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  1. #1
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    Default has a career dept ever gone back to volunteer?

    The political storm is brewing here at Local 869 in Leadville, Colorado.

    Leadville Lake County Fire Rescue has had a paid dept since the 1880s and became union about 1946.

    Current staffing for 400 (yes 400) square miles is 9 on the line and one non union chief.

    Current apparatus
    2002 Sutphen Rescue pumper
    1992 Autocar Tender/Pumper (POS)
    1980s Eone 55' Squirt (failed pump and ladder certs OOS)
    2004 F550 Wildland Brush
    1993 Chevy 3500 Brush
    1970 6x6 1000gal CAFS tender/brush (POS)

    The department is funded 70% by the county and 30% by the city. The city manages the department as Colorado until VERY recently has not allowed counties to run fire deparments.

    There is only one incorporated area in the county, the city of Leadville.

    City population 3500
    County population 5000 spread over 380 sq miles or so

    City does have a 14 block downtown area with house less than 5 feet apart and multistory/multi-use buildings "downtown".

    The county has announced that they want to take over the management of the Fire Department.

    They are complaining about:
    1) Lack of Volunteers (3) 1 OOS due to injury

    2) Unhappy with management

    3) Rapidly rising costs (budget of 630k)

    The union, the fire chief and the city mayor have been left out of any discussions. The union is completely behind the chief.

    The County government has indicated it wants to return to at most 2 paid on the engine, remove certification requirements for volunteers, and not have a paid chief (aka they want to micro manage)

    The mayor and the chief (basically our bosses) have told us that it doesn't look to rosey. Get your life perserver and prepare to jump ship.

    http://www.leadvilleherald.com/topst...ories.html#FP2

    I guess just a little bit of venting going on and curious, have you ever heard of a department returning to volunteer?

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    Default

    Time to form a fire district
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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    IACOJ 2003

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    Default

    I guess just a little bit of venting going on and curious, have you ever heard of a department returning to volunteer?
    Sounds like a sh@tty situation you are in, and No.
    "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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    They are complaining of a lack of volunteers, yet want to go to a volunteer department? Where do they think the volunteers are going to come from?

    Reduce the level of training and certification? Okay... let's just teach the newbies to lob water through a window.. look at the money we'll save on turnout grear and SCBA!

    Worrying about the budget? We won't need one if the first two things come true!

    Idiocy and micromanagement at it's best...
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I don't know this firsthand but didn't Kentland VFD in Maryland (http//www.kentland33.com) go back to an all volunteer setup? Their website says they are the second busiest engine co. in the US and they are all volunteer.

    Come to think of it that must be why the departments in Pennsylvania are having such a hard time getting volunteers...they all moved to Kentland!

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    There is a department close to here that is getting mighty close to this .......they have a failing town infrastructure, poor local economy and have suffered FF layoffs. They are down to rediculously low minimal manning. The only thing that saves them, they dont have alot of fires.
    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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    Originally posted by Farmun
    I don't know this firsthand but didn't Kentland VFD in Maryland (http//www.kentland33.com) go back to an all volunteer setup?
    Apples and oranges. Kentland 33 is one station in the PG combination department. They had their paid staff moved to a different station, hence they are now 100% volunteer.

    This situation in Leadville is different and as Bones said is real sh***y. KTF Brothers.

    Weruj, PM as to what dept. you're speaking of...
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    didnt that happen to BelPre down on the Ohio river a few years ago?
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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    this is happening in Salem Ohio right now. City council is trying to do away with their paid department to for a Fire District with a volunteer station. Salem firefighters have been without a contract since June 30th and council will not really even listen to their offers. They have offered wage freezes for the next three years and cutting down to 4 guys per shift. City council has declared a fiscal emergency to disband their fire dept. City council also threw out 2 voter referendums that said the residents can not vote on it. It’s unreal the way council is getting away with what they are.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave

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    Originally posted by FCDave24
    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave
    Dave.. how true. Amazing how there are some volunteers who post on the forums saying we don't get any respect from career guys, we want to be treated like brothers, yet they feel its all right to pull this crap.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-23-2005 at 11:17 AM.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    aint that the truth..............
    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

  13. #13
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    To be fair, I've got to say that when we laid off guys and didn't fill some slots opened by retirement (9 positions out of 49 authorized), my city's Council openly commented that they would just use the volunteers where they need to. To our local volunteer Chiefs' credit, they to a person told Council that their failure to adequately staff our department wasn't going to become their problem to cover, as they were having problems covering their own calls. They would assist with the occassional shortage, but they weren't going to routinely run our calls for us.

