Long time viewer, very new poster here.
I apologize if this topic has been beaten up before, but my dept. (federal) may be a little different on this one.
I posted this under the federal firefighter section, but wanted the municipal side opinion as well.
How does your department handle the forced overtime rotation should your manning for the shift fall below minimum at your house?
long story short on me ..
I work a 72 work week with 24 on 24 off with a Kelly day every 6th shift (pretty standard federal schedule)
Overtime is rampant with manning being down (hiring freeze) and the minimum manning not changing. It is often that all off going ff's turn down an entire shift of OT and the brass then need to force a guy to work 72 straight. We currently rotate the force list by the oldest date FF being the next to be forced. (ff's forced recently to the bottom of the list)
The chief is pretty open minded and told the union we could come up with a new rotation policy as long as he has his minimum numbers for the shift. Figured I would 'ask around' and get some ideas.
Thanks in advance.
We just work, right now we are working 72 on and 72 off. This has been going on for two months, we lost one whole shift due to other jobs they found. This is supposed to end around the end of November, then we go back to 48/96. When it comes to overtime we just work it, maybe the guy's from the bigger departments can help you more.
Senior guy is offered it first, then next in line and so on down to the bottom guy. Each person can accept or decline the OT. If everyone declines then the lowest man is forced to work it.
We use a point scale, lowest is required to cover but others can offer to work to get more points. In the end it is the lowest point guys responsibility to cover or see that it is covered.
Ours has the list based on newest guys at the top of the list. Once you're forced, you're moved to the bottom of the list. A new hired may get forced within his first week, but then it's got to go through everyone on the list before it gets back to him again. Well, everyone that's not on duty and that they can get a hold of on that particular day.
When you promote, you're automatically at the top of the list for that position/classification.
Mandatory overtime is handed out on a reverse seniority basis, here.
Staffing is put together in the morning of every shift, and sent to the respective battalion chief by 0900 hours. Any member who wishes to be placed in the pool for overtime must notify their company officer by 0830 hours.
All battalion chiefs send their battalion's staffing and vacancies, along with any overtime volunteers to the city-wide shift commander-firefighting deputy chief.
The firefighting deputy chief then determines who is eligible to be hired, and where they will be hired to for the next day.
Once all overtime volunteers have been hired, a directive comes out for all company officers to generate a "mandate list" from members who are working that day. Mandates are held to on-duty members only, simply because it is easier to notify them they will be working. They're at work, so there is no issue with the notification.
Once a member is mandated, they are not supposed to be mandated again until all other members in that pay grade have been mandated. That isn't always the case, do to a mandate list applying to members on duty, and seniority.
I've been mandated once in 15 years on the job, Christmas day of my first year.
It really isn't an issue right now, because overtime is so abundant. We have well over 200 vacancies right now, department wide. Guys are working as many days as they can, while they can, before the next years budget cuts take effect.
Overtime here is a 24 hour shift, and members volunteer for the very next calendar day. This means that if a member is at work on Monday, and they would like an opportunity to work overtime, they must volunteer Monday morning in order to be hired for Tuesday.
We don't have an issue when it comes to forced overtime. I'm not sure when the last time somebody was forced, but it's entirely possible we don't have an SOP for it (or atleast not a current one).
We have for 4 shifts, so if OT is needed, it's split up so each shift has the opportunity to work. For example, if we need to cover a full 24 hour shift, then 1 shift will get first shot at the 8a-4p portion, another shift the 4p-12a portion and the last shift will get 12a-8a. There is a pre-determined order for the shifts in each time period. If everybody on the shift passes on the OT, then it goes to the next shift in the rotation for than time period.
OT is offered within each shift based on seniority in a rotating basis. Most senior is offered first, then the next time OT comes up, whomever's at the next in line gets offered first.
We're a small department, but we've got enough guys that want the OT that its never reached the point were somebody needs to be forced in the time I've been there.
interesting to see how others handle this.
Thanks for the response.
It seems to me that after a certain point of time, it becomes a safety issue due to extreme fatigue. Afterall, working long tours such as what you describe, would be difficult to perform your jobs at peak efficiency while at the same time making critical decisions..I'd think that the union would approach it from a safety point of view with the chief or powers that be in the department. If it were me, i'd still refuse the overtime; safety and health are more important then the overtime and risk putting people's lives and safety in jepardy.
