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Thread: PAID vs PAID vs IAFF??? wow

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    Default PAID vs PAID vs IAFF??? wow

    For the past years I've worked for my department , I've had the privilege of serving my community in the upmost dignity and respect. Although, working under the protection of the IAFF I thought I would not be attacked for volunteering at another department 60 miles away from my career. I was sent a letter, also 2 other of my friends where sent this letter. stating the Union would drop me from the IAFF if I continued to volunteer for a complete separate department. This comes after having a Union meeting and standing up for my home town volunteers. A firefighter, that I will not mention by name, said Volunteers are useless, and are better dead than risking the lives of paid staff. This made me extremely upset. In which I stated I was a volunteer ( Which they had known for years) and that I trust my life with the volunteers I serve with. This started a big argument amongst the 40 of us, they basically said I was taking away jobs from future career firefighters... This makes absolutely know since. The town I volunteer for has a population of 4000... The department can't afford to pay for a fire fighter. I'm a paramedic, so I help all that I can. The people that where on my side, which is most of them. Spoke out, and said they volunteer as well for other departments. How can the IAFF do this? I guess I'm going to have to protest the union.


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    Can I ask what state you are in? We had something similar come up around me not too long ago....

    And for the record - my Dad's cousin is retired FDNY - while working there he rose through the ranks in his hometown Vol. FD up through Chief.....

    I have heard of conflicts with someone wanting to volunteer in a district covered by a combo department - or in one of the neighboring mutual aid districts - a clear conflict of interest if he responded into the jurisdiction where he worked.....

    When the union says they will drop 'you' from the IAFF - not sure how that works - maybe someone else here can chime in.....not sure they could truthfully do that or if they are just trying to pressure you into not volunteering?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasobuff View Post
    Can I ask what stazte you are in? We had something similar come up around me not too long ago....

    And for the record - my Dad's cousin is retired FDNY - while working there he rose through the ranks in his hometown Vol. FD up through Chief.....

    I have heard of conflicts with someone wanting to volunteer in a district covered by a combo department - or in one of the neighboring mutual aid districts - a clear conflict of interest if he responded into the jurisdiction where he worked.....

    When the union says they will drop 'you' from the IAFF - not sure how that works - maybe someone else here can chime in.....not sure they could truthfully do that or if they are just trying to pressure you into not volunteering?
    If you private message me I'll tell you, I just don't want this to leave the forum if you know what I mean. It's rough times here. They can drop me from the IAFF, and the department will force me to still pay, but I won't be protected. It's actually complete bull****. that's how I understand it. My Union leader is turning on me and my crew, and I believe is lying to our union rep, I've contacted the union asking why they are sending me this stuff. Haven't heard back from them though... I believe you are right though, I don't think the union can do that. (It's even possible the guys sent us this **** to scare us, and if that's the case that's awful) What I do on my free time is my time... I'm not volunteering on the clock. Our districts our different. It's in a different county too. Not even a mutial aid possibility.

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    And people wonder why I think unions have no place in America, and why I have such hatred for the IAFF.

    I'm sorry bro as this is an example of what is wrong with the IAFF and the "career only" mentality that some of the members have in regards to fire protection in most of America.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylarmorris89 View Post
    For the past years I've worked for my department , I've had the privilege of serving my community in the upmost dignity and respect. Although, working under the protection of the IAFF I thought I would not be attacked for volunteering at another department 60 miles away from my career. I was sent a letter, also 2 other of my friends where sent this letter. stating the Union would drop me from the IAFF if I continued to volunteer for a complete separate department. This comes after having a Union meeting and standing up for my home town volunteers. A firefighter, that I will not mention by name, said Volunteers are useless, and are better dead than risking the lives of paid staff. This made me extremely upset. In which I stated I was a volunteer ( Which they had known for years) and that I trust my life with the volunteers I serve with. This started a big argument amongst the 40 of us, they basically said I was taking away jobs from future career firefighters... This makes absolutely know since. The town I volunteer for has a population of 4000... The department can't afford to pay for a fire fighter. I'm a paramedic, so I help all that I can. The people that where on my side, which is most of them. Spoke out, and said they volunteer as well for other departments. How can the IAFF do this? I guess I'm going to have to protest the union.
    I think first, we need to clarify who exactly has made this notification to you. Was it the IAFF or was it YOUR Local? My guess would be that it was your Local and not the IAFF itself.


    I'm by no means an absolute authority on the matter, but a couple of thoughts come to mind regarding the situation that may be helpful.....

    Did everybody in your Local who volunteers get this same letter? If not, then you probably have a good argument for being "targeted".

    What was the process used to arrive at the decision to make this notification? Basically, did your Local officials meet and decide that they believed a violation was occurring and do it in accordance with the Local's Constitution & By-Laws?

    Did the letter specify what "rule" you are violating? This would be important for "fighting" the charge. If they are citing the infamous rule regarding "rival organizations", then I think they may have a hard time proving that a small town VFD 60 miles away is a "rival organization" since this is pretty much the very type of organization that the IAFF "rule" is not about.

