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  1. #1
    engine 3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Is it leagal to prohibit prt time employ

    I am curious regrading the legal right a union local or employer has to deny you part time employment in the state of Illinois. I would like to work as a P.O.C. for my hometown department, a department I was at for 10 years prior to my getting hired at my current career dept.. I have been gone from the P.O.C. department for four years now. I sometimes teach there and have been around when all they needed was a driver, or a medic to get a 2nd unit out the door, but due to the IAFF rule I was unable to help. This is very frustrating to me.
    After talking to members from other locals in the area I have found some locals allow it, and some do not. My local claims it is a risk for my long term heatlth. My frustration continues as the local allows members to be chimmney sweeps, (exposed a lot to soot containing carcinogens) and painters, who are required to where resperators on their off days while painting. By being a P.O.C. I may end up at 1 or 2 more fires a year, if that, and I will probably be driving.
    My family and I understand that if I am injured or killed at the P.O.C. department, my career dept. will not pay any benefits. I have checked the policy of the P.O.C. dept. and found that they have a policy that covers all wages at my career dept. if I sustain a injury requiring lost time. I could keep going, but I will spare you. I am frustrated and looking for advise.


  2. #2
    FyredUp
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Engine 3,

    My local and my employer have not placed such restrictions on us yet.

    I could climb high upon a soapbox in response to the hypocrisy involved in restricting your off duty activities. Unfortunately, more times than not it is the union that is the culprit in this not the employer. And I agree that there doesn't seem to be restrictions on any other activities. Activities that could be dangerous to your health such as skiing, snow mobiling, hunting, sky diving, scuba diving and so on. Or second jobs like construction, painting, auto body work, tree trimming, plumbing, roofing, and so on. Or is it there is a common thread here? Hmmmm....what could that common thread be? Gee I don't know....perhaps that you are being perceived as a scab and taking someones firefighting job? Now I'm not saying that's what I think, but I have heard that. Funny how you aren't a scab if you take another union brother's job who isn't a firefighter, again construction, roofing, plumbing, and so on, but you are if you are on a volly/POC FD.

    My personal opinion on this is simple and clear, what I do while off duty is none of my employer's business as long as it is legal. I am an adult and understand the ramifications if I am killed or injured while firefighting for my volly FD.

    If the union is the problem...what is their true motive for banning your POC activity? You can ask. By the way....did you know many FDNY FF are vollies where they live? Geez you'd think if they could do it why can't we out in podunkville.

    If management is the problem, the city or Fire Chief and it is a condition of employment the situation becomes stickier and harder to change. They look at costs and costs pretty much only. Overtime to replace you if you are hurt and so on. Of course the guy who broke his arm skiing has to be replaced too doesn't he?

    This is tough business to try and change. I feel for ya brother.

    Take care and stay safe,

    FyredUp

  3. #3
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    There is a similar post on the career forum.
    To be short and sweet about this.Why do you want to volunteer for your employer ? that is why he pays you in the first place. If you enjoy doing and dont care if you get payed quit what your doing and be strictly a vollie. YOU DONOT SEE ANY OTHER JOB OR PROFESSION VOLUNTERING THERE TIME TO DO THERE PRIME JOB BAR NONE. like it or not this is the american way , work and get payed earn a living. everyone is entitled to get compensated for there labor. " THIS NOT A VOLUNTEER VERSOUS CAREER ISSUE OR WHOSE BETTER .," you people seem to be mis informed . first why should your career town or taxpayers support you for the free benifet that your vollie town gets.let them pay for the service . next it wages are not as important as who will cover your pension or widows benifits if you die? The FLSA laws were setup for YOUR benefit BECAUSE SOME TOWNS get greedy and try to save money at your expense.IF YOU THINK YOUR UNION IS RIPPING YOU OFF, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE WITH OUT THEM. You show me one trade , businees or labor person that that volunteers or works just because they like to! Solution QUIT!

  4. #4
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Gee Wrench, ya gonna read the original post or is that a stock cut-and-paste reply???

    He's not volunteering for his employer. He's volunteering for another community -- his home town.

    I'm sure there are other people who volunteer their time in their profession...ever heard of terms like Pro Bono for lawyers? We just see more of it the fire service because of the unique needs of the fire service for a large number of people to be mustered together quickly to work effectively at relatively few incidents.

    How is his career town supporting him? It pays a wage like anyother occupation.

    Who will cover someone's pension and wages if you die on in an auto accident on your way to the beach? The poster was pretty clear they understood the ramifications.

    FLSA has nothing to do with the original posts. Seperate employers. FLSA goes out the window.

