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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    You forget who gets to make the choice of what to pay for and what to get. Its the taxpayers, or the people footing the bill who get to make that choice.
    Along with that is to also meet the service needs of the community. There are standards for a reason, training standards, equipment standards, safety standards, time standards and so forth, which all incur costs in order to meet. If it were up to most taxpayers, then we would still have 3/4 coats and hip boots, training would consist of showing the hose and some operations, time only matters if it is for you. The thing is though, it is not this way now is it? People choose to live in communities and pay taxes for services, in some places they don't pay much and don't get much, it is their choice. In others they do get good service for their money. However, the issue we see is people paying for a level of service which keeps getting cut by the mindset of people like you, yet ironically their tax dollars don't go down.


    That is why we elect representation. It is the job of the elected officials to vet the needs vs the wants and ensure the appropriate level of service is provided. Do they do this - sometimes. Again, you mistake your opinion for what the opinion is of those who are tasked with making this decision. Like it or not - its the elected officials who are tasked with this. They answer to the voting public - not to the fire service.
    Many elected officials have the same knowledge of the fire service as the avg taxpayer, very little. It is also the responsibility of the elected officials to listen to the experts who provide such services to justify the reasons for costs. This is called a budget and is why there are such people to be able to say how such cuts affect service, or to justify as to why there needs to be an increase to maintain the service.

    This is also why such elected officials go through a process to find someone to be the job expert to represent the service. This is no different than a board of directors in a major corporation, sure they have stockholders who want their dividends (service) and want the most they can for what they pay (taxes) but don't entirely understand how it gets there (public employees). The board of directors when tasked with such questions typically do not understand each level of operation, nor the job of each worker, so they have dept heads that DO have that knowledge and can explain things. Yet, you seem to believe the shareholder should just be able to go in and say how things should operate, despite have no idea of how things operate in the first place. We see it all the time with the general public, now don't we?

    And BTW....Why do you keep forgetting the simple aspect that the fire service is also the voting public???


    Take the subscription deptartment in Tennessee. The public has voted to keep the system in place. Many here think its awful. They are OK with it and don't want to pay more taxes for something else. Like it or not - they are the ones footing the bill and they get to decide what they want to pay for - not you.
    And the voting public is also taking a chance also. The folks who are outvoted will have their subscriptions, but it doesn't mean their voices have to be silenced either. The people that don't pay start to find that issues like did happen may occur more frequently in the future. After all, the fire service has absolutely NO obligation to provide services to someone who doesn't pay. They have an obligation to try and save a savable life, but none for property. Besides, can you get auto insurance AFTER the accident? Can you get flood insurance while the flood is occurring? Didn't think so.

    That is the issue, sure the people don't want to pay taxes, but gee wasn't it ironic how the owner said he thought they would just come anyway? Yep, as more incidents like that do occur or resources are taken from the taxpayers where the resources come from, don't think things stay the same. Besides since you seem to be against any taxes going to public service providers, perhaps you should look into moving to TN and live in the subscription area? Or perhaps talk your community into establishing a subscription service, see how that flies.


    Yep - the balancing act of pay rate, turnover and compensation. You could have the greatest employees in the world if you paid them 1 million dollars a year. But the missing element is the fiscal responsibility part. Money is a finite commodity and the goal is to pay as little as possible to get the level of service you want. You may argue of what that level of service is but ultimately its the taxpayer (or employer) who decides that, not the employee - you can make the arguement one way or another. The reality is its up to my employer to offer me a compesation package I am willing to accept to keep me. There are people lining up for my job and as such - the total pay/compensation is less than the average for the private sector. .
    And you go right on back to my original comments. Yes, there is more to any job besides just pay, that is why there are many non-fiscal things that can be talked about besides pay and benefits. However, if you want quality employees, you do have to offer incentives to stay. And like your comparison, many firefighters and public servants total pay/compensation is less than the private sector.


    I work for a public university so my salary is public knowledge - $66k+change. For my job, you have to have a Degree in Engineering and 10 years expierence in the engineering field. My total compensation package (salary, retirement + health benefits is more in the $85k-$90k range). If I went to the private sector - I'd be in the $120k range for salary/benefits. I take the lesser pay because I like what I do, the hours and I have less stress in my life.
    So, like I thought, you are overcompensated for the job you do then right?
    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.


  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    There is a difference in having a say and actually having the last word. I firmly believe the employer should have the last word so long as they are following applicable laws. It comes from the philosophy that the employee is contracted to provide specific services to the employer so that the employer can make money. Since the employer is the one to dictate what services need to be rendered, it is them who should decide what they are willing to pay for them - provided all applicable laws are followed.
    So, basically you believe that individual job applicants have the right to negotiate their terms of employment with the prospective employer to determine if they will accept employment, but current employees shouldn't be able to negotiate at all with the employer and just leave if they don't like something?



    Actually - this is very common in the private sector. To move up - you change jobs. Good bad or otherwise, its the way it is. So, if at an impasse in discussions, ...............To me, its a choice. If the employer really won't meet your requests, its up to the employee to decide if they want to accept the terms and stay or plan to leave and find another job.
    Well, the private sector and the public sector are not the same animal. In the private sector, changing jobs and "moving up" is often enough not that hard to do. In the public sector, it's next to impossible for police officers and firefighters specifically, to easily change jobs in the first place and if you do, you will almost always be starting over with the new employer unless hired in at the top chief levels.

    what is the rationale for forcing an employer to meet your requests?
    Kind of hard to answer in the abstract because the rationale will vary depending on the issue in dispute. In some cases it may be a safety issue, like minimum apparatus staffing to ensure the ability to do the job within a reasonably safe environment. Many issues don't get to the point of "forcing" the employer to do something (i.e. arbitration). Most are amicably settled long before that point.

