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  1. #1
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    Default ABC's 20/20 to air segment on Hartford's Contract

    ABC's 20/20 Story on Hartford Contract Prohibiting Volunteering - Set to Air Friday (12/26) at 10pm

    Barring any breaking national news, the 20/20 segment on career firefighters being prohibited from serving as volunteers will air Friday, December 26th at 10pm on ABC (Check your local listings). The piece was originally set to air November 14.

    With close coordination from the NVFC National Office, local representatives of the NVFC, local town managers and local firefighters conducted interviews with ABC's 20/20 last month in the Hartford, Connecticut area to discuss the recent Hartford Firefighters contract with the city. The contract forbids full-time firefighters to serve as volunteers in their home communities during their off-duty hours.

    For more information on 20/20 go to:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Sections/2020/
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    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Oh those ABC News people.....they know all about bad contracts.
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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    thanks Adze ...............I will try and check it out !
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  4. #4
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
    Are Volunteers Taking Workers' Jobs?

    Dec. 26 — Did you volunteer to help out in shelters or food kitchens for the poor this Christmas? Do you offer your time on community projects or mentoring kids?

    Volunteering is a wonderful thing. It's good for everyone. It's good for people in need; it's good for taxpayers who don't have to pay for labor on projects like neighborhood playgrounds; it's good for the volunteers, because they get to feel good about what they do.

    And they should feel good. Volunteering helped build America. It's a reason presidents volunteer, and it's why they make the point about how good it is for all of us. A generation ago, President Kennedy inspired millions of Americans, when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

    But today, volunteering is under attack. This summer, some firemen from the Hartford, Conn., fire department were told they must stop doing volunteer work in towns that have volunteer fire departments. Newington, Conn., town manager Paul Featherston wasn't very happy about it. "What's next?" he asked. "Are we going to say that people can't volunteer in the armed forces, uh, national reserves. … It's the beginning of the end of volunteerism." Kevin Morton, a volunteer fireman in Rockey Hill, Conn., said, "It's quite disturbing that people are being told what they can and cannot do on their time off. "

    Hartford firefighters can't volunteer, because Chief Charles Teale forbids it. Teale said,"They don't have to stop volunteering, but they have to stop volunteering — as firefighters."

    Teale said safety is among his concerns. He says his men might get hurt working with volunteers — although no one has yet.


    Volunteers Stealing Jobs?

    But Teale's other complaint is that too that much volunteerism takes away paying jobs. "I volunteer," Teale said, "but I do so in such a way that it doesn't take anyone's job away from them."

    In Teale's opinion, if someone is getting paid to do a certain job, volunteering should not be allowed for that work.

    Teale's not the only person who thinks this way.

    The service employees union in Beaver County, Pa., demanded to be paid for clean-up work kids did at a local park.

    In San Diego, schools were so strapped for money they laid off some landscapers. After weeds grew wild in the schoolyards, parents and kids got together to do the yardwork.

    "We clipped all the front of the school. We cleaned all the edges — we mowed the grass," said Mercy Graef, a grandmother of one of the district's students.

    But the school landscapers' union complained that the volunteers were doing jobs that belonged to them, and they got the schoolboard to decree that volunteers like Graef can't volunteer again. Graef says she'll ignore the rule. "They can come personally and escort me off the campus while I'm cutting the grass," she said.

    Nate Laney, who organized the Pennsylvania park clean-up, says he's disgusted that the union wanted to be paid for work he and his friends did.

    "It wasn't fair for the whole community to have to pay for what we did. … That was our service. That was a gift and they came in and ruined that gift."

    But Chief Teale argues volunteers can't just volunteer whenever they want.

    "It's always been my dream to be a volunteer anchorman. And if you will just terminate your position, and allow me to do your job," he told me.

    But why shouldn't he get to do that? Why shouldn't ABC get to save the money?

    "Absolutely not." Teale said, "simply because — it's a detriment to you, and your family." He added, "There is no reason why you shouldn't be entitled to your salary."

    Too bad for ABC.

    I'm "entitled" to my salary? And volunteers should be stopped from volunteering?

    Give me a break.


