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.

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    Why would you?

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    My question is, is there a perceived problem with belonging to a union?

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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.

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    OK I guess thats my view then, if there is nothing wrong with it, don't fix it.

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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.

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    Thank You Doug

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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

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    Yeah ,what he said

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    Ditto!
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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)

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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

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

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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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    Thumbs up Go IAFF

    I would strongly advice going with the IAFF. Here in MO you can contact the Missouri State Council of Firefighters. I believe that your county also has a countywide union, which would be a good thing to join. Strength in numbers, better negotiating power if buying insurance plans, etc.

    Good luck,

    Ken
    Local 3133

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    I'm a Union member.
    The committee serves basically at the will of the Chief, you suggest something he doesn't want or like and he'll disband the committee. And what are you guys going to do if he does? NOTHING
    The Union is an International Association with many, many members who have a wealth of information and resources availible to you and your department.

    This one is a no brainer to me...

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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    cschuten-

    Not to stir the pot......but,

    - Don't you guy's still use volunteers? Which would be a major problem with the IAFF (I assume).

    - Is it relly that bad there, I mean c'mon, you make about 20K more a year than I do for the same job (at least), and you guy's have more tools and toys than any dept. in the county. (not sour grapes, just stating facts).

    Are you wanting to join the union to get under the skin of the old Fire Chief you have?

    I'm not busting your stones either, you work for a great district. But, I'm confused as to why you guy's want in the IAFF. It can't be a money or staffing issue, it sounds like you are tired of the "won't quit till I die in my office chair" Chief and his ways.

    Reguardless, the IAFF would be my choice, ditch the committee idea (or go out back and ram your head into the brick wall for the same effect.) Mabey MO will someday get binding arbitration (yea right), hey, join before Dec. 31 and you can pay $200 for the lost election effort like everyone else, nah, I'd wait till next year too.

    Good Luck.

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    Originally posted by FHandz15


    I'm not busting your stones either, you work for a great district. But, I'm confused as to why you guy's want in the IAFF. It can't be a money or staffing issue, it sounds like you are tired of the "won't quit till I die in my office chair" Chief and his ways.

    [/B]
    FH, why would they not want to join the IAFF? I mean if i was a polceman I would want to be a join whatever national organization that they have.

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    Just curious as to why now. They are one of the few depts. out of @42 in the county that are not IAFF. I've been in the union for 5 years, I wasn't telling him not to go IAFF, I said I would do that before I formed a "committee", did you stop reading after that one statement?

    Mabey I wasn't clear enough, so here goes, IAFF Good, Commitee BAD. Bread Good, Fire Bad.

    Everyone just calm down LOL.

    Good Luck on your decision.

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