    Yep. It makes sense to keep your employees happy. It makes more sense to keep the owners happy. In the case of government - it makes sense to keep the taxpayers happy. They are the parties footing the bill.
    But it would make the most sense if every body was happy. As for the taxpayers, as long as they are paying taxes, they will never be happy.


    I think the better way to put it is that employees really do NOT have a say in how the buisness they work for is run. (unless they are an owner). If they are not the owner, why should they have a say? In the case of public service (government), they have the same say as everyone else who pays taxes.
    The employees should have a say because in terms of "running the business", oftentimes they have much better insight into what the "problem areas" are and how to improve them.

    I make no denial that there are some really shady buisness owners out there. My counter arguement to that is that its a free country. So long as that owner did not break the law, the only recourse is to find a new job. If they broke the law, then thats another story entirely.
    So, why does it have to be a "take it or leave it" relationship? Why can't the employer and employee work together to establish and maintain a good and safe working conditions?


    The only point was in the private sector, if you have a lot of qualified applicants for a job, the incentive to create retention incentives is lost. You can make arguements about institional knowledge and expierence or the costs of training and turnover and they do have merit. Fundementally though, if you have a lot of people who want a job, its a lot easier to find people who will work for less compensation and provide the level of service you want to pay for.
    Sure, but since you made the reference to firefighter pay relative to the "market perspective", care to answer the question asked? If the "market" is saying we are now "overpaid", then the logical conclusion would be that we were "underpaid" previously, correct?+

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    You forget who gets to make the choice of what to pay for and what to get. Its the taxpayers, or the people footing the bill who get to make that choice.
    Actually, the taxpayers rarely get a choice regarding "what to pay for and what to get" in all aspects of government. Aside from the occasional referendum on election day, when was the last time you were given a choice regarding what your tax dollar will pay for or what a government agency will get with your tax dollar?

    I think the closest I've come locally in the last ten years to making a choice regarding what to get with "taxpayer money" was revising my FD's TOG specs and then making the recommendation on what brand to buy.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
    I disagree with almost evertything you have to say Blu. My employer is neither weak, bankrupt nor inept.

    My apologies. My statement was too broad. Some city\county and even some state governments are run responsibly. Most it seems are not though.

    Without getting into all the details, my department was formerly a fire protection district that could not keep up with the growth of the city. The district trustees asked the city to take us over. Hence we became a city department serving the same public/taxpayer. We had a long first contract negotiation with the city. My lack of pay raise didnt have anything to do with poor fiscal management. I have to chuckle when I see you refer my mayor as "weak". That is one one word that will never be used to describe him.
    I am a little lost trying to figure out how getting a fair deal for doing a good job is considered "weak".

    I am scheduled 2708 hours per year...That's 52 hours a week. No overtime for that extra 12. It used to be 2912. We are going to drop to 2684 per year....51.5per week Do you work a 52 hour work week Blu?

    My current employer discourages overtime. My previous employer paid me via salary and 50+ hr workweeks were the norm.

    So when you go around throwing the old "unions give me the power over weak politicians" I just have to shake my head and move along. I guess rich corporations do not have any power or influence over weak politicians. I DO take this personally. I have seen the staunchest conservative firefighters shake their heads at the out right lies that have been perpetuated in certain segments of the media. I became a career firefighter because I wanted to. No firefighter should ever expect to become rich by being one.... but I also didnt take a vow of poverty. I make a good living doing a tough job.
    If you think unions are the reason for the mess that government got itself into, I am not going to change your mind. The waste, fraud, duplication/triplication of services, the entitlements to people who don't pay one red cent into the system obviously have nothing to do with it if I am reading you correctly.

    You are not reading me correctly and I apologize for any confusion. I am very aware that the entitlements and duplicated services are by far the biggest problem. Nevertheless all areas need to be reviewed and scrutinized

    Bones, I can only speak from my experiences here in Illinois. Our state association does an outstanding job in the statehouse. Why? Not because we throw tons of money at politicians. We get results because our legislative reps have integrity. We get results because when we do want to move legislation forward it is because it is reasonable to both our members and the public. Same goes for when we object to legislation that is harmful to our members. No hysteria, just thoughtful discussions and at times tough negotiations. Alll done with money that WE the membership pay out of our pockets. Unlike government who believe it or not FIGHTS us....using the deep pockets of the taxpayer dime. I see what firefighters get paid in places where they cant negotiate. I see the screwed up work rules and the way their firefighters are treated. I will nevr back down when it comes to collective bargaining. It benefits everyone....including the public we serve.
    Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. In the great (barf) state of California there is the 3% at 50 rule. Meaning some public employees, including cal fire employees, can retire at 50 with very nice pensions depending on how long you worked and what you earned. 25 years gets you 75% of your highest wage during employment. Some choose to, and are allowed to, retire at 50 and take their pension, then go right back to work at their same job while continuing to recieve their pension.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    So, basically you believe that individual job applicants have the right to negotiate their terms of employment with the prospective employer to determine if they will accept employment, but current employees shouldn't be able to negotiate at all with the employer and just leave if they don't like something?
    To a point yes. If you don't like the initial offer - you turn it down. If terms of employment are changing - you can try to work with the employer but in the end, you may end up deciding if you want to work for those terms - just like in the initial offer.

