1. #1
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    Default How To Form A Union?

    HELLO, ALL MY FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
    I TROUBLE YOU TODAY FOR MORE INSIGHT ON A QUESTION I HAVE.
    CAN A VOL. FIRE DEPARTMENT WITH A 145 MEMBERS FORM A UNION?
    WE WORK FOR A INC. VILLAGE AND WORK FOR ARE LOCAL GOVERMENT OFFICALS, AND IT ALWAYS SEEMS THAT THE LOCAL POLICE MAKE OUT WITH ALL THE BUGET MONEY AND SOME OF OURS, BECAUSE IT IS A GENERAL FUND, ALONG WITH MANY OTHER PROBLEMS THAT ALL DO TO POLITICS, BUT MAYBE IF THE MEMBER HAD MORE SAY WE WOULD BE HEARD. IM LOST, HAS THIS HAPPENED TO ANYONE AND WHAT WORKED FOR YOU TO HELP FIX THE PROBLEM?
    ALSO ANY LINKS THAT COULD FURTHER HELP ME?
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. DEAN

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    yes you can we have 35 POC and are unionized.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    i forgot to add we are not paid by call or anything we recieve no money if that matters?

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    I'm not 100 percent sure, but I would think your members would have to be collecting some sort of financial compensation to be covered under the standards of fair labor and unionize.

    However, I have two lessons from my volunteer experience.

    1. Strength is in numbers.

    2. Politians hate negative media coverage. Rally the members of your department for change and show up at a public meeting. Question their practices, just make sure you have all of the facts. The Press will take care of the rest.

    Try reaseaching the state laws governing municipal fire protection.
    In PA, the municipality is required 3 mills of tax income for fire protection. Most small municipalities don't follow this practice in Pennsylvania. If a Dept is under funded they may take action against the municipality.

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    I am an IAFF member but I don't see it. It seems to me that you need a chief with a stronger voice. You realize that if you unionize, you will actually be paying to be a volunteer. There are union dues and fees to belong to the IAFF or any union. Unions help to protect the workers rights, not the funding the department receives. If the City/Town does not meet its contractual agreements then the union would fight it. It doesn't seem like that is your problem.

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    Good way to start a union,

    Put one thumb in your mouth and the other in your Arse. Every 5 minutes, play "switch thumbs." Then get drunk and have a softball tournament, tell all your members they can't do anything but sit at home on their hands when they are off duty, support losing political candidates, rob your members of "dues" to give contributions to these candidates and then stymie local governments for more pay and less work. And VOILA! you have a union local of your own. Happy Trails.

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    That is uncalled for, and offensive
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Good way to start a union,

    Put one thumb in your mouth and the other in your Arse. Every 5 minutes, play "switch thumbs." Then get drunk and have a softball tournament, tell all your members they can't do anything but sit at home on their hands when they are off duty, support losing political candidates, rob your members of "dues" to give contributions to these candidates and then stymie local governments for more pay and less work. And VOILA! you have a union local of your own. Happy Trails.
    Keep your anti-union crap on the watchdesk.com!
    ‎"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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    Agreed Smoke.

    I think rather than a "Union" the poster needs some form of "Firefighters Association."

    I've seen that in a few places where the volunteer department is part of the municipal government and the firefighters are all appointed. The F.A. at least organizes "social" events, and in some cases works on the more political side.

    Of course, it works best with department leadership that wants to work with it -- if there's a clash, it's gonna be a big clash, and things could go south in a hurry.

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    Yes Dalmation there is indeed strength in numbers, having said as much, if this is a small community I think the first step is to educate the publc. No one likes to pay taxes. The group that is going to get the largest cut of the pie is the one that is perceived to be the most important to the health and well being of the public. right now as Dean has made clear, the police are doing the best job of putting themselves in the best light to the public.
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    First off, the IAFF won't help you, they don't "condone" volunteers or represent them. They want to see you fail so they can support career firefighters as the solution.

    Second, you don't need a union, you need a salesman. You see, I have always felt that a community will get exactly the level of fire protection it feels it needs. Your community does not demand better protection, so the politicians do not fund it. What you need to do is sell the idea of better funding and protection to the public, and once the voting public sees the need the politicians will follow.

    My advice? Designate a full time PR person or team, and make sure it is someone with sales or marketing experience. Take some marketing classes and do some studying from books on the subject yourself. Learn how to form a press release and get publicity in the papers, and make friends with at least one reporter. Take him along on some calls and get him to do a big wriet up about the FD and what it needs. Print up some phamplets describing how the ISO system works and what benifits your homeowners and merchants will see from a lower ISO class (this helped us a lot, once the business owners saw how much they could save in fire insurance they began backing us on every ISO related purchase), and make sure your department stays in the public eye and mind. Make sure every time a reporter is at an incident you mention how much better your response could have been with whatever equipment is applicable and not available to you. Every time you interact with the public, be professional, explain what you do, and explain what you need to provide better service.

    Related to this is the basic image you project when you are seen in public. Looking professional goes a long way towards winning public support, and it does not take much. Something as simple as having memebers wear a professionl department (something simple, maltese cross on front and station name on back) looking t-shirt on calls and having everyone or a majority in the same shirt or jacket goes a long way toward projecting a good image. Having folks in sweat pants and dirty white t-shirts does not, no matter how well trained the person may be, give the public a good image.

    Win the hearts and minds of those you serve, and you will have no problem getting what you want from those they elect.