    Maybe with a little time to "cool off", the issue might go away.

    If not and you feel that your officers are not acting properly, then I'd suggest, at least informally, looking to any contacts you may have in a nearby Local for some assistance. Maybe a fellow officer (or two) from another Local could "mediate" and facilitate a resolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And people wonder why I think unions have no place in America, and why I have such hatred for the IAFF.

    I'm sorry bro as this is an example of what is wrong with the IAFF and the "career only" mentality that some of the members have in regards to fire protection in most of America.
    No, we really don't wonder why because you constantly tell us why, even when there's no reason for you to do so. Like this thread for example.

    You are in no position to answer the question posed as it is entirely a Union matter and you don't belong to the Union in question.

    So, look all you want, just keep your thoughts to yourself since you clearly have a history of showing that you know absolutely nothing regarding this Union's matters and will have nothing productive to add to the discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And people wonder why I think unions have no place in America, and why I have such hatred for the IAFF.

    I'm sorry bro as this is an example of what is wrong with the IAFF and the "career only" mentality that some of the members have in regards to fire protection in most of America.
    Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform. This doesn't concern you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And people wonder why I think unions have no place in America, and why I have such hatred for the IAFF.
    WRONG!!! We don't wonder that at all. We know.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I'm sorry bro as this is an example of what is wrong with the IAFF and the "career only" mentality that some of the members have in regards to fire protection in most of America.
    For all you know this story is completely bogus. That's how I'm approaching it till proven otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    For all you know this story is completely bogus. That's how I'm approaching it till proven otherwise.
    I agree... seems suspicious in light of the other recent threads.

    I smell a scarecrow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylarmorris89 View Post
    If you private message me I'll tell you, I just don't want this to leave the forum if you know what I mean. It's rough times here. They can drop me from the IAFF, and the department will force me to still pay, but I won't be protected. It's actually complete bull****. that's how I understand it. My Union leader is turning on me and my crew, and I believe is lying to our union rep, I've contacted the union asking why they are sending me this stuff. Haven't heard back from them though... I believe you are right though, I don't think the union can do that. (It's even possible the guys sent us this **** to scare us, and if that's the case that's awful) What I do on my free time is my time... I'm not volunteering on the clock. Our districts our different. It's in a different county too. Not even a mutial aid possibility.
    Does your volunteer dept have any paid staff represented by the IAFF? If so, that is probably the issue with your local.

    If you are booted of the union, you pay "fair share" dues. It should be a reduced rate from your current dues. You have to pay because the union still negotiates the labor contract you work under. The union will not represent you if you are in trouble with your employer because you are no longer a member of the local.

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    This happened to a guy I was in the guard with. He was prevented from voting in the union for volunteering for another town while being employed by a city fd. I can't copy the link, but you should find the link easily by googling Duluth iaff Brian black. Statter911 had the article.

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    I think FireMedic is correct with this being a local issue. I had the opportunity to speak to some higher ups at IAFF about this several years ago. They were rather vague on what IS a rival organization but were very clear on what is NOT. Hooterville VFD with 20 volunteers and two old engines is not a rival. Utopia VFD with 4 stations, 200 volunteers and a $2 million budget is.

    Another point to consider is what if you get hurt at your vollie house? Your career job isn't going to pay you workmen's comp and I doubt the union will fight really hard for you. I'm sure there's a lot more to this issue.

    Be safe. Good luck.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMZ191 View Post
    Another point to consider is what if you get hurt at your vollie house? Your career job isn't going to pay you workmen's comp and I doubt the union will fight really hard for you.
    I would hope he has workmans comp coverage through his volunteer organization.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMZ191 View Post
    I think FireMedic is correct with this being a local issue. I had the opportunity to speak to some higher ups at IAFF about this several years ago. They were rather vague on what IS a rival organization but were very clear on what is NOT. Hooterville VFD with 20 volunteers and two old engines is not a rival. Utopia VFD with 4 stations, 200 volunteers and a $2 million budget is.

    Another point to consider is what if you get hurt at your vollie house? Your career job isn't going to pay you workmen's comp and I doubt the union will fight really hard for you. I'm sure there's a lot more to this issue.

    Be safe. Good luck.

    Joe
    So why would a volunteer department with a $2m budget be a rival organization?

    Because the union thinks they should have career members because the union thinks they should be able to afford them?

    So because the vollies still have the manpower to do the job and they don't need paid staff, they are a rival organization?

    The fact is it's not the damn union's job to decide who in their infinite wisdom should have paid staff. Sorry, but that line of thinking is nothing but a bunch of crap.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-17-2011 at 09:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So why would a volunteer department with a $2m budget be a rival organization?

    Because the union thinks they should have career members because the union thinks they should be able to afford them?

    So because the vollies still have the manpower to do the job and they don't need paid staff, they are a rival organization?