    One trade, business, or laborer who volunteers because they like too? Hmmm, Habitat for Humanity, projects to wire schools for computer networks, most local City Councils, School Boards, Planning & Zoning Commissions, most people involved with church activities...and gee if a lot of those people don't use their experience gained from their paid trade or profession to help their community.

    One of the most amazing statements is somehow feeling the volunteer town isn't pulling it's financial weight. Many of the vollie towns out there the answer is simple -- it's cheaper to buy fire insurance than pay a fire department. A town like mine may see fires that have a potential of $750,000 in losses in an average year...maintaining a minimal paid staff that meets 2in/2out, can provide ambulance service, and time for training & development we're looking at somewhere around $1.4 million budget. Versus the current volunteer system all-things-included from capital to operations to fire hydrants of under $200,000 and fire losses kept below $200,000 a year. It's pretty easy to understand the reason there aren't more career departments isn't that vollies are stealing the jobs, but that many vollies are doing a job that it wouldn't be economically make sense to hire someone to do. $200,000 to save $500,000 is a good investment. $1.4 million to save $500,000 isn't.

  5. #5
    FyredUp
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Wrench,

    Did you read anything that was said here? Or did you mean to post somewhere else and came here by mistake?

    As Dalmation said FLSA has nothing to do with this. IT IS A SEPERATE DEPARTMENT WHERE HE LIVES, NOT THE DEPARTMENT WHERE HE WORKS. He is off duty from the career job and on his own time. He understands the ramifications of injury or death while he is a POC. He is an adult and has the free right to choose his off duty activities the same as you. I don't know what your interests are off the job....let's say you hunt and the union decided it was too dangerous and banned your members from doing that. How long do you think they would remain union officers? Not very long. If you don't hunt replace that with boating, snowmobiling, or ANY second job. Would you stand for it? Hell no!! Why is it any of your business or the union's what I do off duty if it isn't illegal?

    If you could put aside your anti volly attitude for a moment you might realize how plain silly it is. Telling a guy to quit to do what he enjoys off duty is assinine.

    Put away your hostility, if you don't want to volly fine. I don't choose to be a roofer, or plumber, or tile layer or any number of other jobs that affect my other union brothers in the trades.

    Take care and stay safe,

    FyredUp

  6. #6
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Gentleman. first of all I am not being anti volunteer, I also started out as one. You seem to be getting confused on your definitions, how can you be called volunteer if you are " Paid On Call". In this state it would be considered as being paid, therefore, your POC dept would have to pay benefits such as workmans comp, and enroll you in a pension plan. In NJ all career Fire and Police have to belong to PFRS (police and fires retirement system. you can not be enrolled in PFRS in more than one town in the same system. you may volunteer but you can not get paid.Yes I will agree with you that as a good union man I wouldn't want my town telling me what to do on my day off, however we have had problems with guys living in towns that were contiguous and being volunteers.when your at a fire in your vollie town and you call for mutual aid and your career town is now first due, we will call in a recall platoon for manpower at home. well if your at the fire in your vollie town do you leave the fire because you are required to be back at your career town? Your duty is to the town that pays you, you could be brought up on charges for not reporting for duty. This has created real problems, fortunatly every one has given up volunteering. On the issue of saving the town money I disagree, the town must deciede what level of fire protction they want but having paid on call is putting a bandaid on the problem. it is obvious that they can't get enough volunteers or they wouldn't be bribing people to the job with less than adequate pay or benefits. If you truly enjoy it do it as an unpaid volunteer, not being taken advantage of. Beside the fact that your POC town would the n have to hire career people and give some one a full time job, you better watch out that your career town doesnt like the idea tooo much and deceide to replace you with POC or all volunteer and save even more money. Dont think that your town administrators dont see this, and arent trying to find away to use this against you in negotiations. nough said and I'll step down from my soap box , besafe.

  7. #7
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Now that was a thought out reply Wrench!

    well if your at the fire in your vollie town do you leave the fire because you are required to be back at your career town?

    I'd hope so. Work & Family obligations come first, and being called back in to work *is not* a unique requirement of the fire service. I've seen members leave the scene of an auto accident...'cause they work as linemen and got called in to repair the pole broken in the MVA. Doesn't mean you drop your hose and run, but as soon as practical you check out with the OIC and leave. (Yes, we do allow POV responses...and our members who have work they're called in for emergencies on tend to always respond POV)

    There shouldn't be any problems that can't be worked out with a little compromise and reasoning.

