1. #51
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    Default Reponse to Fitguy51

    Here in the great county of Montgomery members of L36 have directly contributed to the loss of L1664 positions. I belive the offical budget cruncher numbers last year was 8.4 man years removed. This was done by one of the local volunteer fire dept's telling the county goverment that they would have a volunteer crew for staffing at nights and weekends at one of the firehouses. This was initiated by the volunteer dept and it also requested that the career personal be removed from said station. There are several of my "brothers" from L36 who are making up this staffing and enabling the volunteer dept to operate without L1664 members.
    See were this might cause a bit of disention?
    I have to agree this Deptynick, Just try this sorta thing with the teamsters union and see how far these actions would get you. I'm sure being kicked out of the union would only be a start.

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    Default My 2 Cents

    As I am one of the "scabs" directly affected by this resolution, I thought I would add my two cents.

    First, I was a volunteer in PG before I was hired by DC and therefore my loyalties lie with my volunteer company because I will not forget where I came from. Second, I am not taking anything away from the career people that work at my station (Some of the best people I have ever known.) In fact I am giving them the best possible work environment they could possibly imagine. In DC we have a house fund that we pay into each month. This fund pays for everything from shoe polish to cable TV to furniture to spices in the kitchen. The career guys in PG don't have to worry about that because the volunteers pay for all of it.

    But then this isn't about career vs. Volunteer is it. Fine. I say to the IAFF...KICK ME OUT!! I will keep my extra $200 a year in dues and you won't have to kill that extra tree for sending me the newsletter every month. Now, I know that the IAFF has every right to drop me from the rolls, because they are a private organization and laws governing these types of groups contain a lot of latitude (e.g. the boys scouts banning homosexuals) but the IAFF will never do so. I know this because they are driven by the same motives that L1619 are. They want to have large membership base to collect dues from and have numbers to lobby with. If the union kicked out every paid FF that volunteered, they would loose a lot of money and numerical clout with congress.
    So come and get me, I dare you. I don't care, I am not going to loose my job or benefits. The only reason that I will fight this is because this issue will affect others that are not in a collective barging department and unfortunately this a local issue that is going national. For those guys I will stand up with the hundreds of others and say "Hey this is Crap."
    After all the President just asked every American to volunteer 4,000 hours of there time over their life time. I can best serve my country by doing something I already know how to do.
    So How will this "resolution" look to the general public and to the congress men and women that you are trying to lobby? Think about it, then proceed at your own peril.

  3. #53
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    I find it interesting that the DC local doesn't seem to be supporting this move. Perhaps there is something more to it. I know that in our jurisdiction our local doesn't bother anyone who wants to volunteer as long as it is not directly in the region served by our Dept.

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    Smoke 286: Brother it must be different in the U.S. part of our collective agreement states that all employees in the supression divison will be part of the Local in GOOD STANDING. So if they were to kick me out of the union for whatever reason I have NO JOB. It's alot like what you were inquiring about in Hamilton Ont.(I replied to your post on that topic if you haven't read it)

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    You don't have to be a member of L36 to work in DC, but they (the local, not the IAFF) still get part of your dues.

    Would a trade union prohibit building houses for charity, or volunteering to fix them after a disaster?

    Did the UAW bitch about GM workers VOLUNTEERING to help rebuild FDNY's fleet?

    Has the presence of volunteers in PG county done anything but HELP L1619's salary scale?

    Would my discontinuing to volunteer do anything but exascerbate existing staffing problems? Would this affect firefighter safety?

    Why would I continue to volunteer when I've got a paid job? Why does anyone do what they do? They like it.

    The only "bad" thing volunteers do to L1619 is make it hard to justify a fully career force. As far as individual L1619 members though, they have a steady job, great pay, great schedule (40-42h a week), usually pretty good apparatus, equipment, and station.