Originally Posted by fedfire33
Ours goes by standard seniority in a rotating basis... If your up for OT you cover it or find someone else to cover it for you... If not then its yours... The only way we can pass it is after covering it for one shift and you don't work then you have the option to pass it to next guy down the list, but if you don't pass it then it's yours until worked....
I wish we COULD work overtime. We're not even allowed. We can't come in and work our liberty days (what we call a Kelly day; every 9th shift is a paid day off). If we have to hold over because the incoming shift had someone late or sick, we only get comp time, and not even at time and a half.
Overtime is based on hours. Those with the least amount of hours get asked first, then it goes down the line.
One gets charged whether you work or not.
New hires get the hours of the highest ranking private, excluding those with specialty jobs (motor squad, arson investigator, Pub Ed personnel, etc.)
Promotions get the average hours of the rank they are promoted to.
If everybody on the offgoing shift refuses OT, then the firefighter with the lowest OT hours gets ordered to stay to maintain the minimum staffing level.
He/she, however,may use the paging system to see if anyone else would like to work in his/her place.
The firefhgter who accepts the OT hours gets charged with the hours of the OT tour worked.
We have an "Order Back" policy used for manning situations. the list is established by seniority and rotation, each member has a Minitor pager and one phone number to be used for the order back.
We have 4 platoons and work 3 on and 3 off, so the platoon on the "96" shift, which is the one just coming off days and will come back on nights after their time off is first up for order back.
The dispatcher starts the list by the first one on the 96 up for order back by calling that person, if they answer the phone call, they are ordered back. (wait to listen to the message, that way you can decide then if you want to work)
The dispatcher can leave a message advising of the order back and also page them if they don't answer the phone, there is a 10 minute window to answer the phone call.
If nobody on 96 answers, then the 72 shift is called. The 72 is the shift coming off of nights and are off until their next day shift. Then if nobody from the 72 answers the O/B then the opposite shift's member first on rotation is automatically ordered back.
The OT FF buys Lunch or Dinner!!!!:o
We have an OT list that basically gives the guy that has been asked to take the least OT the first shot at it. If you take or refuse OT you get that many hours "charged" to your name. The guy with the least amount of total hours is offered it first, tie goes to seniority. The more you take and the more you refuse puts you lower on the OT list.
Mandatory is different. If no one takes the OT the least senior person in the rank needed is forced to stay. Also if you are forced you get double time instead of 1 1/2 time (just got it with this year's contract).
we use the rotating list, but we have so much OT that guys are here for 3 to 7 days straight. just out of curiousity, supposedly there is a rule or law or reg, etc... that states that a person can only be forced 72 hours straight than a break is required. Does any one out there heard of this and if so do you know the rule or law or reg, etc...
Wish we had any OT to worry about....
Is it forced overtime if they throw $$$'s at you for working an extra shift.??
We had forced overtime with a list of those who were. Once you were forced to work you went to the bottom of the list. With that being said there were times when individuals were unavailable and you were back at the top with the only reason....you were a warm body.
I worked a lot of overtimes in my career and I made the statement that "I could never be forced to work an overtime". The reason was "I'll always work"
My phone number was.....1-800-ILL-WORK.
We were having some guys go 4 days here. But FLSA won't allow more than 48 hours on duty without an 8 hour break after the 48.
Originally Posted by HoorahFF
I may be wrong about that. Our city recently started rigidly enforcing the 48 hour max and FLSA was quoted but I can't find anything to support that.
Lowest hours worked here gets forced, not allowed to get forced for more than 2 shifts in a row (only if a guy is seriously low on OT hours)
Our dept won't allow you to be mandated if you have worked 72 hrs straight. Other than that you're pretty much screwed. The only benefit to being mandated is the OT hours are removed from your total instead of added or being classified as neutral hours.
The number of hours a firefighter can consecutively work got my curiosity up so I emailed the Department of Labor. Here was their reply:
"Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Labor National Contact Center.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work. Your State Department of Labor may be able to assist you."
Never heard of forced overtime. We have alot of O.T. and everyone wants it.
It goes around very well.
We have guys that work 4 days straight.
Call of sick as soon as possible for a 5 day break afterwards.
I have done it many times.
Here in Ohio, i dont see many guys gettin "forced" We love the O.T.!!
Did you really mean it to come out this way?
Originally Posted by alecshawn1
Work normal 24 hrs and then (2) 24hr. ot shifts back to back. then your norm 24 hour shift....
Originally Posted by sfd1992
then call off sick for a 5 day break.
We all do it. That is what sick time is for.
Make alot of $$ and still have the time off.