    There should be clear rules. Two I like are 1) While serving as a vollie, you can't respond in mutual aid to your paid department. That's just a FLSA violation waiting to be reported.
    2) If the vollie department receives mutual aid from your paid department, you shouldn't hold volunteer rank above company level -- so you're not in the position of being a firefighter on the career side, then issuing orders as a Chief to your career co-workers when they respond mutual aid to the Vollie department. That's just a political mindfield waiting to blow up in somebody's face.

    People who say "Can't do it...just causes problems" just are sticking their heads in the sand. Solve the issues, don't ban the cause.

    having paid on call is putting a bandaid on the problem
    Could be...may not be. Some areas POC is very lucrative ($15-20/hour) others it's $200 a year, I doubt $200/year makes a difference in manning.
    For many small towns that can't afford adequate full time coverage, on-call forces provide a way to respond with sufficient manpower in a timely way.

    We all know how understaffed many departments are. Why choose to be obstinate and insist on all full-timers when the fundemental choice is often all full time and always understaffed v. combination and properly staffed during emergencies.

    Dont think that your town administrators dont see this, and arent trying to find away to use this against you in negotiations

    Gee, imagine that, Town Administrators trying to do what the public wants -- provide good service and a good price. It's unfortunate how confrontational labor relations are.


  8. #8
    benson911
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I actually have to disagree with Dal 90 on one point he made...

    Wrench wrote:
    Dont think that your town administrators dont see this, and arent trying to find away to use this against you in negotiations

    Matt wrote:
    Gee, imagine that, Town Administrators trying to do what the public wants -- provide good service and a good price.

    My career is fighting fire. If our union department allows our city administration ANY opportunity to reduce manpower or staffing, I'm jeapordizing MY career. It would be idiotic of a union to allow its members to volunteer on their days off when their administration is looking to hire "volunteers" (or POC or PT or whatever) to subsidize their manning levels. We contend that any additional manning on our department should be at the same FT level, we've had a full-time department since 1903. The city decided they needed FT firemen nearly 100 years ago, and that need has only increased. If your FT department doesn't have this problem, it will, just wait for the next election when a mayor or councilman decides the FD needs to reduce its budget and FF are replaced with POC as they retire. WOW - what a great councilman, he saved the city so much money - then a multimillion dollar business burns down because the FT personnel were on Medic runs and the POC didn't get there until the fire was too big to control. Then, the business leaves and the town loses a lot more money than the councilman ever saved by eliminating the FT personnel.

    To those of you who comment on this, but are not FT firefighters, you need to be in this position to understand the potential problems. FYREDUP - you know what I'm talking about, because you are living this everyday and I wish you all the best.

    Lastly Dal 90 stated labor negotiations can be so contentious. He's right, it sucks, but that's how I get paid enough to feed and clothe my children and take a vacation every Summer. It's my livelyhood and I WILL NOT COMPROMISE when it comes to MY LIFE.

  9. #9
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

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    Dalmation, this is like arguing who makes the best fire apparatus. I hope this to be the last I have to say on this. You seem to missed or glossed over the other points.
    In the senario it would be intresting to know how many POC the have and what there turnout is. IF the POC werent getting paid would they volunteer? Iam sure the other public agengies Public works and police dont volunteer. This is a career firefighters forum and It really is curious why any career firefighter would advocate or wont to volunteer. Dont you guys have enough to do that you still have energy on your off time.It"s like what is referred to as busmans holiday. Iam sure electicians and carpenters and the like dont really want to there job at home. My point about what the poloticians see is referring how hard the fire service fought to get reduced work weeks.There has been in some areas of the country and 1 town in my county that tryed to increase the work week. how to argue against that if you have people doing firefighting part time.that is the whole purpose behind giving you 2 days or 3 days off. Before you say it I will conciede that guys do moonlight on there days offbut it is not at the same type of job. you must be charmed in CT, but NJ were are trying to fight off company closings , regionilization , and in some towns eliminating the fire dept and contracting out or going all volunteer. It is tough enough to preserve manpower as is with out giving them any ideas or making it easier. Obviously you guys in CT must have different conditions and philosophy than here cause most everyone just wants to do there shift and go home even overtime is tough to get some one to work no less work some where else and for less money. Dalmation , while I'am sure we still won't agree this was as always an intresting discussion. Be safe.

  10. #10
    FyredUp
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Benson 91,

    You are right I live that thought every day that they may think about bringing POC or Vollies in where I work. I don't believe it will happen though. Our run volume is high enough that we couldn't easily be replaced with either of them without a substantial paid force anyway.


