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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    If unions booted substandard members, they would be looked upon as an assurance of quality work. Too often, unions protect people who don't do their jobs, and there is a common attitude of entitlement amongst public workers. We need unions, but the unions need to do what's right, not simply what will benefit them.
    I would tend to agree, however our employers' action is often a major factor in those situations. There have been numerous times that I've seen the Union put into the position of having to "defend" that substandard employee because the employer can't exercise a little restraint and follow proper procedure for disciplinary action.

    For example, I've seen a person in a "last chance" status fail a drug test and then be fired for it. The Union was obligated to "fight" the action because 1) they have to do so and 2) because the employer acted improperly and you need to "protect" the rights of the "good employees" for the future.

    This person got reinstated because the employer improperly ordered and administered the drug test and the results became inadmissible evidence. With no admissible evidence to justify termination, there was no choice but to reinstate him.


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I thought that was what I was doing above.
    I stand corrected. I meant that as a direct comment toward those that like to come in wailing and thrashing about because some politician said something they think the "brothers" should be livid about without a shred of individual thought or information.

    If you've got information backing your opinion, that's great. Unfortunately, it seems to be a rarity these days.

  3. #23
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I would tend to agree, however our employers' action is often a major factor in those situations. There have been numerous times that I've seen the Union put into the position of having to "defend" that substandard employee because the employer can't exercise a little restraint and follow proper procedure for disciplinary action.

    For example, I've seen a person in a "last chance" status fail a drug test and then be fired for it. The Union was obligated to "fight" the action because 1) they have to do so and 2) because the employer acted improperly and you need to "protect" the rights of the "good employees" for the future.

    This person got reinstated because the employer improperly ordered and administered the drug test and the results became inadmissible evidence. With no admissible evidence to justify termination, there was no choice but to reinstate him.
    You really think that's a good thing? The guy failed a "last chance" test. If your at a "last chance" stage...haven't you already failed before?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    You really think that's a good thing? The guy failed a "last chance" test. If your at a "last chance" stage...haven't you already failed before?
    Like many, you seem to be missing the point. The point isn't that an employee with an obvious drug problem got his job back. The point is that employers frequently disregard established rules and procedures for handling numerous "disciplinary" situations and that directly leads to "bad employees" getting their jobs back!

    Obviously there is a problem and this employee should be terminated. However, the employer has to abide by the proper procedures to do so. In this particular case, I forget some of the detail, but basically they ordered the person to take the drug test in violation of the established drug testing policy. It's basically the same concept as the handling of evidence in a criminal trial. If the evidence was wrongfully obtained (i.e. no search warrant), then legally the evidence doesn't exist and the criminal could potentially avoid prosecution.

    Another good example was the aftermath of that fatal fire in DeKalb County, GA. Errors were made and clearly disciplinary action of some sorts was warranted. The County basically overreacted to the public outcry regarding a perceived dereliction of duty and fired several people pretty much immediately.

    In the end, exactly what I said would happen, happened. The union firefighters all got their jobs back directly because the County failed to follow the proper procedures to investigate the incident and take disciplinary action. Instead of being patient and doing it the right way, they basically just gave the public what they wanted - some "heads on a platter".

    Unfortunately, when these thing happen, the typical reaction from the public seems to be to blame the "Union" for protecting the "bad employee" rather than recognizing that the employer (in some cases public officials that they elected) engaged in procedural errors and/or misconduct that directly caused their action to be reversed.

    It's basically the same thing as blaming the Defense Attorney for a criminal's acquittal because of misconduct by the Police or DA.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leeland View Post
    I wish I made that much... Hell I still have to pay for my health insurance, taxes, retirement. Maybe Mr. Pawlenty should spend a day or a week doing what I have to do. I don't belong to a union but sometimes wish I did so numbskulls like this would be put in their place.

    Of course he never mentions anything about fire fighters which is the only good thing about the article.
    Ever listen to Jason Lewis on 100.3 KTLK? That SOB is constantly talking about how "police and firefighters need to stop living frivalously off the backs of the taxpayers." Really Mr. Lewis? Frivalously? Do your f-ing research.

    In MN, what is it? 95% of all fire departments are volunteer or paid on call? $7.50 to maybe $10.50 per hour (when actively on a call), if they get paid at all, and maybe a small pension. All for risking your life to help others like him. And, last time I checked, I didn't get an employee discount on my taxes for being on the fire department.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    If unions booted substandard members, they would be looked upon as an assurance of quality work. Too often, unions protect people who don't do their jobs, and there is a common attitude of entitlement amongst public workers. We need unions, but the unions need to do what's right, not simply what will benefit them.
    Very well said. My FD isn't unionized, but my full time job is, and I see that crap all the time unfortunately.

  7. #27
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    Post WTF Pawlenty

    Thanks Nate. My Dept is one of two in our county which is NOT paid on call. We get a yearly sum towards our retirement. That's IT!!!!!

    Now, my "job" I'm a "County Guy". Our "step increases" we got in 2010 but not 2011 and we got NO Cost of Living Allowance for either year. This is the States' largest county. I don't know how Mr. Pawlenty can even touch on the subject.

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