    The fact is it's not the damn union's job to decide who in their infinite wisdom should have paid staff. Sorry, but that line of thinking is nothing but a bunch of crap.
    Don't worry. You'll never be in a position to make that type of decision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMZ191 View Post
    Another point to consider is what if you get hurt at your vollie house? Your career job isn't going to pay you workmen's comp and I doubt the union will fight really hard for you. I'm sure there's a lot more to this issue.
    This argument that someone always presents makes no sense at all. No **** his career job won't be paying him workmans comp and the union won't be fighting for it. Why would they. He wasn't hurt at work. If I got hurt on a camping trip with a local outdoors club, would I expect workmans comp to cover me or my union to go battle it out for me? NO. Why would I or anyone else expect my employer to cover me for something completely unrelated to my employment?

    And for that matter, most volunteer departments with half a brain have insurance for such injuries, and if they're a municipal organization, they would also be covered by that town's workman's comp, even as a volunteer. Which makes the argument even more pointless.

    I can fully understand a union having an issue with someone volunteering where they work, even though it usually isn't actually taking jobs away. But a situation like this is complete bull**** and there isn't a single intelligent argument anyone anywhere ever could present to the contrary.
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    Here are two reasons why volunteering by union firefighters is frowned upon:

    1. When you are volunteering at a volunteer fire department (VFD), you are subjecting
    yourself to the same hazards (smoke, heat, bloodborne pathogens, hazardous
    chemicals, etc.) that you are exposed to at your career fire department (CFD).

    If you incur medical problems (cancer, etc.) that may result in you needing disability,
    early retirement or other off-duty compensation, the CFD will most offer these benefits,
    not the VFD. Why should the CFD pay for these benefits, when you may have been
    exposed wholly or partially to the hazards at the VFD? Since you are a career
    firefighter, it would be assumed that you were exposed to these injuries, conditions,
    etc. while career firefighting, when in fact you where wholly or partly exposed while
    conducting duty with the VFD?

    2. Another reason, is the rest issue. When you get off-duty at a CFD, you may be
    extremely tired from all the activities (calls, training, etc.) that occured on your shift.
    When you get off shift, you are expected to rest up prior to your next shift. If you go
    to volunteering, you do not get that rest and come back on-duty at a career station
    being tired. You are expected to report to the CFD healthy, fit and ready to perform
    duty. If you were spending your off duty days volunteer firefighting, etc, you did not
    get that needed rest. Your CFD pays you to be duty ready to accomplish the
    firefighting, rescue and EMS duties that are to occur on your shift. When you are
    exhausted when reporting to your career department because of volunteering, then you
    are not ready to perform duty. If you call in sick or take vacation days, because you
    were exausted from volunteering, this affects the manpower capability of your CFD.

    I hope this sheds some light on why career firefighters are discouraged from volunteering with VFD's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE117 View Post
    Here are two reasons why volunteering by union firefighters is frowned upon:

    1. When you are volunteering at a volunteer fire department (VFD), you are subjecting yourself to the same hazards (smoke, heat, bloodborne pathogens, hazardous chemicals, etc.) that you are exposed to at your career fire department (CFD).

    If you incur medical problems (cancer, etc.) that may result in you needing disability, early retirement or other off-duty compensation, the CFD will most offer these benefits, not the VFD. Why should the CFD pay for these benefits, when you may have been exposed wholly or partially to the hazards at the VFD? Since you are a career firefighter, it would be assumed that you were exposed to these injuries, conditions, etc. while career firefighting, when in fact you where wholly or partly exposed while conducting duty with the VFD?
    Seems like a reason the employer would want to stop you from volunteering, not the union.

    2. Another reason, is the rest issue. When you get off-duty at a CFD, you may be extremely tired from all the activities (calls, training, etc.) that occured on your shift.
    When you get off shift, you are expected to rest up prior to your next shift. If you go to volunteering, you do not get that rest and come back on-duty at a career station being tired. You are expected to report to the CFD healthy, fit and ready to perform duty. If you were spending your off duty days volunteer firefighting, etc, you did not get that needed rest. Your CFD pays you to be duty ready to accomplish the firefighting, rescue and EMS duties that are to occur on your shift. When you are exhausted when reporting to your career department because of volunteering, then you are not ready to perform duty. If you call in sick or take vacation days, because you were exausted from volunteering, this affects the manpower capability of your CFD.

    I hope this sheds some light on why career firefighters are discouraged from volunteering with VFD's.
    So, the Union should really ban ALL off duty activities and side jobs. Is that the case?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    So, the Union should really ban ALL off duty activities and side jobs. Is that the case?
    The Union shouldn't -- and doesn't -- "ban" any side jobs. It just prohibits belonging to rival organizations. No more; no less. It isn't an unreasonable thing to ask.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    The Union shouldn't -- and doesn't -- "ban" any side jobs. It just prohibits belonging to rival organizations. No more; no less. It isn't an unreasonable thing to ask.
    I was responding to the rationale that it is a good idea to ban off duty career from volunteering because it would make them more fatigued, thereby affecting their performance in their career position.

    Please read the entire thread next time.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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