1. #1
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    Default IAFF stance on working part-time

    There has been a lot of talk locally here lately about the IAFF looking down very much on firefighters working part-time and/or volunteering at other departments on their off time. I have heard that the argument of the union is that if we all stopped working part-time, these departments would be forced to hire more full-time guys, thus increasing the union size.

    I can see this argument to a point, but I myself work part-time for a small department that couldn't afford to add more full-timers if they had to, and if the part-timers did all quit, would simply run at dangerously low manning levels. This situation is common among the smaller outlying depts of this area, and I imagine this is the case other places too.

    I have heard the union has gone as far as to say that a death or injury in the line of duty while working part-time will _NOT_ be covered what-so-ever, and the Ohio Police and Fire Pension board has jumped on this band wagon as well and come close to denying benefits of a career firefighter who was killed a few years ago on a fire he responded to with the volunteer dept he worked for on his off days (his family later recieved payment in full to my knowledge)

    I for one think this is ridiculous, and I also feel it causes a loss of credibility to the IAFF, a union that is supposed to be not politically driven, but rather in place to help the public and to help us. I am curious as to what is going on in your area about this, and I am very open to hear everyones opinion, pro or con.

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    I believe that the IAFF stance on this has to do with the benefits that have been negotiated by the Locals with their communities on behalf of their membership and the benefits negotiated on the statewide and national level by the IAFF.

    As Mongo has stated so eloquently on the firefighters forum, a community will pay what it wants for their fire protection. Many fire departments have small rosters because the taxpayers don't want to pay a few cents more on the dollar to adequately fund their Fire Departments. The politicians don't want to rock the boat and suggest that the taxpayers pay more so they can continue getting re-elected. The problem is that people are thinking with their wallets, not their brains!
    ‎"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."
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    "I have heard the union has gone as far as to say that a death or injury in the line of duty while working part-time will _NOT_ be covered what-so-ever... "

    There were two Fort Worth, Texas Firemen killed while operating with their volunteer departments in a church fire some years ago. The IAFF did indeed deny LODD benefits.

    As horrible as it may sound, I can understand not paying LODD benefits if the fatalities occur outside your role as a Career Fire Fighter represented by the IAFF. It would be the same as if I was killed on my way home from the station after my shift is over. Sometimes we have to think about what we do on our off time and if it's worth it.

    -Kobersteen

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    Hey spoOK,
    Hate to tell you this but you're a scab. Put yourself in the shoes of your union or the city that employs you full time and maybe you'll understand. I know there are a lot of people out there that will disagree (mostly volunteers) but ask your brothers at your full time station how they feel about it. Have a nice day.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

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    What about career firefighters who work on the side as carpenters, plumbers, electricians and, dare I say it, EMTs and Medics???? These guys are fattening their wallets while potentially taking jobs and contracts that could employ a union carpenter, plumber, electrician, EMT or Paramedic.

    It's not the union's job to dictate what one does on their off time. If cities and towns want to deny a firefighter from working as call firefighter then they should deny all forms of outside employment. The risk of injury is still there. No matter what job you are performing.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    Greetings,

    As for a "Professinal, Career, Full Time Union Firefighter" volunteering, I don't agree with it, BUT as long as it is an "ALL VOLUNTEER F.D." in a DIFFERENT town or city than where he/she works, so be it.

    BUT, if a "Professional, Career, Full Time Union Firefighter" is working PART-TIME (i.e. collecting a pay check) for a DIFFERENT fire department, THAT IS A NO-NO IN MY BOOK. If this firefighter wasn't doing this, maybe that FD could go fulltime. If the FD or town has the money to pay parttimers, than maybe they have the money to pay fulltimers.

    And as for the IAFF denying Union LODD benefits to those two men down in Texas, it sucks but they weren't on there job. Would you except the union benefits if they died doing part time work? Also, the families were denied a LODD pension also from their city of employment basically for the same reason. It truly sucks, but rules are rules. Because if the Union and or cities paid for everyone who died (i.e. traffic accidents, part time work accidents, etc...) while employed, they would lose alot of money or their insurance rates would go up.