    ---------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------

    Can someone please explain to me how a person who volunteers in a town of less than 10,000 people with a 100% volunteer FD who runs 400-500 calls a year is "taking" someone's job away from them?
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  5. #5
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Unions suck.

    Can someone please explain to me how a person who volunteers in a town of less than 10,000 people with a 100% volunteer FD who runs 400-500 calls a year is "taking" someone's job away from them?
    Excellent point!
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    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Default Different screen name, same ignorance

    Unions suck.
    I and about 250,000 other firefighters would disagree with that statement. If you have a problem with the local in question that is one thing. Of course you are misguided. It was the city who put the restriction in the contract, giving them until 2008 to stop volunteering. That should be more than enough time for even the most inept department to recruit and train replacements for the few firefighters they will lose.

    stm4710, as you are now calling yourself, I would love to read an explanation of why you feel unions "suck". It is easy to make the statement, harder to back it up.
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    Forcing current volunteer fire fighters to stop is quite the drastic action, a very unfair one. Where would we be without volunteers?
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  8. #8
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Did I point out or imply anything about the IAFF? NO!
    But in my opinion unions are ruining this country and breed apathy.
    The second article Adze posted gives two humdingers( the school and the park one) of an example why unions "suck".

    I volunteer my time in two railroad oraganizations. One is a museum,the other maintains ROW for the state of NH with there own track cars and assits short lines with some light MOW work ie. brush cutting. Both are non-union.
    If the state of NH paid union rate to get all the work done we do for free-------forget rails to trails, forget those beutiful bike trails you use in the summer and snow mobile over the winter!

    If at the museum we had union employess we simply could not afford to run. At the museum our trains are run on time and SAFELY! Do we need the BLE or UTU to run our trains SAFELY---NO! Do we need the BMOW to fix and repair our track and infer structure--NO! Do we need unions to fix and maintain our equipment to high mechanical and safety standerds--NO! Has the FRA ever had to have an investagation into a derailment -- NO! Has any passenger ever gotten injured due to a railroad accident--NO! But duff, if you talk to some people in rr unions--they make it seem like where driveing our train of a cliff. Yet we do the same job and have a better safety record.



    The BLE soilicits a railroad I work for to unionize----we have 5 employees, two of which are engineers,one of those engineers is the son of the owner-the other is the owner. So does the BLE really want to make sure that they are "represented" against railroad management---absolutly not! The BLE in this case is just looking for more union dues to feed there already engored wallets. Dont know Duff, out of all the examples I have seen and talking to a few union employees I came to the conclusion unions are the safe harbor for the stupid the sick and the lazy-----just my own opinion and a opinion that it will be very hard to sway me from.
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  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Did I point out or imply anything about the IAFF? NO!
    YES! You did. You said unions suck. The IAFF is a union.

    Jesse do you really want to go on record with this...
    Dont know Duff, out of all the examples I have seen and talking to a few union employees I came to the conclusion unions are the safe harbor for the stupid the sick and the lazy
    Let me ask you this. Where do you suppose I fit in, stupid, sick, or lazy.

    How about Capt. Gonzo, hfd66truck, and the many other union firefighters on these forums?

    I happen to enjoy securing good pay and benefits for the work I do. I happen to be neither stupid, sick (whatever you meant by that), or lazy.

    If you enjoy lower pay and fewer benefits that is your choice.

    I don't expect to change your mind. I just wanted to point out your total generalization. It seems to be a theme of your's regardless of what you are posting about. If you think workers in this country would be better off without unions, I suggest you research the origin of the labor movement.

    On a lighter note, what Christmas tree does the 5 employee railroad you work for circle around? Don't get bent, it is just a joke.
    Last edited by Duffman; 12-27-2003 at 12:27 AM.
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  10. #10
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    How about Capt. Gonzo, hfd66truck, and the many other union firefighters on these forums?
    Did I point out or imply anything about the IAFF? NO!
    Again,as I said before,I am not implying the IAFF.

    And yes I know Eugene Debbs started the labor movement and was a railroad employee.

    I guess another example I could use is my father. He is non union electrican. He does good and safe work and was rated by the Boston Globe in 1997(might of been 98) as the best oil burner tech in the state. Does he need to hide behind a union? Nope, his hard work and reputation speak for him self. Low wages--hahaha I love doing "emergency" oil burner service calls with him, ca ching ca ching ca ching.