    Wrench,

    Where I live is not where I work. It is a small rural community. The total FD budget for the year is $40,000. Tell me how many career FF's we could hire for that? Hell our police department is part-timers too! There is neither the call volume nor the revenue to justify a career FD there.

    Your point of it being okay to moonlight at any other job because it is not the same is the utmost in hypocrisy and follows the union line perfectly. You mean to tell me a guy who works 8-14 hours at a construction job on his day off is more rested than me volunteering for my home town when I may go on 2-7 call a month? Please! Also, why is what I make or don't make at my volly FD relevant to this discussion? People know when they volunteer for any organization they will either not get paid at all or get less than they would at a regular job.

    Simply the point is this...why do you care what I do on my day off as long as at 0700 or 0800 or whatever time shift starts I am there rested and ready to go to work? It is my right to do whatever I choose on my days off as long as it is legal.

    We will never agree on this but I still wish the best for you.

    Stay safe,

    FyredUp


  11. #11
    firegal
    Firehouse.com Guest

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    It is amazing that wrench keeps writing in. We can all have our own opinions, but at least think them out first. POC is all some cities can afford. People continue to be POC because they are able to take the knowledge that they have gained from their career to help the people in their community. Apparantly Wrench is a very "me" oriented person, which is scary in the line of work that we are in. I've heard many people argue that POC steals jobs from union workers. If a city is unwilling to pay, or unable to pay for full time firefighters, I think that it is good that there are still people willing to serve in the community that they live in.

    [This message has been edited by firegal (edited July 04, 2000).]

  12. #12
    WRENCH
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    To; firegal. to set the record straightI,am not just for me. I was the union delegate for 11 years. The job is first but also the members wellfare and job security and benefits. I am also entitleted to my opinions. In case you have not noticed this is a CAREER fire fighters forum, therefore topics should be of major concern, intrying to preserve, maintain and improve working conditions safety and the general welfare of CAREER firefighters.In deference to all the Good vollies that do there job no malice intended, to those of you (firegal) who I suspect is a volly go whine on your own forum.We don,t bother you don, t do the same.
    If judging by your profile you should be the last to whine about unions and trying to preseve jobs.IF your obviously young mind remembered almost every place where PSO,S where tried it was either abandoned nor never went into effect.You should be the last to talk about doing two jobs. People like you have no concept of what it is like to work here in the east coast or especially the northeast. The cities don,t give hoot about you and what you do. Ocasionally you get an atta boy but they forget quickly.If you did you would quickly learn to do your job , do it well,as best as you can but do not give them any thing for free. Yes there are towns that can not afford or need paid depts, some could have as in my town paid and VOLUNTEER.
    BUT I can not understand how any career or UNION F/F could work some place else doing the same job for less wages. I would be willing to bet that for those of you that belong to the IAFF , it would not be sanctioned.

    And last I seem to remember someone else jumping on your case for the personal attacks.

    [This message has been edited by WRENCH (edited July 06, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Forum Member bfdhoser1's Avatar
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    Question Firefighters off duty lives - who's to judge ?

    First , It seems I read more and more about the uneven scrutiny of "Off Duty" events/activities , politics , volunteering , tattoo's and lifestyles.

    When did the Admin or Union cross into our personal lives ? Was it knowingly/unknowingly negotiated into our job descriptions , or our contracts - when did this happen - did you approve it ?

    Does the UAW or other labor Unions delve into their members hobbies , lifestyles , gun ownership , religion or other personal issues ? When did the moral minority become our appointed leaders in our off time? Who guarantees that those who judge us are without "Bad habits or choices"


    It seems some people love "double standards" - I learned of a Chief who taught courses at a local collage - he was also the head of a big city training bureau - sounds good - only problem was he was teaching English classes while actually being on the Fire Departs time. Both jobs added to his state pension - the Fire Department job was full time five days a week - 8: to 4:30 - so how could he be in two places at once ?

    The point here is , that same Chief - harassed a Firefighter for working off duty - this guy (FF) would sometimes have other guys cover an hour for him here and there - if he was going to be late at the firehouse. This Chief made a big stink about it and brought him up on charges - moral of the story - "Do as I say , not as I do"

    The big rub , I believe with the "Volunteer issue " is multi faceted. They raise the reasoning of "If you get hurt" - "Non-union" - and other such things> But to me it all boils down to personal freedom being eroded and infringed upon.

    Every personal choice lost is "Freedoms" of personal choice removed. When "Political Correctness" - "Personal agenda's' - and "job security" invade your personal life - are you still free under our "Constitution?"

    God Bless
    Be Safe
    www.bfd-firedepartment.com
    23 years B.F.D. Local 282
    13 years U.A.W
    U.S.Military - Joined.