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    it is like those damn homes for humanity house builders if it wasn't for those scabs, they are unable to afford the union builders, I would be able to sell more cardboard boxes to homeless people.
    FF/PARAMEDIC/CORONER/TRAINING "MY DAY STARTS WHEN YOURS ENDS"
    **SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE**

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    nullI for one think this is ridiculous, and I also feel it causes a loss of credibility to the IAFF, a union that is supposed to be not politically driven, but rather in place to help the public and to help us. I am curious as to what is going on in your area about this, and I am very open to hear everyones opinion, pro or con.[/QB][/QUOTE]
    Huh....???? Where'd you get this idea??? The IAFF is certainly a politically driven union (read your last issue of "The International Firefighter"...or do you even get that publication???)

    Political action is what gets things done, plain and simple. The IAFF is very politically involved on the state and national levels, and I, for one, hope that they continue this. (Bad call on the Gore endorsement though, guys...for those of you that don't know, the IAFF was the first international union to support AlGore in the last election...oops. Not that Bush is any better.) There goes that national collective bargaining bill, I guess.

    Its a UNION, for God's sake, people. A UNION works for better working conditions, pay and benefits for its members....the scabs get it for free.

    Just my opinion, not representing anyone or anthing else but me.

    [ 08-08-2001: Message edited by: dgrant ]

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    Following the line of a few posters on this subject..

    ..."I have heard the union has gone as far as to say that a death or injury in the line of duty while working part-time will _NOT_ be covered what-so-ever... "
    There were two Fort Worth, Texas Firemen killed while operating with their volunteer departments in a church fire some years ago. The IAFF did indeed deny LODD benefits."...

    My first question is, what benefits did the IAFF deny ? As an IAFF member, I am not aware of any direct benefits (monetary?) from the IAFF should I die on the job.

    As I recall the story, it was the CITY that denied the Workers Compensation Benefits to the employees because the deaths occured off the job, as the fire fighters were acting as volunteers for another department.

    To take this another step, if someone is working part time at a non-Union Department, why should they even expect the IAFF to give them something?

    Actually, I think many people are missing the original point of the topic. In many areas, the problem is an IAFF member leaving his regular dept. then working/volunteering at another IAFF department. By doing this, he can be taking the job from another IAFF member.

    To quote Pogo... " we have met the enemy, and he is us"

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    Just to set the record straight on the Ft. Worth situation, it was neither the IAFF nor the City of Ft. Worth that made the decision on the pension benefits paid to the firefighter's beneficiaries. It was the Ft. Worth Firefighters Pension Board. Just as in Houston, this is an independent pension system. As I understand it though, something has been done to change the original outcome of the case.

    Anyone from Ft. Worth out there to tell the whole story?

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    The IAFF has, I believe, a policy against union members working part-time or volunteering any other fire depts. Does anyone know if they have an offical policy about working part-time at a union job and charging or accepting a wage below union scale. And, for any union members out there,(I'm one) what would you do if they had a policy that affected your day-off job? I'm a painter on my day off and try to charge union rates, but can't very often. I would price myself right out of business.

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    Default

    In order to try and keep this thread mature and prevent it from getting locked, I will not address the scab issue, except to say that I began working part-time with this dept long before I got my career job, and still work for fun and loyalty to the friends I have there.

    Yes I am well aware that unions are political organizations and that politics moves the world. But the IAFF is a union made up of members who love helping people, so why are we condemning people who want to do it on their off days as well?

    I did not begin this thread to start a fight, and perhaps I was to harsh in using words like ridiculous and disrespect. I am very interested in everyones opinion though.

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    We have to remember union firefighters must be stupid, that is why they need a union to tell them how to live their lives. YOu know who to vote for, where they can work, where they can volunteer, who can pay them and who can't. And if you don't go along with the party line they will call you names, ie SCAB.