    It didn't do any good, as we were told to just call the private ambulance services to cover our EMS calls, and the politicians/bean counters pretty well knew the other departments were never going to leave us or the community hanging if we really needed them.
    Steve Gallagher
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    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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    Originally posted by Steamer
    To be fair, I've got to say that when we laid off guys and didn't fill some slots opened by retirement (9 positions out of 49 authorized), my city's Council openly commented that they would just use the volunteers where they need to. To our local volunteer Chiefs' credit, they to a person told Council that their failure to adequately staff our department wasn't going to become their problem to cover, as they were having problems covering their own calls. They would assist with the occassional shortage, but they weren't going to routinely run our calls for us.

    It didn't do any good, as we were told to just call the private ambulance services to cover our EMS calls, and the politicians/bean counters pretty well knew the other departments were never going to leave us or the community hanging if we really needed them.
    Same thing is happening here, the city runs low on manpower and has to rely on county volunteer department's to come into the city to respond. When we cut 4 paid FF jobs all the part-paid vollies on the cities department had to be ****-canned as well. That cut another 20-25 FF's. We have one private ambulance in town and they can only do non-emergency transports due to city ordinance of requireing 2 medics on any ALS run. So far the city hasn't been burned to bad; but it will soon I fear. Good news is that they just brought back one FF from lay-off status.

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    Originally posted by tyler101
    Good news is that they just brought back one FF from lay-off status.
    We've brought 2 back. Our Mayor is really trying to get our billets filled, and actually wants to add another firehouse to cover and underserved area in the north end of the city. We've grown something like more than a thousand acres and developing quickly. They're going to have to do something about it eventually.
    Steve Gallagher
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    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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    Shi* - And I use to bitch about a payraise. Damn.
    Jacktee

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    Originally posted by FCDave24
    fireguy19,

    I've got a buddy on Salem FD and it is shocking what the council is doing to their department! They tried to stop the FD from going on EMS runs to prove that the guys aren't needed. That was overturned in court. Another factor is that several surrounding volunteer departments are telling the city council that they could protect the town as well, if not better than the full time guys. sigh Also, it doesn't help they've got some freak-show former FF sueing the city on discrimination stuff. Nice, huh?

    Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Salem is East Liverpool, OH. ELFD is facing a very similar situation. The new mayor keeps trying to lay off firemen. Again, the local volunteer departments keep "offering" their services.

    Volunteers provide invaluable services to the citizens in their districts. However, no one should threaten the jobs of career firefighters.

    Just my two cents.

