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    Question IAFF in a Right-to-work state.

    Any ideas/information/advice on how to make it work. Having some problems with the local government. Says we can form an union but it will not be recognized. Makes little to no sense. Is there a way to get more out of our local in a right-to-work state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAXFF7086
    Any ideas/information/advice on how to make it work. Having some problems with the local government. Says we can form an union but it will not be recognized. Makes little to no sense. Is there a way to get more out of our local in a right-to-work state.
    You may want to contact the following locals in Virginia and ask them.

    Arlington County, Local 2800

    Alexandria, Local 2141

    Fairfax County, Local 2068

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    virginia where i am is a right to work state and most professional departments are IAFF including the largest mentioned above in Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Alexandria.

    while there is no "contract" or "bargining" the local spends a good deal of time and money dealing with politicians, getting them elected, supporting them financially and it seems to be working. I mean lets face it, the politicians control the budget, and from what i hear fairfax county is going to be getting a 6.25% raise in july, so they must be doing something right.

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    I think its a crying shame that the world is so screwed up government can adopt anti-union legislation
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    smoke,

    in virginia as well as other right to work states it is not a policy it is the law and in some states it is even built into the state constitution. while for the fire service the union is a very good thing and it ensures that firefighters are treated well and paid what they deserve to be paid because they are expected to risk it all so to speak

    however to be honest i have a problem with other unions that simply attempt to raise the pay for their unskilled workers, not only do they give unions a bad name, but they also result in higher prices for you and me. while i do agree all people should be treated with respect and paid a living wage some of these unions often associated with the afl-cio take it too far. look at the transit strike in new york. these people are bus drivers and train operators and they are making very good money, contribute NOTHING to their own pension, and pay less then $40 a month for health insurance. That is what is wrong. They went on strike because NYC wanted them to contribute 3 or 4% of their pay for their own pension. I CONTRIBUTE somewhere near 7% and i certainly in a risker profession then the bus driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wnwd00
    ...while there is no "contract" or "bargining" the local spends a good deal of time and money dealing with politicians, getting them elected, supporting them financially and it seems to be working. I mean lets face it, the politicians control the budget, and from what i hear fairfax county is going to be getting a 6.25% raise in july, so they must be doing something right.
    Two things you hit on the head.

    - 6.25% has been proposed in FY2007 for Fairfax County Fire & Rescue.
    - Local 2068 is VERY politically active and that is one part of the 'bread & butter' of being a successful labor organization in a right to work state.

    It's actually pretty funny. The Fairfax County Police union came to us and asked, "how in the hell are you so successul? We will do anything... except political action." Well, sport, then you are screwed.

    Hell, one of the most popular firefighter hangouts in Fairfax County is in the shadow of the National Right to Work HQ.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

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    JAXFF7086

    You may also want to try the Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics of North Carolina, at www.pffpnc.org. The Locals in NC all deal with exactly what you are referring to. We have tried several times to gain collective bargaining, but until a National bill is passed, there isn't much more we can do. It is still worth the effort to form a Local. There is more power with numbers. The state association has many great attributes. Give the President a call or email. I know he'll be glad to help.

    Glenn Rainey
    IAFF Local 3286
    Outer Banks, NC

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    Some great posts. I just wanted to add how much I admire my IAFF Brothers and Sisters who dont have collective bargaining rights. Illinois was one of the last northern industrial states to get it (1986). We use the constant threat against it to remind our members how important being political is.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    This information is a good start. We will make an effort to make the recommended contacts and at least try to make something happen. Thank you all. Any other suggestions/recommendations, welcome.

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    Right to work must mean different things for different states. Florida is right to work as well, but all the locals I know of are recognized and have negotiated contracts. I suppose you could contact any of the Fla locals to find out the hows and whys.
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    Right to work in NC means that if your boss comes to work today and feels like firing you, they can and you don't have a lot of recourse.

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    Yeah, I know in Florida CBA and negotiations are recognized. You may want to contact Local 3169, they have a great President, who has done some amazing thing's in his tennure.

    www.iafflocal3169.com

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    If I recall corectly Oklahoma is Right-to-Work. In the last company that I worked for we had a Union but not many people joined. The Union had collective bargaining powers, represented the workers, did all that Unions do. The even represented non-union employees. The big difference is that after your normal appeals are used up against any disciplinary actions you are on your own. If you are a Union Member the union still backed you up, provided attorneys, resources, etc.

    In Oklahoma the main purpose for Right-To-Work was so that the Union cannot force you to join as condition for employment, ie: No Closed Shops.