    Well, the private sector and the public sector are not the same animal. In the private sector, changing jobs and "moving up" is often enough not that hard to do. In the public sector, it's next to impossible for police officers and firefighters specifically, to easily change jobs in the first place and if you do, you will almost always be starting over with the new employer unless hired in at the top chief levels.
    To be blunt - I don't really care. Its not always easy to change jobs in the private sector either. Its a characteristic of the career path you choose. Sorry.

    Kind of hard to answer in the abstract because the rationale will vary depending on the issue in dispute. In some cases it may be a safety issue, like minimum apparatus staffing to ensure the ability to do the job within a reasonably safe environment. Many issues don't get to the point of "forcing" the employer to do something (i.e. arbitration). Most are amicably settled long before that point.
    Safety issues should be addressed by OSHA or its equivalent in the state as well as industry standards. The question comes down to legal requirements. I do agree - most of the time, issues don't get forced because its really in the best interest of both parties to go one way or another.

    But it would make the most sense if every body was happy. As for the taxpayers, as long as they are paying taxes, they will never be happy.
    You would be suprised. Many people have no problems paying for things they see as valuable. On my taxes, I see a line item for Fire and I pay it without concern. I actually bet if you took the fire service and police budgets as line items on the tax bill - people would not go after them. The incremental per capita cost is usually fairly small for an individual. Its the whole bill that gets people mad.

    The employees should have a say because in terms of "running the business", oftentimes they have much better insight into what the "problem areas" are and how to improve them.

    So, why does it have to be a "take it or leave it" relationship? Why can't the employer and employee work together to establish and maintain a good and safe working conditions?
    This isn't about a 'take it or leave it' arrangement, this is about a we can talk and work together but ultimately, its my call arrangement. This really only matters when you get to a dispute.

    Sure, but since you made the reference to firefighter pay relative to the "market perspective", care to answer the question asked? If the "market" is saying we are now "overpaid", then the logical conclusion would be that we were "underpaid" previously, correct?+
    Simply put - yes. If you are having difficulty filling/retaining employees, then you likely are not properly compensating them or have some other major issue in working conditions. To get and retain employees, you have to address those issues - either by raising compensation and/or changing working conditions.

    In the private sector - I am all for profit sharing in contracts with employees. It gives them a vested interest in the company doing well. It basically says 'when we do well, we all do well'. It also can say 'when we do poorly, we all do poorly'.

    I would love to see that idea translated somehow into the public sector as well. Its hard because you do make a profit but perhaps someone could come up with something.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Actually, the taxpayers rarely get a choice regarding "what to pay for and what to get" in all aspects of government. Aside from the occasional referendum on election day, when was the last time you were given a choice regarding what your tax dollar will pay for or what a government agency will get with your tax dollar?

    I think the closest I've come locally in the last ten years to making a choice regarding what to get with "taxpayer money" was revising my FD's TOG specs and then making the recommendation on what brand to buy.
    I don't know if that true. In many states - such as Wisconsin - politicians ran on campiagns to do specific things. They were elected by the people to do those things.

    As I said the taxpayers elect represenation to manage the common good resources. Those elected officials are held accountable for thier actions on election day.

    Does it mean I get my way - no. It means I get to send my voice through my vote.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Along with that is to also meet the service needs of the community. There are standards for a reason, training standards, equipment standards, safety standards, time standards and so forth, which all incur costs in order to meet. If it were up to most taxpayers, then we would still have 3/4 coats and hip boots, training would consist of showing the hose and some operations, time only matters if it is for you. The thing is though, it is not this way now is it? People choose to live in communities and pay taxes for services, in some places they don't pay much and don't get much, it is their choice. In others they do get good service for their money. However, the issue we see is people paying for a level of service which keeps getting cut by the mindset of people like you, yet ironically their tax dollars don't go down.
    The question that comes up is whether the tax bill goes up to support everything.

    Again, you confuse the issue. People elect representitives to act on thier behalf. That elected official vets the budget to allocate finite resources to see the needs are met. If they screw up - they will be held accountable during the next election cycle.

    You don't have to like it. Its just the way it is.


    Many elected officials have the same knowledge of the fire service as the avg taxpayer, very little. It is also the responsibility of the elected officials to listen to the experts who provide such services to justify the reasons for costs. This is called a budget and is why there are such people to be able to say how such cuts affect service, or to justify as to why there needs to be an increase to maintain the service.

    This is also why such elected officials go through a process to find someone to be the job expert to represent the service. This is no different than a board of directors in a major corporation, sure they have stockholders who want their dividends (service) and want the most they can for what they pay (taxes) but don't entirely understand how it gets there (public employees). The board of directors when tasked with such questions typically do not understand each level of operation, nor the job of each worker, so they have dept heads that DO have that knowledge and can explain things. Yet, you seem to believe the shareholder should just be able to go in and say how things should operate, despite have no idea of how things operate in the first place. We see it all the time with the general public, now don't we?

