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  1. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    I'm not insane, but you may be bad at math. If you get on at 20, then put in 20 years, you can retire at 40. 20 isn't the average age for getting on the job here, but it happens all the time.

    I guess you'll need to define what "it happens all the time" means, exactly. In the state of Wisconsin, it happens exactly zero. I know it doesn't happen in Illinois. In fact, places on the east coast are the only pension programs with which I am aware that offer a "20 and out" plan, which gives them 50% or so.

    The arguments and misinformation about pensions is most times incorrect. Virtually every plan out there is different. FyredUp's retirement benefit is very different from mine, even tho we are only a few miles apart.
    If a person in my department is fortunate enough to be hired at age 20, they will be working thirty years to reach the minimum age to draw up papers to retire. In our program you need to hit a minimum age along with a minimum number of years of service to receive a percentage of your salary.

    The only exception would be an individual placed on a disability pension due to a line-of-duty injury; are you going to begrudge a person permanently disabled?
    Maybe your area is different but, the example you cite is hardly an "it happens all the time" example.

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    @Blulakr, What RFDACM02 said,

    And, some places have a 42 hour workweek - a 24/72, or a 24/48/24/96. Some do a 24/48 which is the same amount of hours as mine, as is a 48/96. The structure may be different, but, you're still spending a third of your life at work.

    As far as saving positions, look at it like this: 56 hours/wk x 5 positions = 280 hours. 40 hours/wk x 7 positions = 280 hours a week. You need to hire an additional two 40 hour employees to cover the same amount of work hours that you get with five 56 hour employees. You're paying for additional benefits to include medical, retirement, paid time off, training, you're paying for equipment, the hiring process, extra support staff to cover the fourth shift, etc. You would need to hire a whole other shift to go to a 42 hour workweek, which would be a form of a 24/72. that's almost a 25% increase in staffing to run that third shift. That's how a 56 hour employee saves positions and money.

    Check out this link to Alex Fire and EMS that explains how we're putting more years than we're really working, due to the extended weekly work hours:


    http://alexandriava.gov/fire/info/default.aspx?id=5086

    The 56 hour employee works the equivalent of 33.75 40 hour week/years; the 42 hour employee works 26.25, both examples assuming a 25 year career. If you work more, it compounds.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Like I said above, I'm not talking about OR complaining about my pay or benefits. I was speaking from the perspectives of taxpayers who are being asked to pay higher and higher taxes to pay for the likes of pay and benefits that they'll never see.

    And for the record, the answer to every workplace problem is not "start a union." Besides, I'm a manager now. That's how I improved my situation- I made myself stand out by working hard, making the best of opportunities presented, going for additional training on my own time, taking on extra responsibilities, etc.
    Congratulations. In EMS, the opportunities for advancement are limited, and there usually isn't an objective promotional process. The ones that get made typically have to brown nose, do extra uncompensated work at home, taking on extra responsibilities, belong to the good 'ole boys club, etc. I prefer the promotional process we have: qualify with time in grade, have the necessary classess, take the test, take oral boards for officer positions, and get a list number. When they get to you, the position's yours, not the Chief's drinking buddy or cousin-in-law.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    You're welcome- the rest of us pay QUITE a bit into YOUR salary, better and less expensive health insurance than most of us have if we have anything at all, and a pension we could only dream of- many times at the ripe old age of 40. After which, of course, you can go get another career if you want, like some of the 20 year firefighters in my area who retire, then go get hired as probies in departments that pay better than their first job did. So they're pulling down $50k plus or so, on top of the pension, while paying peanuts for family health coverage..... And then we've got absurdities like firefighters washing their boats (something else the majority of taxpayers can't afford) on city time. Get the picture yet? Is it starting to sink in why there's been such a backlash?

    The rest of us have the mere hope that MAYBE Social Security will be enough to get by on- and you've got the gall to pat yourself on the back for providing it? Please.
    Many of us don't have a 20 and out. We have a 25 and out, and we work a 56 hour work week, so we're really putting in 33.75 40 hour week/years to qualify for retirement benefits:

    http://alexandriava.gov/fire/info/default.aspx?id=5086 (not my dept, just an example)

    In addition, we're required to pay for our medical benefits 100% post retirement. For that reason, we have a three year DROP. We effectively retire, then are rehired for up to three years. We don't pay anything into our pension fund, but neither does the county. The county saves in hiring/training, and retains experienced personnel. I've explained this earlier why it doesn't cost the county any money to do this. We can invest the DROP money, which was put into a deferred comp account by the county (we can't live off it while still working, it automatically goes into deferred comp), and use the ROI and the principal if necessary to offset the costs of healthcare. If we choose to go into another municipal system, be it as FF's, EMS, or some other area that we earned a degree for, then we can keep that money, which cost nothing for the county to provide to us. It's not a scam to retire and move into another position. You put in your time, and are free to do as you choose once you've filled your years of service obligation.

    You probably work as a supervisor for a private company or a hospital. You're probably restricted to a 401k or 403b. Your jealousy over our defined contributions is obvious. It's important to note the history of the 401k. It's lengthy, so you can just google "origin of 401k" if you have time on your hands. The jist of it is that corporations invented a form of the 401k as an additional tax shelter for their execs. It was soon discovered that it would be cheaper and better for the company to achieve legislation that would allow them to switch their employee's DC plans to a defined benefit plan. The 401k obviously spread like wildfire. Again, it's to benefit the employer. Instead of complaining about us that have pensions, and seeking to drag us down, how about you look to better your own position?