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    Can you be more specific? Who in the local government is saying this? South Carolina may be a "no collective bargaining" state, but as Dennis R. Nolan pointed out in "Public Employee Unionism in the Southeast - The Legal Parameters" (1978) there is nothing in the state law that forbids informal relationships from accomplishing the same thing. What you're really being told is, "I don't like that you've formed a union, and the law says I don't have to collectively bargain, so I'm going to cross my arms and turn my nose away from you." I know it's splitting hairs, but this is relevant because public employers in South Carolina may tell you that the law "forbids" collective bargaining and use it as an excuse to not communicate. It's arrogance. They feel quite secure that you are powerless. Your union will be recognized. The question is, by whom? When you're recognized by the local media and the community at large (including your elected representatives) then you will be recognized in the meaningful sense. Let me ask you this: Where was the SCFA when the State of SC strengthened the right to work laws to make them apply to the public sector? Where was the SCFA in support of the Public Safety Employer Employee Cooperation Act? The truth is, SC is a poor, rural, mostly volunteer state, and the current associations do not represent career interests. What the professional firefighters of SC need is solid, intelligent leadership as well as grass roots activism. The most important thing is to win the public relations campaign. If you're seen as the guys who are on the street saving lives and standing up for the interets of the community, then you'll win. If you're seen as a bunch of fat guys who want more money for less work, then you'll lose. Just remember, it's the well organized business community (think Chamber of Commerce) that lobbied to create right to work laws. It weakens labor, and the last thing they want is unions coming in the back door through public safety. Fortunately, the public tends to love firefighters. Unfortunately, there are a lot of uneducated FFs in SC who don't understand why they should unionize. They've grown up without unions, they've been told it's a "right to fire" state, and like sheep to the slaughter house they've decided that unions are "more trouble than they're worth." The example of Florida should suffice for all of us. Professional firefighter unions and living wages ultimately leads more qualified people to the career, which improves the quality of service delivery for the entire community. When the only job requirement is a pulse, you get exactly what you pay for. Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by JAXFF7086
    Any ideas/information/advice on how to make it work. Having some problems with the local government. Says we can form an union but it will not be recognized. Makes little to no sense. Is there a way to get more out of our local in a right-to-work state.

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    Are you from the Myrtle Beach Area? There are allready IAFF locals in the area, Local 2345 and Local 4345, http://www.iaff4345.org
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    i understand that unions are good for the firefighters. i know that he states cant just say "this occupation can and this one can't" the nions get to powerful. look at the uaw they get there people $20+ an hour to run a simple machine and the healthcare to go with. they run the metro detroit area. the iaff is a great uion but it is the others that ruin it for the rest.

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    Default I have a problem with other unions

    Quote Originally Posted by wnwd00
    smoke,

    in virginia as well as other right to work states it is not a policy it is the law and in some states it is even built into the state constitution. while for the fire service the union is a very good thing and it ensures that firefighters are treated well and paid what they deserve to be paid because they are expected to risk it all so to speak

    however to be honest i have a problem with other unions that simply attempt to raise the pay for their unskilled workers, not only do they give unions a bad name, but they also result in higher prices for you and me. while i do agree all people should be treated with respect and paid a living wage some of these unions often associated with the afl-cio take it too far. look at the transit strike in new york. these people are bus drivers and train operators and they are making very good money, contribute NOTHING to their own pension, and pay less then $40 a month for health insurance. That is what is wrong. They went on strike because NYC wanted them to contribute 3 or 4% of their pay for their own pension. I CONTRIBUTE somewhere near 7% and i certainly in a risker profession then the bus driver.
    Statistics from the United States Department of Labor showing, for example, that in 2003 the rate of workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers was highest in right-to-work states. 19 of the top 25 states for worker fatality rates were right-to-work states, while 3 of the bottom 25 states were right-to-work states. A study in 2001 showed that workers in right-to-work states earned an average of 6.5% less (4% after controlling for regional costs of living) than their counterparts in states without the law.

    If you want to work as a Career Firefighter you better learn how Unions work. It does not serve your purpose to knock another craft because they have better benefits than you. Work to improve your contract not knock another’s down, that’s managements job .

    Every worker, be they a Firefighter, Bus Driver, or Ditch Digger should have the right to improve working conditions.

    Emergency workers have been riding the post 9-11 feeling of “we have to reward these guys for the job they do”. Just as our war veterans are praised and then forgotten. It wont be long before some study is made that shows Firefighters get paid to sleep, Fire runs are down and they hang around the station eating and getting fat, and when they do go to a fire they have heart attacks and want us to pay.

    When they want to close your station, reduce your staffing, have you pick up garbage between calls is when your Union is going to need the help and support of every union worker. Bus Driver, or Ditch Digger included.

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    They don't result in higher prices for you and me, because manufacturing has moved overseas where workers are paid pennies on the dollar. If you're talking about bus fare, then cry me a river. I agree 100% that bus drivers, ditch diggers, and firefighters deserve to be paid a living wage. That means enough money to get married, buy a house, have children, and take a vacation every year. Or do you think they deserve to live in poverty? Last time I checked a real estate agent could make a $40,000.00 commission for selling a million dollar house. How skilled is that compared to a firefighter or a paramedic? This is the United States of America, and you should be able to support a family if you work. But fewer and fewer people can afford a house because investors drive up prices, and then cash out equity. Is that a respectable way to make a living? At least ditch diggers, bus drivers, and firefighters contribute something to society. If you're going to slam someone, slam a bottom feeder. Maybe we should privatize the fire service and give all the jobs away to illegal aliens so some shareholders can get rich.

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