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Two Hatters

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  • Two Hatters

    I felt it would be more appropriate to move the Tim Lee etc. issue into the Canada forum, anyone who would care to respond, here's your place

  • #2
    Smoke, you mentioned in the ot her thread that you had an opportunity to converse directly with Mr. Lee. How did that go?


    • #3
      Ontario bill to protect career fire fighters who volunteer services defeated

      TORONTO (CP) -- A bill intended to protect professional fire fighters in Ontario who volunteer their services in their spare time went down in flames Wednesday, Dec. 11.

      The legislature soundly rejected the bill to protect ``double-hatters'' -- put forward by Tory backbencher Ted Arnott -- by a vote of 52-37.

      Double-hatters are considered crucial to scores of small communities across the province, who rely on them to beef up their volunteer fire fighter ranks.

      They are also a longtime tradition in the province.

      However, the International Association of Fire Fighters union bars the practice on the grounds that tired members could pose a safety risk and because they want communities to hire full-time fire fighters.

      In some cases, such as Whitby, Ont. fire fighter Tim Lee, the union has revoked his membership, putting his full-time job in jeopardy.

      Several cabinet ministers, most Liberals and all the New Democrats opposed the bill.

      Dave Thomson, who represents volunteer fire fighters in the province, was disappointed with the vote.

      ``I hate to say that the union will go after all two-hatters in the province and eliminate all two-hatters across in the province and it will have a big impact on fire protection and fire safety,'' Thomson said.

      ``It has an impact on all rural volunteer fire fighters across the province.''

      Professionals provide crucial training and direction to their volunteer colleagues, Thomson said.

      Supporters of the bill argued that small communities cannot afford to hire full-time fire fighters and would be left without effective services, creating a public safety crisis.

      The bill, which had narrowly passed second reading in June, had the support of dozens of municipalities and the provincial association representing fire chiefs.

      Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion previously said she was shocked by the union's threats to expel Lee and other volunteers, calling it a ``sad day'' for the province and fire fighters.

      ``This province, this country, would not exist without volunteers,'' McCallion said.

      One of the worst cases of biased reporting I have ever seen.


      • #4
        Sorry LadyCapn I mispoke or mistyped or whatever I did make a comment directly to him on a forum that he frequents, it went quite well as far as I'm concerned, although I may have upset a few of his minions


        • #5
          Two Hatters

          If the quote is correct...Tired members
          pose safety risk...I guess the union will
          try to ban firefighters from getting up
          in the middle of the night to feed babies
          while on their days off...
          What a joke! In my dept. lot's of guys
          have side jobs that pay....Some are vol.
          f/f too.

          Stay safe


          • #6
            Don try reading LadyCapn's post above, then try putting yourself in the shoes of some of your brothers that may be threatened by these two hatters, no one ,I think really has a problem with firefighters who want to volunteer their time in rural settings.


            • #7
              Two Hatters

              Sorry smoke286, maybe I'm stupid,but when
              I see a union going after their own...

              Could be I've been this job too long and seen too much (23+ years).Firefighters and all emergency workers generally are people
              who give of themselves to others.When any
              union or employer does something to squash
              that spirit they are harming themselves.
              This cannot be a motivating influence on
              firefighters...I don't know much about the
              story, but the IAFF, I am told is looking for ways that will increase new membership.

              If going after two hatters is their way
              God help rural FD.I am sure the former two
              hatters will be not too thrilled either.
              Firefighting is not a job...
              It is what we are...


              • #8
                Don, I'll have to disagree with you I guess, it may be what we are, but its also a job, just ask your employer next time you work, he'll be sure to tell you exactly who you work for.


                • #9
                  Don, I get the impression that you are not an IAFF member so maybe don't understand all the issues.

                  The big bad union has nothing against rural firefighters. What they are fighting against is full time firefighters who take advantage of all that the IAFF negotiates on their behalf, and then works part time for either the same municipality or another municipality for $11.00 an hour. I'm not talking about volunteering and responding when a call comes in, these guys work actual scheduled shifts along with full time personnel. Here is a municipality that has recognized the need for full time personnel, often has the tax base to support it, but will not hire them.

                  Or maybe you have firefighters working full time for a municipality, and volunteering within that same municipality. When the union negotiates a contract and tries to increase wages, does it not weaken their position when city negotiators point out that these same firefighters are willing to do the same job for 1/3 of the money? I have no idea what you do for a living, but I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if your employer hired a few more at substantially less your wage. Good luck negotiating a raise at your next evaluation.

                  Those fighting for the two-hatters have consistantly stated that by making them quit, it is a public safety risk. Saying basically that if a rural department doesn't have two-hatters then they are no good, can't cut it and are a risk to the communities they serve. I would think that would anger all rural firefighters who take pride in their training and dedication.
                  Last edited by LadyCapn; 12-16-2002, 08:41 PM.


                  • #10
                    Very well put LadyCapn


                    • #11
                      two hatters

                      I am a Full-time Captain in the 2nd
                      largest Fire Dept. in Canada.Montreal.

                      In 2002 all cities on the island of
                      Montreal were merged into one.

                      The new City of Montreal.

                      Prior to the merger there were several
                      smaller cities had both full-time and part-time firefighters.
                      The part-time f/f would be used to fill
                      absences but the the minimum staffing of permanent f/f on duty was maintained.

                      ie. full staff=15
                      min-staff =12 + 3 part-time.

                      These clauses in collective agreements
                      were negotiated in good faith to the
                      satisfaction of the majority of the each
                      local's members.I don't even know of
                      any situation in Quebec where an employee could work(paid) in two functions within the same dept.If that is what is going on those people who are doing it (F/F) need to be taken out behind the barn.
                      Sorry about the misunderstanding.



                      • #12
                        No problem Don, I apologize as well.
                        It is a very emotional issue and unfortunately there is no clear winner.
                        The original issue was an American initiative and as the union is international, we must follow as well.
                        There are numerous career firefighters who still volunteer in their rural home communities without being bothered by their union. With the specific case in question that was discussed on this other thread, I suspect the reason he has been such an issue is possibly the "in your face" attitude so there was little choice but to uphold the constitution. Just my opinion and not based on fact.


                        • #13
                          Don ,there are locals out there who do have this problem though. Because we work in an urban enviroment and do not face this problem ourselves does not, in my opinion, mean that we should not support the wishes of ours brothers who have to suffer through this situation. Of course we have no problem with volunteers per se (I myself was one for 12 years) but in some unfortunate areas management has made the threat of using or expanding the role of volunteers in essence in essence a bargaining ploy. It sort of defeats the purpose if some of your own union members are also volunteering in these "rival organizations"


                          • #14
                            My two cents for what it's worth. This topic,(Two Hatters)has been and continues to be a somewhat sensitive issue both for the fire service,(full time and volunteer), as well as a political hot potato in certain municipalities. As stated above there are those municipalities that may have the tax base for a full time service, but decide on a composite (or volunteer) system. With all the provincial downloading these days and the demand from interest groups for funding, it may be seen as being prudent and fiscally responsible. Of course there is risk management and liability to consider. So then taxpayers demand a higher level of protection, but soon balk at the cost. Therein lies the catch 22. Of course, the IAFF has its adgenda. The OFM creates the guidelines, but offers no solutions to the cost, and everybody points the finger elsewhere. It is easy to make statement and demands, but who foots the bill? Again just my two cents worth.....


                            • #15
                              Although I don't nessesarily agree with the union's stance, if bill 30 had of passed it would have been a major blow to labor relations all across the province.


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