    And BTW....Why do you keep forgetting the simple aspect that the fire service is also the voting public???
    A good elected official will seek the counsel of several experts on making the budget. A good budget process will allow the stakeholders to explain thier requests and needs as well as repercussions for underfunding. In the end, the elected officials sign off on the budget using the information and advice they have been given during the process.

    As for the fire service and voting public. Please. If you are a citizen, you are part of the voting public. It does not matter what you do for a living as long as you are 18, a citizen of the US and not a felon, you can vote. Proportionly, the people in the fire service represent a small part of the voting public. Its just like teachers - they to get to vote on representation but have to live with the oversight boards.

    And the voting public is also taking a chance also. The folks who are outvoted will have their subscriptions, but it doesn't mean their voices have to be silenced either. The people that don't pay start to find that issues like did happen may occur more frequently in the future. After all, the fire service has absolutely NO obligation to provide services to someone who doesn't pay. They have an obligation to try and save a savable life, but none for property. Besides, can you get auto insurance AFTER the accident? Can you get flood insurance while the flood is occurring? Didn't think so.
    Your point? People are allowed to take the chances they want to take. You don't have to agree with it but its not a dictatorship. People don't always get their way.
    That is the issue, sure the people don't want to pay taxes, but gee wasn't it ironic how the owner said he thought they would just come anyway? Yep, as more incidents like that do occur or resources are taken from the taxpayers where the resources come from, don't think things stay the same. Besides since you seem to be against any taxes going to public service providers, perhaps you should look into moving to TN and live in the subscription area? Or perhaps talk your community into establishing a subscription service, see how that flies.
    A lesson in the age of entitlement thinking. I don't have to follow the rules because they don't apply to me. You get what you pay for and if you aren't willing to pay, you don't get it. I have no problem with denying services to people who don't want to pay for them. Call me a cold hearted bastard if you want to.

    Is this something that you personally can't handle. The idea that some people don't agree with your analysis of needs and required level of service? Do you want to dictate to those residents in TN that they have to start paying for a county wide FD even though they repeatly voted that down?

    And you go right on back to my original comments. Yes, there is more to any job besides just pay, that is why there are many non-fiscal things that can be talked about besides pay and benefits. However, if you want quality employees, you do have to offer incentives to stay. And like your comparison, many firefighters and public servants total pay/compensation is less than the private sector.
    Yep and unlike you - my compensation was reviewed and changed during the recession - just like much of the private sector.

    So, like I thought, you are overcompensated for the job you do then right?
    I gave you my total compensation and the average for the private sector for what I do. By strict comparison, I am undercompensated by 20k-30k compared to the private sector. I choose to stay based on the intangibles.

    As of today - there are several who would line up for my job. 5 years ago - when the economy was booming, we had positions we could not fill. The reality is the positions we have filled in the last couple of years have been filled at much lower salaries than they would have 5 years ago. Most of the employees have taken a reduction in total compensation over the last 2 years.

    That is market economics at work. They did think I was overcompensated and reduced my compensation package. I was forced to look at the economy and job prospects and decide if I wanted to stay at a lower rate or look elsewhere for greener pastures. (they were a dead brown for the most part)

    The budget cycle is rapidly approaching so we'll see if they still think many are over compensated.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post

    The budget cycle is rapidly approaching so we'll see if they still think many are over compensated.
    Austrian school in the house!
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    I don't know if that true. In many states - such as Wisconsin - politicians ran on campiagns to do specific things. They were elected by the people to do those things.

    As I said the taxpayers elect represenation to manage the common good resources. Those elected officials are held accountable for thier actions on election day.

    Does it mean I get my way - no. It means I get to send my voice through my vote.
    I'm getting the impression that we may not be on the same page here.

    You stated "You forget who gets to make the choice of what to pay for and what to get. Its the taxpayers, or the people footing the bill who get to make that choice."

    Voting for a representative to act on your behalf regarding how a government spends taxpayer money is not the same thing as actually being able to directly make a choice about how it is spent. I was referring to the fact that, for example, the taxpayers are typically not making the choice of what fire truck or police car to buy. Therefore, the ones "footing the bill" are not the ones getting to make "that choice".

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    To a point yes. If you don't like the initial offer - you turn it down. If terms of employment are changing - you can try to work with the employer but in the end, you may end up deciding if you want to work for those terms - just like in the initial offer.
    Right and that's what the collective bargaining process is based on - working with the employer to address workplace matters. The ability to walk away (individually) is always there.

    To be blunt - I don't really care. Its not always easy to change jobs in the private sector either. Its a characteristic of the career path you choose. Sorry.
    So are the benefits and to a degree, the job security that came with my job.

    To be equally blunt - It's not my fault that someone else chose a different career path that has now left them in a bad situation. Why should I be expected to give up something because their choice isn't working out so well?

    Now, I'm not saying I'm unwilling to consider any concessions in order to help my City thru this mess. I just disagree with the notion that I should be expected to or forced to do so simply because some other taxpayers are down on their luck.

    Safety issues should be addressed by OSHA or its equivalent in the state as well as industry standards. The question comes down to legal requirements. I do agree - most of the time, issues don't get forced because its really in the best interest of both parties to go one way or another.
    NO! Specific safety issues should be addressed at the employer/employee level.

