1. #1
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    Default Can only view some union contracts...why?

    I am curious as to why you can view some IAFF contracts online and not all. I found some very simply by searching google and then some you have to be a union member to view. Is there a reason behind not making it public information? The reason I am looking for info is most FD orientations I go to for testing basically say "good luck" and turn us loose, and don't tell us anything about the department(salary, benefits, etc). I know it doesn't matter until you get the job offer but it would still be nice to know.

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    Because the Locals only worry about their own contracts with their Dept.

    There is NO unity or common "spread" with the contracts at all.......each is individual to that local.....local issues, benifits, pay issues, holidays, leue time etc...all are unique to each local....

    I guess some locals would rather NOT publically advertise their contracts....

    seems like the info you would want/need for testing for a Dept. is just general info...try web sites or phoning the Dept.

    Union stuff ISN'T what you need for testing.......that's only for after you get hired on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LRFFPD View Post
    I am curious as to why you can view some IAFF contracts online and not all. I found some very simply by searching google and then some you have to be a union member to view. Is there a reason behind not making it public information?
    First, I'd like to make the point that just because you can't find something in an internet search, doesn't mean it isn't information available to the public.

    I think they are available to the public, but you may have to make the request to the municipality itself. As a private organization, the Union is probably not subject to many of the RTK regulations that a public employer would be and therefore the document may not be available from them, but obtainable from the public employer.

    You can probably view some, but not others because they simply haven't been posted online or posted for general view. It's a decision that each Local would make on the matter. My Local's contract is available online via our website and our State Association's (not sure about the IAFF's off hand), however those documents and others are not accessible by non-IAFF members.


    The reason I am looking for info is most FD orientations I go to for testing basically say "good luck" and turn us loose, and don't tell us anything about the department(salary, benefits, etc). I know it doesn't matter until you get the job offer but it would still be nice to know.
    If you're looking for basic information like pay and benefits, you could try contacting the Locals by e-mail, regular mail or phone and see what can find out. I did when I was testing for my department and was able to obtain some basic information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Lights FF View Post
    Because the Locals only worry about their own contracts with their Dept.

    There is NO unity or common "spread" with the contracts at all.......each is individual to that local.....local issues, benifits, pay issues, holidays, leue time etc...all are unique to each local....
    Actually, there is a lot of commonality among the contracts, however there are a lot of differences too, particularly in the specifics of many items.

    Many of the same issues are addressed, however the details are often different. We all typically get vacation time, but the amount of time available for use, how we can use it (by day/week/hours), the ability to carry it over into the next year, etc. will vary from local to local.

    In some cases, language from another Local's contract may be used outright or as a template for a specific matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Lights FF View Post
    Union stuff ISN'T what you need for testing.......that's only for after you get hired on...
    I know I was just curious as to why some are more open than others. I rely alot on word of mouth as far as what a department has to offer. Again, I'm not too concerned because obviously I tested for them for a reason. I'm not too worried about obtaining them just wondered if there were certain "laws" or regulations reguarding them. And you're right, just because they're not online doesn't mean their not public, I rely too much on the internet sometimes.

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    If you are an IAFF Union MEMBER, you have access to almost every contract in the U.S. and Canada.
    Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 06-03-2011 at 09:20 PM.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default Contracts

    You might be a IAFF local but the key work is "Most" there are some who like to keep their contract close to the vest. As was mentioned most are about the same with those few that are unique and therefor are not.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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    I have seen instances where a Local's contract has been used against them, especially when the economy goes sour. The "angry public" forgets that the contract is a legal document negotiated between the city/town/county and the local, and both sides agree to the terms, conditions and provisions of said contract.

    Funny though... when the economy is flying high, public employees are looked down upon as working for chump change... and when it burps, suddenly we are overpaid and underworked...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    The IAFF has an extensive data base and contract library. It is available to IAFF members. The union really makes sure that all locals with CBA's file with International. There is no reason that this information that was collected and archived using OUR union dues should be available to anyone off the street. Our contract is a matter of public record and is voted on by the city council. Any interested taxpayers are welcome to view it by going through the proper channels at city hall. As a principal local officer for ten years, I have on occasion had members "cherry pick" from other contracts. That is, find the "good stuff" that we do not have while ignoring items that are not as great as what we have. The IAFF empowers locals to negotiate their contracts on their own, that is, at the local level and often without having to use attorneys. Each IAFF local is autonomous. We use comparables when arbitrating CBA's and the comparables need to be realistic and for lack of a better word...comparable. The International pays for a locals first contract and after that the main benefit is the information provided by the union when it comes to negotiating CBA's. The IAFF does provide loans and grants to locals. There is also an EDF along with the Guardian Policy, which defends local union officers against retribution for protected union duties. The IAFF is the "national player" but when it comes to local issues such as negotiating a CBA, we rely heavily on our state association.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default Meet the firefighters first ...

    To LRFFPD and any other prospective firefighter, the best single bit of advice I can give you is to start your job search by visiting with the firefighters in the station(s) of the fire department(s) where you are considering testing for a position.

    I can see why you want the collective bargaining agreement - so you can see the wage, benefit and working-condition information. But, the best information will come from the fire department personnel themselves.

    Because any collective bargaining agreement that has been adopted by a public body (city, county, fire district, special services district, etc.) is just that - a public document - you can obtain a copy from the firefighters, the fire administration office, the local library in many cases, the city clerk's office, or any number of other places. You can read them for free, sometimes you can get a copy for free, and you always should be able to obtain one for a nominal "per page" fee. I live in Missouri, and it would cost you ten cents a page to obtain a copy of our CBA. If you could accept an Adobe PDF file, I could give it to you via email for no charge.

    I have been in the fire service a long time, and I've never known a prospective firefighter who told me that his initial concerns were addressed by looking at the labor agreement. It's important, but you and every other prospective firefighter needs to start by contacting one or more firefighters in the fire department for which you are going to submit an application.

    There is no better resource than the folks you believe you want to work with. I don't ever recall an instance when we didn't take the time to talk with and help a prospective firefighter who took the time to call or stop by and say hello and ask about the jobs we do. We appreciate people who are interested enough to come ask us about our jobs and what we like and don't like.

    If you are interested in reading more along these lines, I have a brief guide for prospective firefighters that I have packaged as an Adobe PDF file. Please send me a message with your email address, and I will send it to you. It was originally prepared to help a high school junior make some decisions about becoming a firefighter, and it may be too elementary for some people. But, it's free and easy to send. I've given out several thousand of them since 2005.

    Best wishes in your endeavors ... and remember: start with the firefighters first ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by LRFFPD View Post
    I am curious as to why you can view some IAFF contracts online and not all. I found some very simply by searching google and then some you have to be a union member to view. Is there a reason behind not making it public information? The reason I am looking for info is most FD orientations I go to for testing basically say "good luck" and turn us loose, and don't tell us anything about the department(salary, benefits, etc). I know it doesn't matter until you get the job offer but it would still be nice to know.
    Quite simply, it is NOT the union that is hiring you, but the municipality and department itself. Even if there is a union contract, you are not forced into the union, so as such there is no reason to make unions contracts public notice.

    Besides, it is the departments/municipality's responsibility to provide salary and benefits information. Such info can be from the latest agreed upon contract, but if looking for such info, ask the city you are applying for, they have the info.
    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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