    I thought this was America, where people got the level of protection they wnated and volunteering was a good thing. But NO, it is a dictatorship of the IAFF. Of course the IAFF doesn't want you to know they have almost ZERO say in the fire serivce.

    The third largest FD in the US has almost 100% of its members working as part-time firefighters at all the small towns surrouding their community.

    They also have been without a contract for 2 years. Silly them, they even relect the same union boss....

    They are holding out for time and a half for overtime, but pass on working for $21 to $32 a shift non-time and a half but work for 8 to 10 at the volly houses without benefits and no life insurance, LOL. Go figure????

    The FD got a 6% raise and PD 21% LOL. Too damn militant is the reason. No biggie, the FD will soon go from 4 shift 24 hour shifts to 3 shift 10/14's.

    As far as taking a union job away from someone by working part time???? Gee, there aren't any union jobs at these FD's LOL so how are you taking anything away????

    This is America, FD's will always find the lowest bidder, LOL. SOme firefighter will always take the job. Opps IAFF doesn't want you to know some ff's get $14k a year and others get $60K...... for the same job. I guess if everyone made enough they wouldn't need parttime jobs.

    Because union guys are stupid the IAFF must immediately require 8 hour shifts for all firefighters so there is no way anyone can hold a parttime job. The IAFF needs to protect us from ourselves.

    After all if a union firefighter had a brain on his shoulders he'd never do anything contrary to big brother union.

    Mother may I make enough to support my family please???????

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    Da Sharkie...there are a lot of firefighters who work on the side...most of them are self employed or work for other firefighters. If they are doing carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc. they are not competeting for union jobs at large construction projects. They are doing the small jobs that a Union outfit wouldn't even dream of bidding on, lie wiring in a garbage disposal, building a shed or replacing a flush valve in a toilet. I do work with someone who drives a truck on his days off...and he does carry a Teamster's card. Most firefighters that work as EMT's and medics on their offtime are paid on a per diem basis.

    Play...it's apparent that you have no clue to what the IAFF does for its membership and the fire service. Many of the health and safety issues that have been resolved for all firefightersto benefit from were initiated by the IAFF.

    I think you are a "wannabee" that can't make the cut as a firefighter in a career department, so you are resorting to bashing the brothers and sisters that put it all on the line every time they report for duty.

    It's apparent that you are suffering from a severe case of recto-cranial inversion.

    Grow up!
    ‎"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."
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    ...If they are doing carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc. they are not competeting for union jobs at large construction projects. They are doing the small jobs that a Union outfit wouldn't even dream of bidding...

    Oh really????? Cop out!


    ...Most firefighters that work as EMT's and medics on their offtime are paid on a per diem basis...

    Per diem ??? I don't think thee IRS calls it per dium. You get per dium in your paid gig LOL???

    ...what the IAFF does for its membership and the fire service...

    You mean like the first 14 hours overtime is free????

    ...Many of the health and safety issues that have been resolved for all firefighters to benefit from were initiated by the IAFF...

    Not by Brunacini's NFPA 1500??? Are you sure??

    ...I think you are a "wannabee"...

    kEEP HIDING BEHIND YOUR ALL POWERFUL UNION. LOL! Look what it has done for Newark, NJ 50% loss in jobs in 10 years LOL.

    ...so you are resorting to bashing the brothers and sisters that put it all on the line every time they report for duty...

    Every day? You mean sitting in front of a TV getting fat everyday???

    ...I believe that the IAFF stance on this has to do with the benefits that have been negotiated by the Locals with their communities on behalf of their membership and the benefits negotiated on the statewide and national level by the IAFF...

    So the IAFF decides your off duty time, off duty job??? LOL. Get a grip. What union negociates statewide??? What nationl benefit do we have nationwide...AL GORE? Face it the Union does not speak for the average guy??? Your FD doesn't even meet NFPA for staffing, stations, etc....

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    Hey play,

    I am a "stupid union firefighter". They pay me $50,000 a year to work 10 days a month, oh wait, 11 this month, I have 24hrs of overtime ($600) coming Tuesday. Union seems to be working just fine for me.