    I work in a small career department and spend most of the year working on 2-man engine company, sometimes we have 3. Our other station works 3 or 4 FFs each shift. It has long been proven that staffing levels have a direct impact on firefighter safety. Low staffing = increased risk, Adequate staffing = less risk.

    NFPA 1710 is more or less an "industry standard" and says we should have more personnel on my fire truck and on-duty in general. There is no direct enforcement powers for compliance within the standard. So, how will NFPA 1710 address my department's staffing issue other than pointing out what we already know - we're understaffed?

    Other than "2in/2out" compliance which we already can satisfy by waiting until all units are on scene to enter a structure fire, how will OSHA address my department's staffing issue? What OSHA rule is going to put those extra 2 FF on my engine?

    At the beginning of next year, collective bargaining will have increased our minimum staffing level by 2 FFs over the a 7 year period. The number of staffing increases during that same time period directly attributable to OSHA or NFPA 1710 is ZERO.

    You would be suprised. Many people have no problems paying for things they see as valuable. On my taxes, I see a line item for Fire and I pay it without concern. I actually bet if you took the fire service and police budgets as line items on the tax bill - people would not go after them. The incremental per capita cost is usually fairly small for an individual. Its the whole bill that gets people mad.
    The comment was meant as a joke of sorts. Kind of along the lines of somebody complaining that there's nothing to complain about once you've solved all of their problems.



    This isn't about a 'take it or leave it' arrangement, this is about a we can talk and work together but ultimately, its my call arrangement. This really only matters when you get to a dispute.
    But "take it or leave it" is what the situation is if one side ultimately has the ability to make the final determination.
    Last edited by FireMedic049; 03-16-2011 at 11:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. In the great (barf) state of California there is the 3% at 50 rule. Meaning some public employees, including cal fire employees, can retire at 50 with very nice pensions depending on how long you worked and what you earned. 25 years gets you 75% of your highest wage during employment. Some choose to, and are allowed to, retire at 50 and take their pension, then go right back to work at their same job while continuing to recieve their pension.
    You realize that in the military they can retire after 20 years right? For most people that means retirement at 38 to 40 years old, not too shabby huh? The military also provides housing, food, healthcare, dental, education opportunities while serving, something majority of employers do not.

    What I'm getting at is that such jobs like police and fire do have incentives to retire younger, but like the military, there is also a reason for it. First off, many such jobs do not pay into social security and do not collect social security, which is why their pensions appear so "nice", they also are living off of them longer. The pay on such jobs is higher than the military, but it also goes along with the fact that they do have to pay for things like housing and food, insurance etc, that is offered in the military.

    As for retiring and then getting hired. Yeah, no secret there, it is possible to do, but for the majority of public workers is not an option. Such options are typically limited to roles like a chief position or mgr of some sort, not you avg line police officer or firefighter. In order to do such a thing a person MUST retire for 30 days before they could get rehired in the position. The reason this is an option is that it can benefit both parties. For the retiree, this becomes a supplemental income. For the community, they get a person with experience, a person they know and understand, and they save a lot because they don't have to pay benefits for the position.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    I don't know if that true. In many states - such as Wisconsin - politicians ran on campiagns to do specific things. They were elected by the people to do those things.
    Really? Care to fill me in here? I see under your screen name it says you are in Indiana. So I guess that means you are completely well versed in what has happened in WI as well as events leading up to it. I guess you can fill me in completely about the campaign talk and promises as well, since you live in the state of IN and all.

    So please, please, please show me where Walker made the promise that he was going to strip collective bargaining from public workers. Show me where he said he wanted control over medicare/Badgercare decisions. Show me where he suggested control of the option of selling state public utilities to the private sector without legislature control.

    I will save you a ton of time, because not a single one of those things was ever campaigned on at all. So spare me your out of state BS of what you think you actually know what was promised here.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    The question that comes up is whether the tax bill goes up to support everything.
    Again, you confuse the issue. People elect representitives to act on thier behalf. That elected official vets the budget to allocate finite resources to see the needs are met. If they screw up - they will be held accountable during the next election cycle.
    You don't have to like it. Its just the way it is..
    I'm not confusing anything, I'm debunking your crap about the taxpayer making such decisions, because if it truly was up to cost, then it goes back to what I said before. You on the other hand just want to place blame on public workers and benefits.


    A good elected official will seek the counsel of several experts on making the budget. A good budget process will allow the stakeholders to explain thier requests and needs as well as repercussions for underfunding. In the end, the elected officials sign off on the budget using the information and advice they have been given during the process.

    As for the fire service and voting public. Please. If you are a citizen, you are part of the voting public. It does not matter what you do for a living as long as you are 18, a citizen of the US and not a felon, you can vote. Proportionly, the people in the fire service represent a small part of the voting public. Its just like teachers - they to get to vote on representation but have to live with the oversight boards..
    Several experts? Sure, at what point? Some consultant that is paid to sway the report how the elected officials want? Like that has never come back to bite the taxpayers in the ***. I also know all about voting, my mentioning is you keep forgetting that simple fact.


    A lesson in the age of entitlement thinking. I don't have to follow the rules because they don't apply to me. You get what you pay for and if you aren't willing to pay, you don't get it. I have no problem with denying services to people who don't want to pay for them. Call me a cold hearted bastard if you want to.