    Edit: Like it was said earlier, we pay into SS but don't see any of it. When we hit the age that we would receive SS benefits, the county reduces our benefit dollar for dollar to offset what would otherwise be a gain. It's another way to keep the pension system solvent, when you think about it. What's more, like it was also said earlier, I've worked since I was 16 as well. Supermarkets, beverage delivery, loading trucks, EMS. In addition, I've held a private IFT job for nearly the past two years. Besides dumping as much of my check into deferred comp as I can, I'm not seeing that money that goes into SS from my check.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 03-23-2011 at 01:45 PM. Reason: grammar
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    You would need to hire a whole other shift to go to a 42 hour workweek, which would be a form of a 24/72. that's almost a 25% increase in staffing to run that third shift. That's how a 56 hour employee saves positions and money.
    I think it's actually a 33% increase over the 15 personnel it takes to have three shifts of 5. A three shift system is 75% of the size of the four shift, but a four shift is not 25% more than a three shift but in fact 33% more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I think it's actually a 33% increase over the 15 personnel it takes to have three shifts of 5. A three shift system is 75% of the size of the four shift, but a four shift is not 25% more than a three shift but in fact 33% more.
    Yeah, my bad. That explains why we'll probably never go to a four platoon system, unless there are a lot of givebacks. Just the cost in recruitment and training in the academy alone is prohibitive.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    Yeah, my bad. That explains why we'll probably never go to a four platoon system, unless there are a lot of givebacks. Just the cost in recruitment and training in the academy alone is prohibitive.
    Our boss is talking about the change in a three year plan. Not as a cost saving measure but as a personnel saving measure. We're one of two or three FD's left in the state working 56 hours and our guys get very little sleep due to EMS runs. This costs in turnover and replacements. Not to mention the general misery felt by members who often sleep less than 2 or 3 hours during a shift, go home for a day of lethargy, have one "normal" day off and then are back to it. With a few other changes we're one member short of being able to finance the conversion without raising taxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper 45 View Post
    If a person in my department is fortunate enough to be hired at age 20, they will be working thirty years to reach the minimum age to draw up papers to retire. In our program you need to hit a minimum age along with a minimum number of years of service to receive a percentage of your salary.

    Doesn't sound too different from the rest of the state then really. You still need to reach a minumum age and number of years to look at retirement as well. I know there are differences though.
    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 emt161 View Post
    Originally Posted by jccrabby3084
    If you don't like your working conditions or wage/benefit, then why gripe about someone else? Instead of griping, how about looking into what you can do to change your own plight. Look in the mirror first.


    Like I said above, I'm not talking about OR complaining about my pay or benefits. I was speaking from the perspectives of taxpayers who are being asked to pay higher and higher taxes to pay for the likes of pay and benefits that they'll never see.

    And for the record, the answer to every workplace problem is not "start a union." Besides, I'm a manager now. That's how I improved my situation- I made myself stand out by working hard, making the best of opportunities presented, going for additional training on my own time, taking on extra responsibilities, etc.

    First of all I never stated that the answer to every workplace problem is to start a union, infact there have been numerous times I stated a union is not needed in many places. However, considering your screenname is EMT, and you are on a fire related forums, there is no secret that EMS pay in the private sector does suck, but for the most part does have to deal with lack of unions as well. Hence the reason I said to look in the mirror.

    Now I'm also a paramedic and do handle a lot of EMS so I do understand the job and issues involved with EMS. A big difference between what I do and the private is that I'm also a firefighter and utilized as one, which is the reason for pay differentials. So my point being here is that when someone like you comes across they way you did, it is easy to deduce the animosity issues of why someone like me deserves say more than someone like you.

    This goes into the point about taxpayers. Point is majority of taxpayers really are not doing the same job. For instance I really don't care to pay what I do for insurance, but it is comparable across the board, so there really is no savings. The thing is I don't go complaining to my insurance company griping about rates and blaming it on the employees....which IS what is happening with public workers. Same thing goes for my cell phone service, sure rates are comparable and I have seen my rates increase, but I don't blame this on worker's salary and benefits, as what is happening with public workers. Again same thing with my cable provider, sure I can shop around, but everything is comparable, and have seen prices increase, so once again, I don't blame this on the workers as making to much.

    Point is that it is easy to get lost in the concept of taxes, but the reality is those taxes DO pay for services people want/expect. In reality those tax dollars for ready services like police, fire, EMS, and consistent service like trash pickup, recycling, maintained parks etc, DO come at costs. Just like the private sector costs do go up and that cost is in turn is passed to the consumer, yet why doesn't it hold the same for the public sector? Really that is the nuts and bolts of it, it is easy to bitch, whine, and complain about taxes, but really isn't this the same thing that does occur in the private sector???
    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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    Lightbulb Ronald Reagan/National Incident

    It appears the big bad Union representing air traffic controllers wanted unreasonable demands such as no control towers with less than two personnel present at all times. But the reasonable management negotiators saved everyone a few bucks and went with the one. Thankfully sleeping at the desk didn't kill anyone this time!

    Funny I thought the union was only looking out for themselves and the employers were for the safety of the public?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    It appears the big bad Union representing air traffic controllers wanted unreasonable demands such as no control towers with less than two personnel present at all times. But the reasonable management negotiators saved everyone a few bucks and went with the one. Thankfully sleeping at the desk didn't kill anyone this time!

    Funny I thought the union was only looking out for themselves and the employers were for the safety of the public?
    Don't forget the person "asleep at the wheel" was management, not a union air traffic controller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Don't forget the person "asleep at the wheel" was management, not a union air traffic controller.
    That's what makes it ok, it's the new American way, as long as management says or does, it's fine. It's the rest of us problem employees that are causing all the issues. Oh wait, I'm now non-Union management, I guess I'm confused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    That's what makes it ok, it's the new American way, as long as management says or does, it's fine. It's the rest of us problem employees that are causing all the issues. Oh wait, I'm now non-Union management, I guess I'm confused.
    Not confused, re-programmed.

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