    On a lighter note, what Christmas tree does the 5 employee railroad you work for circle around? Don't get bent, it is just a joke.
    LOL
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  11. #11
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Oh, I can see this going downhill real fast.

    Jesse, I would rethink some of your generallizations. If you paint with a broad brush you usually end up getting yourself in a mess.

    Now, to change the subject slightly. I live in a town that borders the City of Niagara Falls, which has a unionized FD. In the past the city government has cut firefighting jobs, and increasingly relied on mutual aid from the volunteers. I understand the plight of the union brothers, The city is abusing the free labor from the surrounding volunteer companies. I agree that it isnt right, I dont like the fact that they are doing it. But I feel duty bound to assist if and when we are called. Frequently for the FDs in my town if we are called mutual aid to the city we will inform our dispatch that we will be standing by in our quarters, as opposed to filling a station in the city. Part of the reason for this is the city will call for apparatus, and recall firefighters. The volunteers will respond and fill the station, and as the recalled firefighters come into work they will enter the station and not allow the volunteers to come inside. The other reason is to show support for the paid FFs and their situation.
    My question is, how do we handle this so that we are not "taking paid jobs" but still obeying the mutual aid agreement?
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    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Low wages--hahaha I love doing "emergency" oil burner service calls with him, ca ching ca ching ca ching.
    Did I say low? No. I said L O W E R. There is a difference.

    Jesse, it seems you now claim that all unions except the IAFF suck. I suppose that if this were an electricians forum, you would say that all unions except the IBEW suck, not wanting to enrage the demographic that reads your posts.

    Don't have the courage of your convictions?

    If you exempt the IAFF from your statement I still think you are sorely misguided.

    So then why is the IAFF exempt from your union bashing comments?
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    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    I can't speak for any other areas however in my area given the choice of working in a Union position or a Non Union position, I would happily choose the Union position. As has been stated, better wages, better benefits, better working conditions (hours, days off etc), safer working environments. It boils down to one voice is rarely heard, a group of voices is much louder......... a Union is a group of voices for each individual who belongs. I know for a fact that any Union position here gets paid a heck of a lot better than a Non Union position. But then, what do I know, I'm just a regular working stiff (hahahaha those of you who know what I do ..... didya get the PUN..... I kill me ..... ooooooops there it is again LOL)
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    Getting back to the topic of Hartford's contract, it's been stated in previous discussions on this topic that Hartford's main reason for this clause was that their members might get hurt doing their volunteer gig. After listening to Chief Teale's comments, it's obvious that there is more to it than that:

    But Teale's other complaint is that too that much volunteerism takes away paying jobs. "I volunteer," Teale said, "but I do so in such a way that it doesn't take anyone's job away from them."

    In Teale's opinion, if someone is getting paid to do a certain job, volunteering should not be allowed for that work.

    So, because of this Chief's personal opinions, some of his firefighters will no longer be allowed to do something they want to do on their own time!

    Wonder if he'll also force his members to stop volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or in soup kitchens since carpenters and cooks, etc. get paid for similar work?

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    This is deja vu all over again....

    The contract is between the City of Hartford and Hartford Firefighters, not the surrounding communities.

    The cessation of volunteer firefighting activites in other communities by the Hartford Firefighters covered under the contract takes effect in 2008. This gives the surrounding communities who choose to have a volunteer firefighting force ample time to recruit and train new members.
    ‎"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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  17. #17
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Jesse, it seems you now claim that all unions except the IAFF suck. I suppose that if this were an electricians forum, you would say that all unions except the IBEW suck, not wanting to enrage the demographic that reads your posts.
    So then why is the IAFF exempt from your union bashing comments?
    The reason why I did not mention the IAFF, as hfd66 pointed out me was that I had a beef with the local,not the IAFF its self. The heart lung bill and a few other things that got mandated was what swayed my opinion. I dont recall,in my two exmaples of mentioning the IAFF at all, accept saying I didnt imply them.