    Is this something that you personally can't handle. The idea that some people don't agree with your analysis of needs and required level of service? Do you want to dictate to those residents in TN that they have to start paying for a county wide FD even though they repeatly voted that down?.
    You do realize that a community, be it a county or local entity has to provide essential basic services to the community, such services like police and fire? In the case of the counties like in TN with subscription, that is a spineless way to go about it. Why you ask? Well quite simple, the resources are coming from tax based entities. Those people paying taxes for their services have a right to their services, not having their services go to neighboring areas because the politicians have no stones to say that all should be paying for the service. You're damn right I would have no problem dictating a county wide service. As an elected official it is YOUR responsibility to provide the resources, not the homeowners.


    Yep and unlike you - my compensation was reviewed and changed during the recession - just like much of the private sector..
    Unlike me??? Hey, clueless, you have absolutely no idea about me, nor what concessions we have made, nice try though.


    I gave you my total compensation and the average for the private sector for what I do. By strict comparison, I am undercompensated by 20k-30k compared to the private sector. I choose to stay based on the intangibles.

    As of today - there are several who would line up for my job. 5 years ago - when the economy was booming, we had positions we could not fill. The reality is the positions we have filled in the last couple of years have been filled at much lower salaries than they would have 5 years ago. Most of the employees have taken a reduction in total compensation over the last 2 years.

    That is market economics at work. They did think I was overcompensated and reduced my compensation package. I was forced to look at the economy and job prospects and decide if I wanted to stay at a lower rate or look elsewhere for greener pastures. (they were a dead brown for the most part)

    The budget cycle is rapidly approaching so we'll see if they still think many are over compensated.
    You are still being way overcompensated for the work you do and you are still paid way too much for the work.
    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.

  14. #134
    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    You realize that in the military they can retire after 20 years right? For most people that means retirement at 38 to 40 years old, not too shabby huh? The military also provides housing, food, healthcare, dental, education opportunities while serving, something majority of employers do not.

    What I'm getting at is that such jobs like police and fire do have incentives to retire younger, but like the military, there is also a reason for it. First off, many such jobs do not pay into social security and do not collect social security, which is why their pensions appear so "nice", they also are living off of them longer. The pay on such jobs is higher than the military, but it also goes along with the fact that they do have to pay for things like housing and food, insurance etc, that is offered in the military.

    As for retiring and then getting hired. Yeah, no secret there, it is possible to do, but for the majority of public workers is not an option. Such options are typically limited to roles like a chief position or mgr of some sort, not you avg line police officer or firefighter. In order to do such a thing a person MUST retire for 30 days before they could get rehired in the position. The reason this is an option is that it can benefit both parties. For the retiree, this becomes a supplemental income. For the community, they get a person with experience, a person they know and understand, and they save a lot because they don't have to pay benefits for the position.
    I personally don't think the military belongs in this discussion. They are a separate animal with unique rules and regulations. You and I don't show for work and we get fired. They don't show for work they go to jail.

    Perhaps my concern on this union issue stems from the sad state my state (Cali.) is in. Good for you if you're not in this mess.

    From here...http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...udy-finds.html

    California, which has the largest U.S. public-pension fund, faces liabilities that may exceed its annual state-tax revenue fivefold within two years unless lawmakers rein in benefits, according to a study.

    To keep their promises to retirees, the California Public Employees Retirement System, the biggest plan, the California State Teachers Retirement System, the second-largest, and the University of California Retirement System may have combined liabilities of more than 5.5 times the stateís annual tax revenue by fiscal 2012, according to the study released today by the Milken Institute. Levies are forecast to reach about $89 billion in the year that began July 1.


    I read news like this and I think WTF!!!

    How are we (Joe taxpayer) supposed to fund our own retirement when we're saddled with this debt.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  15. #135
    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post


    You are still being way overcompensated for the work you do and you are still paid way too much for the work.
    Not if the municipality he works for can pay his wages\bennies and the voters therein don't object.

    I may personally think the officers of a neighboring fire dept are overpaid but it's really none of my business. It's an arrangement between them, their employer and the taxpayers of their district.

    I do have an interest in my city\county\state\fed employees and their wages\bennies because I help fund them.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    You do realize that a community, be it a county or local entity has to provide essential basic services to the community, such services like police and fire? In the case of the counties like in TN with subscription, that is a spineless way to go about it. Why you ask? Well quite simple, the resources are coming from tax based entities. Those people paying taxes for their services have a right to their services, not having their services go to neighboring areas because the politicians have no stones to say that all should be paying for the service. You're damn right I would have no problem dictating a county wide service. As an elected official it is YOUR responsibility to provide the resources, not the homeowners.
    I herein lies the fundemental problem. You are taking your opinion and forcing it upon everyone else. This was clearly voted on by the public yet that is not good enough. You know better than they do on how to spend thier money for thier government. That's a good way to get support.....

    As for the jabs at me in Indiana - remember, the WI democrats weren't the only ones to head to Illinois. Indiana still has most of the democrats staying in a hotel in Urbana as of today.

    As I said - I beleive the employer should have the final say in the terms of employment. Its a fundemental tenet of my political views right along with personal responsibility. Collective bargaining with binding arbitration runs counter to that philosophy. I could care less if you agree with me.

    As a taxpayer, I expect fiscal responsibility from my elected officials. I expect them to ask tough questions and make tough decisions (or at least try to). This too likely runs against the grain when you talk of level of service provided, compensation and the like.