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    A famous man once said "I have a dream"I also have a dream.Where one day we will all get along and act like we should.Like brothers in arms that we all are no matter if union or not.To the gentleman that said turn in your card and dont call me brother,no problem you never were my brother.Its attitudes like this that **** me off.You do as we say or else! I love that tactic of all unions(not just this case but many others)Did anyone notice the vollies at ground zero working?How about the volly company from the Bronx that was destroyed?How about an FDNY member being carried to his final rest by his volunteer company?Does it F%$#ing matter what we do in our private time you big brother wannnabes?????????Get over it for the love of Pete!Or just keep going on about "Whaaa they ******ed in my cornflakes so I am taking my ball and going home"And before any union guys bash that line,It goes to both sides!!! Volly and career need to work as a team(Oh yeah like that will ever happen)Sorry wishful thinking on my part.But to those that are truly brothers that work both sides to HELP THE COMMUNITY.Hats off to you guys.We do this to help our neighbors not to say "woooo hoooo look at me I am a firefighter with tons of bennies and a cool work schedule"If that is what you do then make room for some real firefighters that will do the job cause they know what it is about.Helping others not bashing everyone in sight.Nuff said about that.

  7. #57
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    Default Huh?

    First, I was a volunteer in PG before I was hired by DC and therefore my loyalties lie with my volunteer company because I will not forget where I came from.
    So using your logic, you would agree that if a person came from Afghanistan to become a US citizen, its okay if his loyalty remains in Afghanistan. That is comforting.




    that's when I stop being union proud, and start being American proud
    So you think that Unions are not American enough DCFF/EMT? Please tell me that is not your thought pattern. I am sure it is not so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

    i believe for unions, it is usually another union attempting to represent (and recieve dues from) members of an existing union, or competing for the same employees.
    You believe, but have no proof, correct?

    One final point, at this moment, should there be a fire in my house...
    You would rush home from DC, dash in, and smother the fire with your union card. We get the picture


    In the words of the great South Central philosopher, Rodneyius Kingus, "Can't we all just get along"?

  8. #58
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    Angry Big Brother?

    Originally posted by truckie_ladderco_147
    Does it F%$#ing matter what we do in our private time you big brother wannnabes??????????
    Most Union Brothers don't care what anyone does in their private time. Personally, if someone wants to be drunk, smoke dope, race motorcycles, rob banks, etc., it does not matter to me... UNTIL their private time endangers me, my family, my safety or my livelihood.

    The jurisdiction I work in borders PG County and we also have problems with "brothers" from Local 36 (Washington, DC). They are costing us jobs. As "Bellat25" stated we lost 14 fire fighter positions so that a couple of our "brothers" from Local 36 could fill in the voids as volunteer staffing. Sure sounds like they are looking out for their "brother's", huh? In case you don't understand, in our situation it is not about allowing someone to have a "hobby" in their private time. It is about 14 people that no longer have a job in order to feed their families.

    Is it "big brother" when we are trying to protect our jobs and our families? I DON'T THINK SO! Maybe you should think about that and become more educated on the subject at hand before you start spouting off about something you obviously know nothing about.
    Last edited by Chopper Lover; 02-11-2002 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #59
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    Originally posted by Smoke286
    I find it interesting that the DC local doesn't seem to be supporting this move. Perhaps there is something more to it. I know that in our jurisdiction our local doesn't bother anyone who wants to volunteer as long as it is not directly in the region served by our Dept.
    DC Local 36 does not appear to have a problem with it because they have no volunteers interfering with their livelihood. They are a fully career department.

    As you may know, a couple of years ago the International passed a by-law that basically states (and I paraphrase) "a Union Member cannot volunteer in a jurisdiction where fellow IAFF members are employed".