    So, which career dept. do you work for?

    Oh, I'm sorry. Keep testing, I'm sure you will find a job somewhere.

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    My Dept. of 300/100 per shift hires back anywhere from 3 to 12 positions almost daily. What does the IAFF say about that? We work 24 hr shifts, so multiply these numbers by 2 since we can only work 12 extra hours after our regular shift and now you see it as 6 to 24 people that get OT. How many Union Jobs are being lost on a daily basis here? The cities love OT cause we don't recieve any benifits when on OT. That's right NO Vacation, No Sick Leave, and NO additional Holiday pay. We are at least covered if we happen to get injured. Our Union has never come right out and told us not to do this unless your close enough to hear the mumbling's under their breath about how we shouldn't. However year after year at the negotiating tables MY UNION OFFICIALS have NEVER pushed the Staffing level issue. I would certainly love to see additional Firefighters on the job, but I also love the additional funds I recieve from taking advantage of the low levels. I personnally have earned almost $5800 this year from this, and as a single income earner it is just enough to keep the edge off, and I don't have to go flip burgers or cut lawns to try to earn the same $25 per hour as I get working for my OWN DEPT. So my question is this, If they (union officials) don't prevent/stop it, are they by their silence approving of it?

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    Play/Wylie...I'm not hiding behind the IAFF. My Firehouse.com profile states where I work. I'm the first to admit that my department is not perfect...neither are a lot of departments both paid and volunteer.

    What fire department are you associated with (or are you a wannabee?)

    At least a lot a lot of us here on the forums are proud of where we work and/or volunteer for and state it upfront.

    What has my union done for me? Let's see...

    My base salary as a Captain: $55.3K before incentives, holiday pay and other stipends.

    EMT pay...5% of base salary.

    Educational incentives.... percentages of base salary referenced to the number of credit hours obtained.
    10% of base salary for an Associates degree. 12% for a Bachelors degree.

    $1000 a year hazmat tech stipend.

    $675 a year for uniform clothing allowance, The City provides the all of the PPE.

    A 42 hour a week schedule (two 10 hour days, two 14 hour night, 4 days off) with overtime paid at the rate of time and half for working any amount of hours over the standard tour of duty. If an firefighter is held beyond 1.5 hours of the normal planned meal times (working an incident or working overtime), the city issues a meal slip ($2.50 for breakfast, $3.50 for lunch, $4.50 for dinner) that the firefighter can use towards purchasing a meal.

    Night shift differential.

    Callbacks for incidents...time and half with a 4 hour minimum.

    Paid details for firewatches, blasting, hazmat, EMS for functions and other specialized circumstances...$35 an hour with a 4 hour minimum. Any detail requiring an engine company, the company officer gets $40 an hour at the same minimum.

    12 paid holidays a year (time and a half if you are working the day of the holiday).

    Paid vacation based on the following: up to 5 years of service...2 weeks
    5 to 10 years of service...3 weeks
    10 to 15 years of service...4 weeks
    15 to 25 years of service...5 weeks
    25 years and up...6 weeks.

    6 personal days a year

    Paid funeral leave for members of the immediate family..parents, grandparents, in laws, brothers, sisters, spouse, children and any other person permanently residng with the firefighter as a household member (3 to 5 tours of duty, at the discretion of the Fire Chief).

    15 days a year sick leave
    sick leave buyback (with 90 days on the books, you can sell back 7 days, with 110 days, you can sell back 10 days)

    5% of base salary for Master Firefighter (10 years of service time)

    Health and dental insurance (70% of it is paid by the City, and this coverage includes our retirees!)


    State wide, we have the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts (PFFM) that watches out for the interests of their membership at the statewide level...among the things they have done is one of the best presumptive heart/lung and cancer laws on the books anywhere!

    So...what do you say now, Play/Wylie?....

    [ 08-14-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"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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    Play, I don't know where you get your information but "almost 100%" of Houston's (the 3rd largest FD in the US he was referring to) members would be almost 3200 people. I know for a fact almost all of them are not working for smaller departments in the area.

