employees of the Rock Island Railroad held out - and the railroad folded. Instead of no increase, they got no job at all.

    If the owner does raise his prices to cover the increased wages, that's just part of a vicious circle, because the worker now has to spend part of his newfound wealth to pay for the very same item he got for less money before he got his raise.

    I realize that's simplistic. But it's one of the things that's gotten us to where we are today.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
      The owner of a (private) business absolutely has the right to spend his profits however he wishes.

      However profits are just that, profits - as in the money that is left over once all expenses have been paid. Trying to negotiate better compensation isn't specifically telling an owner how to spend his profits, because any increase wouldn't necessarily be paid out of any profits already on hand.

      Technically, the increase would be paid for via future revenues and would be an expense paid and therefore would not actually be a part of the owner's profit.


      the OP used the term profit so that is what i ran with. I understand spreadsheets and purposely kept my comments inline with the OP’s so as not to get into semantics. Not saying you are, your thought is valid. I could see the conversation devolving quickly, however, over revenues, earnings, ebitda, net and gross…. So I tried to avoid it.

      "fairly sharing" is specifically what i was addressing. Unless your a production employee, willing to take profits and losses, you are not entitled to anything more than what your employer is willing to pay you. It's not unfair, IMO, for an owner, to pay someone without considering their own income or revenues. It could be argued it would be nice, better.... I'm just saying, its not unfair.

      Comment


      • #33
        I am still trying to figure out how firefighters can be compared to private industry. We are not money makers. We cost money. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I sit at the table, I fully understand what my employer can afford and what is reasonable. We negotiate accordingly. Not really that difficult. If you think that management should be able to do whatever, whenever they want, I will have to continue to disagree with you. Fire Departments are not cheap. Municipalities across the country had it pretty good for a long time with volunteers, paid on call etc. but there is a new reality. The standards are much higher for all firefighters. Many of us are paramedics. There is phenomenom called a "contract firemedic" that is found in the Chicagoland region. These are hired by for profit companies. The ranks are made up of guys waiting to get hired as career firefighters and those who cannot get hired as career firefighters. The pay and benefits reflect that. If thats what you want for YOUR community thats peachy but I think it is the worst of all worlds.
        IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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        • #34
          Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
          I am still trying to figure out how firefighters can be compared to private industry.
          We have a product we are selling (public safety) to a group of customers (the taxpayers).

          The question is how much they are willing to pay for that product.

          This is no different than buying a car. If you're willing to spend the money, you can buy a Rolls. If you're not, you can always get a Yugo.

          Some people have that choice - they have the money (tax base) available and they're willing to spend it on the Rolls.

          Some people are simply stuck with the Yugo as that's all their resources will allow, unless they start skipping meals.

          Of course, we're in competition with all of the other things people can buy - police, roads, parks, pools, etc, and all the things people need to buy - water, sewer, social welfare, etc.

          So we need to convince the customers that they need the service/product we are offering - the firefighters, the fire trucks, the fire stations - and at the price we are asking. If we don't, they won't buy (fund) our product.

          Relying on "we're the fire department and we're important" argument is a recipe for failure.
          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

          Comment


          • #35
            I am well aware of the analogy of our service vs. what the taxpayer spends for that service. However, you still cannot really compare the fire department to private industry. Yes I know there are private fire brigades but we are not producing anything that can be bought or sold. The fire department is its own animal. This thread is about unions. I obviously am pro union. Not breaking any new ground since the IAFF was formed in 1918....you know when firefighters actually LIVED at the firehouse, save for one or two days a year.

            If you look at the hours that most career firefighters are working in this country per year, without receiving overtime (12 hours a week for me) we are actually a pretty good deal. Every other city employee is scheduled 2080 per year as opposed to my 2708. Firefighters by nature generally enjoy their jobs and sometimes the satisfaction that comes with it is actually used against us. Why shouldnt I get a 40 hour week like everyone else?
            Good discussion.
            IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
              Why shouldnt I get a 40 hour week like everyone else?
              Do you actually want a 40 hour work week? It's a good compromise, giving up that OT in exchange for the schedule.

              We are a living insurance policy, so we are comparable to some for-profit businesses. How much is it worth to people to have protection? Bodyguards are also a comparable business.

              The major difference in business versus government service is this:

              In business, profit is the end and the product is the means.

