Thread: Union or Not?

  1. #1
    Fire Mechanic Guest

    Question Union or Not?

    Hi all,
    I am a paid firefighter/mechanic on a volunteer department, and our two paramedics are paid as well. After coming to a brick wall with our commisioners regarding wages, our paramedics joined the IAFF. Within a half hour of notification, our chief had the locks changed to the admin offices! I know nothing about unions, and would like to hear the pros and cons from you folks whether I should stick it out alone, or consider joining the union. Oh budget time is so fun... Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Truckie from Missouri Guest

    Thumbs up

    To join the Union, or not to join the Union, that is the question....

    My response is not only yes, HELL YES!

    The IAFF will help you negotiate wages, working conditions, disciplinary proceedures, benefits, contracts, etc. Joining the Union with everyone else there will show unity amongst the troops, and that is a very important thing. A unified front will show management that you ARE serious about wanting to deal, to make an impact on working conditions. Joining the Union will also show the others that you are NOT a back stabbing scab, that you're in it TOGETHER.

    Visit the IAFF website at for more information.

    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.


    All postings I have &/or will post are strictly my opinions. I am representing only myself here, not the IAFF, Local 3133, or my employer. No animals were/will be harmed from the production of this disclaimer. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Gonzo Guest


    Definitely join the IAFF to protect yourself, your rights, your family, everything! I wonder what your Chief is trying to hide...

    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

  4. #4
    PTFD21 Guest


    Go for it !! While I do not agree with their Volunteer/ Paid on call stance, I do agree it can be the best to join the union. IAFF is the way to go !

    Teamster's Local 247 (my regular 40 hr job)

    ED C.
    "Doin' it for lives and property !"
    Pittsfield Twp. Fire Dept.

  5. #5
    INDY FIRE Guest

    Thumbs up


  6. #6
    benson911 Guest


    I was involved on both sides of a union fight(not the IAFF) before being hired on a union FD. The IAFF is not like the unions you hear the horror stories about. They DO NOT just take your money and leave you to fend for yourself. The IAFF really exists to support professional firefighters and paramedics. I would run, don't walk over to the IAFF.

    Plus, if the Medics get some workplace improvements or raises - your employer doesn't have to give you anything! Based on your administration's response to the union - you aren't who they're worried about. If you're in the union - your brothers and the IAFF will be looking out for YOUR best interests.

  7. #7
    Hammerhead338 Guest


    I know what you are talking about, my dept just went union this year, it got pretty wild around hear at first but most of the problems came from our fire chief ( thank god he finely left town ), the city gave us some trouble at first and after we voted to go union that quit. We are in the end stages of our first contract with the city and it is looking good. We are very happy that we made the decision to go union, it has brough the dept closer and made us more of a family.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Local 3905

  8. #8
    Truck 2 Guest


    Being unionized is the next best thing after civil-service protection! If your employer hasn't crapped on you yet they will try in the future! JOIN the IAFF.

    IAFF Local # 319

  9. #9
    Ed Guest


    Listen to them they are 100% correct. JOIN the I.A.F.F. Very knowledgeable people with many resources throughout the country. You won't be sorry.

  10. #10
    Fire Mechanic Guest


    Thanks guys for the response. I will definately be looking into going forward with the IAFF. Thanks again

  11. #11
    FFE3BFD Guest

    Thumbs up

    You made the right choice!!!!!!

  12. #12

    Thumbs up



  13. #13
    Steamer Guest

    Thumbs up

    We were represented by a non-firefighter public employee union, and never got more than a 4% increase. We decertified that group, and the first year we were represented by the IAFF, we received what will result in a 27% increase at the end of our contract. They were there with all the information we needed to press our case.
    By all means go with the IAFF; it's a no-brainer.

    Steve Gallagher Local 300

    [This message has been edited by Steamer (edited January 16, 2000).]

  14. #14
    thewarthog Guest


    Go IAFF or don't go at all!!!

  15. #15
    Dave Grice Guest

    Thumbs up

    The IAFF is probably either the next strongest if not THE strongest union behind the UAW. I am so proud to not only be in the fire service, but to be a member of the IAFF. Good luck and know that you can come to any of these guys that have written not to mention the thousands that are around the country for support.

  16. #16
    HIangleLT Guest

    Thumbs up

    L2879, Florida Professional Firefighters

    '99 National Champs #1

  17. #17
    benson911 Guest


    It's interesting to see NO anti-IAFF sentiment in the repsonses to this thread. What a testament to the IAFF - nobody complained!

  18. #18
    Pizan Guest

    Thumbs up

    Definately pursue a union, but interview all the unions before you decide which one is best for you and your brothers. I am a very proud memebr of the SEIU Local 73 AFL-CIO. It was a tough decision between the unions especially with the size of the IAFF, but they may not be the best ones for you, so do your homework!! But all firefighters need a Union!!

    Frank Ricci

  19. #19
    FFRAGS Guest


    I think you get the idea. Also contact your state association to get all the information they will have to offer. A lot of good information will come from them. GET INVOLVED!

  20. #20
    IAFF LOCAL 3936 Guest



  21. #21
    IAFF3217 Guest

    Thumbs up

    I agree with Benson911. The IAFF is like no other labor union. The IAFF is not just a labor organization but is a professional association. Check out the IAFF's website to see the different programs and training available that are job related (safety, EMS, haz-mat). Speaking from experience, the IAFF will not take your money and run.

    Chuck Burroughs
    IAFF Local 3217

  22. #22
    cpthunt Guest


    Definitley go union. Or dept. orgainized back in 1987 over FLSA overtime. Our brothers who are not represented are still working the "odd shift" and not being compensated for FLSA. The local and the IAFF has been less sucessful on some other issues, but overall I think union is the way to go. By the way we are a right to work state and have no collective bargaining rights.

  23. #23
    EXJAKE Guest

    Thumbs up

    Fire Mechanic, How are you doing with the IAFF?

    Lock outs and and ****ing contests are normal when management gets a hair accross.

    Can you update us?

    Local 1735

    Good Luck and be careful out there,EXJAKE:-)

  24. #24
    Fire Mechanic Guest

    Red face

    An update:

    Friction has been very high among some, but is easing for the moment. We are going through a Department evaluation by a third party, so that will bring some of these issues to light. When I checked with the "local" I was told that this particular IAFF local was for Paramedics only. Not really sure what to do now... I am kinda stalled at this particular point, but my A%% is still burning from the last salary meeting, so I hope to make some headway before the next budget rounds this fall.

    Thanks for all of the support and suggestions.

  25. #25
    benson911 Guest


    Your "Paramedic only" local is shooting itself in the foot by not accepting a member of their own department. Why is this a problem? Are your jobs that different?

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