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    Keep your anti-union crap on the watchdesk.com!
    Thanks for the free plug! I forgot I was on the "www.IAFFandtheVolunteersthatlovethem.com" message boards!


    That is uncalled for, and offensive
    Smoke, get over it. I am sure it's not the most offensive thing you will see on here. And the funny thing is, there are alot of people who agree, but they are too afraid they are going to get kicked off or censored by the Webteam. Boo Hoo....cry me a river.




    www.thewatchdesk.com

    A place where firemen can meet, greet and talk about TRUE issues surrounding the Fire/Rescue service without being censored....Come if you dare, but I am sure most of you are scared.

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    I forgot I was on the "www. IAFFandtheVolunteersthatloveth
    em.com" message boards!


    Sounds like a disgruntled wannabe Union member. Guess you need to go to your beloved site and stay their.

    Thanks for stopping..have a great day.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

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  15. #15
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    Smile Right to an Opinion.....

    Tillerman25 has a right to his opinion, and as one who knows why he has an opinion like that, I can understand it. The IAFF, of which I am a former member, is trying to force volunteers out of business in our area. I am not getting into the Resolution 43 thing here, but it is still driving a lot of stuff here in Maryland. In turn, there is still bitterness over this situation. Stay Safe....
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    Thanks for the defense Chief Woods.

    Maybe you can send the original poster in the right direction. He seems to be more interested in the "Firefighters Association" that the Union. Maybe a brief overview of the PGCVFRA might help???

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    THANK YOU ALL FOR EDUCATING ME A LITTLE BETTER ON MY PROBLEM.
    YOU ALL HAVE GIVEN ME SOME GREAT IDEAS TO WORK WITH. DEAN

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    radioguy gave the best advice, good post Brother.

    As for the Tillerman, he's got 1619 reasons to feel the way he does...

    Since we are on the subject of the IAFF, why is that you have to be full-time and serve a population of over 5000 to be recognized by the International? Why do paid on call firefighters (oops, sorry, I meant fire fighters) have to be represented by the Teamsters or Electricians instead of a union for firefighters?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Originally posted by TillerMan25


    Thanks for the free plug! I forgot I was on the "www.IAFFandtheVolunteersthatlovethem.com" message boards!




    Smoke, get over it. I am sure it's not the most offensive thing you will see on here. And the funny thing is, there are alot of people who agree, but they are too afraid they are going to get kicked off or censored by the Webteam. Boo Hoo....cry me a river.




    www.thewatchdesk.com

    A place where firemen can meet, greet and talk about TRUE issues surrounding the Fire/Rescue service without being censored....Come if you dare, but I am sure most of you are scared.
    I seriously doubt that there are many here who are as immature as you
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Gentlemen, the original poster asked a serious question however misguided, he did not ask for a diatribe against unionism, your bitterness is showing through. Why don't you start your own thread about why you don't like unions. Then those of like minds can go there and vent their frustrations, and those of us who do not care will not be subjected to your childishness.
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Originally posted by Smoke20286
    Gentlemen, the original poster asked a serious question however misguided, he did not ask for a diatribe against unionism, your bitterness is showing through. Why don't you start your own thread about why you don't like unions. Then those of like minds can go there and vent their frustrations, and those of us who do not care will not be subjected to your childishness.
    I'm assuming that this was directed at me & TM25.

    He's entitled to his own opinion. The climate in his area tends to polarize this issue to extremes. Resolution 43 was introduced by which local?

    However, I fail to see how you come to the conclusion that I don't like unions, that my legitimate questions are a diatribe or that I am bitter. I just want to understand why firefighters have to be represented by other unions when there is a union that understands them and their issues better than any other union ever could simply because they are part-time or paid-on-call.

    The original poster did ask a serious question and a few people directed him towards the IAFF. If he had pursued that, he would have found that that option would not be available to him and his department, correct? All I am asking is why not?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    The original poster has already stated that his Dept is 100% volunteer. Why would a trade union represent someone who are not paid employees. Of course the IAFF is not a viable alternative in this case.
    I am unaware of the issue you are speaking of regarding small and part-time or POC Depts. I do know there are some very small Depts here in Canada that are locals of the IAFF. Perhaps it has something to do with the current labour legislation in the US, either at a federal or state level.
    I have no problem attempting to answer sensible questions to the best of my abilities. However just how does an adult reply to "Boo-hoo, cry me a river."
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    First cry me a river or not he is entitled to his opinion ......like it or not. I dont think it is fair to go bashing the guy cause he is in the minority. And as Smoke says this has gotten WAY off topic.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Question Dean, You Still There??

    There are those of us who would like to give some honest information regarding your question, which is quite legitimate. If you wish, feel free to email/PM me and I will explain what I can. I, and several others, have some thoughts on what can be done to help your department, both now, and in future situations such as those that you described. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    Dean, here comes an Honest Answer to your question.

    In our County, we have what is called "the Prince Georges County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association." It is like the "Union" so to speak of the PG Volunteers. We have monthly meetings that are held at different fire stations throughout the county. We also have what is called the "Prince Georges County Fire Commission" which is kind of like the Bargaining unit when it comes to County Government. There are 6-7 commissioners that each represent a different district in the county. They are elected by the Association each year and basically do all the political dealings with county officials. We also have a Volunteer Chiefs Council. The Chiefs council meets monthly and handles various issues. There are alot of ways for us to get our needs out there. So in a sense, we do have our own Union, it is just not a chartered local with a trade union. But it essentially serves the same function. And because we are the majority of providers in the county, we tend to have a bit more pull than the IAFF local in the county does.

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