    To me - it sounds like you are whining because you may have to take a pay cut like the rest of the country.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    You are still being way overcompensated for the work you do and you are still paid way too much for the work.
    I don't know - my compensation/benefits package was reviewed and modified in the last 8 months - was yours????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    Perhaps my concern on this union issue stems from the sad state my state (Cali.) is in. Good for you if you're not in this mess.

    From here...http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...udy-finds.html

    California, which has the largest U.S. public-pension fund, faces liabilities that may exceed its annual state-tax revenue fivefold within two years unless lawmakers rein in benefits, according to a study.

    To keep their promises to retirees, the California Public Employees Retirement System, the biggest plan, the California State Teachers Retirement System, the second-largest, and the University of California Retirement System may have combined liabilities of more than 5.5 times the stateís annual tax revenue by fiscal 2012, according to the study released today by the Milken Institute. Levies are forecast to reach about $89 billion in the year that began July 1.


    I read news like this and I think WTF!!!

    How are we (Joe taxpayer) supposed to fund our own retirement when we're saddled with this debt.
    First, you have been reading too much into the news. If we were to show everyones unfunded liability, what would it look like to show how much you owe on your house by the time it is paid for before it is paid for, the cost of gas, food, etc...add it up for 30 years with inflation and tell me the number would not appear to be astronomical. But we pay by the month, so we dont look at it as one big liability. The same for Pensions, etc..

    A recent article in the Economist magazine titled "Tough Times for everyone - Except Public Sector Workers" states that taxpayers are now learning about the benefits the public sector workers enjoy at the expense of everyone else. It states that many can retire with close to full pay in their mid-50s.
    These unsubstantiated claims repeated endlessly in media stand reality on its head. Such accusations are part of a systematic campaign by corporate America to mislead taxpayers and scapegoat public employees.
    California public sector workers, such as teachers, public health nurses, firefighters, librarians, maintenance, park, transit and social workers are not responsible for the economic crisis that makes drastic cuts to state and local governments necessary. These public employees earn modest, middle-class pay and benefits.
    Rather, it was big business and the wealthy who gamed the deregulated financial system to make huge profits. Their speculation in the home mortgage markets triggered the great recession; then they proceeded to take billions in bailouts from the government; and last year, Wall Street's leading investment and financial services firms paid out a record $144 billion in compensation and benefits.
    These same corporate interests adamantly refuse to pay their fair share for vital public services or education.
    Moreover, the recent Congressional extensions of the Bush era tax cuts are an unexpected windfall for the richest Californians.
    According to the Citizens for Tax Justice, the top one percent of the state's income earners will now bring home about $14 billion more each year to their mansions. This represents more than one half the state's budget deficit. What are the myths and what are the facts about California public employees?
    First, there are not "too many" public employees in California. According to the California Budget Project (CBP), we have the second lowest ratio of state workers per 10,000 residents in the nation. In addition, more than 70,000 public sector jobs have been eliminated in California since the crash of 2008, and public sector job loss is proportionately greater in California than in most other states.
    Second, public employees in California are not overpaid and they do not receive lavish benefits, compared with the private sector, according to the UC Berkeley Institute for Labor and Employment (IRLE).
    Economists Sylvia Allegretto and Jeffrey Keefe authored the IRLE report, "The Truth about Public Employees," in which they examined wage and demographic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found that the average California public sector worker is older, more experienced and more educated than their private sector counterpart- 55 percent of public employees have completed a bachelor's degree, compared to 35 percent in the private sector.
    The report indicates that the typical private sector worker receives higher wages, but public employees with the same characteristics earn somewhat better vacation, medical and retirement benefits. The researchers conclude that an "apples to apples" comparison that takes into account age, experience, and education reveals little
    "[There is] no significant differences in the level of employee compensation costs on an annual or per hour basis between private and public sector employees"
    Third, public sector employees do not receive "gold plated" pensions as alleged by the corporate media like the Economist magazine. Again, reality defies the myth.
    The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), which administers and manages a pension fund for 1.6 million public employees, reports that the average CalPERS retiree receives a pension of $25,000 per year. Half of CalPERS retirees receive less than $16,000, and 78 percent receive less than $36,000 annually. Less than two percent of CalPERS retirees receive a pension of more than $100,000 per year, and the majority of these are highly paid managers and supervisors- not union members- with 30 years service.
    Often forgotten is that public pensions are not paid from operating budgets of state and local government but are earned through monthly employee and employer contributions over 20 to 30 years. CalPERS professionals manage the $225 billion trust fund, and 75 cents on every dollar of retirement benefits are investment earnings. The taxpayers contribute 14 cents for every dollar of benefits.
    Blaming public employees for our fiscal crisis deflects from the central issue of the historic, and widening, divide between the rich and everyone else. The solution is to reform our inequitable and unsustainable system of taxation.
    The CBP reports that corporate profits increased by more than 400 percent between 2001-2008 in California, and the adjusted gross income of the upper one percent increased by 77 percent between 1993-2008, while incomes of the bottom 80 percent remained flat.
    Yet state revenues from corporate taxes have declined by one half since 1981, and the wealthiest one percent of income earners (who averaged $1.7 million in 2010) pay lower tax rates than they did two decades ago.
    In California we have a revenue crisis- and not a spending crisis.
    Tax reform and boosting taxes for those most able to pay would make it possible to restore cuts to public services, adequately fund public education, safety, and health care, and fairly compensate public employees. Such a progressive tax policy includes:
    1) increasing by a modest one percent the corporate tax rate (returning to the 1981 level). 2) closing corporate tax loopholes such as the failure to reassess commercial real estate at market rates (now protected by Proposition 13). 3) enacting a severance tax on oil extracted and produced in California. 4) restoring the top personal tax rate for the upper one percent from 9.3 to 11 percent. 5) reconsidering and repealing some of the $12 billion in tax cuts by the legislature for individuals and corporations over the last 15 years.
    A healthy and vital public sector is essential for the private sector to flourish. Corporations and the wealthiest Californians greatly benefit from public investment in infrastructure such as mass transit and affordable workforce housing, high quality education accessible to all, and comprehensive social services, particularly for low-income Californians.
    Let's stop pointing fingers at hard working public employees and begin to build a broad coalition to implement a responsible and progressive tax policy.

