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Thread: IAFF Membership

  1. #1
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    Default IAFF Membership

    Just curious, what prompted your department to join the Union?
    Was their 1 big thing, or many over the years, or is it just an insurance policy and nothing ever went wrong.
    Union reps are comming to my place next week and a we have cards, I'm just wondering why other towns took the plunge, also any regrets?


  2. #2
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    In 1955, a major flood cut the town in half and wiped out 2 business districts and many homes. After all was done, the police officers were paid overtime (they were not unionized at the time), but the fire fighters who worked around the clock were paid their regular pay (56 hours at the time).

    A few months after this, the fire fighters joined the IAFF.

    I just found this out 2 weeks ago from the only charter memeber of our union who is still alive.

    No regrets. I don't buy the union line 100% of the time, however, without the union, we would have horrible working conditions. One retired member put it as going from collective begging to collective barganing.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 11-03-2004 at 07:11 PM.
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    I'm not aware of any one big thing that prompted us to join, but we were tired of being treated like dirt by the politicians. With union recognition and Collective Bargaining, both sides sit down and bargain, then live with what they agreed to. Or they're supposed to. We still today have politicians who hate unions, and hate having to follow the same contract they put their signature on. Attitudes like theirs is why we all need the protection being unionized provides.

    A good example of what I'm talking about is our last contract. Our old contract ran out March 31 2004, and our administration was bound and determined that we, the FD, would pay a percentage of our health care. Never mind that they carried $12 MILLION over at the end of last year! Never mind that they had just settled the cops' contract, and never even mentioned health care! Our administration doesn't have a clue about reasonable cost cutting - they'd taken no steps whatever toward streamlining anything! I'm convinced they just wanted to put the screws to us. The non-union people working in the government building hadn't even been asked to pick up part of their health care. To make a long story short, the firefighters are tired of always being the whipping boy, so we decided to take it all the way to binding arbitration if we had to. 7 months later, we got the fact finder's report back. The fact finder hears the evidence presented by both sides, like an arbitrator, but his decision is not binding. You do get a pretty good idea of what the arbitrator will decide, though. So not only did he find that we should NOT pay for our health care, but he thought we should get a decent raise, too. Our negotiating team did an outstanding job of presenting our side of the arguement to the fact finder. They were so convincing that the vast majority of items taken to the fact finder went our way. The administration decided not to chance it with the arbitrator, so we settled.

    Without the union and Binding Arbitration, we'd have gone backwards for sure. The admin's offer was for us to pick up 10% of whatever bloated health insurance policy they felt like getting (we have no say) and they wanted to give us a 2% raise. That would have meant we'd be taking home a good bit less than we were last year!
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Being unionized is the only protection one has as a firefighter for the improvement of wages and working conditions.

    And traditionally the FD's have always been the targets of the city administrators wrath. Unlike PD's, FD's don't have the ability to positively impact a city's general fund. PD's can write tickets. FD's spend money. The only recourse the personnel of the FD have is to get unionized and get politically active at the local level. You will never hear a chief or city administrator talk about how their dept. is understaffed or under equipped. Any chief officer who would say that will get fired. Espcially since they are not directly elected like a sheriff. The chief of police always has the criminal bogeyman he (or she) can throw out. And face it. The general populace is far more concerned about being mugged at gunpoint than having to run out of a burning house.

    Firefighters enjoy a very high level of approval within their communities, and the only way to prevent a backward slide is to be politically active and educate both the populace, and those who choose to undertake the responsibility of elected office.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Default About time Addison

    Congratulations on "taking the plunge". From what I understand from talking to one of your fellow firefighters, things have always gone pretty well there. It is a good idea to set up shop while they are, instead of playing catch up when things arent going so well. The amount of information available to your local and the network it creates for you (especially through the AFFI) is worth it alone. There are very very few paid departments in Illinois that arent unionized. Each new local helps make our Union stronger. Be an informed and educated member. You will be pleasantly surprised what the Union helps you achieve.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  6. #6
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    Gosh... one thing...

    Considering that the two Locals I have been involved in were chartered WAY before I joined, I'll give you some reasons I joined up as an individual.

    - Health & Safety.
    - Healthcare.
    - Representation at all levels of government.
    - Believe it or not, the department does not want to just give you better equipment.
    - I would recieve the benefits anyway.
    - Training opportunities.
    - Brother and Sisterhood with over 250,000 emergency responders.
    - More can be achieved united than divided.

    Those are the big reasons. I am confident that others can come up with many more.