    The apparent "official" stance of the Washington, DC Local 36 has been they don't care if they are affecting the jobs of fellow union "brothers". The Locals that surround Washington, DC all met at the International Office to discuss the issue of Local 36 (DC Firefighters) and their negative affects on the neighboring career Fire Fighters. This meeting included the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George and Howard and also Fairfax, Virginia. DC's Local failed to respond to their invitation to attend. All these jurisdictions have issues with the Union Members of Washington DC's Local 36 volunteering in their jurisdictions. It is MUCH bigger than PG County. I know for a fact that members of Local 36 have been brought up on charges for volunteering in Montgomery County, which is a violation of the IAFF's by-laws.

    Is PG's Local wrong for their proposition? No, that is their job.

  10. #60
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    Box Alarm

    >So using your logic, you would agree that if a person came from >Afghanistan to become a US citizen, its okay if his loyalty remains >in Afghanistan. That is comforting.

    How comforting that ignorants like you generalize all people from Afghanistan, with your implication that they are all terrorists. Good thing you dont have your finger on the button.

  11. #61
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    Chopper Lover said,"...It is about 14 people that no longer have a job in order to feed their families..."

    Let's get something clear.

    Did 14 firefighters get fired OR were 14 positions either not created or not refilled after someone left them? There is a big difference between those.

    I don't believe anyone has been laid off by vollies there.
    " The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson

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    I work for a fully career department that is union (still right to work state). We have a lot of employees volunteering in their home communities. There isn't any fighting about it here because they aren't taking a paid job from someone...there wasn't one there to start with.


    I wonder what PGFD or other counties there would look like without the vollies.

    As the funds quickly get taken up by personnel and salaries I bet they will miss somethings.

    My department and other full departments like DCFD are plagued with old equipment, old stations, lack of extras. The PG stations and equipment are pretty nice. A lot of things are paid for by the vollies or possible because of the vollies. Their nice schedule and pay are because of the vollies. Would they give up future pay raises or higher taxes for their families to completely staff the county?
    " The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson

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    Important things that a firefighter should fight for, union or non-union, volunteer or career:

    Safe Equipment
    Good Training
    Good minimum staffing of apparatus
    Good response times (# of companies per area)
    Good compensation (not always monetarily)
    Good schedule (no split shifts, etc.)
    Fair treatment by city/dept management

    None of these are compromised by volunteers

    Now, a union also trys to increase it's membership...I agree with this when it is in order to meet minimum staffing (4,5,or 6 according to NFPA 1710) or to place companies in service for bettered response times (4 or 8 minutes, NFPA 1710)

    But to increase its membership, merely to have more members, is a waste of tax dollars. I understand that this is one of the missions of a union, but I think that if a union is able to convince the taxpayers that more should be spent on the fire department, I'd increase the amount of training, replace equipment, refurbish firehouses, hire better employees, get better pay, etc.

    Prince George's County's tax rate is already maxed out, by state or local law, I'm not sure which. Revenue is not going to increase. The public cares much, much more about Public Schools, Police Protection, Roads, etc. than the Fire Department. The PGFD's slice of the pie is not going to increase. The number of FTE's assigned to the FD is not going to increase by much either. Removing 150+ active volunteers is a threat to the safety of the existing firefighters (career and volunteer) as well as the citizens of PG county.

    Resolution 43 is likely to cause a net loss of IAFF members if the issue is pushed.

  14. #64
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    Good point DCFF.

    One thing I wonder if the PG local has considered is the PR hit it could take with this fight.

    How will the public take the union trying to get rid of a good portion of THEIR fire protection solely to create jobs for more members? Especially when its taken into account that the people they are trying to get rid of are experienced firefighters from career departments. In fact, they would not only be decreasing the number of staff but making it less qualified.

    Does the local think that regular joe on the streets gives a crap about their union fight? NO! They care about people showing up when they call, how much their insurance cost, and how much taxes they have to pay.

    You go out and tell them that you are going to force people to quit so you can raise their taxes to satisfy your own goals and you are going to take a hit for that one.

    You have locals at odds with each other. You have staff at stations at odds with each other. You have a public that is trying to figure out what the big deal is....doesn't seem worth it to me.
    " The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson

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    How comforting that ignorants like you generalize all people from Afghanistan, with your implication that they are all terrorists. Good thing you dont have your finger on the button.