    Dave
    The private ambulance company I work for use Salem’s first responders all the time. As far as the volunteers Perry Township is no tall that happy with this situation. I am on one of the volunteer fire departments outside of East Liverpool. Again that is all city council’s agenda. I can not answer for Liverpool township which is on both sides of the City of East Liverpool. When council brought up about getting a mutual aid agreement made up. Our department told our trustee’s (we are a private vol. fire dept). The only way we would ever go into the city was if the East Liverpool Fire Department wanted us. And not why one guy was laid off. We where not going to let council lay off guys know they would have us roll in to cover it. So for East Liverpool is concerned they may have one department say that but that would be it. I have to through the BS flag on that. We have no desire to run in the city if we are not invited.
    Salem runs well with the volunteers in their area. That has never been a problem. City council and the water department said that no one other than the city could use water. Salem firefighter’s with all the BS that is going on said to call them they would come hook the hydrant up. They are a stand up bunch. And I have all the respect in the world for them. I know two made comments that they could do better in the city of Salem how ever not the department the is involved in the joint fire district. Perry township is township owned and the township trustee’s are going along with the fire district to avoid annexation of a lot of their township. It is a shame. I hope that some how this gets put to and end quick. If this the district goes through I bet East Liverpool will do the same. How ever East Liverpool has a whole different attitude. They are a paid department that SOME guys have a we are better than NYFD type mind set. The new mayor went after the police department as well how ever they where able to stop that.
    The thing that East Liverpool has to their advantage is they have a fire levy where as Salem does not they are run out of the general fund. Tonight is going to be the meeting that Salem city council does the vote on the fire department. Council has over turned twice the wright for the residents of Salem to vote on whether they keep the fire department or form a fire district. Please do not blame all the volunteer fire departments in this area for trying to make this happen it’s not what we want at all. I will keep you all up to date as to what happens in the next few days.
    For the record my fire department has NEVER offered are service to the city. The ELFD knows if they call we will come but that is the only way. Council can try what they want but we are not and will not go with out the ELFD saying come. They gave us our first fire hose way back in 1947 and that has not been forgoten. many of us are good friend with most of them. But as always there are 2 or 3 that may tell you how bad volunteers suck that happens anywhere thought.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    Here are a few news updates to what is going on in Salem Ohio. The township trustee’s and city council have no guts. They will not let anyone from the public speak at these meetings. I was shocked to be there at the Salem meeting and plan on going tonight to the Perry township meeting. All the voters wanted was a say. Where is the democracy in this world. Truly sad day for the voters of these areas.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...ew01quaker.asp

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new01perry.asp

    This one was kind of BS. I went through emt class with Shane he is very proud of his dad. As well as the community. the council started something they will not be able to finish as they are up for relection in November. The towns people are fighting for there FD.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new02words.asp
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    Lightbulb

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo


    Dave.. how true. Amazing how there are some volunteers who post on the forums saying we don't get any respect from career guys, we want to be treated like brothers, yet they feel its all right to pull this crap.
    Dude seriously, your taking a statement totally out of context and probably don't have the full story. It isn't about being right to pull crap, it would be more like, who is really gonna do it if the city management decides that they are gonna go vollie. That is nothing that the volunteers can do about it except step up till the situation is fixed. Most people think because the city managers won’t pay a full time station that it is the vollies at fault because they volunteer to cover the area. Sounds to me like a city issue. What is the alternative? No fire or EMS protection? Force the city to reinstate the paid guys? How many people will that impact? Too many things that we don't know, so let us not pass judgment before the facts are clear.
    Now, if the statement is true, you’re right, totally wrong. Vollies can do the job, but better? Not all the time cause they have other jobs outside of the fire service.

    Lt Chuck

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    Just an update as to what is going on in Salem Ohio. City council and Perry Township trustees agreed to make the joint fire district. The Perry Township firefighters still have not been asked if they want to join the district or not. At neither meetings was there a public speaking session aloud. There where signs held up at Perry Township that said “Yes vote today Means a no vote for you in November”.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new02mayor.asp

    http://www.morningjournalnews.com/ne...ew01news02.asp

    http://www.reviewonline.com/news/sto...judgestops.asp
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    How can they not let people talk at the meetings? Can you even ask beforehand to get put on the agenda? Silencing opposition is no way to run a public meeting. Hope it backfires on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squara
    How can they not let people talk at the meetings? Can you even ask beforehand to get put on the agenda? Silencing opposition is no way to run a public meeting. Hope it backfires on them.
    For people that was elected to represent the people they sure are stepping on them. They are all up for election this year. I do not see them being reelected. It was total bs. The Salem city council
    even told people they would have a chance to talk before the meeting. It is truly a shame. The next few months should be interesting if.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    Here is a letter to the editor supporting both fire departments involved. The residents of both FD's are standing behind them.


    http://www.salemnews.net/letters/sto...t01letters.asp

    Township resident

    opposes fire district


    To the editor:

    OK, so we now have a joint fire district, at least temporarily. As we all know, there are only two things in life that are permanent and the fire district is not one of them.
    I have been a non-city, Perry Township resident for 30 years and vehemently oppose the formation of the district. It is a poorly conceived concept, even more poorly planned and implemented. The city council's main objectives, I feel were to break the firefighters union and to formulate yet another back door means by which the city will, over time, absorb Perry Township thus gaining more population, larger tax base, and receive more of those almighty LGF funds.