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    Great response, Captain Gonzo. I just wish I worked in a state that allowed us to collectively bargain with our employer (most of your southern brothers and sisters are denied this right, by state law.) Even hampered by this law, I'm proud to be an IAFF member...and our local does a lot to protect our members. The IAFF also does a lot at the state and federal levels, and I, for one, gladly pay my union dues each month.


    I guess I'm one of those stupid IAFF firefighters that "Play" referred to. I am, however, smart enough to write only about things that I know about.

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    I guess larry stevens has a lot of free time since he got canned from his magazine post and ISO's on the way out.

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    Wow Gonzo! I'm impressed.

    Hey Billy, if I understood your post, your are upset 'cause your leadership has done nothing about a manpower shortage that the City covers with OT. First of all there is a huge difference between working "part-time" on another department and working overtime on your own job. After all it is you job, so who is more qualified to fill the vacancies??? And the financial realities of the world are that the Cities will continue to pay OT until it is no longer cost effective - then they'll hire new guys.

    Secondly, if you feel your Union leadership isn't cutting the mustard, then run for office, replace them, and try to change things. I've been Union president for 2 years, and on the Eboard 1 year less than I have worked for the department. It easy to take shots and bitch about the problem. Try chipping in and fixing it, you would be amazed at what a different perspective can do.

    As for the rest of this - the only people really bitching about this aren't IAFF members. The International may not be perfect, but I sure as hell am glad they are out there representing me and my Brothers and Sisters.


    Union Firefighter and Proud of It....

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    Dear Play,

    Apparently you know nothing of the fire service and of firefighting unions. The IAFF is the largest of these firefighting unions in the U.S.A. Union jobs do 80 % of the run volume in the U.S.A while having only 30% of the staffing.

    As for the IAFF having nothing to say in the fire service, if it WASN'T for the IAFF the Fire Act wouldn't even be around. President Bush wanted to get rid of it, so the IAFF went into action. Guess what? The Fire Act money was reappropriated. This benefited ALL of the fire service, Career and Volunteer alike.

    If it wasn't for the IAFF, I would not have the benefits that I have know. From what I have read, my contract is very similar to Capt Gonzo's. What does your contract say?
    Oh, apparently you don't have one.

    As for the IAFF "outlawing" volunteering, I beleive they state that one can't volunteer in a career or part time F.D. But if it is all volunteer, I beleive that there is no problem. But also remember, each local has it's own set of by-laws also. I still don't agree that a Career guy should volunteer, but this is my opinion.

    And as for the local telling me who I can and can't vote for.........you have no clue. The recommend certain candidates, just like every other group out there. But once you go into that booth, it is your decision.

    So, get a life and get the facts before you make a foolish post again. And also stay on the subject at hand.

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    Gonzo, Every professional Firefighter has to deal with people like Play all the time. I for one am sick to death of these people who are feeling sorry for themselves because they've made a bad career choice. We all know Play would sell his family to drive down the road with the widely respected red and white IAFF window sticker poudly displayed in his vehicle window. Why can't these insecure whiners find another hoby. Maybe since I have 4 days off in a row, I'll volunteer my time at Play's work while his boss lays him off.Gees Play, think of all the spare time you'll have now to get caught up on your FireHouse reading.

    PROUD PROFESSIONAL

  25. #25
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    Double_Local

    He got canned huh? Got any proof? Would you like a list of where he has been working the last two years? We paid him $21K, He got us two FEMA grants. I have it on good authority he helped 11 others get federal grats too, to the tune of 3 million bucks.

    I know where he was workig this morning, this afternoon and evening, three very different FD's all paying him big bucks. We checked out his references. He retired dummy. Need a copy? Why don't you email him at isoslayer.com and me at blackb16@excite.com with your fact. I bet you don't have any.

    As far as ISO going away do you have any proof to that? They are currently rating 5 of the 10 largest FD's in the US. This issue of FIREHOUSE as the New Orlans chief talking about ISO coming back too.

    Just hot air aren't you?

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