    I did not mean to offend anyone with the remark. I was drawing an analogy. However I do take offense at being called ignorant. I may be slow but not ignorant. Stay safe Truro!

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    The sad thing is that it has gone to the papers and basically nothing has happened. As DCFF said PG citizens are more concerned with other things right now. Nothing big goes on with the FD publically unless it directly affected a taxpayer and they carry on with it.

    (This somehow went to another post last time I tried so here goes again)
    If 1619 is so concerned and doing their job as earlier posted then why are only a few of 36's members who vollie in PG put on the charge and not all???? HOw do you go about picking and choosing who you want to charge and leave a large number of people off? Then many of the people on the list weren't even 36's members. They are EMS people who belong to a totally different union.

    Many of you may have already seen this web site but just incase check out The Watch Desk.com

  17. #67
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    Originally posted by swr88


    Did 14 firefighters get fired OR were 14 positions either not created or not refilled after someone left them? There is a big difference between those.

    I don't believe anyone has been laid off by vollies there.
    You are correct. Because we have a UNION that protects us no one was laid off because of this action. Is there a difference? Yes, but not as "big" as you think.

    We are already understaffed in our county because the "volunteers" keep tell the county council they will "make up the extra staffing" yet they never do. Some units in our county fail to respond at rates greater than 70%, yet they are not replaced until they have not checked on the air for over 3 minutes. WE ONLY DEPEND on those units and their staffing to get out so we have some help on the calls. I guess it is OK if they don't get out, at least we did... So someone is there to do something, even if it is one person doing the job of 2 or 3. (No safety issue there, huh?)

    {Sorry for the tangent, I get side tracked from time to time...}

    Back to the question at hand...

    Here is the "big picture". Those are 14 positions that people who are desperately hoping to be hired to fill won't get. It has reduced upward mobility because the promotions of positions of "rank" have been eliminated (4 positions of rank eliminated). These things affect my career and the career of others. Worst of all, the station still fails to respond!

    The bottom line is this.

    "Brother" career fire fighters from Washington DC's Local 36 are helping fill those 14 abolished positions lost to fulfill their "hobby".

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    Chopper Lover, which jurisdiction is this? I was under the impression that all of the career departments in the WDC Metro Area were growing and adding positions almost every year.

    As for your union keeping those people from getting a pink slip, i doubt it, most places handle this sort of thing through attrition, regardless of union representation.

    If other companies are failing to respond, document it. Document the number of times responses fail to meet NFPA 1710 standards. Arrange it by voting area, census tract, representative district, whatever.

  19. #69
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    Just as a side issue here, I did a little research at the U.S. Census Bureau and found PG County to be one of the top in the nation in per capita income, retail sales, education and "disposable" income, and also in per capita money spent on retail sales. The people of this county can certainly afford to pay for carrer firefighters, and instead are getting experienced career firefighters from other areas for free. Such a deal!! We aren't talking about an area with a high level of poverty or a miniscule tax base like many places in this country that would be devastated by a lack of volunteer personel. So,following this sharp logic, low income inner D.C. should have a fully paid career dept., and relatively wealthy PG county can't get by without you volunteering against union by-laws. Makes sense to me.

  20. #70
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    Arrow Response to DCFF

    First:

    The jurisdiction in Montgomery County, Md. For those that don't know we are bordering just west of Prince George's and North of Washington D.C.

    Second:

    The Union has a lot to do with protecting our jobs. Our budget is proposing down staffing more stations for the upcoming fiscal year and closing one Engine Company a day to cut down "expenses". Sound familiar to you? Pink slips are not going out and yes, we are in a hiring phase, but that is only because we are projected to lose about 150 personnel over the next 2 years to retirement. Are we actually growing, not that I have been able to find. We may very well end up with less personnel in the end with a call load that is up about 25%. Is that "attrition"? Sure, in a way I suppose it is. However the loss of those 14 positions are not helping things at all and is detrimental to my safety and career. But it is OK... The volunteers will "pick up the slack" with some help from a few of our "Brothers" from Local 36 filling in those gaps. (Please see third response in this post for further info on that).

