1. #1
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    Default 75,000 new probies

    From the IAFF

    I am very pleased to announce a monumental victory for the IAFF's legislative program. Today, Congress passed our legislation authorizing the federal government to provide funds to hire 75,000 new fire fighters. This is an extraordinary accomplishment.

    Each of you are leaders and activists, I know you understand the importance of this coup. SAFER was vehemently opposed by President Bush and his administration. Many Congressional leaders decried this initiative as too costly and "an inappropriate use of federal dollars." But, in spite of these long odds, we won.

    I want to congratulate my Assistant Kevin O'Connor, Legislative Director Barry Kasinitz, and their staffs for a superb job in lobbying this proposal and navigating the many obstacles standing in the way of passage.

    Likewise, we would not have been successful without the support, assistance, and determination of our Congressional allies who employed some ingenious tactics to advance the legislation. The key breakthrough came when Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) offered SAFER as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization (HR 1588). The amendment passed by voice vote, although several Senators privately admitted that they only voted for the provision because they were sure that it would be stripped in the House-Senate conference committee.

    But those predictions failed to account for the strong support and advocacy for SAFER from Reps. Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) and Curt Weldon (R-PA). Boehlert, the author of SAFER and the Chair of the House Science Committee, quickly scheduled a hearing on the legislation to bolster the arguments for the legislation. Weldon then used his position as a senior Member on the Defense Authorization conference to ensure that the bill would be included in the final package. In addition to Dodd, Weldon, and Boehlert, other Members of Congress who played starring roles in the sometimes tense negotiations included Senators John Warner (R-VA), John McCain (R-AZ), and Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Jack Quinn (R-NY), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Ike Skelton (D-MO), and Gene Green (D-TX).

    Under the new law, Fire Departments will be eligible to receive grants to help pay the salary and benefits of hiring new fire fighters over a five year period. In the first year, the federal government will contribute up to 90% of the cost, 80% in the second year, 50% the third year, and 30% in the fourth. The jurisdiction is then required to pay the full amount for at least one additional year. The total federal funds for each position cannot exceed $100,000 over the five year period. This program is authorized for next fiscal year. Consequently, the first set of gramts will not be made until after October 1, 2004. Now, we must turn our attention to the appropriations process to ensure that the program is fully funded.

    The IAFF also scored a major victory for our federal fire fighters in the same Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization. The Bush administration attempted to remove Defense Department employees from current laws governing pay, benefits, and collective bargaining rights. Last year, the administration had successfully foisted similar draconian work rules on employees at the newly created Department of Homeland Security. Emboldened by that victory, Secretary Rumsfeld attempted to employ the same tactics at DoD.

    Led by 16th District Vice President James Johnson, the IAFF fought back with a vengeance, and successfully defended fire fighter pay. While the pay of other defense employees is now in jeopardy, the new law requires DoD to abide by the provisions of the hard fought Federal Fire Fighter Pay Equity Provision won during the 106th Congress.

    And DoD was forced to retreat from its proposal to strip federal workers of their collective bargaining rights. Under a compromise agreement, DoD will be able to craft new labor relations rules, but those rules will be subject to strict specifications. In addition, the conference report accompanying the legislation contains language signaling Congress' intent to retain existing collective bargaining rights of fire fighters and other public safety employees. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) led the fight in conference to protect the interests of our federal fire fighters and we owe them both our gratitude.

    The IAFF will be working closely with officialsl at the Department of Defense and Members of Congress in the months ahead to ensure that the collective bargaining rights of IAFF members are retained in any new personnel systems.

    These successes demonstrate that the IAFF's approach to building bi-partisan coalitions really works. Our efforts in Washington coupled with your grass roots efforts at home really made the difference on both SAFER and the federal fire fighters issues. I thank you for your support and efforts. Keep up the good work!

    Fraternally,

    Harold

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    This is a great thing, Should come nicly into play when I apply!

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    Am I the only one that has a bad feeling about this...

    Anybody remember Clintons Community Oriented Policing Services' (COPS) initiative, to put 100,000 more uniformed police on the street...

    http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?Item=34

    http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/igcopsar1.htm

    From what I understand a very large number of those guys are out of a job or working security. The grant period ran out and the local jurisdictions had to let a lot of these people go. Without the federal funds, the positions could not be maintaind.

    I hope SAFER does goes well.

    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    I'm all in favor of the additional 75,000 new firefighters. But to qualify, it appears to me that the firefighter's salary and benefits must be $40,000 or less per year. Is that an acceptable wage?

    Dobber
    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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    40K is our current top step...and it takes 4 steps to get there.

    We are under the average for our area, but I think it would still work for the other Twons.

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    Because I'm too lazy to wade through this entire bill, can anybody who has tell me if firefighters hired through SAFER have to be full-time?

    We'd get more bang for the buck having a 4 man engine and 2 man medic crews from 0700-1700 than having 2 or 3 people on for 24 hours.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    So, Is this going to help guys like me that are trying to get hired in large metropolitan departments like the FDNY?

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    "Each of you are leaders and activists, I know you understand the importance of this coup. SAFER was vehemently opposed by President Bush and his administration."
    Georgey can stand shoulder to shoulder with a retired Jake on top of a crushed FDNY unit croning about heroism, courage blah blah blah but then he does this? Guess it wasn't a big photo op time for him so screw us jakes.

    Man, we could sure use some people to increase our engines from 2 people and our ladder from 1 person. Let's hope this gets spread evenly and fairly.
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

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    40K is our current top step
    Top step for salary? or is that including the cost of benefits to the city? I know a few cops that were hired under COPS. They are now private security guards. Once the grants ran out, so did their pay. I see the same thing happening with SAFER. Unfortunately.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Default Re: 75,000 new probies

    Originally posted by E229Lt
    From the IAFF

    Each of you are leaders and activists, I know you understand the importance of this coup. Isn't that an interesting choice of words. COUP certainly sums up such unconstitutional special interest pork.

    Likewise, we would not have been successful without the support, assistance, and determination of our Congressional allies who employed some ingenious tactics to advance the legislation. The key breakthrough came when Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) offered SAFER as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization (HR 1588). Big surprise indicator of Sen Doddering contempt for the importance of the the Defense budget/function (constitutionally established)


    Defense Department employees ... collective bargaining rights. [i]Yeah really a good idea DOD employees unionized.

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    Top step for salary? or is that including the cost of benefits to the city?
    40k is top step not counting benefits. Town also pays 75% of health insurance. By the way, that 40k is exactly 5k over the amount for my kids to eat free at school.

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