    Hopefully, the union leadership can deal with their part of the problem. In any event, that is a city and union problem. We, as township residents, now have problems of our own. Several years ago we spoke out and by vote, unanimously rejected merging with the city. Yet, here they come again. We have a board of trustees, which apparently has its own agenda, and it's not the same as the non-city township residents. In my opinion, the trustees, with their approval of the district have only served to enable and facilitate the fraud which I feel is being perpetrated upon the good people of both Salem and Perry Township.

    Make no mistake. Salem is a very good town, full of good people who don't deserve to be treated as subjects by their city council. Hopefully the city residents can begin rectifying this at the next election. Until then, I want it known, I for one, do not want to be affiliated with the current city government in any fashion, specifically politically and financially.

    A big problem I have is the lack of logic behind the funding and contribution of money and assets of the city and township. One would think that reasonable persons entrusted with the public interest and monies would have used a logical formula to determine each entity's contribution. As I tried to explain during the July 25 township meeting all they needed to do was establish the number of calls in the last year responded to by both the city fire department and the township department. Then each entity should be responsible for contributing the corresponding percentage in funding and equipment. This could be adjusted periodically based upon the number of calls responded to in each jurisdiction.

    Instead, city council basically told our trustees, "throw in all of your safety levy monies and all of your equipment," and our elected trustees said, "no problem." The city council also said, "by the way, throw in all of the township property that is contiguous to the city border." The trustees said, "no problem."

    The largest issue here is, no governing body should ever, ever play political football with the public safety. A short drive to Minerva and Cambridge, Ohio, will display two large sections of downtown areas very similar to Salem, which have been devastated by fires within the last two years. Bad things, do indeed happen, and when they do it is the responsibility of elected officials to see they are responded to by the most qualified and best trained personnel available. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee the fire district will equal or exceed the talent we now have on both fire departments.

    I have been a property insurance adjuster for the last 25 years and as such, have seen the work product of hundreds of paid and volunteer departments in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Indiana including the Salem City Fire Department and the Perry Township Volunteer Department. I can honestly state, in my opinion both the Perry Township's and the city fire department's performance is way, way above average in terms of containment, ancillary damage and post loss services. If anyone in a position of authority can guarantee me the new fire district will produce the same quality of service we now have from both departments, please call me, my number is in the book.

    The trustees, well they are clearly out of control. Larry Parker says the annexation agreement was necessary to stabilize our tax base and prevent further annexations. So, as part of the agreement, after 12 years all township property now bordering the city will be annexed and water and sewer will be provided at today's rate.

    Jerry Wolford says, "it only involves a hundred or so lots". Trust me guys research will be done to determine who may have an interest in those lots. Frankly, both Jerry Wolford and Larry Parker appear totally intimidated by city council and it appears their loyalty really lies with the city and not the township.

    The trustees stated at the July 25 meeting legislation is being discussed at the state level to provide some protection to townships from annexation. What they didn't tell us was whom we should contact to express our support. Gee, I wonder why, do you think the trustees may not support it?

    Regarding water and sewage, I am told there are currently residential state of art aeration sewage systems available for approximately $6,000, which, I think for most properties would be considerably less costly than frontage cost, tap in fees, lines to the street, etc. Maybe the trustees could look into this and get the township residents a discount. Oh, I forgot, the trustees are too busy reaching for the tissue any time a council member sneezes.

    Obviously, the city council doesn't listen to its citizens any more than the trustees do theirs but here are some suggestions on how you could, over time save a large portion of the $600,000 you allegedly need.

    1) Start charging the hospital for the life flight arrivals. I'm certain the chief can tell you what his hourly cost is for a fully-equipped and staffed truck. Whatever those charges are, I'm sure they would be less than the amortized cost of a fire suppression system.

    2) Talk with the firefighters union and establish separate wage levels for stand-by time and response/in service time. I think by now you may have the union's attention. And most importantly;

    3) Sell your water and sewage utility services. Instead of using them as a tool for bribery for annexation, sell them. There is a ready market and you should be able to dictate your own price. I know your argument has been the income produced cannot be legally channeled to other budgetary areas. A second year accounting and law student should be able to help you with that. Or, you could always use the word "emergency" to get around it, you seem pretty good at that.