    But my opinion may turn......if people like Chief Teale continue to tell people what they can and can not do in there own time. Duff where do you draw the line. The vollys may have deep emotional roots in these departments. Someday (dont laugh cause it can happen) your local will pass a contract saying you have 3 years to stop playing baseball with you son(not sure you do just an example) or 1 year to stop rideing your motorcycle. The ball may hit you in the face or you could wipeout on the bike---and that could cost the city money.Where does it stop?

    not wanting to enrage the demographic that reads your posts.
    Please! I dont like the IBEW cause I have seen some of there hack jobs first hand,if those guys where on there own they would starve, there lucky they can hide(hence my "harbor"comment) in the union.They are also direct competitors!

    Now as I finish typeing this post,I start to wonder why all the union people get all worked up over my comments (could I have hit a button). My views arnt very different from alot of other peoples----like the republican and libertarian partys! So why all the hoopla over my opinions? Dunno, just think I struck a nerve.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stm4710

    The reason why I did not mention the IAFF, as hfd66 pointed out me was that I had a beef with the local,not the IAFF its self. The heart lung bill and a few other things that got mandated was what swayed my opinion. I dont recall,in my two exmaples of mentioning the IAFF at all, accept saying I didnt imply them.
    You posted things about your explorer post that were an embarassment to the Danvers FD, then you came on with a differnt screenname and slammed other firefirefighters and departments...like mine.

    But my opinion may turn......if people like Chief Teale continue to tell people what they can and can not do in there own time. Duff where do you draw the line. The vollys may have deep emotional roots in these departments. Someday (dont laugh cause it can happen) your local will pass a contract saying you have 3 years to stop playing baseball with you son(not sure you do just an example) or 1 year to stop rideing your motorcycle. The ball may hit you in the face or you could wipeout on the bike---and that could cost the city money.Where does it stop?
    Chief teale is not responsible for what goes on in the communities surrounding the City of Hartford. His responsibilty is the safety of his personnel and the residents of Hartford. Negotiations are a two way street...both parties agreed. Your examples of further restrictions are typical knee jerk reactions.

    Please! I dont like the IBEW cause I have seen some of there hack jobs first hand,if those guys where on there own they would starve, there lucky they can hide(hence my "harbor"comment) in the union.They are also direct competitors!
    Once again...painting with the broad brush..and how are they competing with a 20 year old college kid?

    Now as I finish typeing this post,I start to wonder why all the union people get all worked up over my comments (could I have hit a button). My views arnt very different from alot of other peoples----like the republican and libertarian partys! So why all the hoopla over my opinions? Dunno, just think I struck a nerve.
    You struck a nerve, all right...your own...the one that takes rational thought and make you post your ignorance.
    ‎"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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  19. #19
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    You posted things about your explorer post that were an embarassment to the Danvers FD,
    DFD(the local,not front office) embarassed themselves!

    I will ask you to not talk about what happend cause you defently dont know what happend on the inside. Only 3 people on these forums do and they aint talking.
    Thank you and have a nice day.
    Last edited by stm4710; 12-27-2003 at 10:57 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Jesse...I am about to reply to your ignorance for the last time.

    Unions suck is a broad brush statements that will go directly to the nerve of any Union worker. Period, end of statement.

    You can make all your generalizations about workers hiding in Unions, about the fat, the dumb, the lazy and the stupid. For every example you can find in a Union, I'll find two in the non-union world.

    You are too young to make such bold statements. Too immature to back them up.

    Bad employees are bad employees, Union or not. The Union doesn't "protect" them, it ensure that the discipline is metered out with fairness. Without Unions, Most workers would still be working 80 hour weeks for minimum wage. There would be no helath insurance benefits. There would be no presumptive legislation for cancer and heart related deaths.

    You are entitled to whatever opinion you want to have, just be prepared to get hammered when you make broad statements about things you have very little working knowledge of.

    Have you ever been in a contract negotiation? A grievance hearing? A disciplinary hearing?

    What happened in Hartford is between the City and the Union. Both sides agredd to it, that simple. Are all the Union members happy about it? I doubt it. The last thing I saw everybody agree to in the Union was free food at meetings. Was the majority represented? Yup, cause that how the system works.

    Not every business needs Union workers. Its that simple.

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