    Kobersteen
    Communications Director
    IAFF Local 2068

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    My fire dept. hired it's first full timers in 1971 in response to lack of daytime staffing of it's 5 volunteer stations. At the time most people lived and worked in the city which at that time had a population of 23,000. After a few stormy years these 10 men along with a few more hired over the next couple of years joined with the IAFF to form Local 2334 in response to bullying by the mayor at that time and to give them better wages and working conditions. Since then the population has doubled to between 45-50,000 and we are now 102 members strong manning 4 engines, 1 ladder, 1 heavy rescue, 2 ALS rescues and a BC.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Common Sense
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    We joined the IAFF on Feb 28,1918. Not sure if there was one defining moment that made us join but i'm gald we did and i'm a proud member of this great union.......

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    Default iaff membership

    It is difficult seeing things around the station that need to be improved upon, and what is more upsetting is that the fire administration lends a deaf ear, at least with union representation should you suggest an improvement that upsets "Mr. Whitehat", you have protection, I am the president of my association, and my VP was demoted from LT to FF following a Civil Service push, he is still in court, and all his legal bills are paid, but you won't get that from a volunteer department, or a non-union department, if anything it allows you to speak out for what is unsafe or unpopular in your workplace,so

    Join up and welcome,

    Kenny Fearneyhough
    Seguin Texas
    IAFF Local 4122



    http://www.seguinfirefighters.org

  11. #11
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    but you won't get that from a volunteer department, or a non-union department
    Please don't spread fallacies about the Volunteer Fire Service. That is not a 100% true statement.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  12. #12
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Please don't spread fallacies about the Volunteer Fire Service. That is not a 100% true statement.
    That's true. In the most volunteer departments, all he would have to do is campaign and be 're-elected' to Lieutenant.

    Actually Chris, I would be very surprised to see a volunteer or paid department pay for the legal costs associated with a member openly challenging a municipalities leadership. That is the beauty of the union, the workers actually have a chance to have a say in improving their working conditions.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

  13. #13
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    Default Kobersteen

    Our Volunteer Association actually has legal counsel similar to what the Union would have. The Vol. Assoc. acts as our "Union" per se, so the benefits when comapred to L1619 are very similar. They offer Life, health, dental insurance, Administer our LOSAP program and fight for issues along with the fire commission.

    I just don't want anyone to think that ALL Volunteer Departments would leave a member hanging out to dry.

    BTW, when is Truck 422 due in? I am interested to see that unit. Nice job on the Union Website...
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  14. #14
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kobersteen

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    BTW, when is Truck 422 due in? I am interested to see that unit.
    Should be any day now.

    We have already been informed that despite the fact that it will be service before hand, we will need to switch to a reserve and back again so that the the volunteers can take it to Apple Blossom.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

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    Default IAFF Membership

    Tillerman,

    By no means did I intend to offend, it's just been my observation that volunteer depaprtments can not afford the money required to put up a legal fight, and further more a volunteer firefighter has some other "paying" job which allows him or her to -volunteer, The point I was trying to make is under IAFF protection you have a right to speak against the machine.

    Agreed, some volunteer departments may have legal funds set aside for membership suits, however I would be willing to bet you are the exception and not the rule. Most volunteer departments I have seen are doing good to keep the doors open and insurance on the trucks.

    Please don't misunderstand, if you have a large volunteer department that functions in place of a paid department, that's great, but you must be able to see our side. This is my "paying job" and I need protection to speak up against whats wrong, we just can't vote the chief out in the next election, trust me when I say, he would be gone already-

    IAFF membership is for career firefighters, and that was the original thread, and the benifts far out weight the costs,

    Thanks,

    Kenny

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber fieldseng2's Avatar
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    As head of our local, I couldn't give an unbiased answer!

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    Default Re: Kobersteen

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Our Volunteer Association actually has legal counsel similar to what the Union would have. The Vol. Assoc. acts as our "Union" per se, so the benefits when comapred to L1619 are very similar. They offer Life, health, dental insurance, Administer our LOSAP program and fight for issues along with the fire commission.

    I just don't want anyone to think that ALL Volunteer Departments would leave a member hanging out to dry.

    BTW, when is Truck 422 due in? I am interested to see that unit. Nice job on the Union Website...
    At the risk of being flamed. You are saying volunteers has legal coverage if the adminasration desidies to remove he/her from the fir dept? That legal coverage will take the dept to court to reinstate him for being wrongfully removed from the dept, or put him back to his/her rank?
    Around here the volunteer fire chief can just remove you from the dept. or have the board , who he generally controls, do it.
    I would like to know more about this volunteer fire fighters ***. legal service.

  18. #18
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    Not sure of the reason why we're in the union. All I know is we've been in since the beginning. Proud of it too. Best union around if you ask me.
    Local #10

    Charles Stephen
    Eric Jeffrey
    Born 7/24/07
    My new twin boys that I love even more than being on the job!

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