Thread: Working without a Contract
04-28-2004, 09:32 AM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Kamas, UT
Working without a Contract
Our city continues to play games. Members of our local's executive board think that we should vote for the crappy deal because it "will protect 38 years of hard work." Members of the Union body are considering sending a message by noting NO.
Have any of you worked without a contract? What are the disadvantages?
Just trying to get some different points of view.
04-28-2004, 12:37 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
It has a been a few years since I was on the negotiation team myself but I know that each time we negotiate we agree at the start with the town that the current contract will continue in force until the next one becomes official. Right now we are 11 months without a contract and I still get a paycheck every week. We are in no rush to settle and ware waiting for the right offer to come along. It is not uncommon to go 6-18 months before signing. Find out the correct answer to the question "what happens when our current contract expires"27 years and still having a great time in the back of the truck :-)
04-28-2004, 02:38 PM #3
In my city it's not unusual to go several months without one.I remember awhile back going over a year and a half.Even though times are difficult around the country,don't sell yourself short. The disadvantage is you don't get a raise during that time. Another 2 problems that could come up is first what will they offer as a raise is you go very long.I've seen places where going over a year or two and the city offers 0% for the first year saying you all got your full pay,maybe some overtime, but that year's a wash so we're going from here on.Second is retro pay. A big retro check sounds good,but what if they refuse to give it,claiming they can't afford to as they
" don't have the ability to pay without creating a tremendos financial hardship". Is there a law in your state that says they have to give it.Can they get away with saying "we'll give you your raise but that's it,no retro pay. Since '81 I have voted NO at times,but I don't like going very long without. Good Luck Bro
05-11-2004, 07:42 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
Done it - we have an "evergreen" clause in the contract; the current contract stays in place until a new deal is signed. It's always a little disconcerting, but so far we've been able to get reasonable contracts, and we've always been able to negotiate retro pay. Next year we go in again - keeping my fingers crossed.
05-16-2004, 03:02 PM #5
I can honestly say I have worked more of my career without a contract in force than with one. Your executive board states they are trying to protect 38 years of hard work...this is hauntingly familiar to me. While I don't know the terms of your deal, here's a little history for you NOT to repeat.
A similar lowball deal offered and accepted by the local board. Rank and file vote NO. Contract goes to arbitration. During the "SCOPE" hearings, many, and I mean many, hard fought for perks and protections in the expired deal were ruled non-subjects of collective bargaining thus not included in the final BINDING decision by the arbitrator.
So yes, decades of hard work went down the toilet, items taken for granted and then sorely missed, never to be offered again. Listen to your board. You elected them to serve your best interest. At some point you have to listen to them. Arbitration only works for atheletes, not us working class slobs!
05-19-2004, 12:49 PM #6
The State of Indiana does not recognize collective bargaining, so our city is not obligated and chooses not to recognize us. We have NEVER had a contract. The City can (and often does)'adjust' working conditions at will.
We have been trying for years to get one. Lake County Indiana is one of the most politically corrupt areas you can find. Because of the tax reassessment and the scandal that goes with it, we have not seen a raise in over 3 years now, and we operating under a budget that is 5 years old by borrowing money from the bond bank which has just closed the cookie jar. My City owes 4mil come June 1st and has no way to pay it.
We hope City Hall will at least throw us a bone, give us our contract and keep what weve got til the storm blows over
05-20-2004, 08:23 AM #7
That is ridiculous. So if the City in their wisdom decides tomorrow to reduce you salary to mimimum wage there is nothing you can do about it?A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall
05-20-2004, 03:28 PM #8That is ridiculous. So if the City in their wisdom decides tomorrow to reduce you salary to mimimum wage there is nothing you can do about it?
It is ridiculous....in fact it sucks....thats why we have such a hard time retaining seasoned FFs...they move on to bigger and better things..
There is a chance we could be facing layoffs this year...we have NOTHING to protect us...Im thankful that the head of our state union is always beind me and I wont have to face that battle alone.
Unfortunately...that is just the tip of the iceberg
05-20-2004, 05:08 PM #9
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
I thought you were already down to two on an engine. What can they cut?
05-20-2004, 05:51 PM #10
There was a time not so long ago...we ran ONE man engines!
I wouldnt put it past them to try it again. They thought about shutting a house down, or even rig hopping (medic to engine) depending on the run.. What the mayor really wants to do is reduce or elimate the 60 full time FFs and go to part time or volunteer! We have tried using reserves in the past, but for the lack of interest and training requirements we cut them.
Most days the Batallion Chief has to ride the rig.
They want to reduce our benefits, but increase our cost!
Our runs increase significantly every year..we even opened a new house, but they did not hire a single firefighter to staff it...
the community is more concerned about getting their streets plowed and garbage picked up..."As long as the big red truck shows up with someone everything will be OK" is what we are told.."We should be lucky to have a job"..is the other phrase they like...that may be true, but we should be able to have the BASIC resources to do our job...
We do a hell of a job with what we have to work with....1 guy does the job of 3 or 4...I can't blame our guys for moving on somewhere else...at least 8 in the past 5 years have moved to other depts...
Im crossing my fingers I won't be far behind..Im waiting for a letter in the as we speak..
05-21-2004, 10:52 AM #11
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
I personaly think that combination is the way to go in many places, however, it will not work going backwards, IMHO.
Good luck with that letter.
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