    In any event, the employment of any elected official who endorsed this fire district fiasco should be terminated at the first possible opportunity.

    The recent activity of our trustees has resulted in several persons stating they will run for the position of trustee. The two trustees up for re-election are Jerry Wolford and Larry Parker. If there is a glut of other candidates it will result in a split vote, in which case guess who will probably win. That's right, it will the Jerry and Larry show again.

    have considered running but will not do so if there are two other legitimate candidates who can carry the load and straighten this mess out. I would think it in the best interest of the township for the opposition to the fire district to become cohesive, organize, and choose two people who have the most chance of defeating the two incumbents. If anyone wants to discuss this or if I can help, again, my number is in the book.

    JOHN ARTER,

    Salem
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    IACOJ probie

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    I'm not sure, but, I think that the Harlan, KY fire department has cycled from career to volunteer in the late 1970's or early 1980's, and I think back to career now.

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    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/...new02court.asp

    Firefighters, Salem in court again

    By MARY ANN GREIER/Salem News staff writer


    LISBON - Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike made no decision Thursday on the latest fire fight between the Salem city firefighters union and the city.

    Pike heard arguments from both sides on whether he should issue a preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo and stop fire district business from going forward while the union pursues action through the State Employment Relations Board.
    He issued a temporary restraining order earlier this month after the International Association of Firefighters Local 283, AFL-CIO, filed its complaint against the city of Salem.

    The complaint accused city council members of violating the union's recently-approved contract by taking action which could lead to the department's abolishment.

    The union asked the court to intervene as a means to stop any further action by the city until the union's grievance could be decided.

    The action the union referred to was Salem City Council's approval of three pieces of legislation to establish the Quaker Community Joint Fire District with Perry Township, approve an operating agreement for the district and approve an annexation agreement with the township.

    Dennis Haines, the attorney for the union, noted the collective bargaining agreement was executed on July 18 and on July 27, city council passed the fire district legislation. He said the union filed action with SERB asking for injunctive relief to prevent the eventual abolishment of the fire department and that relief hasn't been decided yet. The union also filed a second unfair labor practice complaint which has yet to be investigated. The union also filed a grievance, which Haines said could ultimately end up before an arbitrator.

    James Kurek, the attorney representing the city, argued that the union didn't cite any provision in the contract for its complaint.

    "There's no contractual violation here," he said, stressing that SERB was the proper forum and the law didn't permit what the union was seeking.

    Haines acknowledged that a section in the contract addresses the procedure for a layoff or job abolishment, but he argued the contract anticipates a singular layoff or singular job abolishment.

    "It does not anticipate abolishment of an entire department," he said.

    Mayor Larry DeJane, Councilwoman Nancy Cope, city Auditor James Armeni and union vice president Jeff Hughes all took the stand, with Hughes explaining that the reason the union filed the grievance to challenge council's acton was because "their action would basically abolish our contract."

    When asked by Kurek what effect the three ordinances for the fire district had on the fire department, Cope said "none whatsoever," although she admitted the abolishment of the department would probably come later.

    Cope said the next step after appointment of representatives to the fire district board would be for the board to return to council and Perry Township with a proposal for the district's day-to-day operation. After that is when action would be taken to abolish the fire department.

    Haines questioned her about where in the approved agreements it says the fire district board has to come back to council. He also questioned whether she felt compelled to honor the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

    Cope said council never voted to approve the agreement. During earlier testimony, it was noted that council took no action and by law, the agreement was considered approved.

    "I don't think there's anything in the bargaining agreement that prohibits us from forming a fire district," she said.

    Haines argued the city could have asked for a line in the contract through conciliation to keep it in effect until the fire district was formed. The factfinder rejected the suggestion and Kurek said a conciliator wouldn't have the ability to change the language that way.

    Haines opposed a request by Kurek for the union to have to post a bond equal to what the city was claiming to be losing financially due to delays caused by the court action.

    Kurek had suggested a cost of $50,000 for each month.

    Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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