              In government, the "product" is the end and the profit is the means.
              Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

              Comment


              • #37
                Johnny the question I posed was more rhetorical. I remember how the city was going to "punish" us by putting us on 8 hour shifts. We immediately agreed much their amazement. Until they figured out how they would have to hire an entire fourth shift. 24/48 or 48/96 etc is not for OUR benefit. It saves the city money. I personally enjoy making enough money that I dont have to work another job on top of my 52 hr a week job anymore.
                IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
                  Johnny the question I posed was more rhetorical. I remember how the city was going to "punish" us by putting us on 8 hour shifts. We immediately agreed much their amazement. Until they figured out how they would have to hire an entire fourth shift. 24/48 or 48/96 etc is not for OUR benefit. It saves the city money. I personally enjoy making enough money that I dont have to work another job on top of my 52 hr a week job anymore.
                  It certainly benefits me. I drive to work a lot less than other people. It's a trade off if you look at it from a broader view.
                  Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Excellent post. I am an E-board member for our Local. We are in a right to work state. Also, our City also does not recognize our Local, so we operate without a contract. However, we have still been very effective as a collective group through other avenues (i.e. Council meetings, newspapers, etc.), as well as actively working with management to address issues and initiate change.
                    Last edited by fyrmnk; 03-18-2011, 09:10 PM.
                    FTM-PTB-RFB
                    IACOJ

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      jc, again, thank you for an informative and well articulated post. Free and open discussion of ideas and opinions is one of the things that makes this country great. We may not agree but we can respect each other and exchange ideas\opinions respectfully.

                      I cannot disagree with what you say, especially about unions making for a safer workplace for all. Even us volly firefighters benefit from paid union ff's and their accomplishments.

                      You do however neglect to mention the big, stinky elephant in the room. That being overspending and fiscal irresponsibility by many municipalities. We can blame whoever for the problem, it doesn't matter. The problem has existed for too long. Government in it's current state cannot be sustained and must be curtailed. Hence the word sustainability in my thread.

                      EVERY aspect of government spending, city\county\state\fed must be scrutinized and justified including public safety personnel.
                      My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
                        I don't know about the rest of you, but when I sit at the table, I fully understand what my employer can afford and what is reasonable. We negotiate accordingly. Not really that difficult.
                        So what if what is "reasonable" is more than what your employer can afford yet you demand it anyhow??
                        My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Blulakr View Post
                          So what if what is "reasonable" is more than what your employer can afford yet you demand it anyhow??
                          Then by definition that isn't "reasonable." Any deal that is negotiated is vetted by the bean counters to ensure it is "reasonable."
                          I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Blulakr View Post
                            You do however neglect to mention the big, stinky elephant in the room. That being overspending and fiscal irresponsibility by many municipalities. We can blame whoever for the problem, it doesn't matter. The problem has existed for too long. Government in it's current state cannot be sustained and must be curtailed. Hence the word sustainability in my thread.
                            The purpose of the thread is to help provide an insight into why unions came about and some basic functions os unions and how they operate. I also wanted to address misconceptions like union dues being used for political campaigns, but instead to address how they are used.



                            Fiscal irresponsibility and overspending is not the purpose here nor part of the original post for a reason. Quite simply, every place is different, be it public or private, union or not. If one really wanted to address spending or fiscal irresponsibility, it goes beyond unions. There is no secret some communities are better off than others and service levels do vary, but like I also mentioned in the original post, there are many non-fiscal things which can still be negotiated.

                            For majority of places, that is what unions do with mgmt, negotiate, talk, discuss, and then agree on terms. A contract is the agreement that comes out and in the contract it identifies management rights as much as union. It must be remembered than any contract or any negotiations do take two sides. There is still misinformation out there that unions just make outrageous demands that break the employer, etc, but that is not the case at all, if one would really look into such issues, they would find a vast majority of unions do understand the economy of any employer and a vast majority have made concessions to address the economic times of today.
                            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


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Blulakr View Post
                              So what if what is "reasonable" is more than what your employer can afford yet you demand it anyhow??
                              What if the cow jumped over the moon? We don't "demand" anything. Some of you people are truly brainwashed...and misinformed.
                              IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                A negotiated contract makes life much easier for labor AND management. Clearly defined benefits, work rules etc. keep everyone on the same page. If either side decides to deviate, there is a clear path and mechanism to deal with it. Each and every IAFF local is autonomous. That means we don't get free lawyers. We negotiate with our employers at a LOCAL level. We win some and we lose some. It is a FAIR system to EVERYONE...including the taxpayer. I think some of you out here think we wave a magic wand and the union fairy comes in and stuffs money in our pockets....
                                I agree 1000% that goverment needs to stop its wasteful ways. Myself and the members of my local earn a decent but not extravagant living. We work more then our fair share of hours in a fairly busy corner of the world. We have a good and well funded pension that is a miniscule portion of our citizens tax bill. We are not a drain on the system and we certainly are not waste. The Brother from Packerland has covered all the key points. Good luck to all the brothers and sisters out there who have no bargaining rights. I admire how hard you have to work not only to earn a fair living, but also to protect your members from management shenaningans.
                                IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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