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  1. #1
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    Post UNION vs. COMMITTEE

    Has anyone attempted to start a committee in lieu of going union???Did it work??? Did it not??? The committee will be used as a liason between the firefighters and the board to voice concerns etc. I would like input from both sides if anyone has any???
    Thank You
    Last edited by cschuten; 12-18-2002 at 12:35 PM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Why would you?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    My question is, is there a perceived problem with belonging to a union?

  4. #4
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    I dont want a debate here... Just views... However, I am very open to a union and am wanting a little input. Our department seems content to try a committee first.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    OK I guess thats my view then, if there is nothing wrong with it, don't fix it.

  6. #6
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    Man, this thread could open a can of worms.

    I can't help you on one being better over the other, but don't let somebody pressure you into something you do not want.

  7. #7
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    Thank You Doug

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    I assume your committee will be comprised primarily of department members. Ask yourself these questions.


    1. How many members of your committee have experience with collective bargaining agreements?

    2. Will your employer be willing to negotiate with a committee?

    3. Where will your committee get the money to cover the cost of negotiating your CBA.

    4. What lobbying power will your committee have?


    I say go union, specifically IAFF.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  9. #9
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Yeah ,what he said

  10. #10
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Ditto!
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

  11. #11
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    OK lets just bring it out...You guys r assuming I am or am not for the union. Heres the scoop. My department has agreed they would like some type of representation. We have 110 members in our department..All paid. I am one of nine placed on a committee by my peers to look at the possibility of a committee instead of a union. I need information for the goods and bads of both the committee and the union. I would like to talk to someone from a department where a committee was attempted and failed. I need to know why... Thanks for all the input.
    My state does not allow collective bargaining.

  12. #12
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    We are not a union department right now...I think smoke is unclear on that.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    Where did you come up with the idea of a committee? Is there a department in your area that has formed one? You are a full time department now, so I assume you are receiving benefits. How did you get those, someone had to bargain for them. Apparently what ever it is that you are doing now is not working or you wouldn't be considering either. I have never heard of anyone being represented by a committee. Do you mean that your state does not have Binding Arbitration? If you go with the union, you will have an agency to turn to for advice and counsel.

  14. #14
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    cfd,
    We have a 3 person board of directors (elected) that our chief answers to. The chief forms a budget only based on input from us and what we would like to have (benefits). He in conjunction with the board forms a budget and a benefit package for that year.
    Guys are more worried about job security than benefits. We have no word and our input is usually snubbed before our board ever sees it.

  15. #15
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    A vote to allow binding arbitration in this state lost something like 43% to 57%.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    I make no assumption as to your preference of union vs. committee. I just gave you my opinion. I have never heard of using a committee. Maybe the reason you haven't heard from anyone from the committee side is because it has not, or rarely has been attempted.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  17. #17
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    cschuten

    An IAFF union can be effective, even in one of the "right-to-work" states. For example, Virginia (and North Carolina) are two states where binding arbitration is specifically prohibited, and the local jurisdiction does not have to recognize a labor group.

    The Virginia Professional Firefighters have become profoundly effective and politically powerful . . . made a big difference in the last state and local elections . . . can influence city/county policy by working with the locally elected officials.

    It is understandable that you may feel you are more effective (and less threatening) by using a committee. But it is like chosing between a garden hose and a deuce-and-a-half to handle a structure fire. Being part of a national labor organization brings powerful resources to your table.

    Mike Ward
    IAFF Local 2068 (retired)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cschuten
    We are not a union department right now...I think smoke is unclear on that.
    No I presumed that you were not currently unionized, I'm trying to think of any reason why a commitee would be preferable to a unionized enviroment, most especially an IAFF local. The sheer volume of the resources available alone would be enough to convince me

  19. #19
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    Thanks everyone for all the input. I will still be checking the thread for more information.....

  20. #20
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    cschuten, I think you already answered your own question by implying your Chief sqaushes all firefighter input prior to your commissioners hearing anything. I get the impression your people are about evenly split on doing something or continuing with the status quo. Many people in your agency are probably afraid of the administration and would do nothing no matter how obvious or serious the problems are. To help the Chief maintain status quo is probably a hand picked group of "golden children" who while presenting themselves for change and advancement really oppose any idea but the "Chiefs" oops I mean "their own". A committee in my opinion will do nothing, it's not binding and has no backing of any other organization and the Chief will be no less inclined to listen than he already is. Contact the IAFF and let them come explain to your personnel what there about and how you can benefit from each other by being members. Good luck and best wishes.

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