1. #1
    Bronson Gibbs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Volunteer and Union?

    This may seem like a dumb question, but can a voluunteer department be represented by a union on matters?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I don't thinks so. An Union implies members paying dues and being repersented on contract negotiations. I could not say officially, but I don't think the IAFF would even consider the idea.

    But a volunteer group could be a formitable oppenant as a policital lobby group. Most volunteer companies function in smaller muncipalities, that are strongly governed by local councils or board of supervisors. A well organized volunteer department, or group of departments in the same community could have some dicision making clout.

    As far as internally, like on discipline matters; I would guess that if a department was combination (carreer and volunteer) the union would stay clear of getting involved in issuses relating to volunteers, unless they affected there career members.

    Most unions are only going to look out for there members.

    Bruce Chew, FF/EMT-P

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I believe the Teamsters made an effort in Canada to Unionize the paid on calls. I'm not sure of the outcome of that though.

  4. #4
    Bronson Gibbs
    Firehouse.com Guest


    That is interesting about organizing the paid on call departments. I can see a negotiating or bargaining unit dealing with paid on call.

  5. #5
    Truck 2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm a career firefighter that used to be a volunteer. I can tell you the IAFF would not get involved with representing volunteer firefighters they don't really want to get involved with part time payed people. I don't really know what a union could do for you since you don't have any bargaining power or contract.You really didn't give us a whole lot of information on what your problem is? I think you should be able to work something out within your dept. or maybe a County Firemens organization could help you. Hope this has been some help to you!


  6. #6
    Ronald Kay
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yes....Volunteer FD's can be represented by a union. A volunteer Department near me is.
    Contact the Rossford Ohio VFD if you want info on this. Email there Department Chief at RSFDChief@aol.com and I'm sure he can help you with info.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There are enough volunteers around that someone should start a orginization to represent the volunteer firefighters.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Romania - Doesn't the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) already represent the volunteer firefighters at a federal level? But not at a local level? Can't your firefighter's association organize and bargain as a group? I don't think you have to belong to an international/national union to organize and bargain.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Technically,,,, Yes. The NLRB might not specify it exactly, but the keys to creation of a bargaining unit involve:
    1. Employer/Employee relationship
    2. Commonality of interest
    among other things.

    It's probably not so much an issue of "can you form a union ?"........it it more a question of "what existing entity will we form under?" beacuse it takes a pro union organizer to pull off all the work required to get the NLRB to certify the unit.

  10. #10
    Tom Lafleur
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Massachuttes call and vol.started an assoc.in 1990.www.mc/vfa.org We have some say in the state house now.It also helps on local issues to.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Mr Bruce Chew is wrong, (He was once a member of my department), I was a member in Vermont of a Paid/Call department, since most of the Vols. in New England are paid per call "Call Men" they can belong to the Firefighters Union, But they are still considered Vollies.
    Chief Gary A Case
    America Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. #2
    Bristol, PA

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I don't think most of New England is paid on call -- the only area I know of where it is predominant is Central/Eastern Massachussets and areas of New Hampshire. I'm not aware of any POC in CT or RI, and few in Maine or rural New Hampshire. Have to say I'm not very familiar with Vermont.


  13. #13
    Scott Clark
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This is right my alley! I have been saying this for quite sometime, that a union that represents all firefighters. An earlier reply stated that the NVFC is representing the volunteer fire service. I don't believe that is completely true. Though I think that the work the NVFC does is commendable, I believe they are not able to represent firefighters on the local level. It was also mentioned earlier that volunteer firefighters have nothing to bargain with. I believe they do. The biggest and most important commodity to any volunteer fire district is their personnel. To keep your volunteer force active sometimes concessions need to be made. All efforts from local municipalities and their firefighters should be concerted to keep volunteer roles plentiful. I think we forget the fact that 75% of this nation is protected by volunteer fire departments. And yes, we as volunteers should have a board of representation that we can turn to for the answers we need. An organization that is not affraid to get politically involved and stand up for the little guy.

    We should do this. We can call it the;


    Has a nice ring to it doesn't it?
    And it can be open to all firefighters, career or volunteer. A firefighter is a firefighter is that not true? There seems to be some interest in this adventure so I say lets give it a whirl! I have made an email address so we can monitor the intrest level to this idea. The address is;


    If you are intrested send your name and email address and any comments and I'll monitor it and keep you all posted.

    If we stand united.... We will never fall.

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