  14. #14
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    heres an interesting one. my volie town has three districts (one house per district). 2 are all paid, one does not have the volume to justify full paid so it has 9-5 mon thru friday 5 man paid, with vollies filling in. they went to poc for all vollies. the main reason, if you are paid, you can get more benefits from the town if you are hurt while on a call. does this system was thought up by the 3 chiefs because tehy thought it would protect the crews the best. does that make the vollies scabs?

  15. #15
    Forum Member bfdhoser1's Avatar
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    Default Its sounds like "Protectionism"

    Its like I said before: Fire Departments used to say , "We protect our own!" - now they say , "Hurry get and shut the door!"


    It sounds like the Admin and the paid figured its better to "use vollies" then loose a house. The Vollies should sue for equal pay and benefits.

    But as with many Departments today - Admin and Union leaders are looking more and more like the same people.

    www.bfd-firedepartment.com
    23 years B.F.D. Local 282
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  16. #16
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    Default

    This thread is 8 YEARS OLD.

  17. #17
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    Default Volunteering as a career firefighter

    The Union is an organization that you voluntarily join. By doing so you abide by the rules the Union agrees on. If you join a gym that only allows you to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, do then sue or complain that you want to work out on Tuesday.

    Quite the Union. Don't wear IAFF clothing or stickers on your car. Volunteer for what ever community you wish to. No one, at least in Michigan, must be in the Union to have the job. You must pay an administration fee, since you get all the benefits of the union.

    For ten years now I have gone to Washington D.C. to lobby with the IAFF for national collective bargaining. All this so the individuals who live in right to work states can bargain for fair pay and decent working conditions. No longer though. I will concentrate my efforts on my local and state. Volunteer as you wish. Just don't ask for union help. Be what you want. Affiliate with any non-union buisness you wish.

    Just quite the Union and quite complaining that you can have everything you want for you. I hear it all the time on this forum, Stop whining and do what you think is right in your heart, and if things go bad for you then take your lumps and don't ask the union for help.

  18. #18
    Forum Member bfdhoser1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Volunteering is a time Honored tradition !

    First, many States and City's Fire ,Police and most Civil Services are "Unionized" - so if you don't "join" you don't work. It's not a choice - it's a requirement.

    Second , as with the Buffalo Fire Department - in training (first two months of employment) your given a outdated copy of a "collective bargaining agreement" as a rules guideline. Contractually the "Red Book" is supposed to be updated by the City and Union - then redistributed to Employee's. That hasn't been done in many years( around the mid 1980's).

    Also , the rules and standards are so "vague" that they can be used or interpreted in many ways. Add the fact that most people only know what others tell them and you have a serious problem.

    When you have a Admin that feels they out weigh the set procedures and the rules were made for them to bend and use as a sword - its no good for anyone.

    Now you look at our Buffalo Fire Department local 282 Union - the lead group has been more like a minority control group for the Admin. How can and why should the Admin and Union be all the same people. There has always been a clear line between Admin and Workers.

    Volunteering is what formed this Country. Its the back bone of any society. Whether its Firefighting, Military, Hospital work or charity Groups - who has the right to tell you that , "you shouldn't help your community."

    I doubt your speaking for a Union when you say, "Leave the Union and volunteer" -

    Unions are in place to ,"protect workers rights." I have been a member of the U.A.W. for 13 years - BFD Local 282 for 23 - never before have I seen a Union assume its role is to control its members personal freedoms.

    A person chooses a job - they choose a life style - they choose their Politics , they choose to Volunteer - - - they don't join a Union or ask the Admin to dictate their "Off Duty activities."

    No true Union leader would say - or believe thats their role.

    Freedom = Personal Choice


    God Bless
    Stay Safe
    www.bfd-firedepartment.com
    23 years B.F.D. Local 282
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  19. #19
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    How do you even dig up an eight year old thread? Wasn't Clinton president when this thread started?

  20. #20
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Since this thread was resurrected, I have an idea. Those departments who use "two hatters" to man their organizations should pay a "head tax" to the pension fund that is used by said "two hatter". Not to be used as a benefit for those who wish to work at another fire department but to help pay for presumptive illness and disabilty claims. Why should a paid departments pension plan be on the hook when these part-time places are getting away scott free? Yes I know there are guys that volunteer in the sticks where they live. There are plenty more who "get more action" at their volunteer gig or even worse as is the case here in Chicagoland... Those who work part-time as firefighters for less pay and no benefits. Who is going to argue that it is not a fair idea?
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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