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    How the middle class became the underclass

    Are you better off than your parents?

    Probably not if you're in the middle class.
    Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it's not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed.
    In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data.
    Meanwhile, the richest 1% of Americans -- those making $380,000 or more -- have seen their incomes grow 33% over the last 20 years, leaving average Americans in the dust. Experts point to some of the usual suspects -- like technology and globalization -- to explain the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.
    But there's more to the story.

    A real drag on the middle class
    One major pull on the working man was the decline of unions and other labor protections, said Bill Rodgers, a former chief economist for the Labor Department, now a professor at Rutgers University.
    Because of deals struck through collective bargaining, union workers have traditionally earned 15% to 20% more than their non-union counterparts, Rodgers said.

    But union membership has declined rapidly over the past 30 years. In 1983, union workers made up about 20% of the workforce. In 2010, they represented less than 12%.

    "The erosion of collective bargaining is a key factor to explain why low-wage workers and middle income workers have seen their wages not stay up with inflation," Rodgers said.
    Without collective bargaining pushing up wages, especially for blue-collar work -- average
    incomes have stagnated.

    International competition is another factor. While globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in developing nations, it hasn't exactly been a win for middle class workers in the U.S.
    Factory workers have seen many of their jobs shipped to other countries where labor is cheaper, putting more downward pressure on American wages.

    "As we became more connected to China, that poses the question of whether our wages are being set in Beijing," Rodgers said.

    Finding it harder to compete with cheaper manufacturing costs abroad, the U.S. has emerged as primarily a services-producing economy. That trend has created a cultural shift in the job skills American employers are looking for.

    Whereas 50 years earlier, there were plenty of blue collar opportunities for workers who had only high school diploma, now employers seek "soft skills" that are typically honed in college, Rodgers said.

    A boon for the rich
    While average folks were losing ground in the economy, the wealthiest were capitalizing on some of those same factors, and driving an even bigger wedge between themselves and the
    rest of America.

    For example, though globalization has been a drag on labor, it's been a major win for corporations who've used new global channels to reduce costs and boost profits. In addition, new markets around the world have created even greater demand for their products.
    "With a global economy, people who have extraordinary skills... whether they be in financial services, technology, entertainment or media, have a bigger place to play and be rewarded from," said Alan Johnson, a Wall Street compensation consultant.

    As a result, the disparity between the wages for college educated workers versus high school grads has widened significantly since the 1980s.

    In 1980, workers with a high school diploma earned about 71% of what college-educated workers made. In 2010, that number fell to 55%.

    Another driver of the rich: The stock market.
    The S&P 500 has gained more than 1,300% since 1970. While that's helped the American economy grow, the benefits have been disproportionately reaped by the wealthy.

    And public policy of the past few decades has only encouraged the trend.
    The 1980s was a period of anti-regulation, presided over by President Reagan, who loosened rules governing banks and thrifts.

    A major game changer came during the Clinton era, when barriers between commercial and investment banks, enacted during the post-Depression era, were removed.
    In 2000, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act also weakened the government's oversight of complex securities, allowing financial innovations to take off, creating unprecedented amounts of wealth both for the overall economy, and for those directly involved in the financial sector.

    Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration and extended under Obama were also a major windfall for the nation's richest.
    And as then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan brought interest rates down to new lows during the decade, the housing market experienced explosive growth.

    "We were all drinking the Kool-aid, Greenspan was tending bar, Bernanke and the academic establishment were supplying the liquor," Deutsche Bank managing director Ajay Kapur wrote in a research report in 2009.

    But the story didn't end well. Eventually, it all came crashing down, resulting in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.
    With the unemployment rate still excessively high and the real estate market showing few signs of rebounding, the American middle class is still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession.

    Meanwhile, as corporate profits come roaring back and the stock market charges ahead, the wealthiest people continue to eclipse their middle-class counterparts.
    "I think it's a terrible dilemma, because what we're obviously heading toward is some kind of class warfare," Johnson said.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    ...NFPA 1710 is more or less an "industry standard" and says we should have more personnel on my fire truck and on-duty in general. There is no direct enforcement powers for compliance within the standard. So, how will NFPA 1710 address my department's staffing issue other than pointing out what we already know - we're understaffed?
    ...
    Petition the people of your city/state to tell their elected officials to adopt it as law. Then it has to be followed.

    Good luck at getting people to be in favor of that, as they will have to pay for it.
    "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?

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