    Third:
    The documentation of response failures is there. Year after year the statistics are presented to the county council by those looking for more staffing, the volunteers follow up by stating "we have a new stand by program in place, give us a chance". The failures still continue.

    DCFF:

    Your Local, Local 36, is a big problem for the "Union Brothers" here in Montgomery County, and apparently in PG also. PG's Local and other locals are enforcing the by-laws of the International and placing charges against members that violate those by-laws. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want to volunteer, by all means volunteer and turn in your union card. If you want to be a union member, be a union member. The by-laws say you can't do both.

    All that is required is that you pick a side of the fence and get on it.

    (By the way, this is not meant as a personal attack. I would be willing to bet that if you worked for a jurisdiction that had volunteers interfering with your livelihood and safety would better understand opinions like mine. Please try to take that into consideration.)
    Last edited by Chopper Lover; 02-12-2002 at 02:38 PM.

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    D. Kelly: you sure you weren't reading about fashionable Montgomery County? Come see the PG ghettos for yourself. No they're not tenement ghettos, they are your modern garden apartment ghettos. Whole abandoned neighborhoods, not just abandoned bldgs here & there. Where humans still live, you see things like crack mamas chopping off the head of their live babies [I'm not making this stuff up] means ghetto to me. Hell, we even had a firefighter beat to death with a board in one of our lovely modern ghettos.

    This isn't all of PG, just setting the record straight on your overall comments............

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    Grit, I don't doubt it, I'm just quoting facts stated in the U.S. census. If they're wrong, my apologies, if they're right, and those conditions exist, then the taxpayers money is going where? I don't work in Beverly Hills either, but we get by with very few volunteers in most of the urban/suburban areas, and our tax base isn't any bigger than yours. I have no problem at all with volunteers, unless they belong to the IAFF and are volunteering after being asked by the local members of that dept. to please stop. If that doesn't apply to you, then no offense intended.

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    Are volunteers actually taking away union jobs? That's the only question that matters, because unless the answer is a resounding "yes", then this resolution is obviously a ridiculous and unnecessary infringement of members' rights.

    I don't know about you, but when I go home I don't let any employment-related organization with which I may be associated tell me what I can do off the clock.
    Last edited by BucksEng91; 02-12-2002 at 05:09 PM.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

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    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    So Chopper, yours is the local in the jurisdiction in question?
    Do you know if there are any members of your local that volunteer in PG county? really, I have no axe to grind, just wondering if the problem is only with the DC local. My point was I find it strange that the DC local is not supporting yours in this.
    Dr Inferno the same applys to our job, if your not in the local, oyur out of a job. But the local does not insist that ppl who volunteer outside of the region leave their volunteer depts. I didn't say they approve of it, just that they dont actively lobby to make vounteers quit.

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    Default Bucks...

    I think D. Kelly was trying to explain that it is hard to make a living if your competition is providing your service for free. His example may not have been the best, but he got the point across rather well. I have to point out that your theory of "The union wants to increase its funding base, plain and simple." is off a bit.

    In your example, the tax base does not appear to be there for immediate increase and therefore no new positions will be created for new union members to be drawn from. Therefore, there will be no increase in the unions funding base anytime soon. This is only smoke to provide cover for the real issue...

    The real issue is "plain and simple" as you say.

    The issue is this:
    The IAFF has a by-law (rules) that state a member cannot volunteer in a firehouse that has IAFF members working there. All PG County's Local is doing is bringing members of another local on charges for violations of that by-law. All that is being asked is to follow the rules or get out. Those people will have to make a choice. Either be in the Brotherhood of the IAFF or be a volunteer.

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