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Trade days

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  • Trade days

    We are a combination department with IAFF Representation for the career staff. We work the following schedule: on-off-on-off-on-off-off-off-off then start over with the same schedule. What I'm looking for is the FLSA ruling on trade days. I have heard that it is a contract between the two people trading and you pay them as though there was no trade. (IE firefighter A works for firefighter B on Tuesday, firefighter B gets paid for it). Can someone direct me to the opinion letter or whatever you use for your contract language? Thanks for any help on this.

  • #2
    It's called a swap in my FD.

    Firefighter A works a shift for Firefighter B.
    Firefighter B works a shift for Firefighter A another time.

    The firefighters keep track of their swaps, so the front office doesn't have to get involved. The firefighter working the swap goes on the daily attendance record, along with the name of the firefighter he is working for, so there is a record of it for payroll and for accountability when the ride list is done.

    The position on the rig is covered, it doesn't cause any problems (unless you don't get along with the firefighter working the swap ), nor does it cause overtime.

    In our contract, it states that swaps are not to be used for outside work, and that the person working the swap is responsible financially should he/she not show up. That firerfighter would either be charged a sick day, vacation day or a personal to make up for the swap.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 12-02-2006, 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling errors corrected!
    ‎"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


    • #3
      We had a ruling through human resources that swaps had to be completed in the same pay week. For FLSA you might want to look at what point you get overtime. We used to do it as Gonz describes and it worked great until someone screwed the system.


      • #4
        We work the same 3-4 schedule you do, and we have LOTS of trades.

        A trade is specifically when someone other than you works your day...and you still get paid for it. The District keeps track of the trades through our staffing software (TeleStaff), but it's not considered 'iron clad'. That is, it's your responsibility to keep track of your trades and who owes whom.

        You are responsible for the trade day, since you're being paid for it. You have to set up the trade and forward the appropriate email to staffing. Once it's on the books, so to speak, the person that is working in your place is now on the hook. If they fail to show up for work (ie - they forgot they made the trade and are too stupid to see the big, grey box on their TeleStaff Calendar), then they are charged 1.5 times the trade ours from their sick leave account and the District makes a CallBack for OT.

        We have the advantage that we're a large department with lots of folks working OT and Trades, so there is almost always someone to work. I'm sure it gets significantly more difficult as your department gets smaller. Anyway, this works well for us!


        • #5
          Without looking at the FLSA itself, I believe that it has nothing to with trades, the concept being that the actual hours worked does not change. FLSA deals with overtime, working hours, and so on, but trades don’t change the overall number of hours a member is actually working. If a member trades a day or hours today, they will be paying back that time somewhere in the future. In fact, on our FLSA reporting sheet, trades are not even recorded, so trades have no bearing whatsoever on actual hours worked.

          We incorporated trading shifts into our contract. Now, when a member trades a shift, the day they trade into becomes their actual work day, and the trade off is an actual off day, just as if it were always scheduled that way. If the trading member is late, or lays up, it is the same as any non-traded shift. The only limits are that we can not work more than 48 hours straight, and vacation days or Kelley-days can only be traded with members of the same shift, and all trades have to be completed inside of the same calendar year. There is no limit on the number of trades allowed.


          • #6
            Thank you

            Thanks to all of you for your responses. This will help me develope the MOU to be benefitial to both the department and the personnel.


            • #7
              Trade pool with 10 - 11 firefighters (need help)

              Hi, I work in Dade County Florida and I'm looking to start a trade pool with 10 - 11 firefighters. The idea is that each firefighter works 1 extra shift per month and then we'll each get to take 1 month off a year. I had a friend years ago in San Francisco Fire that mentioned this to me. I am unable to track him down to learn the process. Has anyone done this or heard about it? Hopefully, I can get some direction here. Thanks in advance.


              • #8
                "Shift Trades" in my department are essentially an agreement between two or more members regarding working for each other.

                For example, Firefighter A wants Firefighter B to work for him. Firefighter B shows up and works Firefighter A's shift. Firefighter A still gets paid because he was technically there. Firefighter A now owes Firefighter B "X" amount of hours of trade time. This is supposed to be a "time for time" arrangement but some cash payoffs have been known to occur privately among members to settle the "debt", i.e. "I'll pay you $250 to work for me next shift".

                The only official positions my department maintains with regards to trading time are as follows:

                1) The officer's discretion prevails (i.e. qualified member works for another member).

                2) A member may only trade X amount of hours per year. The officer is responsible for maintaining an awareness of how may hours someone in their command has traded. If the officer doesn't keep track of this, then no one else typically will (i.e. the command staff will never know unless someone tattles).

                3) The members supervisor must approve the trade (refer to Rule 1).

                4) Each shift trade is suppposed to have an "alternate" third person available to come into work. Often times, the original member will serve as the alternate. This is usually only used if someone traded multiple shifts off due to being out of town, vacation, and etc.

                5) The member trading time is ultimately responsible for ensuring someone covers his shift. If not, he is AWOL or a vacation day may be moved to the affected shift. For example, if Firefighter A gets Firefighter B to work for him and Firefighter B forgets to show up, Firefighter A is the one who is penalized (i.e. failure to show up to work). As a side-note, if Firefighter B is injured or gets sick while working for Firefighter A, Firefighter A is responsible for coming in to work or finding a suitable replacement, i.e. an alternate.

                6) The immediate supervisor must approve the trade. FFs and Drivers get their officer's approval; Lts and Capts get their BCs approval; BCs get their Deputy Chief's approval, and etc.

                We don't do any paperwork for trades. It is regarded as a priviledge among members and can be recinded if abused or misused.

                "There's no such thing as a free lunch."


                • #9
                  Trades are covered under FLSA as "Substitution". Then exact law can be found here: http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/553-31-subst...n-7-3-19683880
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